Talk to DP Forum

Amy

Continuing the Epics?

March 15, 2019

Ahoy, Mr. Pinkwater

My daughter and I are plowing through your epic and earthy books starting with The Neddiad. I felt certain that the series ended with Adventures of a Cat-Whiskered Girl until I was told to stay tuned for Escape to Dwerg Mountain! Is this a real thing? Shall we stay tuned or need we make up our own Dwerg story??

All the best and thanks for everything!

Amy

Daniel replies:

You might want to take a look at "Bushman Lives!". Meanwhile, there happens to be a Dwerg story under construction. It will be at least a year before it will be available in book form, probably longer, that is how it is with books and publishing.

Nick

Chili

March 15, 2019

Yo Mr. P,

I read your books again and again, from time to time. Last night, instead of doing homework, I would read one of your books. I read Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars. This book has to be in my top 15 Pinkwater books to read–it is very good! 

In any case, whenever I read about the Bermuda Triangle Chili Parlor, I think about how I have never eaten at an establishment that is like this one. I have only been to one place that specializes in Chili and that was in DC. It was OK, but the building looked like a 1950’s style diner. I always picture the Bermuda Triangle as being in an old brick building. I can’t remember if you describe it in the book or not.

My question is: Is there a place like the Bermuda Triangle Chili Parlor in existence? Did any restaurant from your youth…or oldth inspire you to add it in your book? Will you tell me where it is? As I write this, I question whether or not I even want Chili any more, but I am sure I will next time I read your book, so you gotsta help me, man!

In solidarity,

….Nick

Daniel replies:

You never know when it will happen, or where, or how. There are places, but there's almost no point in saying which or directions to get there, because when you go back, or when you send someone, they're not there. For example, I remember going into a kind of mini-mall, or expanded gas station, in Flagstaff, Arizona, and there was a place...I was served a bowl of chili, and next thing I knew I was high up in the mountains talking to a holy man who explained the meaning of everything. Then he was gone and I was sitting, covered by cracker crumbs, and completely happy. I went back the next day and in place of the chili parlor was the office of a discount dentist, claimed he'd been there for years. So, I ask you....

Mike Hoffman

Thanks for Lizard Music

March 15, 2019

Lucked into finding an old discarded (why??) elementary school copy, seemed like an intriguing premise what with all the talk of “Reptilians” these days.  What I found was a real treat, kept coming back reading chapter after chapter & finished it in no time!  Very charmed and amused by the ideas, style &  concepts, and surprised I hadn’t heard of it or Mr. Pinkwater before.  This seems the sort of thing that someone would want to make a movie of, if that’s even possible.  Also some elements seemed to have paranormal overtones, lots of synchronicities and also the “Akashic” parallels with the House of Memory.  So to me there’s a great storyline with interesting action plus some food for thought for the adults, though I admit that even though I’m 60 while reading it I felt like a kid again.  I will never think of Walter Cronkite in the same way again.  Thanks!

Daniel replies:

Maybe it's because I came of age in the time of beatniks, in Chicago, a city with plenty of local heroes, and culture that didn't go national, that I can't say it was ever a significant component of my wishes and desires to be famous in a big way...not that I would have minded, but just famous enough to stay in the game has been good enough. Thus I get a kick out of someone 60 discovering and liking a book of mine. If you really liked it a lot you will flip your lid when you discover some of the others.

Liralyn

Lizards?

March 2, 2019

Good day, most exalted Mr. Pinkwater!

I want to tell you that I read Lizard Music when I was in the Fifth Grade as a way to learn about foreshadowing and how to make predictions, specifically how to cope with one’s predictions being wrong. It has been roughly 10 years or so, and Lizard Music is still one of my favorite books. Yea, the only reason I refrain from asserting that it is my very favorite book is because I am bad at picking just one thing at a time. 

Thank you for writing the book!

I do have one question, though: how did you decide on lizards? It seems to me that you could have had music-playing capybaras, or perhaps frogs, or really any strange and wonderful creature… What were the factors under consideration?

Daniel replies:

As a matter of fact, Lizard Music is/was my own favorite book for quite a long while. It was the first novel sort of thing I wrote, and at the time I had no reason to think I'd ever be given another chance to write something that would be published. I was given lots more chances, and wrote a number of things, and learned stuff every time. Just about none of the books were bad, but not one struck me as having turned out as good as Lizard Music...99 books, more or less...just about all of them were ok, but I was pretty sure not as good as. Then, number 100, The Neddiad, and I like it as much as Lizard Music! As to your actual question, it had to be lizards. Lizards can skitter. Capybara's do not skitter. The very idea!

Paranormal experiences?

February 23, 2019

Have you ever had any paranormal experiences of any kind?

Daniel replies:

I have had practically nothing but paranormal experiences of every kind.

Miranda Stokes

A thank you

February 13, 2019

Hi! I just found my childhood copy of fat men from space and it really means a lot to me. Enough so that I went out and got a flying hamburger piloted by a fat man tattooed! I just wanted to say thank you to Daniel for his massive contribution to my childhood. I remember my father reading me his books every night and doing silly voices. The time I did have with my father was rarely wonderful but he always smiled reading Daniels books. He passed away in 2009 and finding the book again really made me remember the best of our times together. I will someday read fat men from space to my children and be able to tell them a happy story of their grandpa and that means the world to me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for putting these incredible pieces of your soul into the world. 

