Talk to DP Forum

Marcin Dolecki

A fantasy novel about famous philosophers

March 26, 2018

Dear Daniel Pinkwater,


I’m a philosopher, chemist, and historian of chemistry (PhD).
I live in Poland.
I’m the author of Philosopher’s Crystal
(publication date of the second edition: 25 July 2017, Montag Press, USA). The
main characters – living under a totalitarian regime – travel in time and talk
with famous thinkers.
I sent my book to some scholars, journalists and
I could send an e-book to you (the second
edition) – if you are interested.

I posted some opinions on my blog:


Kind regards,

Marcin Dolecki

Daniel replies:

I am afraid I must decline your kind offer. I am unable to look at, or comment on, unpublished works. Good luck with the book, it sounds like a very good one.


Did you receive a letter from me in ~1989?

March 14, 2018

Hello Mr. Pinkwater!

As a nerdy Midwestern tomboy in the late 1980s, I tried sending you a letter through your publisher. My mom opened my naive little world when one day, after I again was sharing how fantastic your books are, she said I could actually write you letter to share how much I was devoted to your work (people can do this?!).  Right then I took out the odd Huey, Duey, and Louie stationary I treasured and scribbled down my 11 year old thoughts of pure joy and appreciation.  Though I doubt you ever received it,  I’ll take a second shot at it. 

You are amazing! And one of the most formative figures in my young life. Lizard Music! The Snarkout Boys! Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars!  Your books presented weirdo/smart/sophisticated characters I identified with, and created a world where my awkward self felt like it was at home. Grown ups were boring! Breaking the rules and finding your own path was cool!  Rebellion was part of life (I attribute my activist streak in part to that). It’s hard to express how deeply refreshing and validating those messages were. I spent so many joyful hours reading and rereading your work.  Your books truly jumpstarted my love of reading.

Thank you again for your creativity, spunk, moxie, and wildly wonderful ideas. This little girl loved them.

Take care,


Daniel replies:

So, there was this distinguished writer who was a big fan of mine because he and his daughter bonded over books I wrote. Years later, I call the editorial department at a publishing house, and who answers the phone but the daughter! "What are you doing working in a publishing house? Weren't you raised better than that?" A year later, she calls me to say she is giving up the idea of working in publishing, and going back to teaching. "In all the time I've been here, I haven't heard anyone say a word about books as books, or the fact that we're producing them for use by children." It is not true of every single publisher, just the major ones. And, this is my way of telling you that if you didn't receive a reply to your letter, it's because it was never forwarded to me. Something in your email was particularly gratifying... not that I am amazing, I know all about that. It is where you mention that rebellion is part of your life, and you have an activist streak. I have been aware all along that my readers are going to have to deal with some pretty bad stuff, and it's particularly bad just lately. There's a bit of temptation to address the bad stuff directly, which temptation I can usually resist. I try to comfort myself that in some way the stuff I've written contains nutrients which may contribute to one such as you taking claim to your own life. Thanks for writing to me, and suggesting that you may have gotten some vitamins to grow on from books of mine. I hope you'll take a look at some of the more recent novels, like The Neddiad, and Bushman Lives. And thanks.

Rebecca Scotka


March 14, 2018

Hi! I was wondering if music has had any influence on your writing.

Thank you,

Rebecca (Scotka’s Latkes)

Daniel replies:

Music has a major influence on my writing. Also on my everything.

dennis Jacquette

What is apple jacquette?

February 24, 2018

Hi Mr. Pinkwater, I own a bakery outside of Philadelphia,PA called Jacquette’s bakery (It is my real last name) . Over the last few years, I have had emails from teachers around the country that are using your Blue Moose books in school, asking if I have any idea what “apple jacquette” is. It’s nice that they are reading your books , even though the “gingerbread” is recommended over the “apple jacquette “. So I was wondering the same thing. Is “apple jacquette ” a real thing or just mythical dessert which would then obviously be calorie free( a nice selling feature, but…)?

 Thank you for your time,

Dennis Jacquette

Jacquette’s Bakery

Daniel replies:

Maitre Jacquette. I am old, and my memory fails me, but I am pretty sure that apple jaquette describes an apple wearing a little coat or jacket. This would be an apple in a cold or chilly climate, and an affluent apple. (You will have noticed that very few apples can afford garments.) Or, it might conceivably be some sort of dessert or confection--I vaguely recall being offered apple jaquette in some restaurant or cafe, but of course I opted for gingerbread with fresh cream. For your further information, I have written a book, about the length of BLUE MOOSE, set entirely in, and all about, a bakery! Many specialties are mentioned in the text, but none with apple or jacket. I am waiting for some publisher to express interest.

Garry Stoner

Praise for books from an old geezer

February 21, 2018


I’m a 63 year old retired asylum escapee, and I find great solace in reading your books. Thanks so much for keeping me and my cat-whiskered kitten from falling into sanity.  She reads faster than I, and often turns the pages on the Kindle before I’m ready – but I always turn them back.  Just wanted you to know that “Young Adult” is too narrow, you have a message that everyone needs.


