Talk to DP Forum


The Big Orange Splot

December 3, 2020


My name is Alejandra Crismai, I live in Argentina and I work as an English teacher with 2nd formers in Bayard School.

We are about to read this book of yours and it would be amazing if we could have  news from you to share with the kids. It could be some words or a Google Meet . Sorry, I´m being too enthusiastic about the idea.

We would be very greatful if you could consider any kind of contact.


P.S Happy birthday!!

Ms. Alejandra Crismai

Daniel replies:

Hello 2nd formers! I hope you like my book, The Big Orange Splot. It is a true story....almost. Well, all the things that happen in the story are made-up, but the rest is true. I wrote that book when I was living away from my home for a short time, and I was staying on a "neat street." I had not brought my professional artist's drawing things with me, so I went to the pharmacy and bought some cheap markers, and a cheap drawing pad. I sent the story and the drawings to a publisher. I hoped they would make it into a book, but I expected they would ask me to draw the pictures again with better art supplies. Instead, they published the drawings I had sent, the ones with the cheap markers on cheap paper. More than a million copies have been sold! I have written other books, some illustrated with better markers.

Uriel Carpenter

Lizard Music

December 3, 2020

I’m pushing 50 now, and I have few fonder memories than picking your books out from the shelves at my public library, and reading them many times through while hidden away in my bedroom. So, listening to my wife read Lizard Music (probably my #1 book as a kid) to our 5 year old son, and hearing them both laugh, and getting their gold seal of approval with a request for more of your books, has made my life just about perfect. Thank you. Bless you. What a fortunate and miraculous world to have you in it.

With love,

Daniel replies:

Well, your telling me this hasn't done my life any harm perfection-wise.

The Van Sant Family

The Blue Moose

December 3, 2020


The Blue Moose has been a favorite story of my husband’s since he was a little boy. When we had children we read it to them, and it quickly became a family favorite. The past few years, every December 1st, we have a “Blue Moose” dinner complete with clam chowder and real gingerbread (not cookies). We just finished our feast and our bellies are warm and full. Luckily my children and husband say more than “yup” when asked how they like the clam chowder! We chuckle at the story  and really enjoy the pictures too. Now on  to sit down with a cup of coffee. Thanks for writing a book that has become part of one of our family’s favorite traditions.

Much love,

The Van Sant family

Daniel replies:

Were you thinking of inviting me on December first next year?


pickle preferences?

December 3, 2020

Hi Mister Pinkwater!

I am 16 years old, and have been a fan of yours for awhile now. I didn’t really know what to ask you, so I thought I might as well ask you about your pickle preferences. Do you like pickles? If so, how do ya like ’em? I like mine crunchy, crisp, and very sour. To my knowledge you can also get them sweet too, although I have never tried those ones in particular.

Apart from that, I don’t really know what else to ask, so I might as well say that you are probably my favorite author, and I’ve read webster’s english dictionary! Or should I say Clarence Yojimbo’s  japanese-english dictionary? Ha Ha. Ha ha ha. Jokes aside you really are one of my favorite authors, and you’re probably pretty cool. Also no, my name is not really Max Meteor, that’s just my stage name (I am in a glam-punk band with me and a few friends called Darth Walter and the Thunderkids)

Here is a poster I made for said band. I think I look pretty cool.

This is a band poster for said band. yeah, that's me. 

your friend-

Max Military boots Meteor

Daniel replies:

Half-sour, definitely half-sour, those are the crunchiest, if you can get them from a really good picklewright, or a deli supplied by one. The ones that come in a jar and are marketed as half-sour kosher dills are ok if you live in some wilderness. When they go all the way sour they lose some of their snap. Pickles are good for your body and eating them will raise your IQ. Also a knowledge and understanding of pickles is a mark of education and taste. I don't know if you're into classical studies and mythology, but the gods ate half-sour pickles on Olympus.


will you ever make tshirts?

October 17, 2020


Hope all is well and this year is treating you ok.

Every year or so in time with my husband’s birthday I end up on your website looking for a Lizard Music tshirt to gift him.

Will you ever make/sell such a thing?  Or, should I just go ahead and make one for him?


Julie Wolffe

Daniel replies:

You make the t-shirt, I'll write the stories. Send us a picture. And happy birthday to your hub.

Tilda Jordan

new audiobooks

October 10, 2020

Dear Mr. pinkwater,

i have 2 questions.Question#1will you record THE ADVENTURS OF A DWReGESH gerl?Question#2 is there going to be a nother SNARKOUT BOYS book?


