Horizon! (new series announcement)

I have a new series of books coming! (Also, some new appearances to announce, including SDCC. See below for details, but first:)

This seven-book series is called Horizon. It’s about a group of kids who are in a mysterious plane crash and “step from the wreckage to find themselves stranded, at odds, and under threat from curious and terrible creatures.” (Scholastic Newsroom)

Basically, it’s a mix of Lost, Hatchet, and Lord of the Flies. Explosions! Survival! Who will lead us!

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(The weird-colored parent of the cover is actually a separate, transparent jacket that you can take off to see the photograph in its normal state. It’s pretty cool in real life.)

This is one of Scholastic’s multi-author, multi-platform series, like 39 Clues and Spirit Animals, which means two things:

1) The book will have a big digital element, with games for computers, phones, and tablets and lots of community chat space.

2) I developed the series, have written the first novel, and have outlined all seven of the books, but six other authors will write the rest. (The second installment is by Jennifer A. Nielsen, with the other authors secret or TBD for now.)

It was really cool, coming up with seven books’ worth of stuff, whole also knowing I didn’t have to write them all. It’s kind of like juggling, except after I throw the balls up, someone else has to catch them. (Heh. Suckers.)

I’m a gamer from way back, in that I used to play D&D in the 1970s, so the game part of it has been a blast to work on. My characters are mostly members of a robotics club, a lot of whom are based on the smart, nerdy kids I first met around the gaming table.

Note that this book is middle grade, so it’s closer in age and feel to my Uglies books than, say, Zeroes.

Here’s some more about the series from Publishers Weekly.

The first book comes out Dec 27, 2016. Hope you take a look!

And now two upcoming appearances:

I will be at San Diego Comic Con next week, appearing with Ransom Riggs, Melissa de la Cruz, and James Dasher on this panel:

I READ IT BEFORE IT WAS A MOVIE
Saturday July 23, 2016 10:00am – 11:00am
Room 7AB

Each day, our newsfeeds blow up with items of more amazing sci-fi/fantasy books being optioned for film or TV, and bookstore shelves are filled with cinematic tie-in novels to geeky summer blockbusters. But what does it take to make the jump from page to screen, and back again? Authors explore the journey of stories from page (both prose and comics) to screen (multi-media) and even stage, and vice versa. Maybe this illustrious group will be able to answer the question of whether it really is better to read the book before seeing the movie! Ransom Riggs (Tales of the Peculiar), James Dashner (The Maze Runner), Melissa de la Cruz (The Isle of the Lost: A Descendants Prequel), Scott Westerfeld (Uglies, Zeroes), Ben H. Winters (Underground Airlines), and Comic-Con special guest Peter David engage in conversation with moderator Anthony Breznican of Entertainment Weekly

We will all be signing after the panel, 11:30am-12:30pm, in signing area AA09.

I’ll also have my own private signing here:
Mysterious Galaxy Booth
Booth #1119
Sunday July 24, 2016 11:00am – 12:00pm

And later this year, I’ll be at YALLfest in Charleston, SC!
November 11-12
Specific schedule TBD.

Hope to see you there!

NaNoWriMo

Turns out I’m doing NaNoWriMo this year.

Of course, I recently wrote a book in which a young Wrimo gets published, Afterworlds, and I’ve been close to the NaNo organization for a while. (I’m on their Writers Board, and here’s a pep talk I did for them.) But I’ve never technically done NaNo itself—writing the first draft of a novel in November.

But now I have this secret project due in early December, and I see that it’s a few days before Halloween. It’s all coming together! So I’ll be posting my word count and chugging along with the rest of you.

If you want to know more about the concept and the organization, click here.

Need some inspiration in telling your own story? Here’s NaNo’s Sarah Mackey speaking at NerdCon about why stories matter:

Zeroes Tour!

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Below are all the public events for the 2015 Zeroes Tour. Cities include Sydney, LA, San Diego, Seattle, Portland, Fort Collins CO, St Paul, Lansing MI, Atlanta, Nashville, Cincinnati, Princeton NJ, and New York City!

Zeroes comes out Sep 29 in the US, Sep 24 in the UK, and Sep 23 in Australia. Click here for more about the book.

