Stuart Gibbs

Stuart Gibbs

Stuart Gibbs is the author of Belly Up, Spy School, Spy Camp, and Poached, and has also written several screenplays, including American Summer and Parental Guidance. He lives in Los Angeles. We were able to ask him some questions.

Maci & Zoe:
Where did you get your idea for your book?

Stuart:
For the FunJungle series, I got the idea for the books by working at a zoo when I was in college. I had always loved the zoo, and once I learned how zoos operated behind the scenes, I knew it was a great place to set a story.

Maci & Zoe:
What’s your favorite bookstore?

Stuart:
I love the Tattered Cover in Denver Colorado. The old location used to be a few blocks from my parents house and it was enormous. I would walk over there and spend hours browsing books. It has since moved but is still a wonderful store.

Maci & Zoe:
Do you read books on an electronic device or a real book?

Stuart:
I usually read real books, but on vacation, I tend to use an e-reader so I can bring more books along in less space.

Maci & Zoe:
What is your favorite genre?

Stuart:
Mysteries.

Maci & Zoe:
How did you get started writing?

Stuart:
I was always writing books, even when I was in elementary school. As a professional, I originally wrote for newspapers when I was in college, then moved to Hollywood and wrote screenplays. (I got started there by getting a job as an assistant at a company that made kickboxing movies and the convincing my bosses that I should be writing the movies myself.) After several years in the movie & TV business, my agents asked if I had ever thought about writing middle grade fiction and I jumped at the chance to do it.

Maci & Zoe:
What books are you reading right now?

Stuart:
I am reading ‘The Martian’ by Andy Weir for myself and ‘The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom’ by Chris Healy with my kids.

Maci & Zoe:
How many books do you read a year?

Stuart:
I’ve never actually counted this. Perhaps twenty adult books and twenty kids books. I also read a great number of magazines.

Maci & Zoe:
What bookmark do you use?

Stuart:
I have a few hundred Spy School bookmarks left over from a promotion a few years ago. I use those.

Maci & Zoe:
What’s your favorite dessert?

Stuart:
Ice cream.

Maci & Zoe:
How long does it take you to write a book?

Stuart:
It takes about four months to do the first draft, but 2-4 months afterwards to get it into good shape.

Maci & Zoe:
What was your first book you wrote? Was it any good?

Stuart:
When I was in first grade I wrote a book called ‘Furry Friends’ about a dog and a cat. It was pretty good for a first grader, though not really great in general.

Maci & Zoe:
What are you working on now?

Stuart:
I am working on the third book in the FunJungle series, the second book in the Space Case series and am about to start on the fourth book in the Spy School series. (None have titles yet.)

Maci & Zoe:
Do you miss your characters when you finish writing a book?

Stuart:
I do. That’s why it’s so nice to write series; so I can go back and spend time with my characters again.

Maci & Zoe:
Do you have a special procedure that you do before you write?

Stuart:
I take a walk around my neighborhood and think about what I am going to work on that day.

Belly Up
by Stuart Gibbs
Powells.com
Spy School
by Stuart Gibbs
Powells.com
Spy Camp
by Stuart Gibbs
Powells.com

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