British Columbia

Wimpy Kid book series no wimp when it comes to success

Diary-of-a-Wimpy-Kid author Jeff Kinney is in Vancouver to promote the latest book in the successful children's series.

Author Jeff Kinney is in Vancouver to promote Double Down, the 11th book in the series

Greg Heffley — the so-called wimpy kid — is trying out movie making in the newest book of the Diary of the Wimpy Kid series. (Amulet Books)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney spent about three years trying to become a newspaper cartoonist.

"I realized that my artistic talents would never get me there. [They] maxed out at about seventh or eighth grade. That's when I came up with the idea for Greg Heffley," Kinney said on CBC's The Early Edition.

Greg Heffley is the titular wimpy kid in the popular children's book series.

Heffley, a middle schooler with two brothers, is always getting into trouble. Kinney said the character is the sum of all his worst qualities as a kid.

"I had really wimpy moments," he laughed. "I would go in the first few minutes of swim team practice and ask my coach if I could use the bathroom. Then I'd hide out in the locker room for all of practice just freezing to death in my speedos and jump back in the pool at the last second."

Diary of a Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney is in Vancouver to promote the 11th book in his series, Double Down. (Roshini Nair/CBC)

The successful series has sold millions of copies, inspired a movie franchise and a subsequent reboot.

Kinney is currently on a world tour to promote the 11th book in his series, Double Down.

The tour has been eye-opening, he said.

"It really surprises me that kids all over the place really identify with this character, who I think is really North American. But what I've realized is that I'm writing about childhood, I'm not really writing about this character."

Kinney is speaking in Vancouver at an event scheduled for 5:30 p.m. PT at John Oliver Secondary.

With files from The Early Edition


To hear the interview, click on the link labelled Diary of a Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney