10) Did you really write your first book in seventh grade?
Yes, but it wasn't on purpose. In my school, the track and field coach had to teach language arts, and for writing, he just told us to work on whatever we wanted for the rest of the year. I wrote This Can't Be Happening At Macdonald Hall, which was published a year and a half later when I was fourteen.
9) Where do you get your ideas?
It's a combination between real life and pure imagination. I always start off with something real, but then I unleash my imagination to make it funnier, more interesting, and a better story. To be honest, by the time a book is done, you can't recognize much of the real-life part. It's been changed too much. But I never could have gotten there without it.
8) How much money do you make?
You knew it was coming -- the number one question kids ask. So let's get it out of the way. I earn less than Shaquille O' Neal but more than the French-fry-box unfolder at the local Drive-Thru. I'm in that gray area.
7) What is your connection to the Disney TV series The Jersey?
I wrote The Monday Night Football Club novels, the book series The Jersey is based on. Beyond that, I don't really have any official role in the TV show, except as a viewer.
6) What is your nickname?
One of the reasons I wrote The Sixth Grade Nickname Game was that I hardly ever got cool nicknames as a kid -- Gordie, Gord-o -- nothing too creative. But when I was in sixth grade I was the G-Man. I loved it. I've been waiting twenty-five years to get another nickname that good
5) What did you want to be before you became a writer?
When I was two years old, I wanted to be a dog when I grew up. I don't actually remember this, but my parents tell me that I used to eat dinner under the table in preparation for this career. Good thing I wound up a writer. I never could have gotten into the union.
4) Which book was the hardest to write?
The Island trilogy was a real challenge for me because I had to switch gears from comedy to action/adventure. Here were six shipwrecked kids who were in real danger of dying every minute. That's not the time to be cracking jokes. So it's not humor that keeps the reader turning pages; it's suspense and fear.
3) Do you have any pet peeves?
Opera, New York traffic, zucchini sticks, and books where the dog dies.
2) What is your most embarrassing moment?
When I was seventeen, I won the Air Canada award for the most promising young writer in Canada. I wasn't used to wearing ties back then. (I still don't love them.) At the awards dinner, I stood up when my name was called. Then I sat back down again -- dipping my tie right into the gravy! But don't worry, there were only four hundred and fifty people watching.
1) What is the answer to all the world's problems?
Come on, how could I know that? But I do believe in the power of a good sense of humor. Laughter may not solve anything, but it sure makes the bad stuff a lot easier to take. So maybe the answer to all the world's problems is: keep on laughing!