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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 best seller 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.

Chris Grabenstein
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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 MOLEcame 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 Best Selling 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 is a past president of the New York Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America. He lives with his beautiful, beloved wife J.J., a voice-over actress (check out her narration on the Haunted Mystery and EXPLORERS' GATE audio books), in Manhattan.

He often credits his furry friend FRED for giving him time to dream up story ideas because the dog takes Chris on four contemplative walks a day.

His cats Parker and Phoebe Squeak also help out. Parker enjoys headbutting his computer-mouse hand. Phoebe Squeak purrs when she approves of the prose.