Sunday, February 23, 2014

Dummies For Dummies

Coming March 4, 2014!
Available NOW for pre-order!

I have never been a big puppet or ventriloquist fan, then I encountered Dan Payes, a ventriloquist puppet designer and maker, and immediately thought:
 
There's an idea here for a book!

Last year I wrote Dummy of a Ghost, a digital novella which is part of my popular Ghost of Granny Apples series and which has a story line about puppets.  Dummy of a Ghost will be released by Penguin/Berkley on March 4, 2014, just a few days from now, and I am so excited!  I love this story about a couple of ghosts who haunt the puppets of their ventriloquist grandson and become alarmed when dangerous things begin to happen to him. To find help, they turn to Kelly Whitecastle who enlists the assistance of her mother, medium Emma Whitecastle, and the ghost of Granny Apples.

The crazy story of how Dan and I crossed paths several years ago can be found at the beginning of Dummy of a Ghost and, believe it or not, it involved Sea-Monkeys.

In preparation for this book, I visited Dan at his workshop at Dan Payes Puppetry to learn how dummies work and are made.  I also watched a couple of ventriloquist tapes. My favorite was the A&E Biography Special Jeff Dunham: Birth of a Dummy. You can download it from Amazon if you're interested. It is extremely entertaining and informative.
With one of Dan's creations

Now I'm hooked!  That doesn't mean I want to be a ventriloquist but I certainly have a greater appreciation for the art and the talent that goes into performing and the creativity behind the puppets and their personalities.

This past Friday night I went to see Puppet Up!, the extremely funny show from the Jim Henson Company. Puppet Up! is a mix of improv comedy, puppetry and a quick look into how the puppeteers do what they do. I highly recommend catching it if it comes to a theatre near you.

A look at Puppet Up!

1 comment:

Mark Baker said...

Now I really want to see that show. Sounds like such fun.

As you know, I'm very much looking forward to the novella.