ARLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) Halloween is behind us, but one man is scaring up some young readers. His made in Vermont writing and illustrations led to a Hollywood collaboration.
One look around Leonard Kenyon's studio and it's pretty obvious to see he's got a spooky side. "Just some monsters inspired to me a little bit by Jim Henson," Kenyon said.
His cat Luna is further proof. "She's a cool cat. She's an inspiration for Benchley in the book I sold to Penguin," he said.
The children's book he is talking about is called, "This Book is not for Chickens." He wrote it and is doing the illustrations. "It's about a scaredy cat and a chicken who go trick or treating and they get more than they bargained for," Kenyon said.
It's due out in 2019. "These are some early sketches. There's down with pencil, ink and water color," Kenyon said. "My pen kind of does what it wants to do."
Kenyon, or Lenny K, was writing mostly horror comedies for about 15 years, but wasn't getting anywhere. His wife eventually convinced him to write and illustrate children's books. "I resisted it for a lot of years. People had mentioned that to me, but it wasn't as hard as I thought," he said. "My wife was right. Please cut that out."
Within weeks of sending out samples of his children's book, the Shaftsbury-native got an agent and a deal with Putnam Penguin. "It's a great feeling. It's really nice," he said.
But in the meantime, Lenny K has collaborated on three other books including one with former "Good Times" actor, John Amos -- "A World without Color."
It's about a boy who lives in a world that's gray and bleak, but he discovers color through his delivery of letters to people. "A lot of people tell me that my work is nostalgic, but I grew up in the late 70's and early 80's so of course it is," Kenyon said.
After years of receiving the horrible feeling of rejection, Lenny K has found out that when it comes to writing or drawing for children's books, there's no nothing to fear. "For it to happen so fast -- it's incredible," he said.