First off, thanks so much for joining us for an up-close and personal interview for TeensReadToo.com! My name is Jen, and I’ll be your server toda…oh, wait, wrong job! Anyway, thanks so much for taking time out of your writing schedule—which I’m sure is busy!—and answering a few questions for your readers and fans.
Let’s get some of the typical interview questions out of the way first. When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?
Since I can remember, I have “played games” in my head. Basically I’ve paced around imagining a variety of adventures. At some point in high school it clicked that I would be automatically making up stories for my whole life, and I decided I wanted to master the craft of writing in order to share them.
Can you tell us a little bit about your road to publishing?
I shopped a fantasy novel to several publishers. One of the publishers, Shadow Mountain, really liked my writing although they did not feel the book was quite right for them. They wanted something more for the Harry Potter crowd, and I had an idea that fit what they wanted, so I wrote it, and they published it.
Tell us a little bit about either your latest or upcoming release. If you could only tell your readers one thing about the story that had to convince us to buy the book, what would it be?
Fablehaven is an enchanted preserve for endangered magical creatures. Set in our modern world, it is a cool place for a fantasy adventure.
What, or who, has been the greatest inspiration for your stories?
Tolkein, Lewis, and Rowling.
Let’s hear about your family, who I’m sure are thrilled to have a published author among them!
I have a wife and two kids. I’m not sure how thrilled they are—it keeps daddy pretty busy. I’m lucky that they are extremely supportive.
Now for some fun facts. What’s your greatest comfort food?
Blue cheese melted on a steak. Shortens the lifespan, but is almost worth it.
What are the first three things you do when you wake up in the morning?
Mourn that I’m waking up (usually just after six to get to my day job).
Eat a quick breakfast.
Practice the crane technique down at the docks.
If I came to your house and looked in your closet/attic/basement, what’s the one thing that would surprise me the most?
Hall closet doubles as a pantry.
I’ve got the desiccated skeleton of a Mayan emperor in my garage. Okay, now I’m lying in order to make friends.
Everyone asks the question about “if you could be a tree, which tree would you be?” so I want to know: If you could be a color, which color would it be, and why?
If I could be a color, I would be vermillion, because I like making kids pick up the dictionary.
Who is your favorite cartoon character? Which cartoon character is most like you?
Homer Simpson might be my favorite. I see a lot of myself in Lion-O, Lord of the Thundercats.
If you could beam yourself to anywhere in the world (“Beam me up, Scotty!”), during any time in history, where and when would it be—and why?
If it was to visit, I’d probably go spy on ancient Rome. Maybe catch a gladiator brawl—the most twisted live reality show of all time!
If it was to stay, I’d stick around here, because there is a lot to be said for vaccines, and supermarkets let us eat better than most ancient emperors.
So what’s your favorite type of music to listen to? Favorite musical artists? Do you listen to music while you’re writing?
I rarely listen to music while I write. I’m too much of a monotasker. I like all sorts of stuff--Cake, U2, They Might Be Giants, The Police, Green Day, The Smiths, and so on.
Do you have any favorite T.V. shows? Movies you watch over and over again? What was the last movie you saw at the theater?
On TV right now I like Lost, Alias, and Veronica Mars. Recent movies that I generally liked include Serenity and Pirates and Superman. All time? Maybe the Matrix. I’m a sucker for adventure.
You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your teen readers. What would it be?
Consume all quality media. Keep it balanced. Watch the best movies and TV shows, play the greatest video games, and read the best books. Of all of them, if you skip the books, you’ll miss out the most!
One last question. What stories can we look forward to from you in the future?
The sequel to Fablehaven: Rise of the Evening Star. The title makes more sense after you read the first!
Again, thanks so much for joining us at TeensReadToo.com!