Daniel replies:

The term "Young Adult" has never meant anything to me. Categorization is the hobgoblin of small minds. Youngsters of your age are welcome to read my books.



February 18, 2018

Dear Mr. Pinkwater,

Firstly, thank you for sharing your sense of humor with the world. I’ve been enjoying your work since the late 1970s (I hope that doesn’t make you feel as old as it does me).

Anyway… I recall reading somewhere at some time that you were writing a sequel to LIZARD MUSIC (a novel which happens to be one of my all-time favorites). Did anything ever come of that? I recently read the book to my son and he immediately wanted to know what happened next. Until he’d asked, I’d never even considered the thought.

Thanks again and I hope all is well in your part of the Universe.


– Joe

Daniel replies:

BUSHMAN LIVES! that is a sort of sequel, also a sequel to THE NEDDIAD, THE YGGYSSEY, and ADVENTURES OF A CAT-WHISKERED GIRL. Also, I may someday write THE SKOLNIK ISLAND BEACH CLUB, which would be a sequel to BUSHMAN LIVES! These books are all a bit older than LIZARD MUSIC, but then, so am I.


Why not Unbound?

February 10, 2018

Have you ever considered “self-publishing” through a vehicle such as Unbound? You strike me as the perfect candidate for these as your devoted fanbase would surely support the effort to publish your material that your publishers to date have declined — I’m talking Escape to Dwerg Mountain, etc.

Daniel replies:

Actually, no, I have never considered self-publishing. I understand that this is the way to go now, and if I were starting out I would certainly choose that route, (especially since most of the publishing houses that once existed have consolidated into, I don't know..five?) There are still a few old-fashioned publishers around, and for a variety of reasons I'd prefer to deal with them...for now. But one never knows. I'd need someone to take me by the hand and lead me through the process.

Lee Sutter

An old new fan

January 31, 2018

Hello Daniel and Jill.  I’m a 75-year-old female who just heard of you when reading Mondo Canine (wonderful). Then I I ordered a couple of your books of essays, which I totally enjoyed; then checked out a few of your  books from library (one of the librarians a longtime fan). I’m also a major fan of Car Talk, so I must have heard you on that show but the name didn’t stick. I’ve since ordered the two-disc CD of  you on that show, but hasn’t arrived yet).  I just finished Th Magic Pretzel, and cracked me up. Love your play on words, especially characters’ names. I have no grandkids,  just a 50-year-old daughter,  but have a grandniece and grandnephew who love to read, so I’m making a list of your books to  send some books to them in Hawaii. I decided, after reading the Magic Pretzel that reading your books is getting in touch with my inner child, the Tom Boy I was as a  kid; and in many ways, still am, altho I’m “straight.”I also pretended to be a dog when I was age 3 or 4, burrowing and barking in the dirty clothes as my mom did the laundry.  I’m also delighted with Jill’s art, and it’s so obvious she’s not only very talented, but takes such pleasure in drawing. Even the vertical lines in Lucy Fang’s coveralls delight me. I was really upset when you described your early artwork and the b**ch wife of your uncle who accused you of lying about being the artist, and how that discouraged you for so many years. But so glad you eventually pursued art and ended up illustrating some of your early books. You are both amazing people, and I’m so glad you found each other. My best to you both.

Daniel replies:

I guess it's ok if a 75-year-old reads my stuff...I mean, it's more than ok, it's fine...but it has to be understood that I have a younger, or possibly just more immature, reader in mind when I'm writing. I'm not sure what Mondo Canine is. Is it some kind of anthology or collection of pieces about dogs, in other words a book? Anyway, thanks for the kind words, and welcome to being a reader of mine. I am 76 myself.

Nathan Myers

Post #4513 – 20180112

January 12, 2018

Dear Mr Pinkwater,

I bought hardback copies of Neddiad, Yggysey, and Cat-whiskered Girl as they came out, and enjoyed them, and reading them to my kids, immensely.

I wondered about the third one. As I read it, it felt like it really wanted to be titled “The Vreemdelingenlied” (by analogy with the Nibelungenlied). Was your publisher beating you up over funny names, and that would have been too much of a good thing? Is it too late to adopt as its subtitle?

I confess that I added “(sometimes called The Vreemdelingenlied)” to its listing in Wikipedia, years back, which lasted a few months before being pruned.

Daniel replies:

The only way that publisher beat me up was by not selling many copies, and also saying things like, ""I wish you'd let me help you--I just want to make it into a good book.""  You can write a song cycle and call it Vreemdelingenlieder if you want.

Pat Starzyk

Post #4514 – 20180112

January 12, 2018

I love your books, especially if there’s a chicken in them (which covers a lot of territory). But I’m curious about Tesev Noskecnil Park. Is that really a thing? I keep trying to make it into somebody’s name spelled backwards, but that doesn’t work either. Obviously, I’ve never been to Hoboken.

