read everything comic books, newspapers, cereal boxes, poems
anything with writing on it. My favorite things to read are
fairy tales, myths, and legends. When I'm not reading, I listen
to music, watch cartoons, and sit in my chair and just think about
stuff. I've always thought about being an author. One of the first
books I read was Green Eggs and Ham, by Dr. Seuss. It made
me realize that books could be goofy. It's the book that made The
Stinky Cheese Man possible!
My ideas come from all different things:
my kids, kids I've taught, kids I've learned from, watching movies,
playing with my cat, talking to my wife, staring out the window,
and about a million other places. But what turns the ideas into
stories and books is sitting down and writing and re-writing and
throwing away writing and writing some more. That's the hard part.
I never know exactly how long it takes to write a story. I read
a lot of stuff, think about different stories all the time, scribble
things down on paper, type them up, change them, scribble again,
think some more, add things....
I write books because I love to make
kids laugh. I knew Lane Smith (illustrator of The True Story
of the Three Little Pigs!, The Stinky Cheese Man and Squids
Will Be Squids) would do a great job because we like a lot of
the same cartoons and books and ideas. And we laugh at each other's
bad jokes all of the time. Our audience is hardcore silly kids,
and there are a lot of 'em out there! My motto in writing is: "Never
underestimate the intelligence of your audience." Kids can be silly
Before I became an author, I attended
military school, studied pre-med in college, and worked as a lifeguard
and house painter. I also taught computers, math, science, and history
to kids grades 1-8.
I now live in Brooklyn, N.Y., with
my wife Jeri, daughter Casey and my son Jake. I like fruit and a
cup of coffee for breakfast, but I usually steal some of Jake's
Honey Nut Cheerios or his pancakes. If you'd like to call out my
name, it's pronounced "SHEH-ska." It kind of rhymes with Fresca.