>>From the Library of
Congress in Washington, D.C.>>The next two people who will
walk on this stage are total dorks, and they are proud of it. That is because author
Rachel Renee Russell and illustrator Nikki
Russell are the creators of the beside-selling
Dork Diaries
. [ Applause ] Thanks to Rachel and
Nikki, millions of people in 37 different languages can
proudly say dorks are cool. [ Applause ] They’re here today to introduce you
to a new character who you will love as much as Nikki Maxwell. Their new book is the
second book in a new series. It’s right there, he’s holding
it up loud,The Misadventuresof Max Crumbly II:
Middle School Mayhem
. Max sometimes gets
treated like a zero, but deep down he knows
he’s a superhero. Be sure to pick up a copy at
the Politics and Prose shop, and then have it signed between
2:30 and 3:30 p.m. Let’s learn more about Max and how we can all
become the superheroes we’ve always admired. Please give a warm welcome to Rachel
Renee Russell and Nikki Russell. [ Applause ] [ Inaudible ]>>Rachel Renee Russell:
Hi, everyone. How are you doing?>>Good.>>Rachel Renee Russell: Good. As you’ve heard, I’m
Rachel Renee Russell, and I’m the illustrator
ofDork Diaries.>>To advance, push the –>>Rachel Renee Russell:
Oh, I have to do this?>>Yeah, you bring it up here,
you just hit the arrow key down.>>Rachel Renee Russell: Okay.>>Or you can tell me, I can
sit here and I can do it. Whatever you want to do.>>Rachel Renee Russell:
I’m the author of the book seriesDork DiariesandThe Misadventures
of Max Crumbly
. And I’m very, very,
very excited to be here. [ Applause ] To my right is my dorky
daughter, Nikki [Laughs]. [ Applause ] And Nikki is the illustrator
of bothDork DiariesandThe Misadventures
of Max Crumbly
. [ Applause ] So we’re going to talk a little bit, and I’m going to take
questions from the audience. In the meantime, Nikki is going to
be back here at her sketch board and she’s going to be dorkifying
members of the audience. Do you guys want to know
what a dorkification is? You can tell me out
loud, what is it? [ Multiple Speakers ] Yes, she’s going to be drawing
random members of the audience. And right before we finish up,
she’s going to show her drawings, and then we’ll have to figure
out which of you people she drew. So that’s going to be a lot of fun. That’s what we’ll do, like,
the last ten minutes or so. So let’s get started. Nikki, you’ll get busy. I’m really happy to be here today. And actually, being an author
is a dream come true for me. I’m originally by trade an attorney and actually a consumer
bankruptcy attorney. So in my other life if you had a
lot of financial problems and a lot of debt or if you had a
disaster that happened to you, be it sometimes a divorce or
medical issues and you were in the situation financially where
you couldn’t pay your bills, well, you would hire me and I
would make them go away. But I do enjoy being
an author much better. It’s a lot of fun and
I get to work at home. I get to work with
my daughter, Nikki. And then I have a second daughter, her name is Erin, and
she helps write. So this whole adventure is
a dream come true for me. So do we have a microphone
in the audience where I could take questions? The microphone is — and one here? Okay. Okay, we’ll go
with the young lady in the navy blue jacket
can stand up.>>On yourDork Diariespage,
you say you’re going to come out with a movie; when is
that going to come out?>>Rachel Renee Russell: Okay,
theDork Diariesmovie. That — okay, our film rights
were optioned by Lionsgate Films. And you’ve all heard of
Lionsgate, I imagine. They are the famous studio
behindThe Hunger Games, andTwilight, andDivergent. Well, they did, in fact,
option our movie rights. But unfortunately and
sadly, there is not going to be aDork Diaries
movie [Laughs]. Now, I could talk about
this for the next hour, but I’ll just spend maybe a few
minutes discussing it a little bit. And, again, I’m very disappointed. I’m sure you guys are disappointed. As you heard,Dork Diaries
has sold over 30 million books, we’ve been translated
into 37 languages, but apparently Lionsgate feels that
in spite of all that popularity around the world, nobody will
turn out to see the movie. I was told that they did research
and based on their research, they felt that our fans
and families, you know, would not be interested
in seeing the movie. So that was the first reason why
there’s not aDork Diariesmovie. I feel that you people here — and again, there’s girls 8 to 14
years old and boys 8 to 14 years — deserve to see themselves
in movie theatres. If you agree with that, let
me hear you clap your hands. [ Applause ] Yeah, I agree, too. Now, the older kids kind of
get all the fun and excitement. Lionsgate has made movies and
have done a really good job — I’ll give them credit
where credit is due — they’ve done a wonderful job
making movies for teen girls. And teen girls would, I would say,
probably be 16 to 18 years old. They’ve doneTwilight, and
Hunger Games
, and whatever. They’ve done actually a pretty good
job covering the young boys here. They’ve released a couple
of movies for the 18- to 14-year-old demographic for boys. But when it comes to girls
there’s been a problem. That’s why the whole thing withDork Diarieshas
been so disappointing. The last movie that Lionsgate
has made that featured an 8- to 14-year-old girl,
like a lot of you here, was in 2006 — that
was 11 years ago. Some of you probably weren’t
