Updated: April 4, 2021 4:41:19 pm
Living in scary times has inspired “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” author Jeff Kinney to write his new book “Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Spooky Stories” On his new venture, the American writer says he wants to do something really different, challenge himself.
“I also wanted to try writing short stories. I enjoyed doing both things immensely,” he says. Kinney talks about zombies, vampires, ghosts, and much more in these comically terrifying tales. “Rowley’s spooky stories might leave you laughing, but beware – you could end up sleeping with the lights on,” publishers Penguin Random House said. Asked what inspired him to write “Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Spooky Stories”, he says, “We’re living in scary times.”
On what he believes would give Rowley the spooks, Kinney says his greatest fear is that there’s a chicken hiding under his mattress. For Kinney, the scariest book he has picked up is probably “The Shining” by Stephen King. Though he has never seen a ghost, he has had a “ghostly encounter that involved coins being strewn down the hallway in two separate locations, simultaneously”.
Asked whether he would rather be a zombie, vampire or werewolf, Kinney says, “I think a werewolf, because it’s the only one that doesn’t live forever.” He says he is sometimes afraid of the dark “when I let my imagination go”. As a child he was scared just about everything. “I was especially scared someone was hiding behind my shower curtain.”
The best piece of writing advice he has ever been given is “you can’t be a good writer without being a good reader first”.
David Michaelis’ “Schulz and Peanuts” is a book Kinney has reread many times as it serves as a “roadmap for my career, and helps me understand the possibilities”, he says.
The one popular children’s book he has never got round to reading is “The Phantom Tollbooth” by Norman Juster. His ideal writing scenario is in his car, at the cemetery. “It’s the only place I can really get any work done.” Had he not been an author, Kinney says he would be an online game developer which he was once upon a time.
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