Daniel replies:

Reply #1 I have no plans to record ADVENTURES OF A DWERGISH GIRL. Someone would have to offer to pay me, plus since NPR stopped using work from me, and The Bob Edwards Show was dropped by satellite radio, my home recording studio has gradually returned to being a closet, and if I wanted to record anything I'd have to drag everything out and fire up the equipment, and remember how to work it. Someone would have to offer to pay me. Reply #2 Anything is possible.

Ralph (Bud) Harris

Have you ever read Michael Newton’s Journey of Souls or the sequel Destiny of Souls?

October 10, 2020

I’m a retired elementary school teacher. One of the most important books I’ve ever read was Lizard Music. The silent walk when Victor could remember everything down to the most minute detail was fascinating. But what I found most worthy of notice was the house of ideas, the notion of a collective consciousness, especially while reading Newton’s Destiny book. I would love to discuss this with him some time. I’m 74, taught in Boulder for 30 years, and I grew up in a restaurant. We could also talk food, even though I’m thin and can eat anything I want. Love anchovies!

Daniel replies:

Nope. I don't read stuff like that. Always puts me to sleep, and then I have these weird dreams in which I imagine I have lived before. Same thing used to happen if I ate a hamburger late at night.

Karen Greenbaum-Maya

Many many years

October 8, 2020

I started reading you in 1980, when I was in graduate school. This says too much about both of us. Of your many books, I particularly love Wingman, and The Muffin Fiend, and, The Last Guru. Which isn’t to say that I don’t also love Alan Mendelsohn, Boy from Mars, and Lizard Music, and The Neddiad. You keep finding much to love, and much to protest, and I love that.

Daniel replies:

I don't think that having gone to graduate school says too much about you. Many people have gone to graduate school and then gone on to lead useful lives. Besides, you like my books, so we can overlook mistakes you may have made in 1980.

Gary Keller

Sculpt Much?

September 29, 2020

Hello DP, wanted to say “Hi” and won’t ask you how to become a writer, because I don’t! Anyhow, considering your early days as a sculptor’s apprentice and abandoned that line of work, do you still do your own work for yard art? If not, I don’t blame you, it’s a pain! Thanks ~

Daniel replies:

One of the pieces of wisdom I was taught as an apprentice sculptor was "don't carve anything you can't lift." In later life I improved this to, "don't carve anything at all." 

Paul Levine


September 26, 2020

Hi, Mr. Pinkwater! My name is Paul and I’m a student at NYU Tisch studying playwriting. I’m currently writing a play about my childhood (yikes!) and using The Big Orange Splot as inspiration. I grew up in a suburb really similar to Mr. Plumbean, and my mom used to read your book to me all the time. I read some of your interviews, and I think the book might be semi-autobiographical? The play I’m currently developing is also semi-autobiographical! It’s about my parents, and the main character starts to believe her parents are robots because everything is perfect and has to stay that way in the house. I was getting discouraged with my work, but I called my parents yesterday, and it turns out they’re actually about to paint the house. I feel like that’s a sign to keep going. I’m not super sure what I’m asking here, but I’ve been doing a ton of research and I thought it made the most sense to go right to the source! What do you think would have happened if that bird had never dropped that can of paint? Do you think Mr. Plumbean would have taken the initiative on his own to paint his dreams? Any thoughts about any of this would be super insightful. Thanks!

Daniel replies:

It's a story. It's fiction. There was never a bird carrying a can of orange paint in reality except by astonishing coincidence. Mr. Plumbean is a fictional character. It's impossible to speculate on what he might have done that isn't in the story because he has no existence outside the story, and in fact has no existence. I can't imagine what they are teaching you kids in school these days.

Max Wentworthstein Plumbean

When is adventures of a dwergish girl being released?

September 26, 2020

I preordered it on amazon months ago, but it says it doesn’t know when it will ship. I am very excited for this and have been waiting for escape to dwerg mountain for years now, so I’m happy it is finally happening in some form.

Daniel replies:

I'm told it's this month! September! I hope you are not disappointed when you finally read it. Thanks for ordering it.

Patrick Clark

Evidence of Venusian Life? Duh!

September 26, 2020

Dear Mr. Pinkwater,

As you are no doubt aware, scientists have recently touted the detection of the chemical phosphine in the atmosphere of Venus as evidence of life on our sister planet. For reference, here is a Times article from a couple of weeks ago:

My question to you is this:

Why has it taken our best scientists so long to discover what fans of your prescient novels have known for decades?