Daniel replies:

Once I write a thing I start right in to forget it. I've always found authors who can quote their own work sort of embarrassing.  So, in answer to you question, it might be a thing.  Tesev, seems to be Steve obviously.  Noskecnil has me stumped for the moment.  Maybe some other visitor to the website knows.

Vince Delap

Post #4507 – 20180112

January 12, 2018

To Lord Pinkwater… This may seem bizarre, but not more than some of your Pinkwaterinalia (sp?). I am trying to get in touch with your friend (I believe?) Bailey White. As some folks find musical art in Pinkwater prose… I have for some time wanted to create a theatre piece AND an opera of her amazing “Mama Makes Up Her Mind.” I hope you can/will help me contact her. As a GM for Borders for years, I sold her books by the box-fulls at times, and “Mama” is still my family’s favorite humor book! I admire her (and to be sure you!) greatly. Thank you for your time…as well as the cut of your jib…and pastrami! Thanks! Vince

Daniel replies:

In fact, I seem to have lost touch with Bailey, dear friend that she has always been.  Just don't know where she is these days.  An opera sounds like a wonderful idea--why not approach the publisher, who must know where they send her checks?

Cate McConnell

Post #4512 – 20180107

January 7, 2018

Hello Daniel, so I read “The Adventures of a Cat-Whiskered Girl” and loved it. I was actually searching for a book by Daniel Pink, who is an entirely different person as it turns out, and not you. But I got the ebook anyway and found the wacky, wonderful, sweet world of DP.

I’m sure books are like children and it’s hard to pick your favorite, but would you recommend the next few DP books to read? And, is there a sequel to the Cat Whiskered Girl? She is a delightful person who should have more adventures.

Daniel replies:

I don't have favorites exactly. It's more about which books contain the fewest failures.  There are a couple sort-of prequels to Cat-Whiskered, THE NEDDIAD, and THE YGGYSSEY, and a sort-of sequel, BUSHMAN LIVES! but they can be read in any order, or alone.  I am honored you're interested.

patrick burke

Post #4505 – 20171221

December 21, 2017

Mr. Pinkwater,

I’m reminded of a question this time every year (and one I’m sure you’ve answered many times) but were you not the Narrator voice on “A Christmas Story”. I don’t see your name on the credits. It appears it is credited to one of the writers Jean Shepherd. Am I mistaken (in this context I mean.)

thank you


Daniel replies:

Jean Shepherd was a great monologist, and one of the few radio geniuses ever to exist.  I suppose I sound a little like him...similar regional accent and quality of the idea got around that it was me doing the narration for the movie.  It was not me.  It was Shep.  He was not ""one of the writers.""  The movie is based entirely on stories he improvised for his late night New York City radio program that went on for years.  It was carried by one of those old AM stations with a powerful signal that went everywhere, especially at night, and especially in summer--thus Shepherd was the only source of hipness reaching into the vast dark interior during a distinctly un-hip period.  I remember picking up the program in Maine, and in North Carolina.  If you search around the internet you can find transcriptions of some of his shows.


Post #4502 – 20171220

December 20, 2017

Do you write poems?

Daniel replies:

Yes and no
Yes, when a poem is needed
in a novel I am writing,
then yes
No, when I am just sitting around
not writing a novel,
then no.

Andrew Smith

Post #4498 – 20171201

December 1, 2017

Mr. Pinkwater,
In the 6th grade, I was reading The Divine Comedy and other very high level books, and my science teacher decided he did not like this. He took away my volume containing the works of H.G. Wells, and handed me a children’s book. The book was, “Fat Elliot and the Gorilla”. At first I thought my instructor was nuts, and then I started reading. The book has saved me from myself many times, and while in the hospital recovering from a suicide attempt earlier this year, I looked back on the lessons this book taught. Time and time again, I’ve referenced the book to aid people with their own problems. Unfortunately, I can’t find a copy in decent condition anywhere! The book is over twice as old as I, but it’s lessons are still of value every day. Is there any hope for a reprint? Or any extra copies lying around? Please help! I’d like to red the story to my little nieces and let them grow up with the lessons I wish I’d learned sooner!

Daniel replies:

You know, I've written so many books, and so many of them came out in small editions for a short time, that some of them have almost disappeared.  (In some cases, this may be a good thing.)   I'm not sure I have a copy of Fat Elliot and the Gorilla, (which I remember for a cool drawing of the ape), and if I have one, I need to keep it for my records, so I will not offer it to you.  But I will tell you something which my be useful: It's not the's you!  You may feel there are lessons the book taught, but really it is what you supplied from within yourself.  When you finally come across a copy of the book, don't be surprised if you think, ""Wait a minute!  Where is all the wisdom I remember from when I read this in 6th grade?""  It's where you found it then--in your head.

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