How COVID is affecting the release of Spy School Revolution and the Spy School movie

Hi everyone –

At this time, there are two questions I have been getting over and over and over again.  So I figured I would post to answer those questions before anyone else asks them.

Can you please release Spy School Revolution early so that I have something new to read during the pandemic?

The simple answer is NO.

Here is the more complicated answer: You have to realize that releasing a book is not easy.  After I write it, there are still many steps.  The book has to be designed, then printed, then shipped to stores.  All of that takes time, and each one of those steps has been adversely affected by the virus.

Plus… to release a book, it helps to have bookstores be open.  Thousands are not right now.

Now, you might be arguing that you could order the books on line, so you don’t need the stores to be open — but it still helps to have stores open, so that people who don’t know about the book can see it and decide to buy it.

Due to these issues, many author friends of mine are having their book releases pushed back, rather than moved forward.  Hopefully, the release of SSR is far enough away that this won’t happen.

Also, if you are still ordering books on Amazon… stop it.  You are hurting the publishing business!  Instead, order your books through either your local independent bookstore (if they are still open), or Barnes & Noble.

Is the Spy School movie going to film after all this is over?

I have no idea.

Hollywood is completely shut down.  I haven’t heard from the executives on the project in weeks.  Disney, which now owns the rights, is having severe financial problems because all its theme parks are shut down.  No one can film anything because there is no way to do that while being socially-distanced.

At some point, Hollywood will need to start making movies again, but no one knows when that will be.  Until that happens, I will have no further updates on the movie.

One more thing:

Not to sound like a jerk here, but please please please stop asking me if I can cast you in the movie.  I know you are all shocked that I won’t have any sway over casting, but here’s the best explanation I can give:

Actors are hired by casting directors.  That is the casting director’s job, and they train for years to do it.  So, if I were to call a casting director and say, “Hey, you should consider this kid for the movie,” that would be like the casting director coming up to me and saying, “Hey, would you mind if I wrote a chapter of your book for you?”  The casting director has their job.  I have mine.  It is not cool for me to try to tell them how to do their job.

Thus, I have no idea if there will be an open casting call or when that would even happen.  My bet is, it is unlikely.  If there is an open casting call, I will post about it on this blog.  So please do not ask me if I can contact you directly at your email to let you know about this.

Again, not to sound like a jerk, but I have a lot to do.  Emailing every one of the thousands of kids (and a lot of parents) who has asked me to contact them directly would take me weeks.  I do not have time to do that.  I have books to write.

That is all for now.  Stay safe.

242 thoughts on “How COVID is affecting the release of Spy School Revolution and the Spy School movie

  1. Mr. Gibbs-

    Hi! I love your books so so much. In fact, when I read Spy School Secret Service, I wanted to be a USSS agent. I’m over that now. Anyway, I live in Alaska and when COVID-19 blows over, you should DEFINITELY visit. Do you know Rick Riordan or Jeff Kinney? That would be SO cool. You are my favorite author and that’s saying something since I read a ton of books from a bunch of different authors. I think it would be cool to be an author when I’m older… Any tips?

    Stay awesome and keep writing! ???

    P.S. Sorry this is so long & please say “hi” to Dashiell and Violet.

  2. Berica in Alaska –

    I lOVE Alaska! I would love to come back for a book event.

    I have met Jeff Kinney. He has his own book store in Massachusetts. he’s a really nice guy.

    I have some tips about writing on my FAQ page. But I’ll say this. There aren;t that many stories about kids in Alaska, so maybe you should write what you know about life there.

  3. My son and I LOVED watching your live event tonight at Once Upon A Time! Thank you for sharing your talents with all of us and for answering all the questions that you did…but most importantly thank you for your words at the very end. We loved what you said! I do have one other question that I did not want to write here. Is there another way to write a question to you?

  4. Hello,

    It’s come to my attention with your new article that there’s going to be a Spy School graphic novel. I have a question about it!
    Could Zoe Zibbell colored? Black, South Asian, anything!I know it’s a bugging question, and since you already started the book, it might not be possible. All of the other characters are too obviously from a white descent, and it would be inspiring to make one of the main characters brown! We already know that Zoe has brown eyes, so it would check out. Do consider it! Zoe’s one of my favorite characters, and never in any book I’ve ever read has my favorite character, coincidentally, not been white. I think it would also be inspiring to your readers on how you’re subtly tackling current events in your writing!


