The book that had the biggest impact on me as a young reader was no book! When I was a kid, I hated to read! I thought reading was boring and hard to do. That's probably why I relate so well to reluctant readers today. It took a long time for reading to be something I did for fun.
by Dr. Seuss
When my son Sam was three or four, I read this book to him and I had a deja vu experience. I remembered the story from my own childhood as we turned the pages. It was very eerie. So on some level, I guess I did enjoy books as a young child, and especially Dr. Seuss. He used a lot of rhyming in his stories, and that must have influenced me on some level. Rhyming is a big part of My Weird School and Rappy the Raptor.
My mother used to buy me comic books, hoping to get me interested in reading. It didn't work, but I remember I was home sick from school one day and she bought me a copy of Mad. The silly humor and snarky attitude changed my life. From then on, I was fascinated by comedy--Get Smart, F Troop, Laugh-In, National Lampoon, Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, Monty Python, Saturday Night Live, Seinfeld...
by George E. Stanley
Around 3rd or 4th grade, I became a big baseball fan, and I wanted to know everything about baseball. So I had to read about it. This series of biographies included a lot of sports figures, and I distinctly remember reading the ones about Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. Years later, I had the opportunity to write two "COFA" books myself, one about Jackie Robinson and one about Joe DiMaggio. I used a pen name for both books--Herb Dunn. He was a college friend of mine, and I've slipped his name into many of my books.
by Jim Bouton
Other authors got inspired by Hemingway, Faulkner, Salinger, and the like. I was inspired by Jim Bouton, who wasn't even a writer. He was a pitcher who wrote this terrific tell-all book about baseball. He didn't write beautiful sentences or paint exquisite word pictures. He just had a conversation with the reader, and I responded to that. It's exactly what I try to do in my books today.
by Kurt Vonnegut
In high school I discovered Kurt Vonnegut, who wrote in a very conversational style like Bouton but was also respected as a literary giant. I went through all his books, and I'd say that he, more than any other author, inspired me to want to make that my career out of writing.
About Dan Gutman
Dan Gutman may be weird, but he is also beloved by kids, parents, and teachers across the country. His books include the My Weird School series (more than 10 million copies sold), the Baseball Card Adventures (more than 1.5 million copies sold) and the New York Times bestselling The Genius Files. We also publish his spoofy picture book, CASEY BACK AT BAT, and one of Dan's favorites, JOHNNY HANGTIME. Dan lives in New York City (a very weird place), with his weird wife, Nina, and their two weird children, Sam and Emma. You can visit him on Facebook or at his weird website: www.dangutman.com.
Latest book from this author
by Dan Gutman
In this explosive third installment of New York Times bestselling author Dan Gutman's action-packed series, four thrill-seeking friends travel back in time to document one of the most devastating natural disasters the world has ever seen.Buy Book