Writers Speak to Kids: Michael Buckley

Air Date: 12/11/2012
Source:
NBC Learn
Creator:
Jenna Bush Hager
Air/Publish Date:
12/11/2012
Event Date:
12/11/2012
Resource Type:
Mini-Documentary
Copyright:
NBCUniversal Media, LLC.
Copyright Date:
2012
Clip Length:
00:03:20

Michael Buckley, author of two children's book series, "The Sisters Grimm" and "N.E.R.D.S," discusses inspiration, his favorite place to write, and what "cliff hangering" is. This video is part of the NBC Learn original series "Writers Speak to Kids."

Writers Speak to Kids- Michael Buckley

JENNA BUSH HAGER, reporting:

What inspires you?

MICHAEL BUCKLEY: I wanted to write “The Sisters Grimm” because I went to a bookstore, and I discovered there's only two kinds of books. There's books for boys, were the boy rides a dragon and, fights a monster, and goes to wizarding school, and then there's books for girls, where the girl takes care of pony. And I just didn't think that was fair. You would think that there would be a lot more books where girls are really saving the world, like doing the things boys get to do. Unfortunately, they're usually relegated to the side kick or the person that's driving the hero crazy, and I just thought, you know, I don`t know little girls who would pick, a pony over dragon ride.

BUSH HAGER: Where do you like to write?

BUCKLEY: One of my favorite places to write is Coney Island here in New York City. It`s an amazing, very historic place filled with carnival rides. It's just dripping in history, and there’s so much life and culture and so many different kinds of faces and people. That I can't help but sit there and just type away. I can get lot done in Coney Island.

BUSH HAGER: How do you create characters?

BUCKLEY: When I`m writing about a character, I don`t necessary understand, I`ll get a bunch of celebrity magazines that have pictures of famous people and movie stars. And what I do, is cut out pictures of those movies stars, and I post them on the wall. A good example is in my books “The Sisters Grimm,” there’s a character known as Sleeping Beauty. And I wanted to write a sleeping beauty no one had ever seen before. So what I did was, I cut out pictures of Halle Berry, and I put them on the wall. And then another series I write is called “N.E.R.D.S.” about secret agents. One of the characters is guy name Agent Brand and he’s tough, and he’s strong, and he’s handsome. So I got a picturse of Jon Hamm, and I put him up on the wall. And when I look at those pictures, they seem to speak to me. And they actually help me figure out who my characters are. It`s neat little trick I do, but it seems to work every time.

BUSH HAGER: How do you keep a story moving?

BUCKLEY: What I like to do is thing called "cliff hangering." What I tend to do is, I end the chapter on a very exciting moment. So that person who`s reading it almost feels they have to the page. It`s something they do in comic books, actually, and I`ve learned a lot about writing from reading comic books. Every page ends on a cliff hanger. It may be a tiny cliff hanger, but it requires you to turn that page.

BUSH HAGER: How do you end a story?

BUCKLEY: The story is finished, often times when two things happened- the villain has been vanquished, and the character has changed so dramatically that they’re almost entirely different person. When you get to the point, your story is over. You written your character and in many ways, you have mended that character in to what he or she is supposed to be.  

Close NBC Learn

Choose your product

NBC Learn K-12 product site
NBC Learn Higher Ed product site

For NBC Learn in Learning Management Systems please log in to your institution's Learning Management System web site and click "Browse NBC Learn".
For further assistance, please contact our NBC Learn Support Team and we'll be happy to assist you.

Start Your Free
day
Day Trial!
Close NBC Learn

FILTERING

If you are trying to view the videos from inside a school or university, your IT admin may need to enable streaming on your network. Please see the Internet Filtering section of our Technical Requirements page.

DVDs AND OTHER COPIES

Videos on this page are not available on DVD at this time due to licensing restrictions on the footage.

DOWNLOADING VIDEOS

Subscribers to NBC Learn may download videos and play them back without an internet connection. Please click here to find out more about subscribing or to sign up for a FREE trial (download not included in free trial).

Still have questions?
Click here to send us an email.

Close NBC Learn

INTERNATIONAL VISITORS

The Science of the Olympic Winter Games videos are only available to visitors inside the United States due to licensing restrictions on the Olympics footage used in the videos.

FILTERING

If you are trying to view the videos from inside a school or university, your IT admin may need to enable streaming on your network. Please see the Internet Filtering section of our Technical Requirements page.

DVDs AND OTHER COPIES

The Science of the Olympic Winter Games is not available on DVD at this time due to licensing restrictions on on Olympic footage.

DOWNLOADING VIDEOS

Subscribers to NBC Learn may download videos and play them back without an internet connection. Please click here to find out more about subscribing or to sign up for a FREE trial (download not included in free trial).

Still have questions?
Click here to send us an email.

Close NBC Learn

Choose your product

NBC Learn K-12 product site
NBC Learn Higher Ed product site

For NBC Learn in Blackboard™ please log in to your institution's Blackboard™ web site and click "Browse NBC Learn"

Close NBC Learn

If you have received a new user registration code from your institution, click your product below and use the "Register now" link to sign up for a personal account.

NBC Learn K-12 product site
NBC Learn Higher Ed product site

For further assistance, please contact our NBC Learn Support Team and we'll be happy to assist you.

Start Your Free
day
Day Trial!