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2014 Forty Under 40: John Green

Lou Harry
February 1, 2014
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green_john_1col.jpg (IBJ Photo/Aaron P. Bernstein)

The write stuff: “Becoming a full-time writer is not an event,” Green said, “it’s a process.” Living in New York, while working for Mental Floss magazine, Green landed a deal for his second and third books. “That,” he recalled, “is when it became clear that I could make a living at this for the next couple of years.”

Not quitting his day job: Still, Green always tried to hang on to some outside work (including co-creating the vlogbrothers Internet videos). “Every time I haven’t had [another job], I sort of found one—not for financial reasons but to lift some of the mental pressure of thinking of myself as a full-time writer.”
 

AGE 36
Hometown: Orlando, Fla.
 
Family: wife, Sarah Urist Green; children Henry, 4, and infant daughter, Alice

Making the leap to Indy for his wife’s work: “It was an easy decision,” he said. “The IMA was one of the most exciting art museums in the country at the time.” He was ready to leave New York, own a home for the first time, and start a family. “My dad is from Indy and I couldn’t believe that he worked so hard to leave only to have his son return.”

New adult fans, thanks to “The Fault in Our Stars”: “I never thought I’d find such a broad audience. I don’t see myself as a best-seller kind of writer.” Still, he’s not focused on holding onto such popularity. “I would be cool with going back to being a regular young-adult writer.”

Finding the next novel: “I never know even when I’m finishing the first draft if it’s going to be a book,” he said. “It’s a long process. A lot of stories I worked very hard on just didn’t work out.”

Going Hollywood: His expectations were low when film rights were optioned for “Stars.” “I have a lot of friends who had movies made [from their work] and it was usually a pretty unpleasant experience. But I was lucky with cast, with the screenwriter … the whole way through. I’m immensely proud of it.” It’s scheduled for release in June.•

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