Posted on June 28th, 2012 in Cool Stuff,Quenton Cohen: Professional Chef,Videos by MAC

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I got chills when I saw this. Flynn McGarry really reminds me of Quenton Cohen – his passion, his ambition, his talent. You’re never too young (or too old!) too pursue your dreams. I love that he’s taking the initiative and turning his home into a once a month pop-up restaurant. And I love that his family is obviously so supportive!


The Professionals go to Japan!

Guess what? Anna Smudge: Professional Shrink has been released in Japan! Yep, that’s right. Here’s the Japanese cover by amazing artist Mel Kishida

AS - Japan final

I haven’t received any copies of the book yet, but I’m eagerly awaiting their mysterious interiors. You see, the Japanese publisher, Media Factory, hired their own interior artist who will be rendering all the characters in a manga style. So stay tuned…

P.S. Someone made an Anna Smudge book trailer over at YouTube.

Cool music by Kevin MacLeod. (Of the Clan Macleod? I wonder if Kevin’s a Highlander fan.)



Quenton Cohen wins a Moonbeam!

Posted on October 21st, 2011 in Buzzzzzz,Highlights,Quenton Cohen: Professional Chef by MAC

I have some wonderful news to share — Quenton Cohen just won the Bronze Medal for pre-teen mystery at the 2011 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards! I am really SO grateful to win another of these awards. Any time you pour such a large amount of work into a project it’s enormously gratifying when it gets some recognition (from someone other than your mom!)



The Professionals goes global!

Hey guys, just got an email with some fun visual treats — The Professionals is being released in Denmark and Taiwan and these are some of the new covers.

AS Tellerup Cover

As you can see, the publishers decided to go with Greg Horn’s amazing covers (which I think is a no-brainer).



And I really love how colorful the designs are for the Taiwan covers. But I was especially curious as to what those floating sentences were alongside Anna and Quenton. So I asked, and apparently these are the 2 translations:

Anna Smudge cover- “The New Yorkers say, as long as Anna Smudge is around, we’ll be able to sleep tight!”

Quenton Cohen cover- “The culinary art is staircase to my dream, and the world is beneath my feet!”

How cool is that?!


Great causes

Posted on December 2nd, 2010 in Quenton Cohen: Professional Chef,Serious Stuff by MAC

I don’t want to give away any twists from Quenton Cohen, but I really wanted to mention two charities that are relevant to the book (you’ll have to read it to find out why).

Please take a little time to visit their websites with your parents, grandparents, teachers, or librarians to see how you can help.


War Child



War Child works with local partners across the world to help children affected by war.

They provide sustainable, long-lasting programs that focus on education, HIV/AIDS, psychosocial rehabilitation, child rights, health, and vocational training, enabling children to support their communities and nurture a culture of peace and development.


Doctors Without Borders


Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international medical humanitarian organization created by doctors and journalists in France in 1971 that provides independent, impartial assistance to those most in need.

Today, MSF provides aid in nearly 60 countries to people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe, primarily due to armed conflict, epidemics, malnutrition, exclusion from healthcare, or natural disasters.


Quenton Cohen: Professional Chef is here!

Posted on October 15th, 2010 in Highlights,Quenton Cohen: Professional Chef by MAC

I know many of you have been waiting a while for this. So I am thrilled to announce that Quenton Cohen: Professional Chef, Book Two of The Professionals is finally here!

QC front cover nobleed

There’s lots of danger, chases, explosions… but most of all delicious cuisine. I told my family and friends I was just doing “research” for the book since the main character is a chef, but really it was just an excuse to go to as many incredible restaurants as possible.

Here are the deets on the plot:

The dangerous criminal mastermind Mr. Who is still at large.

And thousands of convicts are escaping from prisons all over the country.

But all Quenton Cohen cares about is opening his own restaurant and appearing on his favorite TV show, Chef of Steel —even if that means turning his back on his best friend, Anna Smudge, and putting his trust in a sketchy investor named Hummus.

When a visiting African president is caught in a string of deadly accidents, Quenton realizes that something stinks… and it may just be in his kitchen!

Can Quenton unearth the conspiracy before MR. WHO leaves a scar on his life forever?

Now at a bookstore near you! Or get it online at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.




Posted on September 7th, 2010 in Art,Quenton Cohen: Professional Chef by MAC

I thought it would be cool to take you guys through a little of the art process for Quenton Cohen: Professional Chef. We usually start with me, alone, sitting in front of my computer, trying to think… Until I finally write up a character description for, um, let’s use Thud as an example.

I email the description to Glenn Fabry, who’s in the UK. Sometimes I’ll chat with him on the phone and we’ll talk through the character a bit. (Glenn likes to learn as much about the characters as possible so that he can add his own details and comedic touches to the drawings.) Then Glenn gets to sketching. And he’ll send me back something like this…


Then I’ll give Glenn some notes (usually my notes are: “Wow. That’s pretty amazing. Seriously.”) and he gets started on the final, which looks like this…


Notice how not much was changed between the original sketch and the final. Well that’s because Glenn usually draws exactly what I am imagining on the very first try.

Then the final is sent to Sean Ellery, a colorist in Australia. And he works his magic…

And then here is the final black & white drawing as incorporated into the layout of the book designed by Greg Collins, here in NYC.

Quenton Cohen Professional Chef

And here is the final colored version (sans text) incorporated into Greg Horn’s beautiful cover art. (Greg’s in Florida. Funny how far apart we all are.)


