Read. Read. Read. Just don’t read one type of book. Read different books by various authors so that you develop different styles.
Many adults feel that every children’s book has to teach them something…. My theory is a children’s book… can be just for fun.
I feel happy to terrify kids.
Most fears are basic: fear of the dark, fear of going down in the basement, fear of weird sounds, fear that somebody is waiting for you in your closet. Those kinds of things stay with you no matter what age.
Sometimes it helps to scold yourself, to give yourself advice.
The only lesson is, you gotta keep at it.
When I write, I try to think back to what I was afraid of or what was scary to me, and try to put those feelings into books.
I believe that kids as well as adults are entitled to books of no socially redeeming value.
Everything that has happened to me has been amazing and surprising.
Well, I hate it when authors come into a school and they say to kids, ‘Write from your heart, only write what you know, and write from your heart.’ I hate that because it’s useless. I’ve written over 300 books – not one was written from my heart. Not one. They were all written for an audience, they were all written to entertain a certain audience.
I always just wanted to be funny. I never really planned to be scary.
People say, ‘What advice do you have for people who want to be writers?’ I say, they don’t really need advice, they know they want to be writers, and they’re gonna do it. Those people who know that they really want to do this and are cut out for it, they know it.
If you want to be a writer, don’t worry so much about writing. Read as much as you can. Read as many different writers as you can. Soak up the styles.
I started writing when I was 9 years old. I was like this weird kid who would just stay in my room, typing little funny magazines and drawing comic strips.
I’ve had a very sheltered life. What can happen to you if you stay home writing all day?
Normally, I spend a week on the outline and take two weeks to write the book.
When I was a kid my family was really poor and I remember one Halloween I wanted to dress up really scary and my parents came home with a duck costume. I wore that costume for years! I hated it.
If you do enough planning before you start to write, there’s no way you can have writer’s block. I do a complete chapter by chapter outline.
I’ve never dreamed of a story idea. I have such boring dreams.
Well, first you have to love writing. A lot of authors love having written. But I enjoy the actual writing. Beside that, I think the main reason I can be so prolific is the huge amount of planning I do before I start to write. I do a very complete, chapter-by-chapter outline of every book I write. When I sit down to write, I already know everything that’s going to happen in the book. This means I’ve done all the important thinking, and I can relax and enjoy the writing. I could never write so many books if I didn’t outline them first.
I used to get a haircut every Saturday so I would never miss any of the comic books. I had practically no hair when I was a kid!
I’ve never turned into a bee – I’ve never been chased by a mummy or met a ghost. But many of the ideas in my books are suggested by real life.
A real New Yorker likes the sound of a garbage truck in the morning.
It’s my job, too, to keep up with pop culture and what the kids are into ’cause you don’t want to sound like an old man trying to write for kids. I spend a lot of my time spying on them.
I’m obsessed with radio. It’s a good start to Sunday morning.