Rad Reads

Author Exclusive with Jim Benton

Jim Benton is the author and illustrator of the Dear Dumb Diary series. We’re
so excited to read his latest book, Me! (Just Like You, Only Better), and so totally wanting to stamp the title on our coffee mugs! Have you met Jamie Kelly yet? Well, what are you waiting for? Check out the video below!
GL also chatted with Jim for the low down on diaries, doodling, and what’s
in store for the loveable main character, Jamie Kelly. 

Q: As a grown up, is it ever tricky to write from the perspective of a young girl? Do you ever ask kids around you for their opinions or ideas?
A: It's really not so tough. Most of the issues Jamie has are common to everybody, regardless of gender.
Q: So we’ve heard that the name Jamie Kelly is actually a variation of your name–James Kelly Benton. Are there any other real-life stories or details that you’ve included in DDD?
A: Many of the characters have little chunks of real people stirred in, but the main characters—Jamie, Angeline, and Isabella—are 100% their own girls.
Q. What do you hope readers get out of Dear
Dumb Diary
A. Laughs, I hope. There is a ton of human
absurdity in the books as well, and I think we can laugh at ourselves more easily when we see our faults in others.
Q: We know the diary and the doodling go hand in hand, but what do you enjoy more, coming up with the storyline or actually illustrating it?
A: I could never pick! They are two different kinds of storytelling.
Q: What’s in store for Jamie Kelly in the future?
A: Jamie’s getting older, so she's thinking about grades and expectations.
Q: What advice would you (or Jamie) give to young writers?
A: Read a lot and never be afraid of having a bad idea. Bad ideas have a peculiar way of turning into good ones.

For more of Jim's awesome stories & illustrations check out

by GL | 2/1/2016