Diary of a Wimpy Kid Creator, Jeff Kinney joins Mumsnet for a Q&A- ANSWERS BACK

(60 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 19-Oct-11 13:49:35

To celebrate the release of the brand new Diary of a Wimpy Kid book: CABIN FEVER, we're inviting Greg Heffley fans to send in their questions for author Jeff Kinney. When the Q&A closes, we'll send over your questions to Jeff and if your question is one of ten to be answered, you will win a copy of CABIN FEVER.

CABIN FEVER catches up with the Heffley family who are stuck inside when a fierce blizzard hits....the big question being; will they weather the storm?  

If you haven't yet encountered the Wimpy Kid books, they are a mixture of comic-strip and novel and have sold over 50 million copies worldwide, as well as being turned into two feature films. They diarise the hilarious  exploits of goofy student, Greg Heffley, his family and friends. Jeff Kinney began a comic strip whilst at Uni called 'lgdoof' which ran in the campus newspaper. He then spent six years writing the first Diary of a Wimpy Kid, which was published in daily installments on the educational website, Funbrain.com. In 2008 the diaries were published together as the first book in the series.

If your children are Wimpy Kid fans, send in their questions for Jeff before the end of day on Tuesday 25th October. You don't have to give any details about your child, although their age may be useful. We'll be announcing the winners and linking through to the ten questions and answers on publication date, 16th November. 

philmassive Wed 19-Oct-11 14:31:01

Not so much a question (although I'm sure I'll add one later when ds1 hears about this) but would just like to say a big thank you to Jeff since his wimpy kid books have launched my 8 year old ds1 into the world of proper reading and he's flying along now. grin

Also he is writing his own diary too, so very pleased and grateful to Jeff wink

ZombiesAteYourCervix Wed 19-Oct-11 14:39:20

DD2 would like to know if Jeff is really Greg (or vice versa)??

And another thanks - DD2 doesn't read books ever but really likes the Wimpy Kid ones (as do I grin).

nogoodusernamesleft Wed 19-Oct-11 15:49:49

These are the only fiction books that DS1 (12) will read - he's normally very reluctant, so a big thanks to Jeff! grin

I'd like to know if Jeff is planning on creating a new series at all after Diary of a Wimpy Kid? Or if there are any plans for more installments after Cabin Fever is released?

Finbar Wed 19-Oct-11 15:55:30

DS wants to know how you created Fregley...did you know someone like him?
His sayings are legendary in our house:"wanna see my secret freckle?" is a favourite!

CrossEyed Wed 19-Oct-11 16:27:34

My daughter wants to know what kind of pen you used!?!

gazzalw Wed 19-Oct-11 17:05:19

Did the type of happenings that happen to Greg and Co. happen to you as a child or are they random ideas plucked from hyperspace?

going Wed 19-Oct-11 17:20:04

How does it feel being the writer of such a famous series of books and have does it feel that they have been turned into films? Two fans aged 7&10.

Doobydoo Wed 19-Oct-11 17:30:56

DS1[12] Would like to know what inspired you to write these books?
Was it experiences at school that you had?

Jammygal Wed 19-Oct-11 17:39:45

Hi Jeff
This question is from my daughter aged 9

How did you come up with the idea for the 'cheese touch'? wink,

Also a huge thank you from me for fishng my daughter into the world of books with your Wimpy Kid Series ;)

Tenebrist Wed 19-Oct-11 17:57:43

My younger daughter is bilingual English-German and loves reading the books in both languages - both 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' and the rather more prosaically titled 'Gregs Tagebuch'. You have a lot of fans in Germany! How much input do you have with the foreign language editions of the books, and do you notice any differences between different cultures in how the books are received?

purpleturtletoise Wed 19-Oct-11 19:08:11

DS1 (8) would like to know how long it takes you to produce the comic strips, like Creighton the Cretin and Zoo-wee Mama?

ChippyMinton Wed 19-Oct-11 19:11:11

DS2(9) would like to know if the cheese touch is based on a true event? Are the Heffleys still super-protective of Manny in Cabin Fever? Is Rowley meant to be Fregley's friend?

DS1(10) would like to know where you got the idea for the muddy hand (in Dog Days)? And is Fregley based on a real 'friend' from your childhood?

