On the corner bookshelf next to the teens section of the Half Hollow Hills Community Library stands the newly commissioned Tim Green Corner. The area is named after NFL football player, lawyer, and best-selling author, Tim Green, who now devotes his life to storytelling and encouraging young people to follow their dreams.
Traveling to schools throughout the country, including Half Hollow Hills’ Candlewood and West Hollow Middle Schools (which he visited on October 6th), Green’s message is simple: reading and education are “weightlifting for your brain.”
Although Green started off his career as a linebacker and defensive end for the Atlanta Falcons, he has seamlessly transitioned into the world of writing. You might ask, how are the two related? It all comes down to one word.
“Perseverance,” said Green, “It carries over into everything, especially writing books and reading. And that’s what made me, from a very young age, say, ‘I want to do this.'” Even though writing is his passion, he said it is not easy and emphasized the importance of having an intriguing story to tell.
“Unless you’re really famous,” said Green, “you really have to have a great, great story…Sports and entertainment are really uncertain areas. In fact, a lot of times when I talk to students, I say that it requires luck to be successful…it’s not enough to be talented or work hard…[However] to me, the story is key and it’s got to be entertaining. It’s got to make you want to turn the pages. But then after that, you always want to be saying something and sharing a message. Every writer wants to say something and influence [their] readers with a message about perseverance, forgiveness, kindness, love, family, loyalty, friendship…you always want to say something about that to reinforce something in your life that you feel passionate about and that you really believe. But, to me, it can never be at the expense of the story.” When asked to explain his “weightlifting” metaphor, Green expressed the importance of education for young people.
“Of course, to be the best athlete you can be, you have to lift weights. They make you bigger, faster, stronger…reading is exercise for our brains. It makes us stronger in every subject.”
Green’s résumé is not only diverse occupationally, but solely within his writing career as well, having written both adult and middle-grade novels.
“Right now, I write realistic, middle-grade fiction set in the backdrop of the world of sports,” said Green, “My first priority as a writer is to entertain, so [my stories] have a lot of action, realistic characters that have a lot of internal and external conflict, [a mix of] guy characters and girl characters, adult protagonists [and] antagonists…it’s really about the characters.” Although Green wrote many successful adult suspense novels, he is focusing mainly on books for young readers.
“I was solicited by [a] creative director to write a middle-grade novel,” he said, “I wrote one, and it went on the best-seller list…And then I started speaking in schools, and it kinda opened up a whole new world for me because I realized that I had the ability to influence people in a really important way. That kinda meant more to me than what I had been doing. I love writing suspense novels, and I probably will go back to it and write more one day, but I’m having a really good time doing what I’m doing right now…If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. Things are going well.”
Green was not only at Half Hollow Hills to motivate students, but to publicize his newest novel that was released on September 29th.
“Kid Owner is my newest novel,” he said, “It’s a simple story: it’s about a twelve-year-old who inherits the Dallas Cowboys. He doesn’t know his father growing up, and one day his mom comes in the room and says, ‘Your father died, and he left you the Dallas Cowboys.’ [Similarly to] a lot of my stories, he’s got two friends: one is a guy who’s kinda an outcast, [and] the other’s a girl who’s smart and tough.”
In addition to being an author, a professional football player, and a lawyer, Green is also a father of five. His kids, like thousands of other young readers across the nation, are huge fans of his stories.
“[My kids] read them all. I don’t know if they have a favorite, [but] my favorite is Unstoppable. That’s the one I’m closest to.”
Tim Green stated that his two dreams in life were to play in the NFL and to become a best-selling author. Now that he has accomplished them both, he has one final dream left: to spend more time with his children.