Talk to DP Forum

Verlin

Thanks!

March 25, 2019

Hi,

This will probably be an alarmingly fannish message, only the second I’ve ever written, but I stumbled onto your site and I can’t help myself.

Reading Alan Mendelsohn forty years ago changed my life. (Pardon the mysterious font change — my computer is prone to whimsy).  I hope you’re not insulted that the compelling first thought I had upon closing your book was “hey, I can do this.” To be fair, the second thought was “This is my new favorite book.” The former has proven unrealistic, the latter remains the case.

I did become a writer, though, and I have you to blame.

As gratitude and/or revenge dictates, I’d like to send you my latest adult novel, which I think you’d enjoy. Let me know if you’re interested. I’m not mentioning my full name or the title to be clear that I’m not trying to use this forum to promote it.

Anyway, thanks again for the many hours of provocative fun.

Yours,

Verlin

Daniel replies:

Don't blame me. You would have become a writer in any event, and if it were not a book of mine someone else's book would have been the one that caused you to realize it was something you wanted to do. Notwithstanding, I am delighted it was a book of mine. If it means completing a gesture of some sort you can send me a copy of your book, understanding that I may never get around to reading it. There are instructions somewhere on this website for sending things. I too wrote a letter to the author of the book the reading of which occasioned my saying, "Hey, I too can do this." I should have asked if he'd had a similar experience and written a similar letter. There could be a lineage going back to some progenitor forgotten second-rate author from the early days of cheap printing.

Pete

NPR- “Disease of Convenience”

March 23, 2019

I was trying to remember if it was Mr. Pinkwater who had a brief story on NPR 15-18 years ago about fibromyalgia…  I’m sure it was not well received by the fibromyalgia patients at the time and most likely was removed from the NPR archives.  However, I did find it funny, in its tongue-in-cheek light.

Curious minded in Alaska-

Pete

Daniel replies:

I'm trying to remember if it was me also. Since I was paid, (marginally), to be funny rather than make important points, it was probably tongue-in-cheek, if it was mine. I almost remember....did this piece include a list of ailments than which I would rather have fibromyalgia, such as cancer, coronary thrombosis, plague, and being bitten in half by a very large shark?

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?

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.

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