Your books are notorious and have been banned by the DC's school, because of the use of American English confused. Well, dur, you are American after all!! We think they are great!

Yourefired Wed 19-Oct-11 19:31:40

Posting on behalf of DD1. Her question is: do you think Greg will ever become rich and famous?

My 11 year old son would like to know, how long does it take to write a book and where do you write them? Do you write in silence or listen to music? grin

MrsHeffley Wed 19-Oct-11 19:49:13

The Dtwin sons 8 would like to know if the Heffleys are based on your family either your childhood family or your family as a dad now?

Would just like to add my twin boys are addicted to your books,please don't stop writing them. I have 1 twin who was an avid reader a long time again,his brother was more reluctant, that is until he started nicking his brother's Wimpy Kid books.He too is now an avid, broad reader so thankyou,thankyou,thankyou!!!!!

We all love the films too, even dd 6.Were you pleased with how they were done?I identify a lot with Mrs Heffley(hence the name),she just has to be based on a real person(your wife perhaps).Dp and I actually want to adopt Rowley,where did you find the kid in the film,he's perfect casting.

When is the next film coming out?

prettybird Wed 19-Oct-11 20:01:54

Ds (11) wants to know what inspired you to draw the picture of Greg.

(By the way - the last two birthday cakes I was asked to bake for him were Diary of a Wimpy Kid ones - can be seen on my profile. At least they were a lot easier than Daleks/a Tardis wink)

Lilyloo Wed 19-Oct-11 20:25:44

DS 9 absolutely loves your books he would like to know 'What is your favourite book to date from the series ? '
He would like to add his is Dog Days as it the funniest. He is very excited about the new release.

posey Wed 19-Oct-11 20:26:52

Ds was so star struck at the news that Jeff Kinney was to be a guest of mumsnet that he couldn't think straight at all and the only question he could come up with was "how old are you?" to which dd (oh so cool 14 year oldhmmgrin) said "derrrr, you can find that on the Internet. You need to ask a proper question" [mutter mutter eyes rolling]
Anyway ds, undeterred, since I told him he's got a while yet to think of a great question, has gone off to bed with the purple book and a smile on his face smile

andybat Wed 19-Oct-11 20:29:33

From DS (8) On The Diary Of A Wimpy Kid website, you said that Zoo Wee Mama can mean whatever you want it to mean. I think it means "oh doughnuts!" What do you want it to mean??

MmeBucket Wed 19-Oct-11 23:10:54

DS (8) saw this and had a massive giggle fit and wanted to ask if he could have your autograph. His question was how did you learn to draw cartoons so well. (He's very into drawing, but not that great at it.) DD (6) wanted to know which one of your books is your favorite. (I told them we're in the US and wouldn't be able to do this, but they looked so sad I told them I would ask anyway.)

Bugsy2 Thu 20-Oct-11 10:07:26

DS (12) is autistic spectrum & has dyslexia & yours are the only books he has willingly read by himself from cover to cover. Why do you think your books are so appealling to boys particularly?
PS: thank you so much for writing them & for having the films made. They have made all of my family laugh so much.

CatalaFCB2 Thu 20-Oct-11 17:49:01

Hiya Jeff!

What was the first fan-mail you got sent and how were your feelings?

Many thanks for The Ugly Truth.

mariamagdalena Thu 20-Oct-11 18:37:46

Questions pending but first I wanted to say thank you so much. Like Bugsy2, my DS has an autistic spectrum disorder, and your books have opened up fiction to him. The confusing world of other people's minds is becoming something he wants to investigate, rather than ignore.

I don't know if it's the cartoons, the humour, the characters, the way things are explained... whatever the magic ingredient is, please keep writing!

TheFoosa Thu 20-Oct-11 18:54:46

my dd wants to know

which book that you have written do you think is the best?

WhoIsThatMaskedWoman Thu 20-Oct-11 18:57:19

These are the only story books DS (7) will read ATM - he and DD (9) fight over them constantly. He'd like to ask what made him want to write such brilliant books? And what makes a book a classic?
She'd like to ask which character Jeff would like to be - she'd like to be Holly Hills (sp?) "because she's really pretty". And how many books will there be?

