How long did it take to write Stuff to Spy For?
Three days. That’s what I get for waiting til the last minute. Seriously, Stuff to Spy For took about six months.
How did you get the idea?
I always loved those movies from the seventies where a utility truck would pull up in the neighborhood and inside would be all of these recorders and cameras and they would set up surveillance at some guy’s house. That, in part, inspired Stuff to Spy For.
Did you have to do any special research in writing Stuff to Spy For? If so, what did you research, and how?
I met a guy named Jody who is a private eye with a spy store – a retail spy store, where you can buy all kinds of spy cameras, hidden GPS units. You wouldn’t believe all the stuff he has. I not only picked his brain, but made him a sleazy character in the book. He’s less sleazy in person.
What did you enjoy most about writing Stuff to Spy For?
I enjoy Skip and James. I love their interaction.
How have James Lessor and Skip Moore evolved since you wrote the first Stuff novel, Stuff to Die For?
The terrible thing is, they may start to mature, but I’m hoping they don’t. They’re much more fun when they’re being juvenile.
What are the challenges of writing two (or more) different book series at the same time?
I don’t have a problem with it. And I believe, objectively, that each book has a distinct voice unlike the others.
Which do you enjoy writing more – the Stuff books or the Mick Sever books? Why?
I love them both. They fight for my attention, and my ego is flattered.
In Stuff to Spy For, James, after being given the oh-so-important title of “person in charge of the project”, is quick to call on his friends to help him out. What does this say about James?
James is a confident, self-assured individual. That is, until he gets into trouble. Skip, on the other hand, is unsure of himself. He’s a worrier, but when trouble rears its head, he’s the one who steps in and solves the problem.
What do you think is James Lessor’s best quality? Worst quality?
He is a true friend and his intentions are honorable. He also takes risks he shouldn’t take.
What do you think is Skip Moore’s best quality? Worst quality?
Putting up with James is his best quality. That he puts up with James is also his worst quality.
What on earth do you think Emily sees in Skip?
Em sees a little boy who she finds attractive. She’s charmed by his innocence and often put off by it.
James and Skip are pretty quick to jump in feet first, e.g., buying spy equipment they can’t afford. Do you think their unbridled enthusiasm is a blessing or a curse? Both?
Boy, is that a tough question! They are friends, and I don’t know if I want to answer this. There’s a freshness in their attitude toward life. That’s what it is.
James Lessor and Skip Moore have really struck a chord with readers and reviewers alike. What do you think makes them such endearing characters?
Unbridled enthusiasm! I believe that readers identify with the fact that James is bound and determined to become rich. They identify with Skip who is a steadfast friend through thick and thin.
Do James and Skip have another adventure in the works?
They do. They are asked to investigate a traveling carnival whose rides keep jumping the track. I believe that book comes out in 2010.
What’s next for Don Bruns?
I’ve got three treatments and a screenplay I’m working on. Other than that… not much.
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