About Tony Abbott

To begin with, I was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and lived in a small house on top of a hill. Together, my mother, a school teacher, and my father, a returning World War II paratrooper pursuing his college studies, brought tons of books into our small house on Cliffview Road. I guess you could say that these books were my first introduction to the world of literature. My father was always writing, so the sound of the typewriter was like the background music of my early childhood.

When I was eight, we relocated, by car, to Connecticut where I finished elementary school and high school. I went to college at the University of Connecticut, majoring first in music (too hard), psychology (too many theories), and finally English (yes! lot and lots of books!). I graduated UConn with a bachelors degree in English Literature.

After that, I traveled to Europe for quite a while, drank a lot of coffee, and wrote notebooks full of strange poetry. When I returned, I found work in a variety of bookstores and finally a university library where I met my wife to be.

It was when I began reading bedtime stories to my children that the spark of writing I had had for so many years finally turned to children's books. After many failures, my first published book, Danger Guys, was written while taking a writing class with renowned children's author, Patricia Reilly Giff.

That first book, and the series that it began, became the cornerstone of my writing career and has become something of a cult favorite, by virtue of its being difficult to find. Since then, I've written just about 100 books for readers ages 6 to 14, including the cult favorit popular fantasy saga, The Secrets of Droon. Over 10 million of my books have been sold worldwide, and my series and novels combined have been translated into Italian, Spanish, Korean, French, Japanese, Polish, Turkish, and Russian.

Danger Guys was named a Children's Book-of-the-Month Club Main Selection, and the American Booksellers Association voted The Secrets of Droon among the "Top 10 List of Books to Read while Waiting for the Next Harry Potter." The series was also a Main Selection of the Children's Book-of-the-Month Club, and is on many school and library reading lists.

In 2007 my novel Firegirl won the Golden Kite Award for Fiction presented by the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. It is the only award given by children's writers to children's writers, a peer award I remain honored at having received. It was also a selection of the Junior Library Guild.

In the Spring of 2008, my second novel for Little, Brown Books for Young Readers appeared. The Postcard is a comedy/mystery about a boy who finds a clue on an old postcard while cleaning his recently deceased grandmother's Florida house, and who has no choice but to follow the mystery wherever it leads. Among other things, The Postcard is my love song to Florida's Gulf Coast, where my grandparents lived, and to old Florida, its architecture, roadside attractions, and Wild-West origins. It is, not least, my homage to the great hardboiled tradition of Hammett and Chandler, translated to a Florida setting. In 2009 The Postcard won the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Allen Poe Award for Juvenile Literature.

My novel, Lunch-Box Dream, appeared in spring 2011 from Frances Foster Books/Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers. A historical novel, it details a road trip from North to South in 1959, in anticipation of the 100th anniversary of the Civil War. A pair of young brothers first witness different races interact at an Atlanta, Georgia, bus station.

Two new series launched in 2012: Goofballs and Underworlds.

My literary and cultural interests include the films of Preston Sturges, the “Road” pictures of Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, and the Marx Brothers, and the writings of Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, P.G. Wodehouse, Jules Verne, Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Seamus Heaney, Emily Dickinson, Ted Hughes, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Steinbeck, The Arabian Nights, Beowulf, James Thurber, Philip Roth, Ralph Ellison, and William Faulkner.

I’m currently a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, the Yale Center for British Art, the Florence Griswold Museum, and am currently teaching at the Creative Writing MFA faculty at Lesley University. In addition, I present writing workshops and seminars to children and adults nationwide. With my wonderful wife, two delightful and brilliant daughters, and two cute dogs, I live and work happily in Connecticut.

6 comments:

  1. My daughter and I LOVE your Underworld books, and she would like to know if you plan any more in this series. Also, do you have any plans to come to southeastern Virginia for a book signing or author visit? Thirdly, my daughter is wondering if you have thought about making a movie about the Underworld books. She thinks they would make great action packed movies. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for the nice words, Lilly! I had a lot of fun writing Underworlds. The publisher has decided to end that particular series, but I have a new series starting on Jan 7, 2014: The Copernicus Legacy. I will be traveling extensively across the US to promote that series, and I will probably be in Virginia at some point. Visit my new website www.tonyabbottbooks.com to follow the path of my author tour. I will be posting dates and locations shortly. And thanks for suggesting that my books would make good movies; I think so, too! Thus far, no movie deals have resulted in films, but there is interest in The Copernicus Legacy, so, our fingers are crossed! Thanks to you and your daughter for reading my books. Best wishes to you both for lots of good reads in the New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Mr. Abbott, I started reading the Secrets of Droon series when I was 10 years old. The other day I picked up Special Edition 1 and immediately, I was back at 10 years old. Now at 17, as an aspiring actor, I hope someday the books will be made into either a TV show or movie. Thank you for not just writing the series, but for building my childhood

    ReplyDelete
  4. My daughter, a just turned 7 yr old, LOVES Goofballs. We completed #3 Superhero Silliness, last night. I found your blog in the back of GB hardback. I google searched GB to see if there were more books...We can't wait to read goofballs #4, #5 and #6! My daughter can't quit smiling about this news!
    Are there any more in the series?!

    ReplyDelete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hello Mr. Abbott,

    I just finished the Copernicus Legacy series today and I LOVED it. They were so action-packed, yet had history and brain-boggling clues/riddles. I thought this series of books would make an incredible movie. You should really look in to making a movie about them.

    ReplyDelete