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Chris Grabenstein


Chris Grabenstein

A former improvisational comedian (he and Bruce Willis were in the same Greenwich Village comedy troupe in the early 1980s), Chris spent nearly twenty years writing commercials for America's top advertising agencies, ending his career as an Executive Vice President/Group Creative Director at the Young & Rubicam in New York City.

His writing talent was first discovered by James Patterson, his Creative Director at J. Walter Thompson Advertising. Patterson had come up with a Writing Aptitude Test, which ran as a full-page ad in The New York Times under the headline "Write If You Want Work." Over 2,000 applicants responded. Chris was the first writer hired. Recently, Chris started co-authoring books with his first boss, James Patterson, including the Number One New York Times bestseller I FUNNY.

Chris co-wrote the screenplay for the CBS-TV movie The Christmas Gift, starring John Denver and had the great good fortune to write scripts for Jim Henson's Muppets. In fact, Chris has been writing professionally since he moved to New York from Chattanooga, Tennessee --- bringing along seven suitcases and the Smith-Corona typewriter he got as a high school graduation gift.

He won the Anthony Award for "Best First Mystery" for his debut TILT A WHIRL --- the first in a series of John Ceepak stories set "Down The Shore" in a New Jersey tourist town called Sea Haven. The second book, MAD MOUSE, was called one of the "Ten Best Mysteries of 2006" by Kirkus. WHACK A MOLE came out to great critical acclaim in 2007. The New York Daily News called the fourth Ceepak book, HELL HOLE, a "must-read." The ride continued with MIND SCRAMBLER and ROLLING THUNDER, which was a finalist for the Watson Award for Best Sidekick. The New York Times called the seventh Ceepak book FUN HOUSE "a perfect satire." The eighth book in the series, FREE FALL, came out in May 2013.

Chris created the fast-paced holiday thrillers include SLAY RIDE and HELL FOR THE HOLIDAYS and became a New York Times bestselling author thanks to his short story "The Demon In the Dunes," which appeared in the anthology DEATH'S EXCELLENT VACATION edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner.

Chris Grabenstein

Books by Chris Grabenstein

written by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein with illustrations by Kerasco√ęt - Children's 8 - 12, Family Life, Performing Arts

With her irresistible urge to tell a joke in every situation --- even when she really, really shouldn't --- 12-year-old Jacky Ha-Ha loves to make people laugh. And cracking wise helps distract her from thinking about not-so-funny things in her life, like her mom serving in a dangerous, faraway war, and a dad who's hardly ever home. But no matter how much fun Jacky has, she can't seem to escape her worries. So one starlit night, she makes a promise to keep her family together...even if she has to give up the one thing that makes her happy. But can she stop being Jacky Ha-Ha, if that's who she really is?

Written by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein with illustrations by Laura Park - Children's 8 - 12, Friendship, Performing Arts

Jamie Grimm has finally accomplished his dream of proving himself the Planet's Funniest Kid Comic, and the sky's the limit from there. Enter a couple of TV executives with a huge plan for Jamie: a new show about Jamie and his oddball friends! But when Jamie struggles to learn the acting ropes, will it be an early curtain call for the biggest show of the decade? 

by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein - Children's, Fiction

Bick and Beck Kidd are desperately trying to secure the ancient Chinese artifact that will buy their mother's freedom from renegade pirates. But when the kidnappers force them to locate an even greater treasure --- priceless paintings stolen by Nazis, the Kidds must rely on their own cunning and experience to outwit the criminals, all while their mom's life is on the line.

by Chris Grabenstein - Adventure, Fiction

What if your favorite characters came to life? Billy’s spending the summer in a lakeside cabin that belongs to the mysterious Dr. Libris. But something strange is going on. Besides the security cameras everywhere, there’s Dr. Libris’s private bookcase. Whenever Billy opens the books inside, he can hear sounds coming from the island in the middle of the lake. The clash of swords. The twang of arrows. Sometimes he can even feel the ground shaking. It’s almost as if the stories he’s reading are coming to life! But that’s impossible...isn’t it?

by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein - Adventure, Fiction

The Kidd siblings have grown up diving down to shipwrecks and traveling the world, helping their famous parents recover everything from swords to gold doubloons. But after their parents disappear on the job, the kids are suddenly on the biggest treasure hunt of their lives. They'll have to work together to follow cryptic clues to unravel the mystery of what really happened to their parents.

by Chris Grabenstein - Youth Fiction

Lucky Kyle Keeley wins a coveted spot to be one of the first 12 kids in the new town library for an overnight of fun, food, and lots and lots of games. But when morning comes, the doors remain locked. Kyle and the other winners must solve every clue and every secret puzzle to find the hidden escape route. And the stakes are very high.

Written by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein, Illustrated by Laura Park - Children's, Fiction

Jamie Grimm wants to become a stand up comic, but his life doesn't give him too much to laugh about. However, when the Planet's Funniest Kid Comic contest rolls around he knows he has to enter. Can he pull it off?

by Chris Grabenstein - Children's, Fiction, Mystery

In this merry, mischievous romp, Chris Grabenstein introduces Riley Mack --- a 12-year-old hometown hero with a talent for plotting schemes to outwit evil-doers, whatever they are up to. The “known troublemakers” include aspiring actress Briana, tech wiz Jake, vocab-obsessed lockpicker Jamal, and the large-but-sweet Mongo.

by Chris Grabenstein

Halloween is nearing, the one day of the year when the ghostly plane is close enough to the human plane to allow mischief and mayhem. But the ghosts who have their eye on Zack aren't thinking mischief, they are thinking murder.