even alive 11 years ago. But they did release a movie, and
it was calledAkeelah and the Bee. How many of you have
heard of that movie? Yeah, that’s a good movie. And it features an
African-American little girl, too, so I’m really happy about that. But the last full release
— when I say full release, movie that’s been put in the
theatres and stayed there, you know, for several weeks or several
months, not a limited release; a limited release is a movie that
goes into the theatres for one week, then they pull it, usually
convert to a DVD, and then sell it in stores — so the last full
release that Lionsgate has made for you people here, especially
the girls, was in 2006, and that wasAkeelah and the Bee. And that movie did feature a main
character that was in that age range that you guys are in,
which is 8 to 14. So — so what do I want? You guys are sorry you asked a
question about the movie, huh? Because I’m going on and on and on. But it’s just — I’m
really passionate about it, and this is something
I wanted to see happen. My message to Lionsgate is that
they are not going to lead the way in getting movies made for your
demographic and you people here, they’re not going to lead the way,
they need to get out of the way. [ Applause ] You should not have to wait another
11 years to get anotherAkeelahand the Beeor any type of movie that features girls
in your age range. Now, I’m not up here whining and
moaning because there’s not going to be aDork Diariesmovie. If Lionsgate does not want to
make aDork Diariesmovie, fine. I’m fine with that
because it will get made. There are a lot of people that
would be interested in that. But what I don’t want — if they’re
not going to make the movie, fine. They can return the movie rights, and we’ll find somebody that’s
really excited about it. I do not want to be packaged
into a cheap digital TV show because you deserve to see
yourselves in movie theatres. I do not want to be a limited
release, which means it’s in the theatres for one week
and then packaged into a DVD. And, again, if they’re not
interested in the movie, which is what we signed up
for, then they’re not going to lead the way, then
get out of the way. Give us our movie rights back and we
will get a movie made for you guys. How does that sound? [ Applause ] Exactly. [ Applause ] So anyway, I’ve been kind of doing
a lot of research on this issue. With all the things that are going
on in the world today, you know, now I have to worry about, you
know, my fans being able to go to a movie theatre
and see themselves. But anyway, Geena Davis — and Geena
Davis is the famous A-list actress — has an institute about
gender in the media. And it’s just a little
short 90-second video, and I’d like to share
that with you guys.>>Meet Jane. See Jane. You see her? [ Music ] She makes up half the
world’s population, but you wouldn’t know it
by watching kids media. On screen Jane is outnumbered
by a ratio of three-to-one. When she is there, a lot of
time it’s purely as eye candy. And girls everywhere are watching
on average over 7 hours a day. If they see Jane, it’s [inaudible]
to say few career options and even fewer aspirations. But we can change. [ Music ] Meet Jane. See Jane? She’s half
the world’s population. She has important things to say. And she can be anything
she wants to be. But to empower girls,
we need to see Jane. SeeJane.org. If she can see it, she can be it.>>Rachel Renee Russell: Thank you. So that’s my message to
girls especially and boys, if you can see it, you can be it. And that’s why it’s important to get
movies in theatres that reflect all of the American population. So let’s get back to
questions again. Yes?>>Who inspired you to
write about Nikki Maxwell?>>Rachel Renee Russell:
Who inspired me to write about Nikki Maxwell? My two daughters are very
dorky and they were very dorky in grade school and
in middle school. And they’d come home with
all types of stories. Sometimes they’d have good days
and sometimes they’d have bad days. But when I decided to write a
book, I decided to write something that would be a little different
and that would inspire other kids that were dorky like them and possibly having a
hard time at school. So as you can see, Nikki grew up
to be a very smart young lady. Actually by trade, she’s an
elementary school teacher. She taught second and third grade. [ Applause ] So my inspiration forDork
are my two dorky daughters, Erin and Nikki. Let’s go over here.>>Um.>>Rachel Renee Russell: Yes?>>Why did you make the
stories of Max Crumbly?>>Rachel Renee Russell: I made
The Misadventures of Max Crumbly
because whenever we would go out
and do book signings, we’d have lots of guys who were big
Dork Diaries
fans, but inevitably they’d always say,
“Well, why don’t you make a book with a guy main character?” So I was inspired to makeThe
Misadventures of Max Crumbly
for all of my guyDork Diaries
fans who kept asking me over and over and over to
write another book series that had a guy as a main character. Yes?>>What’s your favorite
book in the series?>>Rachel Renee Russell:
My favorite book in the series is always book one and
the newest book that I’m working on. So we just finishedDork Diaries
book 12 probably about a month ago. So right now my favorite
book isDork Diariesbook 1 andDork Diariesbook 12. We’ll be startingDork Diaries
book 13 in probably a couple of weeks, and then more than
likely that’s going to end up being my favorite book as well.>>What made you decide to have Max
