In this exclusive Downtown Kenosha Magazine interview we sit down with author, illustrator and downtown business owner Donovan Scherer of Studio Moonfall…
Q. When did you first get into doing illustrations?
Donovan: I’ve never not been drawing but I started putting my stories and artwork together into books in 2009.
Q. How many books have you published so far? And are you going for the Guinness world record?
Donovan: At the moment, we’re at 161 books published right here in Kenosha. I’m not going for any records but I hope to eventually have a nice selection of things to choose from for everyone out there.
Q. What inspired you to create your highly successful “Color of Kenosha” coloring book series?
Donovan: The Color of Kenosha started as a way to give people something fun to do during Covid lockdown times, while involving the local businesses who were out there trying to make through everything. It also would give people a reminder of what was waiting for them when things got a bit more normal.
We’ve got five books in the series so far with more on the way. You can find the previous ones or if you’re a local business owner, sign up to be featured in the next one with a custom illustration at www.colorofkenosha.com
Q. We see these little creatures that you create so I have to ask, what is a ZomBean?
Donovan: ZomBeans are the result of accidentally dropping a a bowl of baked beans into a vat with a reanimated brain. Be careful. They’re everywhere. Some of your friends may have already turned. Of course, if you want to join them, head to www.nightofthelivingzombeans.com.
Q. Your Fear & Sunshine book series is one of your biggest sellers, can you describe what those books are about?
Donovan: Fear & Sunshine is a story of a little hippie girl raising monsters and learning mad science. Think Harry Potter meets Dr. Frankenstein and the all go-to Gravity Falls. The story started with drawings of random characters, got some inspiration from real life, then, I had to figure out why a little hippie kid was living in a mansion of mad science so I started writing.
Q. How would you describe Studio Moonfall to potential customers?
Donovan: Tiny, haunted bookshop.
Q. Studio Moonfall recently started carrying/selling used books and indie authors, what made you decide to sell other authors/books than your own?
Donovan: I always intended to carry other independent authors in Studio Moonfall. I’ve been working in self-publishing for over a decade, whether on my own projects or helping others produce theirs. With the shop, I’ve got a place where people starting their journey in writing their own books can come and talk business and once they publish their work, have the opportunity to get it out to readers in Kenosha. Along with my own books and a giant pile of used books, I carry a lot of local authors and many that I’ve met along the way of working through self-publishing.
If you want to check out some of the indie books on the shelf, visit https://www.studiomoonfall.com/artistalley.
Q. Studio Moonfall is more than just books, what else do you offer?
Donovan: We have a whole Artist Alley section. Think mini-Comic Con featuring local artists and people I know from years of doing regional comic conventions. There’s also a big selection of Dungeons & Dragons stuff, including potions and gelatinous cube soap that I make in-house.
Q. What do you love about having your business in downtown Kenosha?Donovan: It’s off the beaten path of most of the things happening downtown so it’s fun how many lost, confused people find my hidden bookshop like they’ve stumbled into a mysterious fantasy world.
Q. What makes Studio Moonfall stand out from other businesses in the downtown area?
Donovan: Halloween never ends here. It’s also a great way to find and support books and art by local people.
Q. When your not at Studio Moonfall, where can people find you?
Donovan: I’m at Kenosha HarborMarket almost every Saturday throughout the year. And if I’m not at the market or in the shop, I’m probably in hiding, trying to catch up on a deadline for the next book.
Q. What’s next for Donovan Scherer’s Studio Moonfall?
Donovan: Until the next Color of Kenosha, we’ve got new coloring books, monster stickers, and more fun stuff coming out every month. Stop by Studio Moonfall to check it all out at 5031 7th Avenue.
Q&A and photos by Donny Stancato
Edited by Jason Hedman
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(This article first appeared in the Fall 2022 Downtown Kenosha Magazine )