Daniel replies:

I'm trying to resist asking you to show us the tattoo. None of our business, really. You do know that as a tattooed person you now cannot be buried in a Jewish cemetery, do you not? Of course it is statistically unlikely that you are Jewish, but should you be, or at some time convert to Judaism, there would be a problem. Unless they change the rules. Anyway it is nice that my book means so much to you.

Cynthia Durgan

Please do NPR feautres

January 22, 2019

I always enjoyed your appearances on NPR.  Your recommendations for children’s books were great and surely would be welcomed again by NPR listeners.  Would you please do that sort of thing again?

Daniel replies:

Thank you. NPR stopped using my stuff. They never said why.

Cat-whiskered family

Escape to Dwerg Mountain?

January 6, 2019

We just finished reading the Neddiad, Yggyssey, and then Adventures of a Cat-Whiskered Girl and we want more.  We want to read Escape to Dwerg Mountain. But we cannot find a Gleybner’s book store here in San Diego to get Escape to Dwerg Mountain. Please write the fourth book in a way we can access it! Please! 

The world needs more of your silliness. 

Daniel replies:

I'm writing something, but I'm not sure what I'll call it. Meanwhile, have you read BUSHMAN LIVES! ? You may recognize a character or two.

Jim Huffman

Chicken Man Follow up #3

January 3, 2019

Dear Mr Pinkwater

You stated: “Sounds familiar and about right to me, although I never thought the Nettelhorst elementary school was mostly Jewish…I remember being fascinated by the Christian traditions I encountered there.”

At first it took awhile for me to know that there were people with other religions. If you look at your class photos, as I have, that is were I got the 80% Jewish students. The CBOE mandated a classroom Xmas observation & celebration with songs. Most of the students would just set there silently, I guess thats were Silent Night came from. But not the Jewish holidays, never mentioned. On Jewish holidays, there were very few in the class rooms, most of the teachers were substitutes.

Daniel replies:

It's possible you did not cross Broadway at the light, supervised by a Patrol Boy, but used the pedestrian underpass, which was a secret deception and led not to the Nettelhorst in our usual world, but to the Nettelhorst in Hebrew World, identical in every detail except the inhabitants are primarily Jewish. In my classes we sang Christmas songs, ate Christmas cookies, and received Christmas cards, Jew and Gentile. I think we also may have had an electric menorah. I don't recall us doing a lot of Hanukkah, but it's a paltry holiday anyway. I have a photo of my first grade class, (I think it's posted somewhere on this site), and I can't tell which kids are Jewish. I do know that one kid who looks absolutely Irish...isn't.

Michele Landsberg

How are you?

December 27, 2018

Dear Daniel,
I’ve just been thinking of you lovingly as we sat around the kitchen table (my daughter and I and her eight year old son, both of whom live with us) howling (!) with laughter as we read aloud The Werewolf Club #1

Thank you! I think of you often and thank you for all the love of language and hilarious laughter and amusement at crazy humanity. I hope you and Jill are thriving!

Love from Canada — Michele Landsberg

Daniel replies:

Delighted to hear from you! Naturally, we remember you fondly, and that neat book you wrote, etc. We are thriving as a matter of fact. Thank you for asking. I like The Werewolf Club #1 quite a lot. #2 is also good, then they sort of trail off a bit but have occasional moments, that's how it so often is with series, and then the publisher was making no effort to sell them, which is the same as saying they suppressed them, (as I'm sure you know, there is often competition within a company, one employee's project against another, and sometimes they make deals among themselves, scuttling a book that was acquired cheaply to apply more energy to promoting some project a superior colleague is backing), so I became less interested in the writing. (I just throw in the inside information because I know you've had a general interest in the field.) Did you know that this very website on which we are exchanging greetings and remarks is a Canadian production, and hence the general excellence?

Marilyn Wann

Have you noticed skullduggery in Poughkeepsie?

November 30, 2018

I just read this article about skullduggery in Poughkeepsie…and beyond!

www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/11/27/style/what-is-inside-this-internet-rabbit-hole.html?login=email&auth=login-email

Daniel replies:

Oh, such an honor to have a post from Marilyn! As to the skullduggery, I haven't been keeping up with local news, so I can't comment on recent developments, but I can tell you that the grounds of the defunct psychiatric hospital have been much favored as a free-to-use golf course, by living residents of the town, and also ghosts. At one time there was a makeshift club house where they served spirits.

Jim Cleaveland

Christmas stories printed in the Philadelphia Inquirer

November 20, 2018

Hi, Mr. Pinkwater!

As I recall, for several years back in the late 80’s or early 90’s, the Philadelphia Inquirer published serialized Christmas-themed short stories written by you and illustrated by Tony Auth.  Have they ever been reprinted? If not, is there a way I could get a copy of them (other than looking through the original newspapers on microfilm or the electronic equivalent)?

