Today, May 18, 2020, is the tenth anniversary of Belly Up’s publication.

Ten years ago today, I became a published author. Belly Up was released by Simon & Schuster.  If you go back to my very first blog post (which was also published about ten years ago) you will see that it was a very momentous week fo me.  On May 14, I had watched my friend, astronaut Garrett Reisman, blast off into space, and then my family spent the next few days having fun in Florida.  Somewhere around may 18, Garrett took this incredible photo of my first copy of Belly Up (which was an Advanced Reader Copy) on the space shuttle.

At the time that Belly Up was published, I thought that maybe, this might be the only book I would ever write. But thanks to the support of some of the finest people I have ever worked with, such as my agent Jennifer Joel, my publisher, Justin Chanda, editors like Courtney Bongiolatti (who really left publishing to become an FBI agent), Kristin Ostby Hoyle, Liz Kossnar and Krista Vitola, and my cover artist Lucy Cummins (who may have created the finest cover ever for this book), I have now published twenty books and am scheduled for another six over the next two and a half years.  (Plus, there might be some exciting new projects to mention in a few months.)

My career in publishing has been an incredible journey. When I started, I had no idea that I would get to engage with my young readers so often via school visits and blog post comments, or that my own children would eventually get involved in the editing process, or that I would be participating at book festivals and meeting fellows authors. As it happens, many of those authors have become some of my closest friends.  Authors like James Ponti, Sarah Mlynowski, Christina Soontornvat, Karina Yan Glaser, Max Brallier, Gordon Korman, Ally Carter and many, many, many more.

So thank you to everyone who has supported my career, bought one of my books, come to a reading of mine, sat in on a panel, written me fan mail, given me a positive review, or simply enjoyed the book. Thanks to all the hard-working bookstore employees and librarians out there who have recommended my books to young readers.

And of course, thanks to all of you, my readers.  This wouldn’t have happened without you.


309 thoughts on “Today, May 18, 2020, is the tenth anniversary of Belly Up’s publication.

  1. Hey stu,
    You have the new name and release date for Charlie Thorne 2, but you don’t have anything telling us what it’s about. Why is that? Thanks,
    Classified 001

  2. OJTDF-

    I have no idea why you ranked MBA and not FunJungle, but here is the updated Spy School list factoring in your ranking.

    1. Spy Ski School (23)
    2. Evil Spy School (36)
    3. British Invasion (38)
    4. Goes South (42)
    5. Spy Camp (44)
    6. Secret Service (47)
    7. Spy School (50)

    I hope more people do rankings, there has been a lot less of them, and it is fun to update the group lists.

  3. Aidan –

    I am usually only recognized in public at festivals, when people know I am going to be there.

  4. Benjamin Fitzroy –

    In Belly Up I think that I say the property is ten square miles — which is enormous. Although the actual part that is FunJungle is obviously smaller. I’d say it’s about the size of the San Diego Safari Park. And I have no idea how many animals are there.

  5. The guy –

    This is a very open-ended question. Please try to be more specific. Who are you even writing to here?

  6. Oreo-
    Here is my SS rankings

    1. Spy Ski School
    2. Spy School Secret Service
    3. Spy School British Invasion
    4. Evil Spy School
    5. Spy School
    6. Spy School Goes South
    7.Spy Camp

  7. Boe4Life-

    Another group list for Spy School, factoring in your list:

    1. Spy Ski School (24)
    2. Evil Spy School (40)
    3. British Invasion (41)
    4. Goes South (48)
    5. Secret Service (49)
    6. Spy Camp (51)
    7. Spy School (55)

    Spy Camp and Secret Service switched, but not a lot of change overall…

    I’m curious why people like British Invasion so much more than Goes South, in my opinion they are almost exactly equal, they seem to have the same tone.


  8. Stu and the guy-

    Based on your full name, the guy, which is “the guy who actually has a normal name”, I have interpreted your comment to mean this. Why does everyone have such weird screen names? My answer to you is that that is just how the internet works, we have weird names. I don’t think Oreo is an abnormal name as far as screen names go. Next time, try to phrase your comment better because even a nationally recognized award-winning children’s author could not understand it.


  9. Hi— It was interesting to read who your author friends are as you and James Ponti are on heavy audio book rotation during our stay-at-home order. It would be awesome if my two kids would be listing to the same book in the same place, but alas. I just want to say thank you for your books—I enjoy them (and heavily recommend to friends) and they are affording me some peace and quiet when the kids settle in with their headphones, your books and something to keep their hands busy like building puzzles, macramé, LEGO bricks, etc. We’re looking forward to upcoming releases!

  10. Amilyn –

    Sometimes, when you wrote a series over ten years, you make the occasional mistake.

  11. For Charlie Thorne and the Lost City is it going to take place somewhere in South America? There are rumors that there are lost cities are there, but how would Charlie even get there. Will she go with the CIA. IDK it’s just a wild guess there are tons of other cities that are lost.

  12. Evil Spy-

    It is actually in 273 days, 21 hours, and 27 mins. Way less than a year.


    PS: Yes, I have a countdown going for all of Stu’s upcoming releases. Don’t judge.

  13. My little pony rocks-
    I won’t really think that how will Charlie get to South America is a hard question, considering that in the first book she went all over North America and to Israel.

  14. Stu-
    I am really excited for spy school revolution and from what you shared it seems great. I don’t know if it is just me or dose the plot of SSR remind anyone else of the beginning of the first Spy School with the test that made it seem like the school was under attack.

  15. I think Ben and everybody else finally get all the credit they deserve in book 8. Why else would they be at the CIA headquarters.

  16. Evil Spy –

    I know it’s going to be a while, but I do have to write the book, then do multiple edited drafts, and also write the other books that are coming out and do multiple drafts of those. Plus, the book needs to be designed, printed, distributed and marketed. All in the midst of a worldwide pandemic.

  17. Amilyn –

    I write blog posts when I have something of interest to report. Therefore, I do not know if (and when) I will do one for June.

  18. Stu-
    Since you used to study capybaras, will you add them in one if your books? Or did you do that already because I might have forgotten…

  19. I wonder if it’s going to be the El Dorado i think it’s the city of gold. I’ve always been so fascinated by it. I’ve always thought it was just a myth though.

  20. Sorry bro, I mean, at the time of the MBA epilogue, where was Roddy and what was his occupation. (If he can still walk since he didn’t do the exercises)

  21. Sorry, i think i posted this before but i cant find the post and answer(if there was one) so i posted the question again.

  22. FJFanatic

    Roddy needed a great deal of rehab when he returned to earth. He eventually got a job in tech but still has trouble walking.

  23. Stu-

    How long is your short story in the collection coming out (I forgot the name.)

  24. Stu-
    Sorry I haven’t come to this page in a while. I’ve been busy. I wanted to inform you that I just got Tyrannosaurs Wrecks! I can’t wait to read it!

    – Ben Ripley

  25. Traffic Cone –

    Super Puzzletastic Mysteries is about 310 pages.

    And any time you are ever wondering about the title or release sate of a book I have coming out, just look in the right hand column of every single page of this website.

  26. Benjamin Fitzroy –

    Yes, I do like HP. I think the first book, in particular, is really fantastic.

  27. Sorry, I should of been more specif. I was asking how long your story was in Super Puzzletastic Mysteries.

  28. Quarantine –

    You were asking for books I recommend, yes? Two of my last six posts have been book recommendations. So check those out.

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