Tommy Riles and Art Eddy talk about how they are getting their kids to read and what type of books they are reading to their kids. To go along with this theme, the guys bring on author, Jeff Kinney, from the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.
In 1998 Jeff Kinney came up with the idea for Diary of a Wimpy Kid, a story about a middle-school weakling named Greg Heffley. Jeff worked on his book for almost eight years before showing it to a publisher in New York.
Jeff attended the University of Maryland in the early 1990s. It was there that Jeff ran a comic strip called “Igdoof” in the campus newspaper, and he knew he wanted to be a cartoonist. However, Jeff was not successful in getting his comic strip syndicated after college, and in 1998 he started writing down ideas for Diary of a Wimpy Kid, which he hoped to turn into a book. Jeff worked on the book for six years before publishing it online on Funbrain.com in daily installments. To date, the online version of Diary of a Wimpy Kid has more than 80 million visits, and is typically read by more than 70,000 kids a day.
Since initial publication in 2007, the series has gone on to win many regional and national awards around the globe including two Children’s Choice Book Awards and five Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards for Favorite Book. Jeff Kinney was named one of Time magazine’s most influential people in the world. In addition, three movies based on the book series have grossed more than $250 million internationally.
Jeff Kinney is also the creator of Poptropica, which was named one of Time magazine’s 50 Best Websites. Jeff moved to New England in 1995. Jeff lives with his wife and two sons in Massachusetts, where they own a bookstore, An Unlikely Story.