Clearly the high levels of phosphine and indeed the cloudy Venusian atmosphere are both caused by the predominance of esoteric motorcycle gangs and their constant expirations during lengthy folk concerts. Duh!

I’d be willing to bet all the fleegix in Waka-Waka that Clarence Yojimbo himself is enjoying a hearty laugh at our collective naivete.




Daniel replies:

Well of course I was aware, and except for the current temporary pandemic crisis, I had already booked a vacation trip. I expect everyone will be going there soon, and this will ruin the natural ambiance, plus hotels and restaurants will up the prices. May as well go to France.

Kelia Taylor

Gosh. I know I have a million questions, however lacking in the title department

September 13, 2020

Mr. Pinkwater,


Well…hi there, first of all,

I have put off doing this for so many years; I’ve always thought about the millions of things I’ve pondered asking throughout my life. However, everytime I go to actually write you a freeze and get freaked out; thus I have never written you, well I never actually sent it. I know I have written a bazzzzillion letters and also, never sent them.

So today, I am going to try to push send. I hope this letter can mean the slightest to you for all that your work had meant to me. I am emensilly grateful (also a terrible speller and this spell checker isn’t helping!)

The Snarkouts is my all time favorite! I freaking love it. I wish there was more. I am in the process of trying to go tour Clark Street, because I love in bum nowhere iowa, quite close to Chicago. I’m going to go see where “clark St. takes a bend to the left”; the anticipation is killing me about whether or not I will find any physical landmarks. I’ve got to go look. I stumbled across this audiobook on tape in the rapid city south dakota public library. I listened to it as my idiotic mother was driving me from state to state to look at rocks. This happens to not be my favorite thing to look at. I have bought those two tapes more than thr3 times regardless of how difficult they are to do so. I think I’ve played two copies at least so much they won’t play anymore. I have had the book in print oh jeeze I don’t know maybe upwards of seven or so times, not including how many souls I have bought the book for. I have introduced many individuals to this novel and with that often comes five because it’s easier to access. I love them all.

I love neddiad. Its brilliant. I love the characters. I love the story.

In a bookstore a few years ago I sumbled across the cat whiskered girl. It’s fantastic. I love it. It’s me.

I really have so much more I’d like to say in this. And I would love to have a chat with you sometime, but I have to be brave and just hit send and I have adulting to do that never ends, tomorrow I’m trying to buy a house. I would love for you just to know how much I appreciate you, your work, and the infinite amount of hours you have distracted me from from long, drawn out drives to look at bones or dead things or rocks, similar to what miss sweet draws on her chalk boards.

Ps. You reading these stories is brilliant.


Signed, A Forever Snarker, with gratitude and appreciation


Daniel replies:

Well, actually there is not a single question in your whole post, just praise for my books, and little hints about your midwestern life, (which doesn't sound too bad, really). That is fine, because I am not all that good at answering questions, and usually attempt a joke. I appreciate that you like some of the stuff I've written, and while I didn't have you specifically, or anybody, in mind but was just trying to amuse myself and earn a modest living, it makes me happy to know this. If I ever come to Iowa, which is not out of the question--it's happened before--would you take me out for fried mush? You drive, I'll treat for the mush. (It's not that I think fried mush is so good, just I've only had it once, and, I mean, it's called fried mush, how entertaining is that? Plus it's unknown where I live in New York state.) I hope this answers all your questions.


what to do with an eggplant

September 7, 2020

Mr Pinkwater,

So, I grew a small crop of eggplants this summer because I enjoy watching them grow. Now I have to figure out how best to prepare them for eating. I remember you admire eggplants yourself. What is your go to eggplant dish?

Best wishes,


Daniel replies:

You want to EAT them? Eat an eggplant? I've always enjoyed them as pets. I suppose you could eat one if you wanted, but it seems a little cruel. And these are eggplants you've cultivated and known personally. Seems to me that would make you too sad. I suggest you forget all about it and maybe get a couple of lobsters.

bh in maryland

Good for you!

August 29, 2020

Hi Mr. Pinkwater, just FYI that you were mentioned in a very complimentary way, in a recent Washington Post Books-section article:–and-their-adults–entertained/2020/08/26/5e83db5e-e6de-11ea-97e0-94d2e46e759b_story.html

Way to go!

Thanks for your many terrific books over the year that have kept me entertained for four decades!

Daniel replies:

That article was written by Michael Dirda, who for a number of years was the only source of information to tell me that anyone cared if I wrote books or not.

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