June 13, 2020
I remembered some rumors that a third Snarkout book entitled I Snarked With A Zombie had been written, but, like so many other works of genius, not published. What would this book have entailed? Would Scott Feldman have been this titular zombie after establishing himself as a somewhat skeevy Zeppo to Rat’s Groucho, Winston’s Harpo, and Walter’s Chico? What befell poor Uncle Flipping?
Another query related to Baconburg Horror: Did Walter’s mother go to Peru not to pick avocados, but to kill some South American Comminists?
Why would anyone, even a fictional character, want to kill South American columnists?
Cigars and Beer… oh my.
June 10, 2020
Hi Mr Pinkwater,
I have been a huge fan of your books since my first purchase of The Snarkout Boys and the Avacado of Death at Hodge Podge books on Lark St in Albany in the 1980s.
Of course, as a kid, I found the scenes of cigar smoking and beer drinking to be delightful and funny. These days, however, it occurs to be that “helicopter parents” might see such scenes in a very different light.
So, my question(s): Have you found that your 70s/ 80s books have been interpreted differently by parents of millennials or so-called Gen-Z-ers? Have you gotten any pushback over Leonard and Alan’s smoking, or Walter, Winston and Rat’s underage drinking?
Thanks so much for your nerd-affirming books!!
I have never gotten pushback of any kind, and if I did I would pay no attention to it. Of more interest to me are places like Hodge Podge Books on Lark Street in Albany, which I visited a number pf times, and it's affable proprietor, Frank Hodge. At the time I thought how pleasant it must have been to have been a kid customer, which appears to have been your experience.
Question not really a question
June 5, 2020
I recently (2 months ago) acquired Lizard Music again.
My first and only previous copy was in 1983.
I can not put into words how this story made absolute complete sense to me when I was younger.
I am now close to fifty years, and after reading this again since 1983, it makes even more sense.
You are truly an imaginarion….I’m sure you know what I mean.
Thank you Mr. Pinkwater for writing, this is truly my favorite YA book ever.
I hope you are well and safe.
Lizard Music was my favorite YA book ever too...anyway among ones I had written. It remained in first place while I wrote 98 more books of various lengths. At times it got on my nerves that I didn't seem able to write one quite as good as practically my first. Then I wrote The Neddiad, which I think stands comparison with Lizard Music. I mention this in case you might like to try it. It was nice of you to take the time to tell me you liked my first long piece of fiction, and I can take complete pleasure in hearing this, because I now believe I have written at least one other book that hits the mark.
June 5, 2020
Your books and the work of your neighbors up river (ZBS foundation, also
connected to NPR back in the day) were the core of our family
mythology when I was raising my children (1980s and 90s) and your
growing collection of books remain sources of inspiration and
delight. For Adventures of a Cat Whiskered Girl and Bushman
Lives! I discovered your online serial pre-release which were an added treat. But then came the devastating
news that the publisher wouldn’t do the sequel. That book really
demands a sequel more than any of the others: so many balls are in
Iwas just getting ready to ask for any information on where in your
mind this was all leading. Now, on this forum, I read that you are thinking of
working on that sequel and that has totally made my day!
Yes please, please do. I’m also really looking forward to Adventures
of a Dwergish Girl.
deepest gratitude and lots of respect.
Sequels, prequels, metaquels, sometimes the author, like certain readers, feels like finding out what his/her characters are doing now, or what they were doing before they appeared in the book in which we met them. Sometimes it's a commercial attempt. I came into writing as a profession at the best possible time, before the stupid corporations took over most of the publishing houses, and I had fun and got used to making a reasonable living. Now I am getting used to being paid the exact prices I got when I first started out 50 years ago, so books may be appearing. I always try to write them so they can be enjoyed by a reader who has not seen the other related ones.
The Big Orange Splot
May 31, 2020
Hello: I am writing on behalf of First Unitarian
Universalist Church of San Diego where I serve as Director of Family
Ministries. Like most churches, we are holding services online via
live-stream. Would you give permission
for us to read “The Big Orange Splot” in an upcoming service? If yes, please reply to this email—and
thanks. I hope you and your family are
safe and healthy.
