It might be shocking to learn, but mouse-protagonist Geronimo Stilton did not pen his own series of adventure and mystery books. In fact, the sleuthing rodent doesn’t even go on the worldwide adventures he professes to write about. Rather, the heroic critter’s ‘secret mama’ Elisabetta Dami has been traveling around the globe with Geronimo’s publisher, Pietro Marietti, CEO of Italy’s Edizioni Piemme, to find fodder for the tween-targeted books.
But these aren’t just run-of-the-mill travels featuring hotels, tourist attractions and buffet meals. Dami and Marietti are certified adventure travelers, who have embarked on breathtaking treks that would make the contestants of The Eco-Challenge jealous. And each trip inspires a new storyline for their wee leading character, Geronimo.
For example, Geronimo’s climb up Mount Everest in the series’ fourth book, I’m Too Fond of My Fur, was born from the eight- and 10-hour treks Dami and Marietti took during their first visit to Nepal (part of a 12-day visit to Annapurna). It was this trip that kick-started the pair’s passion for adventure-travel, and the duo later set off on a five-day climb up Mount Kilimanjaro, which inspired Kilimanjaro… What a Fright! A gruelling 75-mile run through the Sahara Desert that followed was later explored in From Soft-Brie Mouse to He-Mouse in Four-and-a-half Days.
It’s hard to believe, but Marietti says he and Dami aren’t ‘very sporty people’ – a modest statement given the duo also ran the New York City Marathon not once, but twice. ‘We just want to finish what we start,’ he says, adding that the long-distance runs helped map out the plot for The Craziest Marathon in the World.
Although they haven’t paid another visit to their travel agent just yet, the duo hopes their next adventure will involve a jaunt to Mongolia and a dinosaur-finding expedition in the Gobi Desert where Geronimo will likely take part by proxy.