About R.L. Ullman
R.L. Ullman is the bestselling, award-winning author of books for young readers. His fun, engaging stories get kids to put down their screens and pick up a book. He writes the kinds of books he loved reading as a kid—packed with fast-paced action, laugh-out-loud humor, and plenty of heart. His books are perfect for avid readers, reluctant readers, and family read-alouds. R.L. lives in Connecticut with his wife, son, and two freeloading dogs with unusually strong editorial opinions.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Hello and thanks for dropping by! I thought I would use this space to answer some frequent questions I get from readers. And by the way, I love hearing from readers so please feel free to email me at RL@rlullman.com. I guarantee I’ll email you back (just give me a few days to respond)!
1) When you were a kid did you want to be an author?
Well, not exactly. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a comic book or comic strip artist. I couldn't make either of those dreams work (yet), but I’m pretty happy with how things turned out because writing books for kids is the best job in the world!
2) When did you start writing books?
I didn't start writing books until I was in my 40s (yep, I know, I was practically ready for a nursing home). When I was a much younger man, I wrote screenplays that never got made into movies. However, it was great practice for writing books because I learned the basics of character development, pacing, and plot. Fortunately, all of that work wasn't totally wasted because one of those screenplays was EPIC ZERO and I haven’t looked back since.
3) Where did the idea for EPIC ZERO come from?
I've always identified with underdogs. Growing up, I was never the best at anything, but I tried hard. So, when I was coming up with story concepts, an idea popped into my head that combined my love of superheroes with my own feelings of being an underdog. EPIC ZERO is about a boy who lives in a family of superheroes, but he doesn't have any powers. He was an underdog to the extreme! So, while Elliott’s story is filled with action-packed fun, it’s also a personal coming of age story.
4) Who is your favorite character in EPIC ZERO?
That’s a tough one because I love aspects of every character. But if you were to pin me down, I'd say Elliott is my favorite, followed closely by Dog-Gone, Skunk Girl, and TechnocRat.
5) Will there be an EPIC ZERO movie or animated series?
I would love to see EPIC ZERO on the big and/or small screen. If you know a Producer or Director who would be interested, please send them my way!
6) Will there be more EPIC ZERO books?
Absolutely! I love the EPIC ZERO universe and I plan to keep writing more stories for Elliott and his friends. I may even create a spin-off series in the future!
7) How did you come with the idea for MONSTER PROBLEMS?
Well, as I said earlier, I do love a good underdog story. So, I was shaving one morning and had an interesting thought—who would make a more unlikely hero than a kid vampire? And in that moment, Bram and the entire MONSTER PROBLEMS universe was born. As a bonus, I didn't cut myself!
8) Where did the idea for UNLEGENDARY DRAGON come from?
This one was inspired by my son who loves dragons. One day, I was staring at his dragon necklace when I realized it could be the basis for a very cool story. I came up with several ideas until one just stood out about a misfit kid who was given the power to transform into a dragon to save the world. That's how Connor and UNLEGENDARY DRAGON first got its wings!
9) How did you come up with PETUNIA THE UNICORN?
I've always loved how picture books combine words and art to tell a story. I found surprising success with my first picture book, The Day the Screens Stood Still, so I decided to create a picture book series. I played around with different ideas, but nothing felt right until I had a thought—what would happen if a magical, real-life unicorn lived in Manhattan? This led me to create Petunia Cupcake Fluffybottom and her eccentric family. The response so far has been amazing and I plan to write more PETUNIA THE UNICORN books.
10) Do you write full-time?
Yes, I'm very fortunate that I can stay home all day and write stories in my pajamas. I do go out to walk my dogs, although I don't think my neighbors appreciate my taste in pajamas.
Well, that's it for now. If you have other questions or just want to reach out and let me know what you think of my books, feel free to email me at RL@rlullman.com.