I’d like to say the process is like magic. But maybe it just feels that way because I’ve got such talented artists onboard.



RED ALERT! Jo-Anne Rioux on the loose in NYC!

Posted on August 26th, 2009 in Art,Cool Stuff,Photos by MAC

I’ve had a wonderful week! My friend Jo-Anne Rioux was in NYC for a visit and I got to take her out for a night of fun, fun, and more fun.


First stop-

Cha-an Teahouse, hidden on the second floor of an East Village brownstone, where we dined on small dishes of exotic fish, multi-colored seaweed, pickled vegetables, and 15 grain rice porridge while sipping white tea. For dessert? Black sesame crème brulee and a mini pound cake with vanilla bean ice cream and raspberry sauce. (Quenton Cohen would be so proud of us!)




Second stop-

My apartment to seek refuge from the thunder storm. The entire NYC sky was lit up by lightning. Also, to change shoes because mine broke! Yowzer!




Third stop-

Yaffa Café, a lantern-filled all-nite restaurant with zebra printed wallpaper, leopard spotted booths, and odd antiques and knick-knacks cluttering every corner.


Jo and Mac


Fourth stop-

Movies on the sofa of my apartment because it’s Tuesday night and nothing else is open!


Fifth stop-

Bed…because it’s now four o’clock in the morning!


But what made this rare visit even more special is that Jo brought along her portfolio and shared some of her new work with me. Yes, Jo’s an artist. An amazing one. And luckily she’s given me permission to share some of her beautiful work with you…




This is just one of many dramatic illustrations from book two of Sword Quest.




This is book two of an awesome-o graphic novel series called Sam & Friends that’s Jo’s illustrating. Tell me you don’t want a cute dog exactly like that?!




I love the colors of this piece and all of the ornate details on her clothing.


To check out more of Jo’s stuff you can log onto her website at http://www.jorioux.com


Jo, come back soon!







Anna Smudge gets more bling!

OK, Quenton Cohen will be out very soon, I’ve already started Book Three (Shhh, top secret!), but you can’t count little Miss Anna Smudge out just yet. Girlfriend knows how to hang in there! She just won 3 new awards from the wonderful folks at the Young Voices Foundation:


Gold Medal for Best Juvenile Fiction


Gold Medal for Best Juvenile Mystery


Gold Medal for Best Youth Fiction- NE Region




In case you don’t know, the Young Voices Foundation has two really cool awards that they give out- one for published books and the other for aspiring young writers. Check out this link for more info on submitting your writing:


Young Voices Foundation


This is a terrific opportunity to hone your creative writing skills, and if you can’t think of a good story write something biographical or nonfiction. Maybe comb through newspaper articles for ideas or write about something that’s happened to you or someone you know. Think outside the box- Franz Kafka wrote a novel about a dude turning into a cockroach, for goodness sake! ICK!


So, pick up a notebook and a pen, open a blank document on your computer, and get to work! Because I can tell you, there’s no greater feeling than the sense of accomplishment you get from creating something out of nothing.






Hey guys!

It’s been forever since I posted because I’ve been writing the next book in The Professionals series, Quenton Cohen: Professional Chef. But it’s finally finished and delivered to my publisher. YAY! As soon as they tell me, I’ll give you all the exact release date. Also, I’ll be posting the cover very soon. It’s AWESOME-O! I can’t wait to share it with everyone!

Lots of good stuff has been happening in the meantime while I’ve been writing QUENTON. The main thing is that ANNA SMUDGE has won some awards! Double YAY!

First, back in October, Anna Smudge won the Silver Medal at the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards for Best First Book.


I got a mammoth medal in the mail and have been wearing it as a necklace around my neighborhood. Let me tell ya, it’s a whole lotta bling.


Second, Anna Smudge also won the National Indie Excellence Award for Children’s Fiction!


Third, just this past week, Anna Smudge won the Benjamin Franklin Award for Best Juvenile Fiction.


Also, Anna Smudge’s cover artist, Greg Horn, and book designer, Greg Collins, were finalists in the Best Cover Design-Children’s category. You go guys!


The Ben Franklin Awards was a fun, but nerve wracking experience. It’s a huge event that they hold once a year during Book Expo America.

So, everyone gets all dressed up and meets at a fancy hotel. This year it was held at the beautiful Roosevelt Hotel in New York City. (My hometown!)



I have to admit I was just as excited about the desserts as I was about the possibility of winning an award…


I was so shocked when they called out Anna Smudge as a winner! I had to walk through the Grand Ballroom, up to a podium, and accept the award in front of all of those people.


I love Where’s Waldo, but this is more like Where’s MAC? Can you find me in this pic?…


Honestly, I was so surprised and nervous I don’t even remember what I was blabbering about up there. But everyone was super nice and congratulated me afterwards. Check out the video.

Get the Flash Player to see this content.

Here are some pics of me with Terry Nathan, executive director of IBPA, and Florrie Kichler, IBPA’s president. They’re really the nicest! And they have been so unbelievably supportive!


And I love Florrie’s suit!


One of the most important things I’ve learned with Anna Smudge is that putting out a book is such a team effort. So many people work hard on it after I’m done writing it. It’s this collaboration that I’m most looking forward to with Quenton Cohen.

My Mom took this last picture! Thanks Mom & Dad!



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