Answers to the Most Frequently Asked Questions
What were you like as a kid?
Small. I was a lot smaller than I am now I was always creative. I loved
modeling clay, drawing pictures, and writing. I loved school and got good
grades. School was fun. I played all the sports, starred in the school play
(which I wrote) and was class president a few times. I was also the class
clown all the time.
I had a red and cream Schwinn bicycle which I paid for by working on a paper
route. I had dog named "Lady" who grew up with me. I also had a
monkey named "Socko" and a motorcycle named "Triumph." I
drew cartoons for the school annual and for the school paper at college. I
made lots of model race cars and hot rods. I wrote poems and songs. Like I
said--I always loved creating. It has been the main force in my life. In
fact, it IS my life!
do you write children's books?
I love language. Words are great. I love to use my
imagination and make people laugh. That's why I am a writer.
What is your favorite color?
Yellow, Yellow and
What is your favorite food?
Are you rich?
I am doing what I
love to do, and people seem to like it. I have a beautiful family and I know
God. I feel like the richest man in the world.
Are you married?
I am married to a
beautiful woman named Patty.
Where do you live?
Patty and I live
in an apartment in Portland, Oregon.
Are Mrs. Green and Mr. Green married ?
Yes, and very
Why is Teacher crossed out on the
cover of The Principal from the Black Lagoon? Is it a
No, Mrs. Green
became a principal. Many principals are former classroom teachers.
How old are you?
I was born October
8th, 1936. You figure it out.
Do you drive a limousine?
No, I think
limousines are ugly, and forget about parking. I have a 2005 Saturn Vue
Redline. It is black with yellow seats and a yellow racing stripe. I
What is your favorite book?
The Bible is my
favorite book. I read it every morning and every night. I learn something new
What was your favorite book when you
were a kid?
My favorite book
was The Little Engine that Could. It taught me that you can accomplish
great things if you don't give up. I still say "I think I can, I think I
can, I knew I could."
When was your first book published?
My first book Magic
Boy was published in 1961 by Ursula Nordstrom, my very first editor. She
called me one day and asked me to write a children's book. I said "I
think I can." I sat down and wrote Magic Boy and sold it
the next day. Since then I have had over 220 books published.
How long are you going to keep writing
As long as God
wants me to.
Do you write on a computer?
I don't even know
how to turn one on. I
write with a pencil, piece of paper, and my imagination.
Where do your ideas come from?
I believe all
creativity comes from God. You just have to learn to listen.
How did you think of the title The
Teacher From the Black Lagoon?
There is an old
move called The Creature From the Black Lagoon. I changed Creature
to Teacher and I was on my way.
How many Black Lagoon books are you
going to write?
I don't know.
There are now 20 picture books and 15 chapter books. My latest picture books
include the Riddle Book, Vice Principal and Computer Teacher.
The latest chapter books are Start of School, New Year's Eve Sleepover
and Spring Dance. I have written
many more still yet to be published. The Karate Teacher, The School
Psychologist, The Reading Teacher, The Class Clown, The Crossing Guard, etc,
etc, etc. We could go on forever. The Black Lagoon is very deep! And we
haven't even gone out of school yet. I also have an idea for another Black
Lagoon Chapter Book series called Black Lagoon Adventures. They are
all about Hubie's daydreams. Hubie Cool - SuperSpy, Hubie Cool -
Astronaut, Hubie Cool - Pioneer, etc, etc, etc.
What do you
do when you are not writing?
Japanese art called Netsuke.
And go to
Do you live in a mansion?
Any home that is
full of love is a mansion.
Do you have
any other series besides The Black Lagoon?
newest series is called Tales from the Back Pew. The first four books
were released in February 2009: The Preacher Creature Strikes Back,
Church Summer Cramp, Easter Egg Haunt, and Mission Trip Impossible. The
latest one, Walking the Plank to the Baptism Tank was released in
August, 2009. And, The Three Wise Guys will be available soon.
Other series are:
Mirth Humorous Bible Stories
Hippo - "I Can Read" books
Pack 109 - Another early reader series
And over 45
Do you know Jared?
Jared and I have
created over 35 books together - we are a team. We talk on the phone every
morning and see each other at least once a year. He is the greatest partner an author could ever want.
Do you know any other famous writers?
I helped the poet Jack
Prelutsky get started in children's books. I meet lots of other authors at conferences
and book festivals. But the most famous writers I meet are you kids during school
visits. You are all writers. All you need is a pencil, a piece of paper, and
Do you have a favorite Black Lagoon
I like them all.
Hubie, Mrs. Green, Mrs. Beamster, Fester Smudge, T. Rex Fender Bender, etc,
etc, etc. They are all part of the Lagoon family.
Do you answer all your mail?
Yes. I enjoy reading your mail and
answer all the letters I receive. If I'm on a road trip, it may cause a delay,
but as soon as I get back I will write to you. Don't forget to include a
return envelope with your name & address, and if you could also put on a stamp
that would help too! We live in West Linn, a few miles south of
Portland. Our address is:
P.O. Box 408
West Linn, OR 97068
Let me thank
you now for all your letters, drawings and ideas for Black Lagoon books.
I also thank you for your interest and enjoyment of my books. I am blessed to
be able to write them. I hope they bless you, too.