D.J. MacHale

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D.J. MacHale
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D.J. MacHale

Donald James "D.J." MacHale is a screenwriter, director, and novelist, as well as the author and creator of the Pendragon Adventure series. He currently resides in Southern California with his wife, Evangeline, and his young daughter, Keaton. Also living in their household are a golden retriever named Maggie, and a cat called Kaboodle.

About The Author

D.J. MacHale was born on March 11th, 1958 in the town of Portchester, New York. He grew up in the town of Greenwich, Connecticut. He attended Greenwich High School, and while there participated in track and football, along with balancing his outside of school jobs.[1]

During his child and teenage years, MacHale never wanted to be a writer. In fact, he always said how much he hated writing. To avoid doing writing assignments at school, he and his friends would sometimes create movies answering the prompts. It wasn't until he was in college that one of his teachers pointed out that creating movies was, esssentially, writing a story, and that was when MacHale really became interested in writing.[2]

New York University was where he received his BFA in film-making, and after graduating he worker as a freelance writer/director, creating commercials and company ads. When he moved to Los Angeles, he began getting work in the entertainment industry. One of his more popular projects was the co-created Nickelodeon show, Are You Afraid Of The Dark?, and he both wrote and directed many of the episodes. The show ran for eight seasons, all of which MacHale was there for.[3]

For the premiere of ABC's Wonderful World of Disney, MacHale wrote and directed the movie Tower of Terror, which was based on the ride at DisneyWord. This film starred both Steve Guttenburg and Kirsten Dunst. The TV show Chris Cross was co-created, written and executive produced by MacHale, and it received the CableAce award for Best Youth Series. Other television shows MacHale is credited with are Jack Shadow, Paradox, The Strange Legacy of Cameron Cruz, and Among The Hidden.

The Pendragon novels are MacHale's first works as a novelist, and he began the series in 2002.

The Pendragon Adventure

MacHale got the idea for the Pendragon series by writing e-mails to his friends. He thought that it would make an interesting story to have the main character off on an adventure, while writing to his friends back at home. With the Pendragon books, MacHale says that he has tried to give the reader the experience that the story is truly being written to them by Bobby, that he has tried to make Bobby as "accessable as possible".[4]

On the subject of the writing process, MacHale says that he definitely believes in outlining. Before he wrote the books, he created a three page outline for each of the ten novels. And before he writes each of the books, he creates another outline for the structure of the novel. However, he does admit to constantly changing plot-details as he works on the novels.

MacHale says that when creating Bobby, the protagonist of the story, he didn't merely want to follow the classic "zero to hero" arc that many adventures stories had done before him. Rather, he decided to go the opposite route, by starting the story with Bobby as the kid who has everything a teenager could possibly want. Once Bobby is thrown into the midst of a battle for Halla, he is completely clueless, and has to readjust entirely.

In creating Mark and Courtney, he tried to show the two different sides of Bobby's personality. Mark is quiet and pensive, thinking things through; Courtney lives for the moment. "With Mark," MacHale says, "Bobby is a mentor. With Courtney, he's a competitor."

MacHale says that Saint Dane is his favorite character, "hands down". While he says that he enjoys writing about the characters and their growth, he also likes coming up with all the plot twists and schemes, which is what Saint Dane is all about.

Bibliography

>This article is start-class. Completion would be highly appreciated.

Creators
Author: D.J. MacHale
Illustrators: Victor Lee | Dawn Austin
Others: Peter Ferguson | Carla "Speed" McNeil
Publisher: Simon and Schuster

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