Saturday, November 21, 2009

Come aboard, The Red Candy Caboose! Read about the stories and history of trains with Story-teller and Author Lando Brown

What if Rail Road Tracks and Trains could talk? What history they could share?

Come aboard, The Red Candy Caboose! You'll be inspired as "Story-teller" and "Author" Lando Brown shares stories about the history of trains. He's a whistle of information coming down the tracks.

Author Lando Brown lives with his wife in Santa Fe, NM. It's a wonderful place that stimulates the creative side of everyone. They're semi-retired with a total of seven children between the two of them and two grandchildren. Casey (adopted from China) is one of the grandchildren and provided part of the inspiration for "Red Candy Caboose." Aubrey is our second grandchild and has provided the foundation for "Aubrie's Magic Slide."

He attended a college for two years then received training for Methods and Work Standards Engineering at General Motors Institute in Flint, Michigan. Over the years, he has taken between 60-100 courses such as; law, real-estate, marketing, behavioral science, history, and an array of subjects which captivated his interest at different times in his life.

He sparked an interest in writing, as a result of a small newspaper doing a human interest story on his business and himself. The article was so inaccurate he wouldn't have know it was about himself except for his name. So he requested to write about their next subject and the newspaper agreed. For the next year, he wrote weekly human interest stories about people in his community.

Lando and his wife lived fifteen years on Maui, HI. Before they moved back to Santa Fe, NM, in 2007, he wrote a Maui Travel Guide for the tourists. An individual associated with "Chicken Soup For The Soul" happened to read the book, called, and asked if he would be a contributing author for their next edition.

"The Red Candy Caboose" is his first children's book or family book as he likes to call it. Current release date is December 1, 2009 and later the same month expect the "Red Candy Caboose Coloring Book".

Of course, there's a story to share as to why he wrote "The Red Candy Caboose". It seemed to be an ideal way to bridge generational gaps and allow families to participate in discovering the fun of trains. Also, as a story teller on the Santa Fe Southern. he noticed most of his stories were aimed at what he called the AARP group, people who enjoyed passive entertainment. Frequently, he would have two and three generations from the same family aboard the train. Our train doesn't offer rides in the caboose, but every day people would ask if they could see the inside of the caboose. After researching the early history of the caboose, he started to share this information during his caboose tours. These stories seemed to appeal to all ages. He then decided to ask the president of his company if he could offer a Caboose Club. Where children could come on a weekly basis to hear stories about trains. The Caboose Club was a non-rolling venue which offered a back drop for families and children to be an interactive part of the story. He did test readings and the response was overwhelming. His notes along with the beautiful art provided by Dawn Phillips provided "The Red Candy Caboose."

One might ask, why a story teller on a train? On July 28, 2007, they moved back to Santa Fe, NM after the sale of their business in Maui, HI. He was terrified of the thought of not having a career or job. On August 1st of that year he took a job on the Santa Fe Southern Railway as a car attendant and bar tender. He immediately noticed people wanted stories and information about Santa Fe and New Mexico as they took the 18 mile ride out to Lamy, NM. History has been a hobby and interest of his since a teen. Also, how he had been trained his entire life for this job. What a privilege to share stories of the American West with people who visited from all over the world. Up until "The Red Candy Caboose" his story telling travels were limited to the short trips to Lamy, NM on the Santa Fe Southern Railway. He found there to be over 300 tourists trains and train museums in North America.

Starting January 2010, he will make visits to as many of these locations to help each location start a "Caboose Club" for children, similar to the one already in existence at the Sacramento, CA Railroad Museum. Caboose clubs are intended to acquaint children and their families with trains by readers and authors sharing both classic and newly published stories.

Author Lando Brown has ridden on antique steam trains and enjoyed learning about their place in history. The day he saw the new sleek New Mexico Rail Runner Express pull into Santa Fe on it's maiden run his heart pounded and he knew this would be a part of history which will alter the course of transportation in the state of New Mexico. If a small State like this could make it happen, then why not everywhere. His interest in trains started much like the "The Red Candy Caboose" story. He lived by a railroad track where the most exciting part of his day was when the train passed. Lando Brown and his friends dug fox holes in the sides of the hills where the trains passed. They would jump out hoping to scare the engineer. Instead, they got big smiles and waves for their efforts.

Over the years, Author Lando Brown has read about the heartbreaks many writers encounter after the submission of their stories to hundreds of publishers. Only to receive hundreds of rejection letters in return. He doesn't know about other writers, but if he tried being a writer for the sole purpose of earning money his career would end on the day it started. In doing research on children's books he discovered they rarely sell more than 2,000 copies. Mainstream publishers normally pay royalties of about 11%, so it doesn't take much math to figure out a children's book author will be lucky to get any more than 25 cents an hour for the work they have produced. On the other side of the equation; if you do something you really love then the joy is shared by others, and anything on the side of positive cash flow is a bonus. Since he has limited experience and success as a writer he was always driven by need. His first newspaper series was a need to create stories he felt were an honest portrayal of people within the foundation of his community.

The Maui Travel Guide was a result of notes he kept from questions frequently asked by visitors to the Island and making the information easily accessible.

"Chicken Soup for the Soul" requested a human interest story about surviving cancer. He wrote about a dear friend who fought and won that battle. The friend's name was Esther and the
story was called "the Esther Bunny Lives Here."

There's a January 2010 release date for "Tracking Tales that Haunt Us". This is a copulation of train ghost stories, many of which are based on true characters that once lived in the southwest.

Second children's book is due to released in Spring of 2010, "Aubrey's Magic Slide".

There's immediate inventory available for "The Red Candy Caboose" through the book's website: and
Distribution will start December 2009 and will focus on railroad depot and train museum gift shops. General distribution to book stores is anticipated for the spring of 2010.

Be sure to visit the interactive website Buttons on the home page will take viewers to links to railroads, pages where they can post their favorite caboose pictures, ability to listen to a partial reading, enter their train log for the annual train log contest and order 'Red Candy Caboose" products.

There will be additional merchandise available for purchase.
Readers are encouraged to buy related merchandise from a depot or gift shop close to them. In the event they're unable to visit a depot or gift shop they can still purchase items via the internet. Such items as: RCC night light, caboose pins, clothing, post cards, and games.

You're welcome to view some of the illustrations for the story and the You Tube Book Trailer at

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