Press Kit

DAVID NEILSEN is a professional storyteller and the author of two Middle Grade horror/comic/fantasies published by Crown Books for Young Readers.

His debut novel, Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom, was named an Editor’s Pick by Amazon, won the Silver Falchion Award for Best YA/Tween Horror or Fantasy of 2017, and was a Semifinalist for Best Middle Grade / Children’s Book in the 2016 Goodreads Choice Awards. His second book, Beyond the Doors, was published in August, 2017.

Before turning to slightly-creepy children’s literature, David spent a dozen years working as a writer in Hollywood, culminating in optioning a pilot to 20th Century Fox (that went nowhere), and penning the screenplay for the Straight-to-DVD film “The Eliminator” (rent it, he dares you).

A classically trained actor, David works as a professional storyteller based in Sleepy Hollow, NY and spends much of October spooking the bejeebers out of people or performing one of his one-man shows based on and inspired by the works of H. P. Lovecraft. He lives with his wife, son, daughter, and two very domineering cats.

Learn more about David at his website:

Myers Literary Management
Eric Myers, Literary Agent



Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom

When the mysterious Dr. Fell moves into the abandoned house that had once been the neighborhood kids’ hangout, he immediately builds a playground to win them over. But as the ever-changing play space becomes bigger and more elaborate, the children and their parents fall deeper under the doctor’s spell.
Only Jerry, Nancy, and Gail are immune to the lure of his extravagant wonderland. And they alone notice that when the injuries begin to pile up on the jungle gym, somehow Dr. Fell is able to heal each one with miraculous speed. Now the three children must find a way to uncover the doctor’s secret power without being captivated by his trickery.

Crown Books for Young Readers (2016)

WINNER: Silver Falchion Award for Best YA/Tween Mystery or Fantasy (2017)

SEMI-FINALIST: 2016 GoodReads Choice Awards for Best Middle Grade or Children’s Book

ISBN: 978-1101935811


“Recommended for school libraries that need to breathe life into their traditional mystery collections.” – School Library Journal

“Deliciously dark, funny, and foreboding, Neilsen’s first novel delivers with broad appeal.” – Booklist

“Such deliciously creepy fun! I fell in love with Dr. Fell! So will urchins and whippersnappers everywhere.” – Chris Grabenstein, author of the New York Times bestsellers Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library and The Island of Dr. Libris

“Great characters and excellent writing will make this a true winner in the middle-grade category.”San Francisco Book Review

“This book will find a home among shelves cluttered with R.L. Stine, David Lubar, Adam Gidwitz, and Neil Gaiman.”Project Middle Grade Mayhem

“Keep an eye out for David Neilsen. If all of his stories enchant readers as Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom does, he will become a much-loved children’s author.” Kid Lit Reviews

“Just the sort of book kids won’t be able to put down.” Westchester Family Magazine

Beyond the Doors

When their house burns down and their father winds up in the hospital, Janice, Zack, Sydney, and Alexa Rothbaum are forced to move in with their Aunt Gladys–a family member they never even knew existed.

Aunt Gladys is an odd woman, but her house is even more so. It’s a huge circle, and the only entrance is a wall that doubles as a drawbridge over a deep moat. The rooms are long and narrow and curve around a mysterious central room. They also lack doors. Every single doorway in the house is an open arch–even the doorway to the bathroom!

But the doors haven’t disappeared. Aunt Gladys is using them. And when the Rothbaum children discover how and why, their world is turned upside down.

Crown Books for Young Readers (2017)

ISBN: 978-1101935828


“The supporting characters broaden into an array of delightful slapstick caricatures with punch lines galore, the settings are bold and elaborately arranged, and the story is cinematically told.” – Booklist

“The characters are well developed, the plot intriguing, and the pace well suited to middle grade readers. Minor characters add realism as well as laughs… An entertaining romp.” – School Library Journal

Beyond the Doors by David Neilsen is funny, mysterious and a little scary all wrapped into one great book.” – Reader Views Kids

“I think kids will fall in love with this book.” – Project Middle Grade Mayhem

“This is a quirky, quick-paced, packed with imagination ride, which will have readers sitting at the edge of their seats until the very last page.” – Bookworm for Kids

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