Bolton schoolboy Montgomery “Monty” Lord — already a best-selling author — had a date in his diary he was not going to miss.
He came face-to-face with the hugely successful author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, whose book he climbed above in the charts.
Eight-year-old Monty was invited to meet Jeff Kinney, the writer who inspired him to pen his own book at the age of seven and which stormed to the top of the Amazon charts in just a week.
Jeff, who is in the UK promoting his latest book, Hard Luck, asked to speak to the young author whose book Freaky School overtook his own book for a while on the bestseller’s list.
Monty, who will start at Bolton School after the Christmas holidays, travelled to Birmingham to meet Mr Kinney for a 20-minute private chat.
Monty said: “I was over the moon.
“He’s probably my favourite living author.
“I’ve read all his books and enjoy both the stories and the way he illustrates them to project the story into the reader’s mind.
“I have dreamed of meeting Jeff Kinney since I wrote my first book last year.
“It was such an amazing experience.”
He added: “Mr Kinney has travelled from Massachusetts in America to the UK promoting his new book.
“I was quite nervous about meeting him but he put me at ease straight away.
“We just sat on the sofa talking. He signed a book for me and drew some funny pictures in it.”
“Mr Kinney was interested in how I wrote my books and was happy to hear that I write in the first person, like his Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. I got that style of writing from him.
“He also told me how he plans out each book and how to structure it.
“I didn’t realise that he actually does all the illustrations himself.
“He asked me if I had considered adding pictures in my book and so he’s given me a few ideas for the next two books. Mr Kinney also told me he starts each book by just writing several hundred jokes and works his stories around those.”
Monty’s father, Fabian Lord, who lives in Eagley with his family, added: “It really was very bizarre.
“On the one hand you have a world famous author and film producer and then there’s my son, Monty, just sitting next to him.
“Mr Kinney was such an inspiration to Monty and he’s inspired so many children to enjoy reading.
“I had to laugh as I thought, these two ‘Bestseller Boys’ are just hanging out and chatting like best friends.”
Monty will be bringing his new book ‘Freaky Holidays’ out this month and has ideas for several other books. He said: “It’s a while since I released the first book. I have stayed with the Freaky theme and I have kept many of the same characters, along with adding a few new ones.
“One of my characters, Toby Delmoto, started out as just a boy in a classroom but now he seems to be the centre of attention with all sorts of misfortunes coming his way. I wouldn’t want to be Toby. He has a particularly hard time in the second book.”
And Monty is keeping the writing flowing.
“I’m co-authoring my third book with another Bolton School year four pupil, Sahil Arjan,” he added.