Biography &
Personal Notes

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Mobirise

Nicholas Grabowsky

American writer and publisher, editor, cover artist and graphic designer. His first published novel was in 1988 and he is the founder of Black Bed Sheet Books in Antelope, California, USA
Real Name: Nicholas John Grabowsky
Born: 7 May 1966 in Norwalk, California, USA
Pen names: Nicholas Randers and Marsena Shane

Grabowsky's wildly odd and eccentric imagination blossomed in kindergarten, where he was convinced he was a vampire, biting frightened girls on their arms during recess and flapping his jacket around the playground pretending to fly on a regular basis up through grade two. It was serious enough for teacher/parent meetings.

His storytelling career unofficially began as early as elementary school, where an assignment writing tall tales turned into an obsession generating dozens of one-to-five-page stories during and after the third grade. During the fifth and sixth grades, he spent numerous after school hours creating a comic strip he called Gooneyville containing a cast of characters largely resembling musical notes, their adventures photocopied and distributed to classmates, teachers and librarians on an average weekly basis. Related stories evolved into scripts and he recruited a wide variety of friends to act out parts on audio "books" complete with background music and dramatic sounds that he produced and sold regularly on cassette tapes around town. Afterwards he turned heavily to music, poetry and writing fantasy fiction in junior high.

His upbringing was dominated, in large part, by a church life which eventually effected his aspirations, and his teen years were spent engrossed in various denominations of Christian Fundamentalism and Evangelism. Throughout those years, Nicholas found himself involved in all extremes of the faith, experiencing everything from bizarre Christian cults to Baptists to faith healers. His gradual devotion to that arena led him to develop a yearning for biblical teaching and further his passion for music. While his days were spent writing for the school newspaper, engaging in school dramatic productions and choral events and directing short film projects, his nights were devoted to his continued obsession with writing stories of the offbeat and fantastic, a foreshadowing of what was to be his lot in life.

The rest of Nick's time would find him increasingly trying to make it in the world of Contemporary Christian Music. Influenced by the driving ambitions of gospel ministers coupled with such profound musical inspirations as Keith Green and Randy Stonehill, he mastered a rock n' roll piano style, composed several dozen original songs, directed choirs, taught theology and Bible studies, and could be found performing and preaching before congregations of up to thousands of people before the age of 19.
     During this time, he'd completed the first draft of a novel he had started in his tenth grade math class (unbeknownst to his teacher) entitled Pray, Serpent's Prey, which was intended to be an allegorical Christian story of demon/vampires invading a town and a pastor who learns to use the power of God to cast them out. When he showed it around, the church-going folk which dominated his life just didn't get it. They saw the vampires and violence as "too worldly" or even written outright under demonic influences, and there was talk that Nick was dabbling in the Occult. To top that off, Nick found himself the subject of a scandalous "pre-marital" affair and a consequential blacklisting in the very Christian circles he was devoted to. On the tail end of all this came the birth of his son, Jeremy. Betrayed but thoroughly enlightened with a bright new confidence, Nicholas parted ways with the church world, reclaimed his life, and revised his novel.

His following years were spent in and out of college dramatic acting and music programs, entertaining in Los Angeles area piano bars and on local television shows. He pursued a career as an actor and acquired bit roles and paychecks as a Hollywood extra until an acting class taught by Walter Koenig (Star Trek's Chekov) gave him a connection which led to Pray Serpent's Prey's publication and the beginning of what was to become a reputable writing career for the rest of his life.

Originally going by the pen name of Nicholas Randers (and occasionally Marsena Shane) until he settled upon using his real name in the mid-nineties, Nicholas has published numerous works including The Everborn, Halloween IV, Sweet Dreams Lady Moon, The Rag Man, Nancy, June Park, Diverse Tales, Tale of the Makeshift Faire, Shocker II (for Wes Craven, though never produced), The Wicked Haze, Diverse Arcanum, a series of self-help books, scripts, poetry and short stories. His writing has gained international acclaim.
     Throughout, he's also been an activist, a creative writing teacher and lecturer, private writing tutor and freelancer, a coordinator for a foreign student homestay program, a phone room sales manager, an artist of sorts, and a short-lived band frontman keeping company with underground Orange County and L.A. bands. In 2000, he was initiated into the Western historical brotherhood of E. Clampus Vitus. In 2003, he founded his own Diverse Media, a small but effective independent publishing/promotions organization.