Thank you!

–Jim Cleaveland

Daniel replies:

Tony Auth was the Pulitzer Prize-winner editorial cartoonist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, and he was my partner in creating NORB, a comic strip distributed by King Features for one year. (I don't recall whether the Inquirer carried our strip). I do not remember that paper carrying Christmas stories written by me and illustrated by Tony. This is not to say it didn't happen, just that I don't remember it.

Charles Wimmer

Lizard Music- different editions?

November 19, 2018

Hello,   I’m re-reading “Lizard Music”   as an adult,   for the first time in decades.   It is a book that I remember quite vividly.    This may be odd,  because I could not tell you the plots of the last two Rowling novels,   even though I remember enjoying them immensely.    Anyway,   did the book change between editions?    I could have sworn that  (in the earlier copy),    Victor mentions the title to the film  “The Island of Dr. Moreau”   while watching it on his first night alone.     I remember thinking that it was not a real film and made-up for the book   (of course,   this is not true).     In the edition I am reading now,   the film is described,  but not mentioned by title.     Am I imagining this?     Did the book change?    Or am I just wacky?

Daniel replies:

Understand, everybody else has read the book more recently than I. In addition to writing it, (those long years ago), and reading over my manuscript before submitting it to the publisher; then I had to read at least parts of it during the editorial process, if any; then there was the final read-through of the edited and approved manuscript; next the printed galleys for typos and errors; and finally the bound book arrived, (no requirement to read it, but this would be when readers would raise questions, such as yours). From then to now, unless I might be the reader for an audio version, I'm not likely to have ever read the book again. Which is to say, I don't know if there are any differences between editions or printed versions--there aren't supposed to be any. Or you're just wacky.

Ben Rose

Happy Birthday Old Friend

November 19, 2018

What’s shaking, gate? A Happy Anniversary of your birthing.

I have entered the querying trenches as I have 1 completed work and about 7 WIPs on the back burners. You are the one who initially torqued my interest in things literary.

So instead of revving the engine just to hear the cut-out roar, let me just say plant you now and dig you later.

Daniel replies:

Think of you often, and your square dad. For what it's worth I have noticed this writing thing is more a mug's game even than it ever was. Going back pretty nearly forever it starts with trying sell art to business-heads, then the business-heads selling they know not what to actual people. The one making the art is, if fortunate, clueless. However, every time someone wins the big lottery it turns out they've been buying tickets every week for years and years. Others submit manuscripts to publishers. And, as they say, you've got to be in it to win it.

Allie Oop Wilmot

Where did your extraterrestrial inspiration come from?

November 19, 2018

Daniel Pinkwater!

I’ve never written to an author before because I’ve never liked an author as much as I like you. I’ve got an ample (and growing!) Pinkwater collection in my personal library that is kept next to my bed, so I am always close to my much loved books. Thanks to my ‘4 Fantastic Novels’ I see your face everyday, and it makes me smile!

I lived the first 28 (ish) years of my life in Arizona. I never liked it. As soon as I could, I escaped to Brisbane, Australia. But now, when I read your books, I wish I could’ve grown up in New Jersey. I think I could’ve made a decent Hoboken girl!

It would be hard for me to pinpoint a favourite from your books, because I’m very fond of all of them; but I have a special place in my heart for ‘The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death’ because I listened to the audiobook. I was thrilled to discover that you narrated it. I enjoyed listening to it and ‘The Baconburg Horror’ immensely. I listened to them with my kids and they also got a big kick out of them. 

Just the other night before bed, I was reading ‘Looking for Bobowicz’. That night in my dreams, I was hilarious — I was saying and doing the silliest things, and I blame you and your zany characters. The whole world needs a Pinkwater supplement! The whole world, including any extraterrestrial visitors 😉  …..

… which makes me wonder… have YOU ever had or witnessed any sort of extraterrestrial experience? Seen a ufo? Dated a beautiful space babe? Heard first hand accounts of missing potato pancakes? Hitched a ride and ended up in another universe? Found your parallel cat self? I would love to hear what inspired your fantastic brain to include this paranormal activity in your stories. 

I wanted to send you a physical letter, but this message will have to do. But please know in all sincerity that you’ve improved my quality of life. Thank you for being you. 

Allie Oop 

Daniel replies:

I don't usually make a big deal about this sort of thing, because I'm a snob and don't want to be confused with normal authors who are all the time looking for love and approval, (I am not...I was trained and educated to regard ability to do the work as its own reward), but I have to say getting a full-strength fan-e-mail from a female named Allie Oop puts quite a smile on my toothless old face. Had you grown up in New Jersey, and had you become a decent Hoboken girl, and had our paths crossed, I could then say I had met a decent Hoboken girl, of which I am sure there are many, just I never met one. And I love Arizona, but I can see how you might not have liked it, growing up there. It is often like that, which is why it's lucky there's Australia. In reply to your ridiculous question, this is an interplanetary adventure, I mean this, I mean all of this, I mean the whole thing...where did you think we were, and what do you think we're taking a ride on? Thank you for taking time to write to me. A reader like you makes me think it has been almost worthwhile.

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