At a Glance
Cool Fact: He’s a #1 New York Times and USA Today best-selling author.
Best Known for Writing:
NEWEST: Spirit Animals Book 1: Wild Born, releasing Sept. 10
Were you ever a Boy Scout? If so, has Scouting influenced your career?
I participated in Scouts all growing up. I got my Arrow of Light as a Cub Scout and later achieved the rank of Eagle. Scouting has significantly helped my career as a professional writer. To create stories, I need details, and my experiences in Scouting helped me learn at least a little about a wide variety of things. I hiked, camped, and shot guns and bows. I navigated complicated obstacle courses. I learned about boating, first aid and lifesaving. I even spent the night in the woods with an improvised shelter. All of those experiences provide details I need when characters encounter similar situations.
Tell us a little about your newest book, Spirit Animals Book 1: Wild Born.
Like all of my novels so far, Spirit Animals is a fantasy. Readers will travel to the world of Erdas, where people can form lifelong bonds with animals. When those relationships become strong, people can share certain powers and abilities with their animal companion. We’ll follow four kids who must use their bonds with four powerful animals to help save their world.
Like The 39 Clues and Infinity Ring series, Spirit Animals is a book series that also includes an online game. Why did you want to get involved with this kind of series?
I like that Spirit Animals allows readers multiple ways to explore the world of Erdas. If they read the book and like the idea of having a spirit animal, they can go online, get their own spirit animal and have their own adventures. It was really fun to see many of my characters and multiple places in the book brought to life as a videogame.
Besides your own books, what are the top five books you would recommend to young readers?
Narnia, Harry Potter, Holes, and (for teens) Hunger Games and Ender’s Game
Random Question: What is your favorite videogame and why?
Since eighth grade I’ve loved the Zelda games. I like the fantasy feel, and I enjoy the mix of exploration, combat and puzzle solving.
Check out the trailer for the new Spirit Animals book and game series: