Questions and Answers with Mike Thaler

Question:

What were you like as a kid?

Answer:

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!

Question:

Are you rich?

Answer:

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.

Question:

Are Mrs. Green and Mr. Green Married?

Answer:

“Yes, and very happily.

Question:

Why is Teacher crossed out on the cover of The Principal from the Black Lagoon? Is it a mistake?

Answer:

No, Mrs. Green became a principal. Many principals are former classroom teachers.

Question:

Do you drive a limousine?

Answer:

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.

Question:

What was your favorite book when you were a kid?

Answer:

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.”

 

Question:

When was your first book published?

Answer:

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.

Question:

How long are you going to keep writing books?

Answer:

As long as God wants me to.

Question:

How did you think of the title The Teacher From the Black Lagoon?

Answer:

An old movie called The Creature From the Black Lagoon.

Question:

How many Black Lagoon books are you going to write?

Answer:

I don’t know. There are now 20 picture books and over 35 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.

Question:

Do you live in a mansion?

Answer:

Any home that is full of love is a mansion.

Question:

Do you have any other series besides The Black Lagoon?

Answer:

Definitely. My latest series is called Tales from the Back Pew. Other series that are currently out of print are: Happily Ever LaughterThe Bully BrothersHeaven and MirthIt’s Me, HippoPack 109 and over 45 riddle books.

Question:

Did you illustrate any of your books?

Answer:

Yes, most of the riddle books.

Question:

How many different languages are your books written in?

Answer:

Korean, French, Japanese, Spanish, English

Question:

Do your have any e-books?

Answer: 

Yes. The current books are available through Scholastic.

Question:

How about your “out of print” books?

Answer:

We are working on that project now. If you’d like a notification, send an email to me and put “e-book notification list” on the subject line.

Question:

Do you know Jared?

Answer:

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.

Question:

Do you know any other famous writers?

Answer:

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.

Question:

Do you have a favorite Black Lagoon character?

Answer:

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.

Question:

Do you write on a computer?

Answer:

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.

Question:

Where do your ideas come from?

Answer:

I believe all creativity comes from God. You just have to learn how to listen.

Question:

Do you answer all your mail?

Answer:

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 and address, and if you could also put on a stamp that would help too!

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.

Send Mike a letter to: PO Box 408, West Linn, OR, 97068, USA