Marty Young

Marty Young


Marty lives in Northern California with his loving wife, Alanna and their three rambunctious sons, Cash, Levi and Knox. As a family, they enjoy the outdoors, baseball and plenty of competitive board games. Halloween and the Young household is a special time filled with arts & crafts, laughter and imaginative storytelling.

As a cherished childhood memory, Marty recalls his Mother explaining the gradual disappearance of Halloween candy due to the candy obsessed rat. Places to hide the candy were never sufficient; the RAT always won. Remembering how the story allowed him to explore fear and frustration during a playful and emotionally charged Holiday, inspired Marty to put the RAT story into a narrative. His intention in writing this book is to ensure that the “The Candy Rat, A Halloween Tradition” captures the fantasy and illusion of Halloween as it’s handed down from generation to generation.



Maria Frantz

Maria Frantz


Maria is a cartoonist, illustrator, and animator who is very fond of the mystical and the fantastical. She was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska, where she spent the first years of her life playing in the woods, making up stories, and regularly perusing the local comic shop. She currently lives and works in Portland, Oregon, where she spends her days baking, sewing, and drawing a ridiculous amount of comics.



Story Origin

Mary Elizabeth Smith / Publisher

It began as a bitter cold Halloween night in St. Paul, Minnesota. I was a Jr. in high school. My Mother asked me to take my 3 year-old brother out to make the rounds for Treat ‘n Treat. I remember he was dressed warmly in a one piece red snow suit, wearing a plastic horror mask pushed back on top his head. After the brief outing, we returned to our Mother’s warm kitchen where he promptly dumped out his candy bag onto the floor, plopping down to gorge himself, one piece after another. Alarmed, I called to my Mother.

“Mom do you want to stop this?”
Washing dishes, she half turned.
“Just let him get it over with.”

Years later, when I had my two sons, I made it a goal to curtail sugar consumption in their diet. My radar was tuned to look for ways to stop encounters with candy. I loved the idea of dressing up for Halloween but disliked the aftermath of candy hoarding. I wanted that part of the Holiday…GONE! Rather than become the nagging Mother, I remembered my Mother’s approach, “Just get it over with.”

Knowing that fantasy was inherent in my children’s imagination, I expanded upon her thought with the creation of a RAT who hunts for children’s Halloween candy. This eliminated the onerous responsibility of me forcefully removing the candy by having the RAT become the villain. Like Santa at Christmas, the idea was offered as harmless and emotionally stimulating to my sons. The story of the Candy Rat has been handed down to the author and his children as a family tradition.