Why Wimpy, and not any other adjective?
It became associated with how wimpy kids feel—powerless when it comes to making rules and decisions.
Are you Greg Heffley?
Yes, an exaggerated version. I was an average kid like him, weird in many ways, trying to lead a normal American life.
You’re on your 11th book, how tough is it to stay in the pre-teen mindset?
It is quite easy. At 11, a kid’s mind is very narcissistic and it is fun to dive into it.
Greg, you said, is anti-Harry Potter, he’s a normal kid.
Harry Potter is a hero. Greg is none of that. He is a normal, almost invisible kid.
You never intended it to be a children’s book?
No, I wrote it for adults. When my publisher suggested this might do better as a children’s book, I was shocked, but came around quickly.
Why the diary format?
A diary is a good way into the mind of a kid. It gave me freedom with...