What were your favorite books as a kid?
Danger In Quicksand Swamp, Maniac Magee, and My Side of the Mountain.
Do you have a favorite food?
I like dark chocolate and chinese restaurants. Kung pao chicken anyone?
What is your favorite color?
I don't have one. Really, I don't.
When did you want to be a writer?
In middle school.
What are your favorite animals?
Otters, moose, and clark's nutcrackers.
Do you have any pets?
Not yet, but I would like a dog.
Where do you live?
The "Land of Ten Thousand Lakes" and ten billion mosquitoes (Minnesota).
Why do you write for kids?
Children's stories are the ones I like most. I write for all ages though.
How do you think of your stories?
Ideas come from the things I read and everything I experience. I never know when one will pop into my head. Most ideas will remain an idea. Only a few of them are worth writing about.
Where in the world have you sold your books?
Most of my readers are in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia, because right now my stories are only printed in english. I have sold some books in Japan, India, and Brazil too, which makes sense because these countries also have large english speaking populations even though english is not the primary language used. Technically the only continents my books have not reached are Africa and Antarctica, but I'm hoping to change that.
What book are you currently working on?
I always work on a few books at a time. Whatever story I'm most excited about is the one I focus on. If I'm not having fun telling a story, it shows in my writing. When that happens I stop and move on to something different. Check out the "Future Books" section at the bottom of my Books page for a list of current projects.
What kind of books do you like reading?
I like to write fiction, but I would rather read nonfiction. This includes books and a lot of articles. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a good fiction story as much as the next guy. I just think its cool to know that the characters and places are real, and the events actually took place. History, natural science, and psychology are my favorite subjects to read about. Politics, economics, and health are common too.
Why don't you write more nonfiction books then?
Usually I don't write nonfiction because I think it's boring. It's hard to get excited to write when I already know everything that's going to happen in the book. Writing fiction lets me use my imagination. I don't even know what will happen next in the story. That's why it's so much fun.
Why do you write such short chapters?
That's my style of writing. It helps create story flow. I also limit the amount of description in my stories, mainly because these are the parts I skip over as a reader. It helps that I include pictures in my novels too. A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Not everyone likes my style, but that's O.K. My fans do and that's what matters most.
If there is something else you need to know, feel free to contact me.
As a kid, I use to only check skinny books out from my school's library. I wasn't a bad reader or a good reader. Reading just didn't seem like fun to me. I always liked stories though. My mom often read to me and my brothers before we went to sleep, including most of the Little House on the Prairie books. I'm thankful for those hours and hope that other people read to their kids too.
I didn't start reading on a regular basis until fifth grade. That was the year my school began to use the Accelerated Reader program, which is better known as AR. Suddenly people were actually tracking how much, or little, I was reading. All those skinny books I use to pick out weren't worth many AR points either. These changes forced me to read most days out of the week, and made the larger books look more appealing. By the end of the year, reading didn't seem so bad anymore.
Once upon a time, I wanted to be a park ranger and wildlife photographer. Camping, fishing, and canoeing were my favorite pastimes. I liked to learn about nature and often checked out national geographic documentaries from the city library. The things I learned inspired me to write a few nonfiction animal books as a kid. I would staple paper together, write interesting facts about a particular species, and illustrate my books with cut out magazine pictures. To this day, nature influences most of the things I write.
During middle school a teacher told my class that kids can do anything, and that he once had a student who wrote a book and a different student of his could take apart a lawnmower, put it back together again, and it would still work. I wasn't interested in lawnmowers, but I did like the idea of writing a book. I figured if some other kid could do it, I could too.
I tried writing my first novel a few months later. It wasn't very good. O.K., it was horrible. I gave up after a couple pages, and decided to postpone my writing career until I had a few high school writing classes under my belt.
I wrote off and on for many years, but never seriously. I told myself in high school that I would have more time to write once I was in college. In college I told myself I would write more once I graduated. After graduating, I married and had children. One day a story came to mind, but I told myself that I would have more time to write it once my kids were grown. That's when I realized I was on the path to becoming an old man, who shakes his head and wonders why he never wrote a book.
I write more often now. Don't take my word for it though. Go check out the stories I've published.
If its your first time here, make sure to check out the free stories and lesson plans included on this site. They're fun, so enjoy.
If you're already a fan, thanks for your support and encouragement. It means more than you realize. You guys are awesome!