GeorgeEliot Thu 20-Oct-11 20:44:44

DS2 (aged nearly 10) would like to know where in America the Heffleys live.

DS1 (aged 12) wants to know if there will be more 'wimpy kid' films coming out.

Both big fans - thank you.

lagrandissima Thu 20-Oct-11 20:48:54

I'd like to know what books you used to read when you were a wimpy kid yourself?

chickflit Thu 20-Oct-11 21:30:35

My DS's (9 and 7) want to know if you have any irritating brothers like Greg? They're both agreed that they each have an irritating brother.

As their mother and like a couple of others on the thread I would like to thank you for opening up the world of reading and writing to my son with ASD and dyslexia. The Wimpy Kid books are the only books he has read for pleasure and by himself, he adores them, I love hearing him laugh out loud while reading. His own journal is also a delight, even with his spelling mistakes and funny drawings.

Catilla Thu 20-Oct-11 22:01:34

My DS (7) was very excited to hear you were comin to MN, and after some thought asked if you were excited when the first film came out?!

lia66 Fri 21-Oct-11 00:00:36

only just seen this but my 6 yr old dd has read all of the books and is now writing her own diary. grin

I will ask her tomorrow what she'd like to ask. Thank you

We all loved the film

elizaco Fri 21-Oct-11 09:00:11

Is there a book (apart from your own!) that you recommend every child should read?

EmilyFellah Fri 21-Oct-11 09:16:29

My son would like to know why you decided to write the books as diaries rather than just stories about Greg Heffley's life.

ThatllDoPig Fri 21-Oct-11 09:56:58

My daughter wants to know. .
How do you manage to write like a kid so well? Have you got kids and if so do they like your writing?

barbie007 Fri 21-Oct-11 16:00:55

My boys (aged 8 and 11) are HUGE fans of the books and I love both films, really funny.

Their question...
Has any of the funny stuff you write about actually happened to you in real life?

Ilikedrinkingblood Fri 21-Oct-11 19:26:21

DD (age 8) would like to know if Diary of a Wimpy Kid is about you as a child. She loves your books and was so happy when they were bought for the school library.

philmassive Fri 21-Oct-11 19:36:27

Ds would like to know if wimpy kid was the first 'proper' thing you wrote and what sort of things were you good at in school. By which I think he means the lessons you were best at. Thank you.

bubby64 Fri 21-Oct-11 20:20:04

DtwinSs (10yrs) both love the books and films, and wish to know the following:
DS1 - Why is Rowley such a baby?
DS2 - How old is Manny meant to be?
Also, are any of the characters based on you or your family, if so, who is who?

jackandbethsmum Sat 22-Oct-11 08:03:07

Loads of questions from my 10 year old DS, such as what colour will the cover of your next book be and are there any new characters in Cabin Fever? He would also love to know what made you start writing books? My DD (7) wants to know which books you liked when you were little?

TheMonster Sat 22-Oct-11 10:56:55

I teach secondary pupils, many of whom enjoy your books. Did you expect children to enjoy them at age 15?

Tarka Sat 22-Oct-11 11:26:03

Hi Jeff, my 8 year old son would like to know who your favourite character is from the books and why?
Thanks. smile

Tarka Sat 22-Oct-11 11:37:10

Hi Jeff, my 8 year old son would like to know - who is your favourite character from the books, and why?
Thanks. smile

Rooroo Sat 22-Oct-11 15:05:29

Hi Jeff. My DS (age 8) loves all your books and can't wait for Cabin Fever to come out. He'd like to know if you had a brother like Rodrick when you were growing up?
PS He's always singing Loded Diper!

pink4ever Sat 22-Oct-11 15:12:56

Hi jeff
Have to be honest-we came to the wimpy kid stories through the filmsblush.
Did you enjoy the films? were the characters how you imagined them to be?-and are there going to be any more because we thought they were great!!

MrsHeffley Sun 23-Oct-11 10:29:21

DD 6 sings Loaded Diaper. She's had nightmares that Freggly is coming for her with a bogey too confused.

I know there is a limit on books but could you answer all the questions as my dc are enjoying this thread and would like to know the answers to them all grin?

pointydog Sun 23-Oct-11 14:27:45

dd2 turns 13 next week and she's a big Wimpy Kid fan, books and films and books about films etc.

