How did you start writing?
I always wrote, even as a little kid. I started with talking animal short stories, then moved on to scary ones. Eventually, I started writing novels and screenplays.
Where did you grow up?
When I was very young, my family and I lived in Clearwater, Florida. Then, when I was around eight years old, we moved to a little town called Conyers, Georgia. At the time, it was full of forests and streams and was a great place to go adventuring. I lived there until I went to college at New York University in the film school. Now I live in Los Angeles
How did you break into the business?
While I was at NYU, I wrote a screenplay called JOHNNY ZOMBIE. A friend of mine at school showed it to a producer he knew in Los Angeles. The producer bought the screenplay and set it up at Walt Disney Studios, where it was made into the film MY BOYFRIEND’S BACK. Even though the movie didn’t do so great, people liked the script and hired me to write many movies after that.
Do you have any kids?
Sure do – two boys, Chris (16) and Alex (12). My wife, Elizabeth, and I also have two crazy dogs – a boston terrier named Hank and a weirdo mixed breed dog named Willie.
What did you do before writing books?
I wrote lots of movies (like MAJOR PAYNE) and TV shows. MY WIFE AND KIDS and ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT were a couple of them. I’m currently writing and Executive Producing a show called THE CRAZY ONES on CBS that stars Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar.
What’s up with the NIGHTMARE ACADEMY movie?
Well, my drafts of the script are finished and it’s in development at Universal Studios. Bob Ducsay and Stephen Sommers (THE MUMMY, THE MUMMY RETURNS, VAN HELSING) are producing it and it looks like it could be huge fun. I’ll be sure to keep you updated!
What’s next for the NIGHTMARE ACADEMY series?
The first three books are done, which closes out the first trilogy. I’d love to write a second trilogy when I can find the time!
Will you visit my school/library/group?
I’d love to, time permitting! Encourage the person in charge of the place you’d like me to visit to contact me and inquire about availability and fees.