What is Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down about?
Double Down is centered around Greg transforming himself from a video-game obsessed consumer into a creator. The story takes place in the run-up to Halloween, so it’s got a spooky theme. Ultimately Greg decides it’s his destiny to be a great filmmaker, and he sets out to make the best scary movie of all time. It’s a fun book and it’s a little on the wild side. Much of the book takes place inside Greg’s head, which is a fun place to be, creatively speaking.
Why did you decide to write an 11th book?
The title of the new book, “Double Down,” reflects my mentality. After book 10, I looked out into the future and asked myself, what’s next? What’s this all about, and what’s the goal? Should I stop writing about Greg Heffley and try something new? After going on a world tour for the 10th book I felt very energized. It’s clear there are millions of kids who enjoy reading about Greg Heffley, and I don’t want to let them down by stopping. I’m hoping I can keep things fresh and get a little better with each book. Hopefully, I’m just at the midpoint of my career.
What plans have you got for this year’s global tour?
I’m going all over the place, and many of the countries I’m visiting will be new to me! I’ll be stopping in the UK, which I always do at this time of year. But I’m also visiting India, Korea, the Philippines, and Israel. It should be quite a trip. There’s nothing more edifying to me than meeting my international publishers, then connecting with the fans. I get to see the whole world through the Wimpy Kid prism, which is always interesting and has really reshaped my thoughts on the world at large.
I think that the Wimpy Kid stories are the stories of childhood. And most kids grow up with similar experiences. Most of us have parents, siblings, pets, homework, friends, bullies, the works. So even though my books are about Greg Heffley, they’re really about what we share in common growing up.
What else do you have planned for the series?
I’m working on a new movie right now, based on The Long Haul, my favourite book in the series. I have a feeling we’ll be working on two more after that. We also created a musical, and we’ve got aspirations to go to Broadway with it. I’m working on an animated Wimpy Kid television series as well. So, it’ll be a full slate for the next few years!
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down is out now in hardback, priced £12.99