As she has an annoying big sister, she loves Rodrick. Where did your ideas for Rodrick come from? A big brother, cousin, school? And will you be writing about Greg until he is Rodrick's age?

kitandnoodle Sun 23-Oct-11 20:49:40

DS (7) asks "What made you do the drawings in the books as cartoons?".

lia66 Mon 24-Oct-11 15:43:09

I am now handing over to my 6 yr dd who would like to type her own question....

How did you think of so fantastic comics?

Cheeseandseveredfingersarnie Mon 24-Oct-11 15:56:18

ds1(10) would like to say 'they are really good books'
can i add that that he's dyslexic,has never had any interest in reading untill he was given one of your books!hes obssessed!he reads them to me,to his teacher,to himself.for a child that refused to read because he'd had so much trouble being diagnosed with dyslexia,to see him reading and enjoying it is fantastic,so thankyou!

norfolkdumpling Mon 24-Oct-11 17:40:39

Hello. My 9 year old son would like to ask three questions please. He asked if Greg will grow up in your books like Harry Potter does? He also wants to know how do you make up such funny stuff and how did you learn to draw so well? Thank you.

MissSwift Mon 24-Oct-11 18:58:02

DD (aged 9 and a huuuuge fan) is asking if Greg had to take part in next year's London Olympics which sporting event would he take part in and why?

nadchaoli Mon 24-Oct-11 20:04:40

did you really have a party when your mom and dad were away and did your older brother write a cool message on the bathroom door and did you have to swap the door?

My 7 year old son just typed the above question(s!) for Greg; he even elected to use the American spelling for 'mum'. He was really excited to hear about the Q&A and said he should try to ask an open question as Greg would "have to do bigger answers and say more".

Lotstodo Mon 24-Oct-11 20:23:30

My 10 year old daughter loves 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' and wants to know if you have any plans for a story board/comic strip type of book as she loves the expressions on Greg's face and although she is a competent reader she always loves comics like Beano and Dandy for that reason?

P.S. In her excitement she thought this was to meet Jeff Kinney in person. She will settle with asking a question though.

ICapturedTheKitchen Tue 25-Oct-11 14:57:44

First of all, huge congratulations on writing such brilliant books that have managed to appeal to all of us from kids to ancient parents!

While I'm particularly keen on Rodrick's 'sorry women' comment in Book/Film 1, I do still have a chortle at Grandad's board game and the sound fiscal policy responsiblity comments - which shows how sad I am.

Still, I have reasonably normal children and here are the questions from the boys (their sister is in the Patty camp so less likely to ask anything . . . )

DS1 (12): Do you get absolutely furious when you see all of the books which are ripping off 'Wimpy Kid'? (This concern came about after our last bookstore trip which did, indeed, show an alarming number of copycats, which offended him hugely.)

DS2 (6): Do you think I should have my own copies of the books rather than share them with my brother, because that would be much better? (That question isn't going to set the critical literary analysis world alight, is it?)

Thanks - and keep them coming!

urania Tue 25-Oct-11 17:01:53

Where did you get the inspiration for your books?

Keep up the good work! Theo age 8

webwoman05 Tue 25-Oct-11 17:20:39

My 10 year old son loves your books and chose Diary of a Wimpy Kid to review for his creative homework (as did most of the class!). He would like to know - Which character was the most fun to write?

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 26-Oct-11 18:18:38

This Q&A is now closed. We're going to be sending over the ten selected questions to Jeff by the end of the week and linking to his answers, as well as announcing the ten winners of Cabin Fever, on publication day: November 16th.

Lilyloo Wed 16-Nov-11 13:34:37

Have i missed this or will it be linked on this thread today ? thanks

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 16-Nov-11 14:58:18

Jeff Kinney's answers are now back. See:

Jeff Kinney Q&A

Congratulations to the ten Mumsnetters whose questions were answered, you have each won a copy of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever, which is published today. We'll be pm-ing you with more details.

WhoIsThatMaskedWoman Wed 16-Nov-11 16:40:00

Oh how exciting. The DCs were thrilled to see their names in lights (sort of).

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