Pierdomenico Baccalario was born in March 1974 in Acqui Terme. In the same month, science fiction writer P.K. Dick, who would later become his favorite writer, was having a spiritual crisis that Pierdomenico has interpreted as being a sort of spiritual investiture.
He spent the first years of his life exploring the woods around his home. In fact he grew up in a large old country farmhouse, full of objects collected from every part of the world which were above all: FRAGILE. From a young age he fully understood the concept of “look carefully where you’re going to sit before you presume you’re not going to break it.”
The country house was a thoroughfare of bizarre characters, which included impoverished aristocrats, self-proclaimed artists, country vets, and penniless poets. This was due to its vocation as a literary summer meeting-place for writers since the beginning of 1900 when it was the premises of the literary magazine “The New Anthology”. An immense library of books (today more than 10,000), letters and notes remain from the roaring years by writers such as D’Annunzio, Nobel Prize Grazia Deledda, poet Trilussa and Matilde Serao.
The greatest concern for our author was the five kilometers (uphill) to his closest neighbor, Andrea. Andrea, today a lawyer, was the kid with one brown eye and one green, with whom Pierdomenico founded the Explorer Club. The club’s charter was to explore and map all of the surrounding hills, in clear competition with the town boy scouts. The awards for the most deserving deeds were golden corks that Pierdomenico took from his father’s cellar, a wine-making expert and producer.
This sense of adventure has never left him.
As soon as he was old enough, he crossed all of Europe by train, thanks to the freedom granted by an unlimited InterRail ticket. Some notable, rather dubious, experiences include: scoring the decisive goal in a match between Italy and Scotland played at Thurso (in front of the Hebrides Islands) in August 1994; crossing Cappadocia sleeping above the second class compartment; inventing his own personal technique of entering museums by walking in backwards through the exit; getting together with a young French girl called Audrey before discovering that she was a national acrobatic dance champion. He decided to wait a few years before repeating the experience.
He started writing stories for kids at 22 and won the literary prize “Il Battello a Vapore” with his novel “The Road of the Warrior”. He worked with De Agostini to plan and publish the first book series in the world that provided interaction between printed words and the Web (which would end up a complete disaster). He walked along the Camino di Santiago and also spent a few months in Mali where he lived closely with the Dogon population in order to write the novel “The Prince of Sand City”, together with directors Enzo d’Alò and Gaston Kaborè.
During the recent world cup in Germany, Pierdomenico was in Australia collecting material on the Aboriginals. In Kakudo National Park he watched the Italy beat the Australian soccer team but wisely decided not to celebrate and returned from Australia safe and sound.
His legal knowledge (he graduated in Law) and a certain passion for archeology led him to be a consultant for the Italian Cultural Patrimony at Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, one of the most important Universities in Italy.
He continues to travel, making reportage with his inseparable friend and photographer Walter Menegazzi. He has been to Iceland, the Baltic States, Japan, and the Silk Route from Verona (Italy) to Dushambee (Tajikistan) by car.
When he’s not busy planning benefit rallies or travelling “for research” (his latest trip around the Mediterrean in a van was postponed due to the international economic crisis) he writes books for children. His works sold more than 2 million copies worldwide and are translated into 23 languages.
His most successful series include “Ulysses Moore”, “Century” and “Will Moogley’s Ghost Agency”.
He has held numerous writing courses in Italy (Lucca) and abroad (International School of Geneva) and created a literary manifesto for children’s authors, The Immersed (www.immergenti.it).
He has three dogs: Othello, Romeo and Watson.
After fifteen years of writing children’s novels he is still enjoying himself as much as when he first started.
His latest work is this biography, defined by its first readers as… “simply mad.”