August 25, 2009
So tomorrow I’m appearing at the Book Cellar with the Brothers Delacorte.
“The Brothers Delacorte?” you howl. “What are you giving me now, Kennedy? This is sheer japery.”
Be still, butterfly. The story is this.
The Order of Odd-Fish is published by Random House’s Delacorte Press. Last year I discovered that two other Chicago YA authors, Daniel Kraus and Adam Selzer, are also on Delacorte. This coincidence was too good to pass up.
We decided to band together.
If you go to the Brothers Delacorte website you can read our manifesto, which has to do with encouraging boys’ literacy. But here I’d like to boast of my fellow brothers’ formidable talents.
Daniel Kraus is not only an author of the tense, harrowing The Monster Variations (for which our appearance at the Book Cellar is a release party), but also a filmmaker. Each film in his celebrated WORK documentary series chronicles the everyday life of someone in a particular job. So far he’s done a documentary for a Sherriff, a Musician, a Preacher, and a Professor. This is a project of—dare I invoke this sacred Chicago name?—Studs Turkel-ian proportions.
But there’s more to Daniel Kraus than a sober documentarian. In high school, he was a giddily inventive amateur filmmaker in the Ed Wood mold. At his blog Francis Ford Iowa you can see the films he made in high school, all of them gloriously bad, unintentionally hilarious, and occasionally genius. As Daniel himself describes it: “When I was growing up in Iowa, I made movies with my friends. Many of them were remakes of movies I liked, like MISERY or THE GODFATHER. Others were originals. All of them were awful . . . Now I’m blogging my old movies chronologically for your enjoyment. Let’s feel the pain together.”
Here’s a hilarious trailer that compiles the highlights, to give you a taste:
But wait! Let’s not forget that fellow Delacorte Brother Adam Selzer is also a filmmaker. (These fake siblings make me feel like a slacker. For crying out loud, Adam even has a Wikipedia page.) He’s written a ton of books: How to Get Suspended and Influence People, Pirates of the Retail Wasteland, and I Put A Spell On You, as well as the upcoming Andrew North Blows Up the World, I Kissed a Zombie and I Liked It, and The Smart Aleck’s Guide to American History. (When does he sleep?)
Not only that, but Adam is in two bands, The Broken Chimneys and The Back Row Hooligans. And if that weren’t enough, he is a tour guide and ghost investigator for Weird Chicago Tours.
I think of Adam as our Ringo.
In any case, if you’re in Chicago, please come out to the Book Cellar in Lincoln Square at 7 pm for the very first Brothers Delacorte event. I’m proud to be sharing the stage with them.