Yes, sure, of course, as long as you do not make copies for sale, sell tickets, profit in any way, and all that usual stuff. I'd like you to consider another picture book of mine, Devil in the Drain, for another service. I have the feeling your church may not give the Devil a sufficient chance to participate. Be fair.
Lizard Music ❤
May 27, 2020
I Love Lizard Music, have been reading it since was little. The story was so fun! Did you ever make a sequel? What happened to the chicken man? Did the island ever come back? And omg is Fat Men from space inspired by the part in the book when it was a late night movie in the background?
You are so cool! ???? your fan-
Zac, in fact I have been toying with a sort of sequel to Lizard Music. Maybe I'll get to writing it. Also, if you read Bushman Lives, a more recent novel of mine, you might find things you recognize.
Not a Question
May 24, 2020
I am extremely please to learn of the forthcoming release of Adventures of a Dwergish Girl, which I have just ordered. I am also pleased to learn that you might be writing a follow-up to Bushman Lives. I greatly enjoyed the tetralogy that began with the Neddiad and look forward to any continuation of that series. I consider these books to be the equal of the best of your earlier work (Lizard Music, Borgel, Snarkout Boys, Mendelsohn), and I long for more. Thank you.
I like those books too, and there will be more vaguely related ones, I hope.
Writing Character and Story
May 22, 2020
Hello Mr. Pinkwater,
I hope you and your family are well and that you are staying safe in the age of Covid-19. I was hoping to ask you for some advice. I would like to be respectful of your time, so I will be brief.
My name is Matt, I am a filmmaker, and a fan of your books. My sister introduced them to me when I was in elementary school and I still enjoy them to this day. I am currently working on trying to write better stories.
In your books the characters and the story feel like they naturally fit together. I’ve tried the methods recommended by the podcasts, courses, and other resources I have on the subject, but I still lose that natural feeling when I flesh out my characters to make them feel real. I was wondering if you have any advice about how to make characters and story naturally fit together?
I would greatly appreciate any wisdom you’d be willing to share but if you are too busy, or for any reason would prefer not to answer, I completely understand.
Thank you so much in advance!
I prefer not to answer. Thanks for giving me the option. It is for your own good.
husband is a huge fan
May 16, 2020
My husband is a huge fan (me of course as well), I just ordered a used The Wuggie Norple book as he used to have one as a kid. We want to share the story with our children now 4 and 6.
It would mean so much to have a letter sent to him from you? Is this something you do?
Something I do is autograph books, cards, beer coasters, stickers, bookplates, cash register receipts, bus transfers, airline tickets, bingo cards, and foreign currency, provided these things arrive with a self-addressed, postage-paid envelope. I don't usually write letters as such because in this case I don't know your husband, or know who he is. All I know about him is that he's huge, which might not be a suitable topic for a letter. The address to send self-addressed, postage-paid things is to be found somewhere on this very website.
Chicken Saved Your Dog
May 15, 2020
Yesterday our beloved dog, Buddee, a bagle dog, was diagnosed with cancer of the spleen that has spread to his lungs. We are heartbroken. Both of us remember listening to your tale on NPR years ago about feeding your dog boiled chicken and are wanting to hear that again. Last night we bought a big package of chicken breast and boiled one up for him. He was very happy. Please send a link to your story. Thanks, Beverlee
I don't think I can locate the story...there are between 600 and 700, and I don't even have a lot of them. You'll recall it was about giving chicken every night to our ailing dog. In fact we've done this for several pets. The theory is that the dog wakes up in the morning and thinks, "If I'm still here at six o'clock, chicken!" We don't believe in making any dog stick around if they've begun to suffer...but if chicken makes Buddee happy, go for it. We had a couple of cats who stuck around forever, seemed to feel fine, and the vet refused to test them any more...just said when he got sick he was going to come live at our house. Good luck to your good boy. Give him a skritch for us. Don't be sad when he leaves you...make it like a nice visit to the vet...and then start getting ready for the next dog, there's definitely one that needs you.
how was your childhood?
