Jeff Kinney is perhaps best known as the creator of Greg Heffley, the wry adolescent hero of Kinney's best-selling Wimpy Kid series. Publisher's Weekly says, "Kinney has a gift for believable preteen dialogue and narration, and the illustrations serve as a hilarious counterpoint to Greg's often deadpan voice."
The interview above was recorded at Jeff Kinney's bookstore in Plainville, MA — An Unlikely Story. In October 2017, five award-winning authors for young people — Jack Gantos, Jeff Kinney, Jarrett Krosoczka, Jon Scieszka, and Gene Luen Yang — gathered for a funny and insightful panel discussion about how to motivate boys (and any reluctant readers) to read more. Watch the panel discussion: How to Get and Keep Boys Reading.
Listen to this interview on Apple Podcasts.
Jeff Kinney is the best-selling author and illustrator of the wildly popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, featuring the everyday life of the very relatable adolescent Greg Heffley.
Kinney spent his childhood in the Washington, D.C. area and later moved to New England. As a young reader, Kinney was inspired by the books of Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary, and J.R.R. Tolkien. While a student at the University of Maryland, Kinney decided he wanted to become a cartoonist.
Kinney began noodling ideas for the first Diary of a Wimpy Kid book in 1998, but it wasn't until the spring of 2007 that the book was published — and quickly became a New York Times bestseller, eventually reaching the number one spot. In 2009, Kinney was named one of the 20 Artists & Entertainers in The TIME 100, the magazine's list of The World's Most Influential people. In 2010, Diary of a Wimpy Kid was made into a movie.
Kinney is also a successful online game developer, cartoonist, designer, and the creator of Poptropica, known by children around the world. Poptropica is an online role-playing game designed for kids 6 to 15 where players travel between islands to complete quests.
Kinney currently lives Plainville, Massachusetts with his wife Julie and their two sons, Will and Grant.
Learn more at the official Wimpy Kid website.