Inside the Diary of Wimpy Kid movie and Jeff Kinney
What lurks in the brain of Jeff Kinney, creator of the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series? With the Wimpy Kid movie out today -- you can get a sampling of reviews here -- the Baltimore Sun's Michael Sragow interviewed Kinney about the events that have inspired his writing and the movie. Kinney was born on Andrews Air Force Base and attended the University of Maryland, so even though he now lives in Massachusetts, we'll count him as a Marylander. Here's an excerpt from Sragow's article:
He started the Wimpy Kid series back in 1998. (The first book came out in 2007.) He felt as if he was giving voice to a silent minority. "When I was in junior high, I remember feeling that they just tucked us away, they were just trying to hide us from society as we made that transition between childhood and teenagerhood - or is it teendom? It felt so strange to me that there were six or seven years of elementary school and two years of junior high, then four years of college. It just felt like something was up."
Kinney says he had a "really pretty typical childhood experience" as he grew up in Fort Washington, Md., and accumulated raw material for his books. "The stories that interest me [or strike me funny] are stories that fiction writers couldn't make up." For example, when his brother was in elementary school, one of the kids in a talent show "just roller-skated in a circle to a Bon Jovi song, for like three and a half minutes....I take moments like that and fictionalize them and make them serve my story."