We interviewed Long Island author Gordon Korman at the Barnes & Noble Book Store in Carle Place recently. His latest book, "Masterminds," is one of our favorites.

What was your first job?

This actually. My first book was written when I was 12, it was published when I was 14. It wasn't really a job throughout high school and college, it was more of a summer job, but as soon as I graduated college I just became a full-time writer.

Who or what inspired you to become an author?

It goes back to that seventh-grade English project. My first book began as a school project. From February to June we had a class period every single day to write one story and that's how I wrote my first book.

What inspired you to write "Masterminds"?

I was sort of thinking about being a kid and talking about kids who are always getting into trouble and the kids who don't and you sort of think to yourself -- the kids in trouble -- is it inside of you? Are you kind of born with it? or does it kind of come from your experiences growing up, the environment you're in, things that happen to you? And I just sort of was thinking about what makes good people and bad people or is it their nature or nurturing. I thought about kids, what if you ended up in an experiment to sort of see what makes people good and bad?

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In "Masterminds," are the characters based on real people?

Characters in "Masterminds" were not based on real people. I think what I was really focusing on when I was creating the characters for "Masterminds" was the fact that these were regular kids living in the perfect town.

Who did you look up to?

I grew up in Canada so most of my heroes were professional hockey players. But if I had a writer role model it would be Judy Blume just because I was in fourth grade the year "Tales of the Fourth Grade Nothing" was published. I remember reading it and thinking there's a whole kind of book written for people like me and I love those kinds of middle grade classical novels.

Where do you write your books?

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Just at home. I have an office set up in a spare bedroom. Nothing super exciting. I've got a couple of computers there.