It was like a rock concert. A thousand kids, siblings, and parents, all gathered on sidewalks outside the Barnes & Noble in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Outside, even on this warm night, a pile of snow, with fake snowflakes sprayed by a special machine, and a massive luxury bus decorated with Wimpy Kid art on all sides. And at four o’clock sharp, the rock star emerges from it: Jeff Kinney, author of the bestselling Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. The crowd goes wild. Then Jeff introduces two surprises: the lead actors from the two Wimpy Kid films released so far (a third is on the way), Zachary Gordon and Robert Capron.
Ian: What inspired you to write Diary of a Wimpy Kid?
Jeff: I would say that I was inspired by a failure of my own. I wanted to be a newspaper cartoonist, but I couldn’t break into the business, and so I started writing these books instead.
Ian: How much longer do you plan on doing Wimpy Kid?
Jeff: That’s a good question. I’m not sure. I think that every good piece of creativity, like a television show or a comic strip, has a life span. And it’s hard to figure out what that life span is, when you should walk away. And I think that might be between seven and ten books for me.
Ian: What’s your biggest achievement with Wimpy Kid?
Jeff: I think getting published at all, because it’s hard to get published. And I didn’t think I had a prayer, so the day that I got my book in the mail was just probably the best day of my life. I knew I had accomplished something pretty great.
And the book? Ian’s already read a good chunk. His verdict? It’s a quick, fun book that’s full of funny, smart jokes and stories that Jeff Kinney creates in the mind of Greg Heffley. Read it now! ◊