This is a chance to learn a bit more about Grant Goodman, author of Agent Darcy and Ninja Steve in…Tiger Trouble!
About the Author
I started writing multi-part stories when I was in 3rd grade. I made a super hero who was a talking spider. Due to an experiment gone wrong, he gained powers and started fighting crime. I wrote 7 or 8 little stories that school year and had a ton of fun.
In high school and college, I wrote some fledgling fantasy novels. 100 or 200 pages, but nothing complete. Then, in 2009, a friend of mine said he’d try National Novel Writing Month with me and while I didn’t hit 50,000 words in November, I reached that number by mid-December. That experience, writing that rough sci-fi novel, let me know that I could come up with a story deep enough to span several hundred pages.
What I love most about writing is that my imagination gets a full workout. I’m constantly reading comics, watching cartoons, reading novels, and listening to podcasts in order to build my imagination. When I sit down to write, I get to sift through all of the fun ideas I’ve been inspired by.
The toughest thing about writing…hmmmmm…that would be re-writing. Writing a first draft is difficult. The most difficult part, however, is knowing that the first draft is only the start. The second draft—for me—involves a ton of re-writing, in order to find the right pace for each of my chapters. If you read the first draft of Tiger Trouble! you would find a completely different story. (And not a very good one, either!)
The writer I most admire is Ray Bradbury.
Just after college, I read a non-fiction piece he wrote that provided me with so much inspiration:
“I have never listened to anyone who criticized my taste in space travel, sideshows or gorillas. When this occurs, I pack up my dinosaurs and leave the room.”
Ray taught me that there are plenty of adults who never grow out of the things they loved when they were kids. Knowing that made my life so much easier.
My lifelong heroes are my parents and my brother. They have taught me so much about kindness, laughter, and literature. When I was growing up, my mother always had a new book she was reading and my father would always read the daily paper. They still do. My brother, Chad, is a phenomenal trumpet player and conductor who has been building up his own classical music group in San Francisco. He is so driven and never stops looking for ways to make himself a better person.
If I wasn’t a writer, I would be a dinosaur tamer. Unfortunately, there aren’t any dinosaurs left to be tamed, so I guess I’d be out of a job!
As it stands, though, I’m also a middle school English teacher. My job is so cool, because I get to spend every week reading great stories with my students or having them come up with stories of their own.
Other than writing, I am really good at the Pokemon Trading Card Game. I used to play competitively when I was in middle school. Last year, I played against a few of my students and did pretty well. I haven’t bought any new cards in years, so I’m a bit behind, but I still remember how to play to win!
When I am writing, I listen to one song on repeat. There are certain songs that really give off a strong emotional vibe, so I keep them going over and over again. A few of the big ones are:
“I’m Disappearing” by E For Explosion
“Hand Written” by The Gaslight Anthem
“Josephine” by Frank Turner
“Everything” by SR-71
Favorite Novels: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson, Cirque du Freak (series) by Darren Shan, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente.
Favorite Movies: WALL-E, Spirited Away, The Princess Bride
Favorite Foods: spicy curry, Trader Joe’s Coconut Cream Greek yogurt, barbecue pork buns, hummus, gyros.
Modern convenience I can’t live without: Amazon Prime. 2 day shipping is amazing.
Nobody knows that my parents still have most of my action figures.
I wish I could stop the tv show Firefly from being cancelled.
Best advice I’ve received: “Make good art.” –Neil Gaiman
Worst advice I’ve received: Stop reading so many novels about dragons and robots.
Advice to aspiring authors: Read everything you can. Read books, read comics, read manga, read poetry. The more stories you consume, the more you’ll be able to understand what makes for a strong character, what makes for a gripping plot, and how to build suspense.
Thirteen year-old Agent Darcy is one of the top students at the Bureau of Sneakery, where there are three rules every agent must follow: never make friends with an outsider, never speak of the Bureau, and never reveal your real name. Lately, Darcy has hit a rough patch: her rival, Agent Serena, keeps outdoing her. If things keep going this way, Darcy is convinced that no one will ever assign her a real mission.
Ninja Steve’s city, Ninjastoria, is the home of sword fights, throwing stars, and Tae Kwon Donuts. Unlike his genius older sister, twelve year-old Steve isn’t the best ninja student. He’d rather be swinging a sword instead of taking notes in class. Steve, however, is about to learn that being a true ninja means far more than being able to use a sword.
When Darcy is sent to Ninjastoria as an exchange student, it will turn both of their lives upside-down and raise all kinds of questions:
What do the mecha-moles want? Who is the man in the gray mask? What do ninjas eat for lunch? And why is there a menacing tiger on the cover of this book? Time to read and find out!