Before you start reading, here is his bio from his website:
I'm the author of the middle grade novels Belly Up, Poached, Spy School, Spy Camp and the Last Musketeer series. I also write for TV and film. Before all that, I studied capybaras, the world's largest rodents. Really.
[SG: Stuart Gibbs, KBR: Kid Book Reviewers]
KBR: You write a wide diversity of books, from exciting mysteries to crazy adventures. Do you have a favorite genre to write in?
SG: I really enjoy writing mysteries. I'm not sure why, exactly; I think it's just how my brain works. It's really fun to try to craft a good mystery and figure out how to drop hints through the story. Although action sequences are probably the most exciting thing to write. You get all wrapped up in the excitement yourself.
KBR: Your bio on Amazon says that you studied Capybaras, the world’s largest rodent. Did some of your inspiration for the FunJungle series stem from your study of the Capybara?
SG: Sort of. Both the capybara study and the FunJungle series stem from my love of animals. I thought about being a field biologist when I was in college and we had to do an animal research project. I picked capybaras, because no one had really studied them before. I had to do my research at the local zoo, and that was how I first got a glimpse of what zoos were like behind the scenes. I realized then that a zoo would be a great place to set a story, and that eventually led to the FunJungle series.
KBR: What was your very first story about?
SG: When I was in first grade, I wrote a book called 'Furry Friends' about a dog and a cat. I still have it and have even read it to my children.
KBR: In reading Spy School, we found Ben’s training very thrilling. Have you ever met someone that’s trained to be in the CIA? If not, how did you conceive this character’s adventures?
SG: I have met CIA agents before. What I learned from them is that they are surprisingly normal people and their jobs are, for the most part, nothing like spy movies portray them. So I thought it would be funny to do a series that plays off the differences between the real spy world and the world of spy movies like James Bond and Mission: Impossible. I get a lot of inspiration from watching spy movies and imagining how horribly wrong things would go if a normal human being (like me) was wrapped up in those missions.
KBR: If you could visit any of the stories you’ve written, what one would it be, and why?
SG: I'd like to go to FunJungle. It's pretty much my fantasy theme park (except for all the crimes that happen there).
KBR: All of the characters in your books are very humorous, from Murray in Spy School to Marge in the FunJungle books. Do you feel there is a character in a book that you connect with the most? If not, which do you enjoy writing the most?
SG: I probably connect to my protagonists: Ben, Teddy and Dashiell, the most, but it is often far more fun to write the comic characters. Murray really is a tremendous amount of fun to write for. Although Erica Hale in Spy School is also a lot of fun.
KBR: Was the setting for any of your books inspired by your childhood?
SG: All my series are very much centered around things that inspired me as a kid. I loved animals and the zoo, I loved James Bond movies, and I loved the idea of being an astronaut. (I actually wrote to NASA and volunteered to be the first kid in space.)
KBR: Are there any obstacles you overcame as a writer, and if so, how did you overcome
SG: Well, there's a lot of rejection as a starting writer. I wrote lots of books as I was growing up and tried to get them published and they all got rejected. Then I worked in the film business, where there's a lot of rejection, and even when your movies get made, you often end up getting kicked off your own film in favor of another writer. But you have to just keep plugging away. Every time you write something, you become a better writer. You can't look at any rejected book or screenplay as a waste of time, because writing it made you better at your craft.
KBR: If you could go back in time and give yourself advice as a young writer, what would it be?
SG: I guess I'd have to tell myself not to get too discouraged by rejection, and that everything would work out some day.
KBR: You’re such a creative and talented writer. What is one question you would ask yourself, and could you please answer it?
SG: Have you ever considered writing anything that's non-fiction?
I have been traveling around the world for years trying to see all of the world's largest animals in their native habitats. I've had some pretty crazy adventures along the way and I've always thought that it would be fun to compile all those stories in a book. Hopefully, I'll find the time to write it someday.