First Draft Episode #217: Stuart Gibbs
Stuart Gibbs, New York Times bestselling author of the Spy School series, the FunJungle series, the Moon Base Alpha series, and The Last Musketeer series. His newest series kicked off in 2019 with Charlie Thorne and the Last Equation. The newest FunJungle book, Tyrannosaurus Wrecks, is out March 24, and Spy School Revolution will come out in fall 2020.
Links and Topics Mentioned In This Episode
The life path of MIchael Crichton, who studied to become a doctor, was an influence on Stuart in college. After two days into pre-med, though, he decided to focus on biology.
The capybara is the world’s largest rodent
Jennifer Joel is now Co-Head of the Publishing Department at ICM
Jean Claude Van Damme is a Belgian artist and martial artist who made many action films, like Bloodsport (definitely listen to the How Did This Get Made episode - one of the best HDTGM ever), Street Fighter (omg this How Did This Get Made episode - What is a Street Figher?! iconic), Timecop (listen to the How Did This Get Made episode), and The Quest (listen to that How Did This Get Made episode)
Stuart co-wrote the movie See Spot Run with Craig Titley (who wrote the film adaptation of Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief, the film adaptation of The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan)
Lucy Ruth Cummins, writer and illustrator, and executive art director of picture books, middle grade books, and young adult novels for Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, and Paula Wiseman books, is responsible for many of Stuart’s incredible covers, including the FunJungle covers
Stuart explains that Quentin Tarantino, writer and director of films like Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, and Once Upon a Time In Hollywood, is given the freedom to wander and explore in his movies, but most screenwriters aren’t.
Daniel Ehrenhaft, author of The Last Dog on Earth, 10 Things to Do Before I Die, and more, Vice President and Editorial Director at Soho Teen, and guitarist in Tiger Beat, recruited Stuart to write The Last Musketeer series.
Moonraker was the first James Bond movie that Stuart ever saw. It changed his world! The story Stuart wrote as a kid about Jimmy Bond, James Bond’s son, was called The Kid with the Golden Water Pistol, a riff on The Man With the Golden Gun
The Mission Impossible films have taken over for James Bond, in a way
Stuart wrote Space Case and the Moon Base Alpha series with the help of his good friend, astronaut Garrett Reisman
Stuart had the instinct that he couldn’t write a book set on Mars, because it would need to have such a scientific basis. His instinct was right because shortly after, Andy Weir published The Martian (listen to Andy Weir’s episode of First Draft here)
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Every Tuesday, I speak to storytellers like Veronica Roth, author of Divergent; Linda Holmes, author and host of NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast; Jonny Sun, internet superstar, illustrator of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Gmorning, Gnight! and author and illustrator of Everyone’s an Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too; Michael Dante DiMartino, co-creator of Avatar: The Last Airbender; John August, screenwriter of Big Fish, Charlie’s Angels, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; or Rhett Miller, musician and frontman for The Old 97s. Together, we take deep dives on their careers and creative works.
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