“I am an accidental writer,” says G. Neri, author of When Paul Met Artie, Hello, I’m Johnny Cash and Ghetto Cowboy. “I never thought I would—or could—write stories for young people, but life steered me from being a filmmaker and digital media producer to kids books.” Neri has since written 10 books of prose and poetry and has won numerous awards, including a Coretta Scott King Honor and a Horace Mann Upstander Award.
“All my stories are inspired by real life. I think everyone has a story to tell and my job is to find those stories.” He is widely-traveled, having done school visits in 47 of the 50 states in America. He has also lived in Berlin, Montreal and Vancouver, traveled all over Europe and toured in Russia with his book, Ghetto Cowboy. But his craziest adventure was this past winter when he was given a grant from the National Science Foundation to go to Antarctica! “That was a trip of a lifetime,” he said. “I was able to go to some of the most remote places on earth and walk in the footsteps of Shackleton and Scott. Sometimes you have to go to great lengths to find stories.”
Normally, he lives in the jungles of the gold coast of Florida, where he swims with manatees and kayaks amongst alligators. He has a wife and daughter and a cat named Mexico that came out of the jungle during a hurricane. “I try to say yes to all new experiences, whether its eating jellyfish salad, skydiving, or writing a new kind of story he’s never attempted before. Life’s an adventure. Take chances and live it to the fullest.”