  5. Olivia –

    You might have noticed that I never really specify what ethnicity most of the characters are in my books. My thought in this, honestly, was that kids might envision Ben or the other characters as looking more like them. (I can’t say that it works, but I have heard that sometimes it does.) Obviously, I couldn’t get away with that in the graphic novel, so you will be happy to know that the artist and I have already discussed making the characters a variety of ethnicities. (I hope you don’t mind, but I’m not going to say who is what ethnicity yet because that is still changing.) But I hope that you will be pleased to find that all the characters are not just going to be caucasian.

  6. in your next spy school can you include something that has to do with COVID it’ll be cool to see COVID from bens point of view thanks for the great books one week read max

  7. chris –

    Three reasons I am not going to do a COVID book:

    1) The SS books tend to happen relatively close together. But COVID has already been going on for seven months and could go on for another year. So if I do a COVID book, then I am stuck doing several more COVID books in a row — or suddenly I have to jump ahead a year.

    2) Writing a story where the world is shut down is less fun than writing a story where everything — like museums, zoos and cruise ships — are operating.

    3) By the time I finished the book and got it printed, it would be two years from now. In two years, COVID will be a thing of the past and there is a good chance people will want to move on and not read stories set during this time.

  8. Stuart

    i LOVE you’re books sooo much that i own EVERY SINGLE ONE of your book { exept belly up its not available in my local Barns & noble and my school wont let me purchase the book}. I was considering buy a Academy of espionage hoodie only to realize there are no Academy of espionage hoodies for kids. (whats up with that?) anyways it would mean the world to me if you could wish me happy birthday.
    Lots of love from Atlanta georgia.

    P.S. i have already finished the audiobook version of SSR and started the book i love it in my opinion it is the best SS book.

  9. leo –

    There are no kids’ hoodies? Hmm. It may take a while, but I’ll see what i can do. I am still playing around with concepts and designs.

    If you ask your local bookstore to order you a book, they can do it. (In Atlanta, I am sure that Little Shop Of Stories can get you Belly Up.)

  10. Mr. Gibbs–
    Hi! I love your books so much. I’ve read every one in the Spy School series at least 4 times. I also love the FunJungle series. That’s all I wanted to say 🙂 Thanks!

  11. Hi! I have been reading your books for the past 2 years now and I always find it hard to put them down! When I heard that we were going to get a Spy School movie, I was so excited!! My question is, how do you come up with all these amazing plots for your stories?
    I like to write scripts for fun, but I always have trouble coming up with ideas. Keep writing!!!
    P.S, I am in the process of reading SSR, and, no surprise, I love it!
    – Kaci (11)

  12. Kaci –

    I spend a lot of time developing plots before I start writing. I am often working out story ideas for over a year.

  13. Mr.Gibbs,

    Hi!! I love your books and I have read all of them! I wanted to ask- how did you come up with the FJ series? What inspired you? I can’t wait for more updates on your blog!

    ~Sofia (11)

  14. Mr. Gibbs,
    I love your books, your creative writing amazes me. I was wondering what inspired you to write spy school They are my favorite series.

    – Gwen

  15. Stuart
    im 11 and I love spy school, ive read every book and I want to know when the first clue of what SS book 9 will be released

  16. Stu-
    When will you add another blog post? I like seeing updates on what you’re doing.
    Alexander Hale

  17. This is my favorite series, and that’s not changing until in a while. I’m REALLY excited for the movie-Especially Erica 🙂

  18. Hi my name is Jack Bialko I just started reading your book series at The start of August and I really love your books you’re my favorite author and I am pretty picky books but I really love your books.I wrote about your books in my book report.
    I’m kind of not a good writer so I was wondering do you have any tips with me because I have a hard time coming out of the stories and I don’t know what to write?

  19. Jack –

    It is extremely hard to tell someone how to come up with stories. I honestly feel that what makes someone an author isn’t so much writing ability as the ability to have story ideas. The best I can say is, keep your mind open to new ideas and explore the world as much as you can (which, I know, is not easy with covid.)

  20. Mr.Gibbs

    How are you doing? I just wanted to say thank you for all your hard work. I read the FJ seires and now a already am loving the spy school seires. Keep up the hard work!

  21. We are very thankful for your Spy School serie! We are now on the last one and taking it slow as we are sad to say goodbye. Ben and his friends have been our friends for the past many months. My 11 year old has dyslexia and spy school helped him with a 94% reading improvement this past year! Not entirely sure how that score is calculated by his school, but one thing is sure we see and hear it and are so proud! Many many thanks!

  22. A’s Mom –

    I am so pleased to hear that my books were helpful to your son. There will be more SS books in the future — and in the meantime, there are lots of other great books out there. Hope your so finds more that he enjoys!

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