Jeff Brown was born Richard Chester Brown. In Hollywood he worked for the producer Samuel Goldwyn Jr. and was a story consultant at Paramount. Preferring to write himself, he sold fiction and articles to national magazines while working at The New Yorker, Life, The Saturday Evening Post, Esquire and finally at Warner Books, where he was a senior editor until 1980.
The idea for Stanley came to him one night at bedtime when his sons J. C. and Tony were young and stalling for time. One asked what would happen if the big bulletin board on the wall were to fall on J. C., and Mr. Brown said he would most likely wake up flat. That led to speculation about what such a life might be like.
After writing Flat Stanley, Mr. Brown went on to Stanley and the Magic Lamp, Stanley in Space, Stanley's Christmas Adventure, Invisible Stanley and finally Stanley, Flat Again!