16 April 2009

Winston Breen Throws a Puzzle Party Starting Today

Today is the start of the Puzzle Party blog tour and puzzle challenge heralding the publication of The Potato Chip Puzzles, by Eric Berlin. Find all the contest details at the Puzzle Party website, including news of the impressive grand prize supplied by G. P. Putnam's Sons.

Each stage of the blog tour will offer a link to one more downloadable puzzle:

Yes, the tour winds up here! You can't solve the final puzzle and win the grand prize unless you come back.

On the 22nd I'll post, in addition to the link to that final puzzle, an interview with author Eric Berlin. Here's a little preview of our colloquy:
I'm guessing you were a fan of Encyclopedia Brown when you were young. What did those books mean to you as a reader? What lessons did you take from them as a writer? Any other childhood favorites?

I was indeed a fan of Encyclopedia Brown--I pretty much swallowed those books whole. I don’t know that I extracted any meaning from them at the time....but in retrospect it’s clear how pivotal they were in helping me discover who I am. I’m sure I read a sports story or two as a child, but I have no memory of it. No, for me, it was mysteries and puzzles: Encyclopedia Brown, Scott Corbett’s wordplay-drenched The Big Joke Game, and Alvin’s Secret Code by Clifford Hicks.
I made my guess not just because Eric's a puzzle fan and the Encyclopedia Brown books are built around solve-it-yourself mysteries. Rather, as I read The Potato Chip Puzzles I thought that Winston Breen and some of his friends would fit right into Donald J. Sobol's Idaville. In that town all the kids have individual quirks: collecting teeth, bull-fighting, running con games, animal welfare, solving mysteries. Winston's quirk is solving and making puzzles. Everyone knows that's what Winston likes, and his friends are cool with that.

1 comment:

Nathan said...

Now that I see it mentioned, I remember liking The Big Joke Game quite a bit as a kid.