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Meet D. T. Vaughn...


...he writes funny adventure books for kids (and their parents, too)! Mr. Vaughn is the author of Video Game Takeover, a story about a town where video games turn real, and one unlikely boy becomes a legendary hero!

Mr. Vaughn started writing books in elementary school. His first short stories were "The Homework Stealer" and "Belly Button Island." In high school, Mr. Vaughn wrote a play called "How to Make Money at a Lemonade Stand." It won several awards, and that success motivated Mr. Vaughn to do more. Since then, he's written and produced several plays, including The Midnight Glass (based on his fantasy book series), which was performed at Black Mountain Middle School in 2018.

In 2017, The Midnight Glass won the eLit Book award, and Kirkus Reviews hailed it as "an enjoyable and well-told story of magic and mystery!"

Mr. Vaughn attended the California State University of San Marcos. He is married, has two amazing dogs, and lives in San Diego, California.



Over the years, Mr. Vaughn's readers have asked him some very cool questions. Here are some of his favorites (and his answers, of course):

Q: What were your favorite books as a kid?

A: I was obsessed with Roald Dahl books. I must have read James and the Giant Peach and Matilda dozens of times. I also enjoyed The Polar Express and most pop-up books (especially the ones where you can remove pieces of paper and other hidden items).

Q: Who are your influences as a writer?

A: Probably Roald Dahl, Louis Sachar, and J. K. Rowling. However, R. J. Palacio, who wrote Wonder, inspired me to write for children. I love inventive storytelling styles with crazy characters and unlikely heroes. Deep down, I think that I'm a crazy character, but I'd like to be a hero.

Q: Who are your influences as an illustrator?

A: I love the art of Quintin Blake, who illustrated several of Roald Dahl's books. Blake's art is lopsided, raw, and brilliant. I also grew up on NickToons like Ren & Stimpy and Klasky Csupo who did Rugrats and Ah! Real Monsters. They use combinations of ink drawings and watercolor backgrounds, which are styles I use, too.

Q: Why do you write books about Middle School?

A: Middle school was a fun and terrifying time for me. The summer before, I worried about mean teachers, loads of homework, and rude kids. And then, all of that came true! I got through it by holding onto the good in every situation. I made some great friends (who I'm still close to today) and stuck by the teachers I liked. Though it was a scary time, I also had some fantastic experiences—just like the adventures I write about in my books!

Q: Are you a perfectionist?

A: No way! Well, I do try to stay on track with my work. If I don't finish something on time, it bugs me a lot. But, I don't need my final project to be perfect—it just needs to feel good.

Q: What was your inspiration for the town of Davenport in The Midnight Glass?

A: I have a good friend who lives in Arlington, Virginia. He has a beautiful craftsman home in this quaint, very American-style neighborhood with hundreds of unique houses. I grew up in Southern California where every house is pretty much the same, so seeing this town was beautiful to me. When I write about Davenport, I think about Arlington and how it makes me feel when I'm there.

Q: Do you have any pets?

A: Yep! I have two dogs: Mina and Sirius. Mina is a Frenchton, which is half French Bulldog and half Boston Terrier. Sirius is a black pug (his full name is Sirius Black for you Potter fans out there).

Q: Were you bullied in school?

A: Oh, yes. I'm an adult, and it's still hard to talk about what I went through. Kids would whisper mean things behind my back, call me bad names to my face, and sometimes even hurt me. Being kind was my best defense. Kindness brought me the best friends and the support of my classmates. My friends always stuck up for me, and the bullying mostly stopped after middle school.

©2016-2020 D. T. Vaughn. All Rights Reserved.