#kidlitquarantine

Library closed? Storytime cancelled at the bookstore?
Gather the kids around the old YouTube this Sunday Morning!

GTSLC

Kids’ Author Reads! Go to Sleep, Little Creep!
Sunday 3/22 10:30am Eastern

Livestream* at:

https://youtu.be/gpbUOCtumZE

#kidlitquarantine #geekdadwarjournal #gotosleeplittlecreep #randomhousekids

*this is a low tech event, just me reading my book and howling at the moon on camera…  but if you have kids stuck at home, I will try to beguile them with my baby monsters!

FEEL FREE TO SHARE!

(Today, Penguin/Random House announced that authors could read their books to kids on channels like YouTube, without the usual concerns regarding copyright,  provided that the event was unlisted. So you need the link above to get to the right place. Never done this before in 33 years of publishing, so fingers crossed!)

PREVIEW: That Time Rebel Studios Did a Con Book the Night Before All Cons Were Cancelled

46Preview Art from Quotes & Visions: Underground (Rebel Studios, 2020)

Since concluding Faust: Love of the Damned in 2013, the Rebel Studios creators never stopped working together on characters and stories; collaborations we’ve played with include:

  • Marquis De Sade vs. monsters both human and inhuman
  • A modern gothic centered around a creepy cult (Correction, we actually have two modern gothics centered around creepy cults)
  • A treatment for a film about a revenge killer on a locked down military base
  • A retro-futuro cosmic sex dream ala Metal Hurlant/Heavy Metal
  • A Savage Tales inspired alternative GN with Faust, Claire, M, Blythe, The Wrath and other Rebel Studios characters
  • The pilot chapter of an Elemental action series
  • A GN for all ages about a young law student who wakes up one day as Brooklyn the Barbarian™
  • Even a plot for an improvisational web cam crime drama

You haven’t seen these stories?

No. Not yet.

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Preview Art from Quotes & Visions: Underground (Rebel Studios, 2020)

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Text Excerpt from Quotes & Visions: Underground (Rebel Studios, 2020)

But with your continued support – thank you – you may still see them some day. What some of you did see, if you checked out Absolute Underground, a West Coast magazine celebrating all things punk, hardcore and metal, is Phi Underground, a series of splash page micro dramas.

Some began with Vigil’s Vision, others with Quinn’s Quote, but we are both in there, playing both with and against each other, harmony and creative friction. As you can see in the sneak peeks here…

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Preview Art from Quotes & Visions: Underground (Rebel Studios, 2020)

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Text Excerpt from Quotes & Visions: Underground (Rebel Studios, 2020)

Most underground pieces evoke a mythological feel. Many present as transgressive. Death and dreams dominate, but amidst that, we find surprising life, passion, even a strange humor.

So when it came time to prepare a sketch book for comic convention season, we thought maybe we should collect the underground one pagers, throwing in some traditional pinups as well, in both black and white and color.

And now that the book has gone to press…  the conventions are all postponing or  cancelling.  In the time of Covid 19, we work together to stay just a little more distant, for our own survival.

In the coming weeks, we hope you all stay safe and healthy. Don’t panic, but stay smart. Be good to each other. And we will find another way to get this book to the people who want it, don’t worry…  the Underground is both persistent and resilient.

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Preview Art from Quotes & Visions: Underground (Rebel Studios, 2020)

 

 

 

 

Halloween Week Story Times

IMG_3122.jpegStory Time at Greenville Elementary Book Fair, Scarsdale NY

When my daughter was in elementary school, I never missed a chance to volunteer during the annual book fair, so it’s always a pleasure to visit school book fairs today with a spirited reading of Go To Sleep, Little Creep. The bright young creatures at Greenville Elementary listened to the author carefully, but howled every wolfgirl howl, bloopblooped every gill mama lullabye and booed every baby ghost boo with glee. Thanks for reading with me, for asking your questions about making books and for inviting me to sign your copies to you!

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When Katonah NY’s Halloween Parade was rained out, Gretchen and Katie and the rest of our great bookstore family at Little Joe’s Books hosted an instant Indoor Halloween Parade up in the kids reading room. Invited to come and read at the last minute, I was out the door and heading up the highway to Katonah before you could say, “We’ve had a wild and woolly night, now give daddy one more bite!”

