I can hardly imagine a Kid’s book series more popular than Diary of a Wimpy Kid by author (and cartoonist, actor, and game designer) Jeff Kinney. Every kid knows about, owns or has read at least one of the installments, and millions have seen the movies. So when I had the chance to grab a couple of minutes with Jeff, you can bet I was all over it.
Who would’ve guessed that only ten short years ago, DWK was just an online blog-like release? But after hitting 20 million views (80 million, now), the world started getting a printed, published version. Fast forward, and today, we’re nine volumes (11 related titles, actually) into that saga, with sales of well over 150 million copies in nearly 50 languages. It is without question, one of the most successful book series, ever…in any genre.
To me, the rare chance to interview one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World…it just presents such a wealth of opportunities. I mean, who gets to do that?! No doubt, any such interview would have me intently hanging on every answer. And that’s exactly what I was, with this.
This FOTF is probably one of the shortest I’ve posted. I like to eat into an entire five minutes with these, when possible. But they don’t always last that long. Sometimes, I’m catching someone as they’re about to board a flight, or maybe they’re in between concerts or meeting. So the chances of getting a quick shot from the hip from time to time, are there. Nevertheless, the point with FOTF is, to be inspired. And Jeff’s answers left me feeling empowered and ready to dig and work and believe. I hope they do the same for you.
Of course, you can dig into all the Wimpy Kid and Jeff Kinney info your heart desires, over at http://www.wimpykid.com/. If your kids aren’t already regular visitors there, it’s a great place for them to hang out.
Oh, and make a mental note: Google “Poptropica”. :)
Join me if you would, for a rare and precious chat with one of the most popular and loved children’s authors of our time, the talented and amazing, Jeff Kinney!
(This post is also available at http://fiveonthefive.edublogs.org/?p=169.)
1. Who has been your greatest influence (personally or artistically), and how?
My mother. She helped raise four kids while getting her PhD in education. She taught me that you can do more than one thing well at the same time.
2. Which previous job/project had the most impact on you, and why?
My current job at Poptropica has had the greatest impact. We're a small team but our content reaches millions of kids.
3. Is there a “secret of success”? If so, what? And if not, why?
I think the secret is in preparation. Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers explains it all.
4. Is there a particular moment or event that had a great effect on your life or career?
Yes. I saw a billboard that had Benjamin Franklin's quote, "Well done is better than well said."
5. If you could share one, single pearl of wisdom, what would it be?
If you need to get something done, give it to a busy person.
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