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Allan Woodrow in third grade


See that pic up there? That's me in third grade, years before I wore a hat. I wrote my first book that year, an eight-page ‘novel’ called The Big Cheese about, as you’d expect, a giant piece of cheese. I still have it. I don’t know why I wanted to write books. But a voice inside my head told me to be a writer, and that was that.

When I was growing up, teachers always said, “Write about your experiences” so I always hoped my parents would turn out to be werewolves or I’d be kidnapped by evil mole-people. But I had no such luck.

Since I didn’t have anything worth writing about, I went into advertising. Maybe the next time you see a commercial on TV or visit a website I’ll be the one who wrote it. You never know.

The voice still spoke to me, “Write books.” But I couldn’t figure out what sort of books to write. The voice didn’t tell me that.

Until one day I wrote something I would have liked when I was a kid. And something happened. The voice sighed happily. I figured out the sort of books I wanted to write. Meanwhile my voice still talks to me and says to keep writing, so I am. I’ve learned to listen to the voice. It seems to know what it’s talking about.

I have written more than thirty books for children. They include The Curse of the Werepenguin and its sequels The Revenge of the Werepenguin and the Battle of the Werepenguins, The Pet War, the Liberty Fall Elementary trilogy (Class Dismissed, Unschooled and Field Tripped), and both The Contagious Colors of Mumpley Middle School and The Amazing Wilmer Dooley, written under the pen name of Fowler DeWitt. I also wrote The Rotten Adventures of Zachary Ruthless and lots of other things.


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