J. DOUGLAS SIMPSON

author of Great Big World

Xmas 2013 - Me and my sister's dog, the inspiration for one of the characters in Great Big World

Xmas 2013 - Me and my sister's dog, the inspiration for one of the characters in Great Big World

Hi, my name’s Doug and for me, it all began in third grade. My teacher had put a picture of penguins on an iceberg up on the chalkboard as a writing prompt. The other students wrote about a typical penguin day on a typical penguin iceberg. I wrote “Indiana Penguin and the Iceberg of Doom.” I was nine-years-old and had discovered I wanted to be a writer.

 

When I first started writing, my stories weren’t terribly original, but they were fun little riffs on my favorite things at the time: Star Wars, Indiana Jones, G.I. Joe, superheroes, etc. I can remember spending the night at a friend’s house and while he and his sister were busy goofing around, I was hard at work on an epic G.I. Joe adventure, “Three Strikes, You’re Out!” I couldn’t get enough.

 

My creative outlet took many forms over the years. I’ve dabbled in comic books, cartoons, short stories, screenwriting and even poetry—thanks to my love of British band Depeche Mode, my poems usually ended up being song lyrics, much to the chagrin of my high school creative writing teacher. However, my focus always came back to novels. In all honesty, I’ve never been completely comfortable with short stories—my imagination always runs outside of the traditional boundaries of short form. And as far as favorite subject matter, it’s not too different from when I was a kid. I’m ingrained with a love of science fiction and fantasy, though I’ve experimented with other genres as well. I always loved comic books and how you could have different genres rub up against one another in a single story. The Uncanny X-Men were mainly sci-fi/action-adventure, but they would also fight villains who were magical or spies or monsters. Comic books broke the rules of traditional storytelling and putting different books into tight little categories.

 

That’s where Great Big World comes from. It’s a genre mash-up featuring swashbuckling heroes, dark wizards, mad scientists, and plucky junior detectives all rolled into one wacky universe—a Great Big World. I didn’t want to repeat what was already out there and I didn’t want to conform to someone else’s rules when I wrote it. I just wanted to entertain people and I hope I will.

 

Volume One of the series, The Trouble with Dr. Beamo will be the first of many kid-friendly adventures in that Great Big World. I have at the very least, four volumes percolating in my mind, but I can easily see it going beyond that with all sorts of mini-adventures for my characters to get into.

 

However, if your reading tastes skew beyond Young Adult books, you may be interested in my other hero, Maxim Ultra, whose space adventures are little more…mature. More on Max in 2015.

 

Thanks for stopping by my site. I hope you enjoy what you see here and feel free to hit me up on social media if you want to discuss the work or comic books or movies or Depeche Mode.

 

JDS

March 2014

A trip to the Duff Brewery at Universal Orlando

A trip to the Duff Brewery at Universal Orlando

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