Even in the literary world, it's possible to go into the family business. Pulitzer Prize winner William Kennedy (Ironweed) and his son, Brendan, 23, have produced two kids' books 1990's Charlie Malarkey and the Belly-Button Machine and now Charlie Malarkey and the Singing Moose.
William Kennedy, 66, says work on the first book began long before it was published, when Brendan was only 4: "He was going to bed one night and his pj's were open and his belly button was sticking out. I said, 'Once there was a kid who woke up and his belly button was gone.' It became a nightly chase to find out who took it." The story evolved from that bedtime game.
Nineteen years later, "it's still very much a collaboration," says William, who is planning a third Charlie caper with his son. The children of Kennedy's daughter Dana are also getting in on the act: Grandson Casey, 10, has an Elvis joke in the new book, and a tale by granddaughter Shannon, 8, "might really be something," says a proud William, not sounding a bit surprised.