Carl Hiaasen has been writing about Florida since his father gave him a typewriter at age six. Then it was hunt-and-peck stories about neighborhood kickball and softball games. Now Hiaasen is the author of many bestselling novels, including Basket Case and Skinny Dip. Together, Hiaasen's novels have been published in 29 languages, which is 28 more than he can read or write! In addition to writing novels, Hiaasen also writes a newspaper column for The Miami Herald, and he has published two collections of his columns. How does he balance writing the newspaper columns and the novels? "Easy," Hiaasen said. "You write every waking hour and have no life. Actually, the jobs complement each other. In a place as wild as South Florida, true-life events are almost too big and too weird to be dealt with appropriately in a newspaper. The journalism feeds the imagination, which feeds the fiction. As for keeping a schedule, it's pretty simple: Two days a week I write for The Miami Herald, and the rest of the time I'm working on novels or magazine articles. Or fishing." Hoot, Hiaasen's first novel for young readers, was the recipient of numerous awards, including the prestigious Newbery Honor. The movie version of Hoot hit U.S. theaters May 2006.