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If you are walking Katonah with your family, don’t miss the bookstore – you might find me in the fiction or the kids stuff, you might find my wife in the excellent cookbook shelves! Local indie bookstores are obviously part of what make our Hudson River Valley Towns home!

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Just a few of the treats on display at Little Joe’s in Katonah – great books, great coffee, great people!

Talking to the Street Writers, Part One! UPDATE: Parts One and Two!

From Mark Bellusci and Dan Chichester comes this update:
“Another writer gets down to the street level of writing with us, as we invite David Quinn to get on the mic. David writes children’s books, like Go To Sleep, Little Creep, comics (Faust, Nightvision, Ghost Rider, Dr. Strange and many more) as well as blue chip corporate communications.”
“In Pt. 1 of our time together, he Takes A Swing At This with a unique spin on Write Now, Edit Later. Trust us, you will be chanting Jargon, jargon, jargon! after this one.”
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Recommended for Writers (Or Any Creatives) – Street Writers Podcast

IMG_0886.jpegHey, writers!

Working storytellers Mark Bellusci and Dan Chichester serve up an energized, fun two punch combination of a podcast I enjoy, Street Writers. Each chapter is honest, entertaining and only takes you away from, like, actual writing for ten minutes.

Mark and Dan riff off each other to share practical knowledge and actionable advice distilled from decades of what they like to call “bare-knuckle writing for stage, film, editorial, marketing and comics.”

Because as writers – as creators of any discipline – we could all use tips to focus and lower our basic human resistance to following through creatively.

I’m not a big fan of the concept “inspiration,” but I guess that applies to Mark and Dan’s content, too. Everyone has great ideas that might make great writing. But ideas are easy. The difference between a writer and non-writer is not about ideas. It’s about seeing ideas through to focused, developed, lean, mean delivery.   

Listening, I welcome the fact that Mark and Dan both understand The Writer’s Paradox. That is, what am I talking about when I say, “I am a writer.”

  1. Am I swollen with bravura pride with my big swingin’ creative genius?
  2. Or am I begging your forgiveness for even daring to open my mouth, when all I do is make stuff up all day? (You know, “imposter syndrome.”)

I actually have to believe both 1 and 2 to make it to 3, which is getting the job done on the page.

Faced with a blank screen, I must embody writing as if I write great stuff all the time. I have to lower all resistance. I have to swing.

AND faced with my first draft – once I get there – I have to live in the humility and gratitude that if I put in the work, I will improve with honest editing. Work the craft. Drive to the finish.

Interested? Give a listen here or wherever you podcast.

 

 

#littlecreeptakeover Split Rock Books!

 

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For your Creepy Uncle David, there’s nothing like making the Halloween table!

 

When I lived in Manhattan and Brooklyn, I used to love to drive up the Hudson River Valley, especially during the Fall. It’s a city cliche, I know, but cliche for good reason. Fall is beautiful here in Sleepy Hollow Country and points north, and many valley villages fill every weekend with farmers’ markets, sports, concerts and, best of all, Halloween activities for all ages.

Sunday, I drove my family to Cold Spring, about an hour north of the city, at the invitation of an awesome indy bookstore, Split Rock Books.

Of course, with my history of dark stories for both children and adults, everyone has the idea of inviting me the weekend of Halloween. (I had to politely decline a few attractive invitations to come read, sign and share my work after booking both days this weekend months ago.) But Diane and Olivia and I are glad that Split Rock Books hosted us Sunday, because we felt right at home with booksellers Heidi and Michael Bender, a couple who — after over 10 years working as booksellers in New York, journeyed to Cold Spring to open up their own store.

Like some of the other great stores I’ve blogged here, this is a book store for book people: literary fiction and non-fiction, indy press and deeply into children’s books and other forms of graphic storytelling. The Benders’ Instagram seems to host as many images of visiting pets as books, giving you an idea that yes, this is a warm, welcoming place for warm, welcoming living things. And on top of that — thoughtfully curated books!

