Chances are the young readers in your life are enjoying Jory John and Mac Barnett’s The Terrible Two as much as the young readers in my life. If that’s the case: Hooray! If not: You must check out The Terrible Two. It’s one of the funniest middle-grade books that I’ve ever read.
I hope you like my interview with Mr. John!
Can you tell us a little bit about The Terrible Two?
I’m writing this in the backseat of a car (true story) as Mac and I are driving around Houston, Texas, at the beginning of our “Terrible Tour,” talking to kids about how to prank, who to prank, and when to prank, either solo or with a cohort. And these lessons are coming straight out of the book that we co-wrote, “The Terrible Two,” which stars two pranksters in an epic prank war. (2)
What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
I love coming up with ideas. Sometimes, I’ll just grab a stack of index cards and see how many ideas I can write – one per card – in an hour. After a few days, I’ll look at the cards again and, with fresh eyes, decide which of those ideas are worth expanding into a story. And while the entire process is fun, I just love that initial spark, that feeling that you’re really on to something. It makes my stomach jump. (5)
What’s the hardest thing about being a writer?
As a Myers-Briggs tested ENFP, I really don’t like spending entire days not speaking to anybody except myself. (1)
If you could spend one day inside the world of any book, which book would you pick?
Goodness, so many books, so many worlds! But perhaps I’d choose to hang out with James Marshall’s “George and Martha.” I feel like those two lovable, earnest hippos would consistently make me laugh without even realizing how darned funny they are. (3)
What advice do you have for the young writers in my classroom?
Write something every day, whether it’s a story or a journal entry or a comic strip or a letter to somebody. Always carry a book with you. Read any chance you get. Also, at the risk of repeating myself: write, write, write, write, write! (4)