His dream was to become a newspaper cartoonist, but that’s not the way Jeff Kinney’s life panned out. Instead he became a bestselling children’s author.
After signing a multi-book deal with a publisher in 2006, his book Diary of a Wimpy Kid was turned into a print series. In 2007 the first book was published and became an instant hit. Just a year later, more than 100,000 copies were in print in the United States.
Since then, more than 200 million copies have sold across the globe in 65 editions and 56 languages.
Jeff Kinney joined Wendyl Nissen on The Long Lunch to discuss his career, and his legacy of turning millions of kids into readers.
It’s been a wild life for me, for sure.
“I started as a failure,” he said, laughing. “I wanted to become a newspaper cartoonist – that was my big dream. In the US we had a really strong newspaper culture, at the time we had Peanuts, and Calvin and Hobbes, The Far Side.”
“But when I got out of college, with my criminal justice degree, I tried to become a newspaper cartoonist and couldn’t make any headway whatsoever.
“So after about three years of trying I realised that my artistic talents capped out at about an 11 or 12 year old,” he said.
“I decided to embrace that and decided to become a newspaper cartoonist without the newspaper, and that’s where Diary of a Wimpy Kid was born.”
Listen to the full interview with Jeff Kinney above.
The Long Lunch with Wendyl Nissen, 12pm - 3pm on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.