May 11, 2020
I really have not Ever talked to a writer of my favorite book before the one The Big Orange Splot. That one! That was a good one!
My childhood was characterized by the great pleasure I took in things all around me. I had my share of less than satisfactory family members, neighborhood bullies, and bad teachers...like every kid I knew...but there were so many interesting things in this world that as far as I can remember I was pretty happy all the time. I wrote and drew THE BIG ORANGE SPLOT almost 50 years ago! I hope you've looked at some of the 100+ books I've done since then...you might find another favorite.
May 5, 2020
How are you doing with the coronavirus going around I heard about this website by reading a story all about you and your books I agree that u do a great job -stay really safe-patrick reese
We're dealing with it, which is what everybody has to do. I remember my parents telling me about the last time this happened, in 1918. Most people got through it, and promptly forgot such a thing was ever going to happen again although scientists and smart people tried to remind everyone that it would. Now it has, most people will get through it, and promptly forget that such a thing can ever happen again. If you were a spaceperson picking up the President on TV you might think this was pretty funny.
DONNA VENORA TUKEL
Tooth Gnasher Superflash
April 17, 2020
Dear Mr. Pinkwater,
I read constantly to my son when he was a child and I have always remembered one specific detail from one of your books very clearly. ( At least I think it was one of your books but it may not have been Tooth Gnasher Superflash which for some reason I no longer have. And I keep thinking there were aliens in this book.) Did you dedicate one of your books “to your cat who threw up on your keyboard” ? That came to mind today while I was attending a class online which my son was teaching and his cat kept jumping up onto his desk and keyboard.
In addition to my question, I would like to thank you for writing so many wonderful books. When the time comes when we are able to venture outside, I plan to go the library (usually my second home) and look at many of your books again.
Stay well – Donna Tukel
I had a cat who distinguished himself by throwing up into my printer, not keyboard...but I don't remember dedicating a book to him. Maybe I did. Maybe I was trying to be nice to him so he wouldn't hurl into my working equipment.
April 13, 2020
I can remember, as a young boy, listening to the Snarkout Boys audio-book, and one of the first things I remember is the snatch of classical music played at the beginning. Do you have any idea of the title of this piece?
No idea! I listened to the start of the audio book on this website, and didn't get a clue. Sorry.
Bushman Lives sequel?
April 8, 2020
I am getting through the COVID-19 quarantine by rereading your books. I just re-read Bushman Lives and liked it even more than I liked it the first time, which was already a lot.
I googled around and learned that you used Twitter to share some or all of a sequel to Bushman Lives, but I can’t figure out how to see those old tweets. Is it possible? If it isn’t, would you consider putting the sequel out in some other way? I really really want to read it. I mean, they got to go to the island in Lizard Music – in Victor’s case he got to go back – but we didn’t get to hear about it! Is the Museum of Memory still there? I think about that museum every day.
I posted some fragments of a first draft of that book when my agent more or less forced me to open a Twitter account. At that time I could not sell a novel anywhere. This sort of thing has happened from time to time...it has to do with the very high level of intelligence of corporate America in general and publishing in particular. Now, things have changed. By the simple expedient of accepting sums identical to those I got 50 years ago, when just starting out, I can get novels published, and even found quite a nice publisher. One book is ready for publication, ADVENTURES OF A DWERGISH GIRL, and I just signed a contract to write another book. I have 3 or 4 novels in mind that I've been meaning to write, and am just about to make up said mind. Your reminder of the Bushman sequel prompts me to go in that direction. This is why I will not repost the little snippets you remember from my debut on Twitter. I may write the whole story. Thanks for asking. (P.S.Though I was unable to unload novels for a while, the picture book business has been ok, so look around for forthcoming examples.)