Author Max Brallier has written more than twenty books, including the pick-your-own-path adventure Can YOU Survive the Zombie Apocalypse? and several interactive Adventure Time novels. He’s also a game designer for the incredible gaming site Poptropica.
Galactic Hot Dogs, his latest book, is in stores now. It’s the hilariously wacky, epically intergalactic, overwhelmingly unputdownable tale of a boy named Cosmoe and his flying food truck. (Click here for a chance to win a copy.)
Want more? You’re in luck. Max Brallier took some time out of his busy schedule to chat about Galactic Hot Dogs, Star Wars and the Boston Celtics.
What can you tell us about Galactic Hot Dogs?
Galactic Hot Dogs is a little bit Star Wars, a little bit Guardians of the Galaxy, a little bit Captain Underpants, and a whole lot of weirdness. This goofy, funny, action-packed space story follows the adventures Cosmoe the Earth-Boy and the crew of the Neon Wiener, a flying food truck that sells funky hot dogs and weird alien milkshakes.
The action starts when Cosmoe and his two best buddies stumble upon a long-lost spaceship full of zombie space pirates, where they discover a long-lost map that leads to something called The Ultimate Evil. Now, they’re on the run from a massive squad of bounty hunters and an entire evil army! As they flee across the galaxy, they battle evil robots, wrestle giant mutant worms, stumble into the galaxy’s strangest videogame, and more —all while on the hunt for the mysterious Ultimate Evil.
It’s a one-of-a-kind story. How did you come up with the idea?
It really came to me super easily – I just slammed together the three ultimate loves of my life: action-packed space adventure, mouth-watering hot dogs, and goofy humor! I came up with a really fun crew of silly best friends and then threw them into a past-faced, really exciting, really funny adventure. At least, I think it’s exciting and funny – but I may be biased.
What makes writing for kids so fun?
No joke, it’s just like writing for myself. I don’t know what adults like and I don’t what they want. I would have a horrible time ever trying to write a serious book for adults. Writing for kids and teens is just fun — it’s all about tapping into my inner child. And that’s not hard — I’m basically a kid. When I’m not writing, I’m busy playing videogames, collecting action figures, and rooting way too hard for my favorite sports teams.
I was a constant daydreamer as a kid. Sitting in class, sitting on the bus, laying in bed, goofing around at summer camp — I was always daydreaming. And when daydreaming, I was usually imagining myself in the middle of some crazy, bonkers adventure with my best friends. By the way, that adventure usually involved either Indiana Jones or Wolverine or both. So when I’m writing, I just do the same thing: I shut my eyes and I just think, man, what would be really funny? What would be a really great action scene? What would two best buddies say to each other if they were staring down a giant spider beast? I just think about what I would want to read — and I do my best to write it!
What are some of your favorite kid/young adult books?
My favorite series of all time is either Jeff Smith’s BONE series or Herge’s Tintin series. I’m really into AMULET right now — I’ve totally fallen in love with the world Kazu Kabushi has created. Of all the recent, fantastic YA books out there, I think The Maze Runner is probably my favorite — I loved the mystery behind the dystopia and it had me flipping pages like a mad man. I think maybe the best American writing of all time can be found in Bill Watterson’s Calvin & Hobbes. I always enjoy Big Nate, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and Timmy Failure — and I’m always inspired by their brilliant, hilarious storytelling.
What can we expect next from the Galactic Hot Dogs series?
Book 2 is being released LIVE at GalacticHotDogs.com, so you can follow along with the adventure there. I can’t tell you TOO much, that would be spoiling the fun — but here’s a little peak: it involves a freaky space circus that’s full of giganto monsters, robotic clowns, and all sorts of strange, mysterious characters. Also, action and jokes. Tons of action and jokes.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
In no particular order, videogames (I’m addicted to Destiny right now), ping-pong, riding my bike, the Boston Celtics, reading, movies movies movies, collecting 1980s action figures, Frisbee, Pittsburgh sports, oversleeping, exploring big cities and new places, chocolate, milkshakes, chilling out.
Finally, finish this sentence: “He woke up falling from the sky…
and he realized with sudden horror: skydiving is a very poor choice of hobby for a narcoleptic.”