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Crackup Collaborators – Daniel Handler and Lisa Brown

This Monday’s Kid Lit Salon featured guests Daniel Handler (aka – Lemony Snicket of A Series of Unfortunate Events) and Lisa Brown (Baby Be of Use series), hilarious husband and wife who team up once in awhile as the AC Institute to collaborate on projects. Their most recent was a Christmas story called The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming, written by Daniel and illustrated by Lisa. Seated at the front of the room in matching white AC Institute lab coats, they went through a power point presentation of their humble beginnings as collaborators on a zine called American Chickens. It was easy to imagine how much fun it is in their household, which now includes a son ( I was excited to hear about that, since I just had my 18-week ultrasound and found out we’re having a BOY!).  They approach everything they do armed with wit and a healthy dose of irony and they make each other laugh. Which was Daniel’s main advice for those pursuing a literary or artistic career – it’s a lonely road and one wrought with frustration and rejection (yes, even he started out with only two people coming to his first book signing), so work on something that makes you laugh, or that you are obsessive about bordering on compulsion. Because if you don’t love what you’re doing, you’ll never be happy, published or not. And he and Lisa both clearly love what they’re doing.

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