Throughout, he's also been an activist, a creative writing teacher and lecturer, private writing tutor and freelancer, a coordinator for a foreign student homestay program, a phone room sales manager, an artist of sorts, and a short-lived band frontman keeping company with underground Orange County and L.A. bands. In 2000, he was initiated into the Western historical brotherhood of E. Clampus Vitus. In 2003, he founded his own Diverse Media, a small but effective independent publishing/promotions organization.
     In 1995, he moved from Southern California to Sacramento to join his retired parents in the search for his sister Carol, who was abducted from her school; after a widely publicized 6-month ordeal, her body was discovered in a local drainage ditch. Upon this terrible outcome, he resolved to remain in Sacramento and resides there to this day. His singing now remains passionately confined to popular area karaoke bars, right where he likes it, and whenever he sings, he rocks the house. Though his church days remain in the past, he's still known to voice his beliefs on any good talkative day. He's also become quite a gardener, where he manages to get more than a moment's much-needed peace, though these days taking care of his elderly parents is a job in itself.

In October 2008, Nicholas expanded his Diverse Media small press into BLACK BED SHEET BOOKS, a larger, fiercely independent publishing house...

The Making of Black Bed Sheet Studios

Since 2008 Black Bed Sheet Books has been a respected name in independent horror fiction and a dynamic publisher and, like many success stories, began its roots inside a residential garage. In the Fall of 2014, its founder/operator Nicholas Grabowsky and his family, for a multitude of reasons, found themselves relocating their lives and the business back to that very same garage. This time, however, the garage must be modified into a very unique apartment-like dwelling and new headquarters for the growing business, a process which took four months including the holidays to complete and forced book production into a halt for as long. This short film is a chronicle of one independent book publisher's journey to transcend the obstacles threatening to shatter his family and business by acting on his vision to make them both work together though the power of garage renovation.

Hollywood History in My Blood

My Grand Uncle the Silent Film Star Heavyweight

He also directed the first Spanish language feature film.  His name was Antonio Moreno.  He was the half-brother of Alfred Moreno Monteagudo, my grandfather, who took over management of the Los Angeles Biltmore Hotel in the 1940s. I never knew him; he passed away in 1967, nearly a year after I was born. In fact, if I ever met his brother, my grandfather Alfred, I was too young to remember as he passed that early on in my life as well. But my grandmother, mom and aunts had stories to tell, and I developed a fascination with my great silent film star granduncle and his life and works at an early age which flourishes through this day. Our families separated before I was born and I never knew any relative directly involved in his daily life or estate.....I've heard plenty of stories of my side of the family paying visits but being turned away, back in the day, and I don't think Antonio liked my grandfather too much. I think Antonio was sort of offended when Grandpa Alfred adopted the stage name "Moreno" as his own (their last names were Monteagudo) and my mother's side of the family became Morenos henceforth.

Rita Moreno the Spanish Dancer 
My Aunt Rita (Mom's sister) used to do performances in the 1940's & 50's on stage in Los Angeles, as depicted here at Barker Bros.

Mobirise

A Day with Nicholas Grabowsky 1994 Book Star

A day with horror writer/publisher Nicholas Grabowsky of Black Bed Sheet Books from leaving his Anaheim, CA apartment for work at Book Star of Brea, CA when he worked there as Magazine Coordinator and stores back then had Horror sections.

One More Minute

Horror author Nicholas Grabowsky in a lip sync contest, Los Angeles 1989. Nick's a longtime fan of Weird Al.

Nicholas Grabowsky's Diverse Compendium

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