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“What does the Wolfgirl say?” “Arrrooo!”

I found the Benders while searching the Hudson Valley for great, kid-friendly indy stores within an hour of our Westchester home, via their (Literary Hub) essay published as they prepared to open their store earlier this year. Reading the musings below, I knew these were people I would invite to sit down at our family table. (Hey, if I wouldn’t want to break bread with you, we probably wouldn’t enjoy each others’ company at a book event, either.)

“For us by far the strangest commentary is people who volunteer ‘I don’t read’ and who then extrapolate this quality to the rest of humanity via the follow up questions, ‘Does anybody read anymore?’ and ‘How do bookstores even survive?’ Frankly, we’re more curious about how tanning salons survive, but I guess the answer is that not every store that exists serves the entire population of earth. We don’t need everyone to read, we just need the people around here who read to find us and to shop with us.”
Heidi and Michael Bender, – THE BIG HIGHS AND DEEP LOWS OF OPENING AN INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORE

Real booksellers know personalized service and a sense of community distinguish them from chain stores and online drone retailers, and Split Rock offers every kind of book event you can think of, including story time for kids. Of course, this week, kids in costumes received a goodie bag from the store, a popsicle stick Little Creep puppet from the Quinns and a chance to participate in the story and take home a signed book.

“Keep darkness close, shut out the Sun/Hold on to our little ones.”

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“Who loves Halloween?” “ARRROOO!” Who loves Monsters? “ARRROOO!” “Who loves Bedtime?” “Whut?”

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And I signed every copy left in the store before we left, so if you hurry, you may capture one for your own.

Thank you, once again, to my pal Bumblebee and all the creatures, creeps and heroes who helped me sing my lullaby to classic monsters, hitting every boo, bloop and arrrooo! I’m going to miss you all terribly on November 1 when the world shifts gears to the next holiday…  and I am one of the few, the proud, the Still Spooky.

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Split Rock Books 97 Main Street, Cold Spring, NY 10516
(845) 265-2080

 

Costumes! Puppets! Books! Bunnies! Scattered Books in Chappaqua, NY

Sunday afternoon I joined fellow Penguin Random House author David Neilsen  at one of my favorite local bookstores here in Sleepy Hollow Country, Scattered Books.

Repeat “family favorite” in Westchester Magazine, Scattered is a family business and a welcoming, spontaneous celebration of creativity. Down to earth book lovers of all ages are welcome. Yes, kids are welcome. Coffee is welcome. Even pets are welcome. (Four bunnies, Instagram famous, rule the floor and romp, each at his or her own speed and personality.)

The selection of books and gifts is both deep and tasty — and if you can’t find it, Laura Schaefer and company will find it for you. In conversation with Laura, Diane and Olivia and I felt graced to be talking to someone who lives and breathes the pleasure of stories, learning and curiosity.

I think this skill and passion have powered her to become one of the best independent business owners we know. Laura impressed me so much, I asked her to partner as my bookseller for my non-store meet and greets, like the event we plan for December at The Harvey School.

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Laura Schaefer, holding bookstore bunny, flanked by zanies who tell stories.

So, Sunday after a browse around that yielded a huge stack of must read books to buy — including David Neilsen’s latest — my family and I settled into our roles.

Despite the sad cancellation of the day’s Ragamuffin Halloween Costume Parade, we still had a steady stream of kids of all ages, many in costume. Diane helped them assemble “Little Creep” popsicle stick puppets, crafted from photocopies of Ashley Spires’ lovable designs from our book. A face painting artist decorated hands and faces. Olivia photographed them. Bunnies bunnied them.

And the two authors read to them and signed their books.

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And read we did. My colleague with the older kids, including Olivia, and me with the tiny terrors, really getting them booing with Ghost Baby, blooping with Gill Mama and Gill Baby and howling when Wolfgirl lets loose to sing down the Moon at dawn.

“Arrroooo!”

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All this makes me want to hang out with Laura and her people and the bunnies again soon, pure and simple. Words like “home,” “haven,” and “sanctuary” come to mind. And if that’s overkill, try “community.”

But don’t take my word for it. Check it out for yourself.

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“Again.”