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Interview With Tim Green

by Murphy Roberts, Kid Scoop News Young Reporter

Tim Green was born on December 16,1963, in Liverpool, New York. As a child, Tim dreamed of becoming a professional football player and best selling writer. Through much hard work, perseverance, and dedication, his dream came true. As a matter of fact, Tim Green is the American dream.


Every year, Tim travels to various schools speaking to thousands of students.

Tim is intelligent. While at Syracuse University, he studied writing and graduated covaledication of his undergraduate class. In 1994, he graduated with honors from Syracuse University College of Law. Currently, he uses his education to write books. He is also an attorney for Hiscock & Barclay.

Tim is athletic. He is a former All American football player. In 1986, the 6 foot 2 inch, 250 pound linebacker was selected in the first round of the NFL draft by the Atlanta Falcons. For eight years, he was their top defensive player. Tim had a sensational career in the NFL, being called the “Renaissance Man” of sports by both Sports Illustrated and the Los Angeles Times. In 2001, Tim was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

green-falconTim is an author. He writes books for adults and children, many of which have made the New York Times best seller list. Tim uses his education and life experiences to bring his characters and stories to life. He has two series of young readers novels set in the sports of football and baseball. Tim’s first book for young readers, Football Genius, was a New York Times bestseller. Once you start reading Tim’s books, they are hard to put down.

Tim is a commentator. He is a radio and television personality. He began working as a television broadcaster for FOX NFL Sunday. He has also starred in Battle Bots, Good Morning America, Court TV, A Current Affair, and Find My Family. Being on camera comes naturally for Tim. Tim is a family man. He lives in upstate New York with his wife Illyssa. They have five children and two dogs. In his spare time, Tim enjoys fishing, hunting, reading, coaching and spending time with his family and friends.

Tim is a role model. Every year, Tim travels to various schools speaking to thousands of students. He encourages them to get a good education, read more, and have good character. Tim definitely practices what he preaches. He is a highly educated, well read, man of integrity. I was fortunate enough to be able to speak with Tim about his life, family, and success. This is what he had to say.

When did your start writing and who inspired you to become a writer?
I began writing short stories in college at SU where I was an English major. I was inspired to write by all the authors who wrote the great books I read as a kid and then by my advisor at SU Dr. Judy Weissman.

What motivated you to begin writing books for children?
I had been writing suspense novels for adults with Warner books when I got a call from an editor at HARPER COLLINS. She’d read a book of mine called Exact Revenge and really loved it. She saw I was a former NFL player and came up with the idea for me to start using my skills as a writer to tell stories set in sports to kids. She thought it would excite a lot of non readers to pick up a book and it has!

What are your biggest struggles as a writer?
I don’t struggle too much. I enjoy writing and my stories seem to come pretty naturally. When I hit a rough spot I’ve learned to put the book down and relax. The next scene or direction of the story has always come to me within a few days.

Excluding the books that you have written, what is your favorite book? Why?
I have a collection of my favorite books, so I can’t give you just one. However, the last book that made it into my personal library was WONDER. I live it because it made me a kinder person and more sensitive to people who might look different in any way, and to sharpen my focus on the inner person with everyone I meet. I always tried to do that anyway, but WONDER made me even better.

As your fans eagerly await the release of your next children’s book, what details can share with us?
It’s called LOST BOY and will be released in spring of 2015. It’s the story of a boy whose mother has had a terrible accident. She needs a costly operation to save her life and he has to find the father he never knew to try and save her. With only an old love letter and an autographed baseball to go on, he learns his father is a famous major league baseball player. With the clock on his mom’s life ticking down, he has to try and not only connect with his famous father, but convince him that he is his son.

Who is your role model and why?
I never had just one, but I always looked up to the people around me: parents, coaches, and teachers who I wanted to be like.

It’s no secret that you were adopted. How do you think being adopted impacted your life?
I think growing up with subconscious rejection of being given away at birth made me determined to try and prove my worth by standing out in everything I did. When I got married and had kids of my own I didn’t feel that strongly about it anymore, but the habits of hard work and perseverance still remain with me.

What is your advice to the millions of kids who want to grow up and play professional sports?
I’ll tell you what I tell my own kids: the most important thing is to be a good and kind person. That’s true success and with it comes relationships with wonderful people you love. Next, education is critical, go as far and as high as you can. I urge my kids to get graduate degrees, not just college. Make sure you focus on both of those things first, then devote yourself to lifting and running and out-working everyone around you in sports. Realize though that to make it to the NFL requires more than just talent and hard work. It takes luck. You have to be at the right place at the right one with the right coaches and teammates AND stay healthy!

What is your favorite sport to watch? To play? To coach?
Football. Football. Football.

What was your favorite moment in the NFL?
We were playing the Dallas Cowboys and had the lead but they were coming back. We had them pinned down in the two yard line. I read the play (just like Troy can do in “Football Genius”) and shot through a gap to tackle Emmit Smith in the end zone for a safety and secure the win.

What are the pros and cons for playing in the NFL?
The pros are the excitement of playing in the NFL, on TV, living your dream, and the money. The cons are the injuries, the grueling training and practices, and extreme pressure of knowing that if you make mistakes or get hurt too much that you’ll be quickly replaced.

Over the years, you have worked in broadcasting quite a bit. Share with us the best moment in your broadcasting career?
The best broadcasting moment was when I hosted FIND MY FAMILY for ABC and we reunited a father who had been looking for his son for twenty years and finally we found him.

Tell me something about yourself that most people don’t know.
Most people don’t know that when I was a kid I was extremely sensitive and emotional. I’d cry easily (and I guess I still do). I was afraid of the dark (not anymore!) and had constant nightmares. You do have to be incredibly tough to play in the NFL, so I guess I’m that, but I also have this other side that most people don’t suspect is there. Maybe readers will know that from my books though.