Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Joe McGee's Peanut Butter and Brains (and a Short Interview) by Michael Gettel-Gilmartin

I am so excited to welcome Joe McGee back to the blog today. Joe exemplified Mayhem as a Mayhemmer, and proves the old adage: Once a Mayhemmer, Always a Mayhemmer!

Joe's picture book, Peanut Butter and Brains: A Zombie Culinary Tale debuted on August 11th, 2015. Here's what it's about:
Reginald isn’t like the other zombies who shuffle through Quirkville, scaring the townspeople and moaning for BRAINSSSSS! The only thing Reginald’s stomach rumbles for is sticky peanut butter and sweet jelly. He tries to tell his zombie pals that there’s more to life than eating brains, but they’re just not interested. Will Reginald find a way to bring peace to Quirkville and convince the other zombies that there’s nothing better than PB&J?
Judging from all the fun pictures on Facebook, Joe's been having a great time introducing Reginald to readers young and old. I caught up with him (virtually, of course) and lobbed a few questions his way...

Me: What has been the most fun thing about bringing P B and B to the world?

Joe: By far, the most fun about bringing PB&B to the world has been the interaction with the kids. Whether it's a school visit, or a book store event, the genuine excitement and interest from the kids reminds me how lucky I am to be doing this. I love when kids show up dressed as zombies, or when they approach me and want to just tell me how funny they thought my book was, or how much they enjoyed the story. And one of the things I do when I read is get the kids all involved by moaning "Braaiinnnnsssss..." whenever the zombies say it in the book. Ever heard about 200 K-2nd-graders moaning "brains?" No? It's awesome. I also get a kick out of the anticipation right before the last page turn. So often the kids assume Reginald is after brains (wait, what does that say about the future of society?)...and the laughter and shock when I hit the last page reveal is priceless. 

Me: What is the one thing published-you would like pre-published-you to know?

Joe: Hmmm..... I suppose I would tell pre-published me to enjoy the process of creating that book and to enjoy the book-birth process...because you never get that first time back. Suddenly it's promotion and visits and the book has left and gone off to college and it never calls and you're working on five others and you get weepy when you look at old drafts and storyboard sketches of your first-born baby. 

Me: What are you working on now?

Joe: Come on, Mike, you know I can't really answer that....There are ninja assassins just waiting for me to type a response to this question. I WILL tell you this: I have a few things "in the works" and that one of them may (or may not) involve a [REDACTED].  Some of these things are other picture books. I am also in another round of revisions on my middle-grade novel and at work on a graphic novel. PLUS...I am part of [REDACTED]. So, I've got a few things up my sleeve."

Great stuff, as usual, from one of my favorite writers. If you want to know more about Joe and his goings-on, visit him at his WEBSITE. And don't forget to moan "Braaiinnnnsssss" to a reader today!


  1. Thanks for having me, Mike! I LOVE Project Mayhem and yes...always a Mayhemmer!

  2. This was the day I was driving a Uhaul across several states! Sorry to miss this post with my pal Joe! And, um, I can DEFINITELY vouch for Joe being full of mayhem. :)

    The one great thing about writing for kids is the interaction we get as authors so you must be having a blast with your book baby, Joe! They are just waaaayyy cooler and more fun that adults at events. Let's all be kids again and moan "Braaaaaiiiiinnnssss!"

    Wishes you success with PB&B!


Thanks for adding to the mayhem!