Author Update: Bruce Hale

When we last visited Bruce Hale, he had just published his second Chet Gecko book (Harcourt, 2000-), and he shared with us the story behind the stories AKA how the series came to be. (Note: my site is being redesigned in fall 2005, so if these links don’t work, simply check the site guide and/or search engine).

What is new in your writing life since we last chatted?

The Chet Gecko series (Harcourt, 2005) is 11 books strong, and I’ve begun working on humorous fantasy series that’s a blend of manga (graphic novel) and conventional fiction. It’s called Underwhere (HarperCollins, 2006), and it’ll be out in Fall 2006.

Do you have a new/upcoming book(s) to tell us about?

Chet Gecko’s Detective Handbook (and Cookbook) (Harcourt) comes out this month. It’s my first nonfiction book (as much as detective tips from a lizard can be nonfiction). The handbook will tell readers how to be a private eye and how to cook some of Chet’s favorite bug-related recipes.

If so, could you give us some insights into how this book(s) came to be?

This book was born during an over-caffeinated brainstorming session between me and my editor at a Starbucks in San Francisco. Unfortunately, we couldn’t include the secret messages in invisible ink that we wanted to, but most of our other ideas made it into my finished book.

How about children’s or YA books that you’ve read lately? Which are your favorites and why?

I recently read M.T. Anderson’s Whales on Stilts (Harcourt, 2005), and loved it for its off-the-wall humor. Also, the first two books of Philip Reeves’ Hungry City Chronicles (Eos) were imaginative YA fantasy/sci-fi, set far in Earth’s future.

What are your writing goals for the immediate future?

To keep balancing Chet Gecko and Underwhere, and to get a little sleep in between my writing sessions.

Cynsational News & Links

Tonight at the YA Authors Cafe: guest host, Lara M. Zeises, interviews three rising stars in young adult literature. Guests will be R. A. Nelson, author of the controversial new novel, Teach Me (Razorbill, 2005); Bennett Madison, author of the hilarious and hip Nancy Drew-made-modern mystery Lulu Dark Can See Through Walls (Penguin, 2005); and Melanie Gideon, author of the Girl’s Life Top Ten Pick The Map That Breathed and the forthcoming Pucker (May 2006). To join the cafe chats, go to and click the cafe chatroom icon to enter the chats. All chats are held at 8:30 p.m. EST, 7:30 p.m. CST, 5:30 p.m. Pacific.

“News You Can Use!” by Juliana LeRoy, in the Getting Ideas section of Writing Tips from the Institute of Children’s Literature. See also “It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, No, It’s Superbook?” by Marilyn E. Freeman from ICL.

Promotional Brainstorming and Independent Bookstores from Once Upon A Time There Was A Girl And She Wanted To Write (That Would Be Me) AKA Susan Taylor Brown’s LiveJournal.

Meet Author Varian Johnson from Don Tate’s blog. Varian is the debut author of Red Polka Dot In A World Full of Plaid (Genesis Press/Black Coral, 2005), a YA being marketed by an adult publisher. Both Don and Varian are members of Austin SCBWI.