Questions & Answers
Mike at a school

What were like as a kid? Small.  I was a lot smaller than I am now, but I was always creative.  I loved modeling clay, drawing pictures, and writing.  I loved school and got good grades.  School was fun.  I played all the sports, starred in the school play (which I wrote) and was class president a few times.  I was also the class clown all the time.

I had a red and cream Schwinn bicycle which I paid for by working on a paper route.  I had a dog named "Lady" who grew up with me.  I also had a monkey named "Socko" and a motorcycle named "Triumph."  I drew cartoons for the school annual and for the school paper at college.  I made lots of model race cars and hot rods.  I wrote poems and songs.  Like I said-- I always loved creating.  It has been the main force in my life.  In fact, it IS my life!

Why do you write children's books?  I love language.  Words are great.  I love to use my imagination and make people laugh.  That's why I am a writer.

What is your favorite color?  Yellow, Yellow, and Yellow.

What is your favorite food?  Edible food.

Are you rich?  I am doing what I love to do, and people seem to like it.  I have a beautiful family and I know God.  I feel like I am the richest man in the world. West Linn

Are you married?  I am married to a beautiful woman named Patty.

Where do you live?  Patty and I live in an apartment in West Linn, Oregon.

Are Mrs. Green and Mr. Green Married?  Yes, and very happily.

Why is Teacher crossed out on the cover of The Principal from the Black Lagoon?  Is it a mistake?  No, Mrs. Green became a principal.  Many principals are former classroom teachers.

How old are you?  I was born on October 8th, 1936.  You figure it out.

Picture of Mike

Do you drive a limousine?  No, I think limousines are ugly, and forget about parking.  I have a 2005 Saturn Vue Redline.  It is black with yellow seats and a yellow racing stripe.  I love it.

What is your favorite book?  The Bible is my favorite book.  I read it every morning and every night.  I learn something new each time.

What was your favorite book when you were a kid?  My favorite book was The Little Engine that Could.  It taught me that you can accomplish great things if you don't give up.  I still say, "I think I can, I think I can, I knew I could." Magic Boy

When was your first book published?  My first book Magic Boy was published in 1961 by Ursula Nordstrom, my very first editor.  She called me one day and asked me to write a children's book.  I said, "I think I can."  I sat down and wrote Magic Boy and sold it the next day.  Since then I have had over 220 books published.

How long are you going to keep writing books?  As long as God wants me to.

Mike with Large Pencil

Do you write on a computer?  I don't even know how to turn one on.  I write with a pencil, piece of paper, and my imagination.  Fortunately, Patty helps my type manuscripts and letters. 

Where do your ideas come from?  I believe all creativity comes from God.  You just have to learn how to listen.

How did you think of the title The Teacher From the Black Lagoon?  There is an old movie called The Creature From the Black Lagoon.  I changed Creature to Teacher and I was on my way.

How many Black Lagoon books are you going to write?  I don't know.  There are now 20 picture books and 25 chapter books.  I have written many more still yet to be published.  The Karate Teacher, The School Psychologist, The Reading Teacher, The Crossing Guard, etc, etc, etc.  We could go on forever.  The Black Lagoon is very deep!  And we haven't even gone out of school yet.
Mike with Knight

What do you do when you are not writing?  Sleep - Eat - Pray - Read - Travel - Enjoy family and friends - Visit museums - Collect Japanese art - Visit schools - Watch football - Swim.

Writers on Deck
Eiffel Tower
At Beach

Do you live in a mansion?  Any home that is full of love is a mansion.

Do you have any other series besides The Black Lagoon?  Definitely.  My latest series is called Tales from the Back Pew.

Other series that are currently out of print are: Happily Ever Laughter - The Bully Brothers - Heaven and Mirth - It's Me, Hippo - Pack 109 and over 45 riddle books.

Cinderella Bigfoot Hanzel and Pretzel Bully Brothers Halloween Bully Brothers Tooth Fairy Daniel Pack 109 Come and Play Hippo

Did you illustrate any of your books?  Yes, most of the riddle books.

Whats Up Duck Never Tickle a Turtle Frankenstein's Pantyhose

How many different languages are your books written in?
Korean, French, Japanese, Spanish, English

Black Lagoon
Stretching Rubber Band
Hippo 2

Do your have any e-books?  Yes.  The current books are available through Scholastic.

Never Mail an Elephant Hippo Lemonade

How about your "out of print" books?

We are working on that project now.  If you'd like a notification, send an email to and put "ebook notification list" on the subject line.

Mike and Jared

Do you know Jared?

Jared and I have created over 85 books together - we are a team.  We talk on the phone every morning and see each other at least once a year.  He is the greatest partner an auther could ever want.

Do you know any other famous writers?  I meet lots of other authors at conferences and book festivals.  But the most famous writers I meet are you kids during school visits.  You are all writers.  All you need is a pencil, a piece of paper, and your imagination.

Do you have a favorite Black Lagoon character?  I like them all.  Hubie, Mrs. Green, Mrs. Beamster, Fester Smudge, T. Rex Fender Bender, etc, etc.  They are all part of the Lagoon family.

Mike at his desk

Do you answer all your mail?  Yes.  I enjoy reading your mail and answer all the letters I receive.  If I'm on a road trip, it may cause a delay, but as soon as I get back I will write to you.  Don't forget to include a return envelope with your name & address, and if you could also put on a stamp that would help too!

Mike with Fan Letter

We live in West Linn, a few miles south of Portland.

Our address is:

P.O. Box 408, West Linn, OR 97068

Let me thank you now for all your letters, drawings, and ideas for Black Lagoon books.  I also thank you for all your interest and enjoyment of my books.  I am blessed to be able to write them.  I hope they bless you, too.

Keep Reading!