as the prey and not the predator?>>Rachel Renee Russell: Oh,
that’s a very good question. So probably again,
raising my daughters. And they were the prey
and not the predator. So as a mom, when they would come
home and they’d be having problems, I thought, “Well, what am
I doing wrong as a parent? Maybe if I was a better mother
or if I was more supportive.” But it’s not about that. There are just children that
Erin and Nikki ran into and a lot of you will run into, and
they have the issues — it’s not you, or your
parents, or your family. They’ll try to make you
think it’s you, but no, it’s other people have personal
problems in some instances, and then they take out
their frustrations on you. So only because I can relate
to a person being bullied more so than ably, I wrote it
from that perspective. But that’s a very good question. Yes?>>When were you planning to have
the next Max Crumbly book come out?>>The newest Max Crumbly book,
and that was theThe Misadventuresof Max Crumbly: Middle School
, came out just in June. So it was released a
couple of months ago. I’m going to see if I
can find it on here. Ah, let’s go this way. Oops, did I miss it up? Well, anyway, I was going
to show you the cover. But anyway, Max Crumbly — yeah,
you guys, they’re holding it up. It’s the black book with
the silver spiral on it. That was just released
in June of 2017. Our next Max Crumbly books
will be coming out more than likely in June of 2018. Okay. We’ll take two more questions,
and then Nikki’s going to be ready. Okay. We’re over here, I think.>>Why did you make one of the
perspectives from the diary instead of just from, like, a
third person point of view?>>Rachel Renee Russell: I
love writing from the diary or first person perspective because that way you can
get into the writer’s head. If they’re feeling happy or sad or
angry in first person which is kind of the diary perspective,
you can really relate to how the person is feeling. So — and then diaries are cool. And it’s always fun to
sneak and read a diary. So I thought that would be a fun
angle to approach the book from. And our last question?>>How long does it take to you like do the illustrations
and, like, write it?>>Rachel Renee Russell: We write and illustrate the
book at the same time. In some cases I’ll write a chapter, and then I’ll give it
to Nikki to illustrate. And then once I’ve
seen the illustrations, it usually blows my mind and I
go back and rewrite the chapter. So we kind of do them
both at the same time. And I would say it takes
probably about four to five months to do
a complete book. So that’s it for our questions. And Nikki, are you ready? Well, she has one more. You want to finish that up quickly? Maybe we’ll take one more question
while she’s finishing things up.>>Are you ever thinking about
making a book about Brandon?>>Rachel Renee Russell: That
would be very cool to do. So yes, I am thinking about that. Definitely. Yes?>>How did your daughter
Nikki get so good at drawing?>>Rachel Renee Russell:
That’s a really good question, and I’m always excited
to talk about that. Nikki started out taking
black markers and writing all over
her bedroom walls. Don’t try this at home. But she loved drawing and sketching
so much that when she was, like, four, she had the nastiest
habit of drawing on walls. And when they were newly-painted,
they were her favorite. So after that, when she got a
little older, probably about seven or eight years old, I
put her in a summer camp. And it was for — we’re originally
from Grand Rapids, Michigan. And it was called Kendall
School of Art and Design, and they ran a summer camp for kids. And Nikki went to that summer
camp from 8 years old all the way up to her senior year in high
school, which is 18 years old. That’s all the training she’s had. So what’s the message? The message is you can
become brilliant at anything that you dream to do
as a young person. Nikki’s skills did not come
from college or, you know, what she’s done as adult, it all came from her summer
art camps from age 8 to 18. And if she can do it, all of
you guys can do it as well. So I think she’s ready. [ Applause ]>>Rachel Renee Russell: You see it?>>Nikki Russell: She
already knows who she is. Come on up and get your picture. [ Applause ] [ Inaudible ]>>Rachel Renee Russell: We’re going
to ask all of the kids with pictures to just line up across the front on
the floor here and hold your picture up so everybody can see it. [ Applause ] You want to walk around
on the floor?>>Nikki Russell: This next
belongs to a gentleman who’s seated in a purple chair with an orange
T-shirt and a gray jacket. Come on up and get your
dorkification or crumblefication. [ Applause ] [ Inaudible ] [ Applause ] And last but most certainly not
least, this dorkification belongs to a young lady seated in the front
in a pink jacket and blue capris. Come on up and get
your dorkification. [ Applause ] [ Inaudible ] Here you go.>>Thank you.>>Nikki Russell: You’re welcome. [ Applause ] Thank you so much, everyone. I wish I could dorkify you all,
but that’s all the time we have. Thank you. [ Applause ]>>Rachel Renee Russell: I’d like
to end by just saying two things, and it’s the theme of our books. If you’re a bigMax Crumbly
fan, we would like to inspire you to be the hero you
always dreamed of; and if you’re a big
Dork Diaries
fan, we always say let your
inner dork shine through. Take care. [ Applause ]>>This has been a presentation
of the Library of Congress. Visit us at loc.gov.