Hey readers! A lot of you have been emailing me with questions about Evil Spy School, the long-awaited, highly-anticipated third book in the Spy School series. I often refer you guys to some posts I did a while back with some answers to these questions, but I just realized that those posts are almost a year old. (Holy cow. I can’t believe I’ve been working on this book that long.) So I figured it was time for an update. If you’ve read those posts, some of these questions might be a bit familiar, but hey, maybe you forgot the answers anyhow. So here we go:
When is Evil Spy School going to come out?
Right now, the targeted release date in April 21, 2015.
What??? April 21??? That’s like five months away!!! Aren’t you done writing this darn thing yet?
Yes. In fact, I finished writing it about six months ago.
Six months ago???
Please stop repeating everything I say.
I can’t help it. I’m upset. Why do I have to wait a year after you’ve finished for the book to come out?
For starters, I’d already written some other books — Poached and Space Case — and those were scheduled to come out first. Second, just because I’m done doesn’t mean that the book is done. The cover still has to be designed, and a lot of other stuff had to be done. (See that cover up at the top of this page? A lot of work went into that.) Third, to make sure a book gets a good release, you have to pick a release date way ahead of time. We need to make sure your local bookstore (or library) has had a chance to hear about the book and order it so it’s there when you want it.
I guess that makes sense. (Disgruntled sigh.) What happens in this book anyhow? You might have told me, but I forgot since you haven’t posted about it in a year.
Our hero, Ben Ripley gets to go on his first undercover mission — at SPYDER’s school for young evil spy wannabes.
Hold on a moment. How’s that supposed to work? How can Ben go undercover when everyone at SPYDER knows what he looks like?
Ah. Good question. But there’s a very simple answer: As you may recall from the first two books (SPOILER ALERT: DON’T READ ON IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE FIRST TWO BOOKS) SPYDER has made repeated attempts to recruit Ben to the dark side. So now, he finally is going to accept their offer. Or at least, he’s going to make them think he’s going to the dark side, when really, he’s going to secretly keep working for the good guys. Even though he’ll most likely end up dead if SPYDER figures this out. (This plan wasn’t Ben’s idea. He just gets railroaded into it.)
Ooh! Sounds awesome!
Is Erica in it?
Definitely. She’s not going undercover with Ben, but trust me, she’ll be around.
Are she and Ben ever going to become a couple?
Man, you wouldn’t believe how many times I get asked this question. They’re not going to start dating any time soon — partly because they’re pretty young and partly because there’s a lot of other complications in their lives. But their relationship is going to grow.
Who else is going to be in it? Alexander Hale?
How about Jawa? Will he be in it too?
Let’s just say that everyone you’ve met in the previous books will be in this one.
Like Woodchuck Wallace?
Er… no. Not him. But almost everyone else is in it. Plus, there’s some cool new characters as well.
Some of the students at Evil Spy School. I think you’ll really like them. Even though they’re evil.
Can you tell me more about them?
I’d prefer not to. I want to save some surprises for the book.
Can you tell me what SPYDER is plotting this time?
Sorry, that’s classified. For the same reasons as the previous answer.
Fine. Be that way. Can you send me an advanced copy?
Can you write me into the book?
No. Like I said, it’s done.
Well, can’t you just slip a mention of my name in? Or mention my friend/family/a product I really like?
I’m sorry, but I can’t. I get asked this question more than just about anything else (except maybe ‘When is Spy School going to be turned into a movie?’). The problem is that I can’t put everyone who requests a mention in, because the book would then have thousands of random characters in it and read like the phone book. So, sadly, the solution is that to be fair to everyone, I can’t put anyone who asks into the books. Or mention your friends. Or your pets. Or give the characters names that you think would be funny. Sorry.
When is Spy School going to be turned into a movie?
I told you I get this question a lot. The answer is: I don’t know. I’m talking to Hollywood people about it. The neat thing now is, lots of kids in Hollywood are reading the book, and some of those kids have parents who are movie producers, and so now some producers are getting interested because their kids like the book so much. We’ll see how all that works out, though.
Isn’t there some way to speed up the process of getting a movie made?
Sure. The more books that sell, the more interested Hollywood gets. If Spy School sells millions of copies, the movie business will very likely turn it into a movie. So just get a million of your closest friends to buy the book, and it’ll end up being a movie! It’s simple, really.
Are you going to write any more books in this series?
Yes. In fact, I am just starting work on the fourth one.
Really? Awesome! What’s that one about?
I’m not quite ready to share that information yet. I’m still developing the story.
Do you know when it’s going to come out?
Around fall 2016.
Oh for crying out loud. Why so long?
Because I have two more books coming out after Evil Spy School. Big Game, the next book in the FunJungle series, will be out next fall. And then Spaced Out, the sequel to Space Case, will be out in spring of 2016.
Can’t you write any faster?