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Author Mike Thaler
My mom was a kindergarten teacher for five years. Her favorite part of teaching that age was finding clever and creative books that she not only enjoyed reading to her students, but that they enjoyed listening to and attempting to read themselves. One author whose books accomplished this very thing was Mike Thaler. His Black Lagoon and Tales from the Back Pew series were quirky and creative enough to keep my mom's students laughing and enthralled, as well as giving my mom endless excitement whenever she acquired the latest title.
I was recently given the opportunity to interview Mr. Thaler for Teen Ink.
Rachel- Tell us about yourself.
Mike Thaler- I am a very simple person that believes my talent comes from listening to God and being obedient to him.
RH- How did you first become interested in writing?
MT- I was always interested in writing. When I was in the 3rd grade, I used to write stories of my own from my own imagination.
RH- Please share with us your testimony of Salvation.
MT- When I realized that the message of Jesus was love and that love is the only thing that can save people relationships, communities and countries, I realized that He truly is the Messiah or Savior. It was the greatest moment of my life.
RH- What inspired the Black Lagoon series?
MT- There was a movie whose title was called “The Creature From the Black Lagoon”. I realized teacher rhymes with creature. I substituted it and had a great title. The story grew from that title.
RH- How did writing that series differ from the Tales from the Back Pew series?
MT- Tales from the Back Pew series serves God, so it’s much more satisfying to me.
RH- What did you hope to accomplish through your stories?
MT- In the Black Lagoon series, the books are designed to have kids feel more comfortable in their school situation and with new situations.
In Tales from the Back Pew, the series is designed to make kids feel more comfortable with God.
RH- Where do you find inspiration for your stories?
MT- All my inspiration comes from God.
RH- Who and what are your favorite authors and books?
MT- My favorite book is the Bible, so my favorite author is God.
RH- What is your favorite thing to hear from fans?
MT- We get many letters from teachers and parents who have reluctant readers. When they tell me that the Black Lagoon series inspired their kids to read, it makes me feel incredibly good.
RH- What new projects are you currently working on?
MT- A series of poems called Feathers in the Wings of God, and two new Black Lagoon Chapter books called, Earth Day from the Black Lagoon & Picture Day from the Black Lagoon.
RH- What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
MT- Write. Never give up.
Mike Thaler 12/6/11
Mount Vernon, Washington
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