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Not Marketing

Children's Book, published by Cameron Kids, a division of Abrams

In September of 2023, Cameron Kids, a division of Abrams books, published Thank You, Day! which I wrote during the pandemic quarantine when I was supposed to be working on something else. It’s a rhyming book about a little girl who feels like "the boss of the yard," with the responsibility to acknowledge a job well done by everything that made it a great day. 

The New York Society of Illustrators included Penelope's wonderful illustrations in their 2023 show. Kirkus Reviews says, ""While children are often taught to show gratitude for people and things, this book provides space for reveling in the natural world and the bounty therein. A lovely opportunity to stop and smell the roses—and say thank you."

NOTE: I used to hide certain books when the kids were little, if the meter was off or the rhymes were dumb. I tried very hard to keep this a fun, easy-to-act-out "read-aloud." It's on Amazon.

Here is a nice video that Penelope's husband, Colin, put together combining an in-store appearance with an interview segment on the local Fox affiliate (the one that broadcasts The Simpsons, not the cable news). 

Columns I Wrote for Widely Read Online Publications on an Ongoing Basis for More than Two Years

For McSweeney’s Internet Tendency I wrote for 12 years about songwriting—specifically about learning how the Nashville songwriting biz works. Ian Crouch, an editor at The New Yorker, said this:

“I was thrilled to come, late to the game, to a great running series at McSweeney’s written by Charlie Hopper, who works in advertising in Indianapolis, but who for the past five years has been trying to sell songs in Nashville....


“These entries share many of the trademarks of country music: hope, quick humor, and a great deal of failure. Hopper, a brief introduction to the series reports, has not yet sold a song. His struggles have led to wisdom (doesn’t that sound country), including an observation about songwriting that is true, I think, of writing in general: ‘You can always hear what’s wrong with other people’s songs, even as you’re blind to your own song’s shortcomings….’ 


“If you’re looking for inspiration to jump into whatever goofy, secret thing you’ve always dreamed about doing, Hopper’s chronicle is a good place to get lost today.”

For The AV Club I wrote for 2 and a half years about fictional depictions of foods and eating.

For pubs as diverse as The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, Adweek and Atlas Obscura I’ve been quoted on topics ranging from puns to Elvis's peanut butter/banana/bacon sandwich, from The Pillsbury Doughboy to cheatin’ songs. And in addition to my Nashville dispatches, McSweeney's also published some of my humor writing—here's the first one.

Sample Columns

“Dispatches from a Guy Trying Unsuccessfully to Sell a Song in Nashville” from McSweeney’s Internet Tendency:

  1. Mopping Up the Blood

  2. The Pun Is Not Your Friend

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