Author D.J. MacHale
D.J. MacHale is a writer, director, executive producer and creator of several popular television series and movies. As an author, his ten-volume book series: PENDRAGON – JOURNAL OF AN ADVENTURE THROUGH TIME AND SPACE became a New York Times #1 bestseller.
He was raised in Greenwich, CT and graduated from Greenwich High School. While in school, he had several jobs including collecting eggs at a poultry farm, engraving trophies and washing dishes in a steakhouse…in between playing football and running track. D.J. attended New York University where he received a BFA in film production.
1) If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?
Wouldn’t go to the future. I’d rather be surprised…unless I was looking for future Super Bowl champions so I could make some safe bets. I’d rather go to the past and visit my old home town the way it was when I lived there. My yard bordered on miles of woods and fields where I spent so much time. Now it’s all been condo-ized.
2) If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you want with you?
My cell phone with GPS capability; a solar charger; and if those two failed…Aladdin’s Lamp.
3) If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
I’d want to fly. Isn’t that what everybody would want?
4) What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
5) Pet Peeves?
People who crowd the baggage claim carousel, as if getting their bag 10 seconds faster is important.
6) Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
You should read SYLO only if you like nail-biting, exciting mysteries that will keep you turning the pages to find out what happens to interesting characters.
7) Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published
Thankfully it happens over and over again. It’s when somebody tells me that they loved one of my books. It makes all the hard work worthwhile.
8) What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen?
As a child, The Children of Green Knowe by Lucy M. Boston. As a teen, Moonraker by Ian Fleming.
9) What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?
In junior high a teacher advised that when I got to high school I should take a personal typing course. He said it would make life so much easier through high school and college. He was right. I haven’t stopped typing since.
10) Favorite Food?
I love Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings. After that…pizza.
11) Favorite Candy?
Yes, Milky Way. The perfect candy bar.
12) How do you react to a bad review?
I’m to the point know where I shake my head and laugh. Whenever I get a negative review it’s usually for some specific reason that has very little to do with the overall book. The only tough thing is that a reviewer might hate a book because of the color of a character’s hair, write a negative review because of it, and then anyone who reads the review will get an unfairly skewed viewpoint. For me, I want to read reviews that are two lines maximum. “I like this book because the characters spoke to me and the conflict was unique.” Or “I hated this book because it bored me to death.” That’s all you need to know. I actually have a favorite bad review. Somebody wrote about my first Pendragon book that it was so long and boring that nobody will be looking forward to any of the future books. Psyche! Somebody should write a blog that reviews reviewers.
13) If you could have a signed copy of any novel what would it be and why?
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. His writing style greatly influenced mine.
14) What TV show/movie/book do you watch/read that you’d be embarrassed to admit?
That’s easy: Dancing With The Stars. A guy I worked with once was one of the stars so that’s what got me started, and I got hooked. It’s crazy what these people put themselves through on live TV. I’m not much of a dancing fan, in fact once it gets down to the last few who are good, I lose interest. I don’t really care who wins, I just like to see the high-wire act up to that point. They’re like modern-day George Plimptons.
15) Favorite places to travel?
Anywhere in Italy; the Greek Isles, the west coast of Ireland, and the High Sierras in California.
16) Favorite sport?
Football. By far. It was the sport I was best at growing up.
17) Favorite quote from a movie?
“You think you’ve been getting away with it all this time, standing by. Well son, your bystanding days are over. You’re in it now…up to your neck! They told me that you’re a genius with explosives. Start proving it! You got me in the mood to use this thing…” (waves his pistol) “…and by God, if you don’t think of something, I’ll use it on you!”
Gregory Peck to David Niven in my favorite movie of all time: The Guns of Navarone.
18) Do you prefer to write in silence or with music?
I prefer total silence. I was never one of those kids who could study with the radio on. I’d want to listen to the song instead.
19) Which of your characters is a portrayal of you?
All of my characters are different versions of me. Or at least different sides of my personality. Bobby Pendragon has my sense of humor; Marshall Seaver is fiction-geek like me; and Tucker Pierce personifies my slacker side.
20) Happiest moment in your life so far
Happiest and scariest…the birth of my daughter, two months early.
21) What words or expression do you overuse?
Excellent! Cool! Set the Wayback Machine.
Does Tucker Pierce have what it takes to be a hero when the U.S. military quarantines his island?
Fourteen-year-old Tucker Pierce prefers to fly under the radar. He’s used to navigating around summer tourists in his hometown on idyllic Pemberwick Island, Maine. He’s content to sit on the sidelines as a backup player on the high school football team. And though his best friend Quinn tells him to “go for it,” he’s too chicken to ask Tori Sleeper on a date. There’s always tomorrow, he figures. Then Pemberwick Island is invaded by a mysterious branch of the U.S. military called SYLO. And sitting on the sidelines is no longer an option for Tucker, because tomorrow may never come.
It’s up to Tucker, Quinn, and Tori to uncover the truth about the singing aircraft that appears only at night—and the stranger named Feit who’s pushing a red crystal he calls the Ruby that brings unique powers to all who take it. Tucker and his friends must rescue not just Pemberwick Island, but the fate of the world—and all before tomorrow is too late.