All three of us—me, Deborah Biancotti, and Margo Lanagan—will be at the following events:

LOS ANGELES, CA
Tuesday, September 29

7:00 PM
BARNES & NOBLE
1201 3rd St. Promenade
Santa Monica, CA  90401

SAN DIEGO, CA
Wednesday, September 30

7:30 PM    
MYSTERIOUS GALAXY BOOKS
75943 Balboa Ave
Ste 100
San Diego, CA  92111

SEATTLE, WA
Thursday, October 1

7:00 PM    
THIRD PLACE BOOKS
17171 Bothell Way NE
Lake Forest Park, WA  98155
 
PORTLAND, OR
Friday, October 2

7:00 PM   
POWELL’S BOOKS, INC.
Cedar Hills Crossing
3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd
Beaverton, OR 97005

PORTLAND, OR
Saturday, October 3

Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association
Booksellers only. Details to come!
 
FORT COLLINS, CO
Monday, October 5

7:00 PM    
OLD TOWN LIBRARY
201 Peterson St
Fort Collins, CO  80524

ST. PAUL, MN
Tuesday, October 6

6:30 PM    
RED BALLOON BOOKSHOP
891 Grand Ave.
St. Paul, MN  55105

LANSING, MI
Wednesday, October 7
 
7:00 PM        
SCHULER BOOKS & MUSIC
2820 Towne Center Blvd
Lansing, MI
48912                                                             

ATLANTA, GA
Thursday, October 8

7:00 PM
LITTLE SHOP OF STORIES
133A East Court Square
Decatur, GA  30030

NASHVILLE, TN
Saturday, October 10

Southern Festival of Books

11:30AM-1:00PM
Zeroes panel with Margo and Deb
Legislative Plaza Rm. 16

1:00-1:30PM
Signing at the Signing Colonnade
All three of us again!

CINCINNATI, OH
Monday, October 12

7:00 PM  EST
JOSEPH BETH BOOKSELLERS
Crestview Hills Town Center
2785 Dixie Hwy
Crestview Hills, KY 41017

PRINCETON, NJ
Tuesday, October 13
 
6:00 PM
BARNES & NOBLE
3535 US Route 1
Market Fair
Princeton, NJ  08540

NEW YORK, NY
Wednesday, October 14

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM EST
BOOKS OF WONDER
18 W. 18th Street
New York, NY  10011

CHARLESTON, SC
November 13-14

YALLFest
Details to come!
(Me only. No Margo or Deb.)

A few FAQs about my tours:

Wait. What is Zeroes again?
My next book, written with Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti. Click here for more info.

What happens at these book events?
We will talk for about half an hour, telling you all about how we wrote Zeroes. Then we will answer your questions (about anything, pretty much) for another 20 minutes or so. And finally we sign books. You can bring books from home, and our books will be available for sale. (Not just Zeroes, old stuff too.)

Can we bring lots of books to sign?
We will try to sign all your stuff. If you have a giant bag of books, it’s best to wait till the end of the line. Some bookstores may have stricter rules. I tend to ignore them, or will meet you secretly in the parking lot to sign your extra books, or cast, or pet wallaby.

How early should we arrive?
I’m not that famous. My events tend to have about 50-100 people. Just get there half an hour early, and you should be fine!

You guys aren’t coming to my city. Should I yell at you about this?
Nope. We don’t arrange out own tour. Publicists do it. Yell at them!

Can I cosplay, make a sign, or bring you a gift?
Yes, totally, and maybe. No edible gifts, please, and nothing big or hard to carry. Remember, I’m flying between all these cities!

You didn’t answer my question.
What am I, psychic? Ask it in the comments below!

Zeroes cover band

Oblong Books, Romantic Times, and BEA/BookCon

I’m doing three events in May: an appearance at Oblong Books in Rhinebeck, NY; several panels and a signing at the Romantic Times Conference in Dallas, TX; and a few things around Book Expo America here in New York City.

Oblong Books
Sunday, May 10, 2015

4:00pm
6422 Montgomery Street
Rhinebeck, NY 12572

Justine and I will be talking about our new books, Razorhurst and Afterworlds, and of course signing whatever you want us to sign.

Here’s a link to the event.

Romantic Times
Dallas, TX
May 12-17

I’m on three panels:

YA: From Magic to Gadgets to Alternate Worlds, A YA Fantasy Primer for Writers
Thursday, May 14, 2015 – 1:30pm to 2:30pm
Atrium Level (2nd Floor)
Room: Bryan-Beeman B

Uplifting Service
(Justine and I are special guests in this librarian-focused event.)
Thursday, May 14, 2015 – 2:45pm to 3:45pm
Atrium Level
Room: Cotton Bowl

Humble Beginnings: Your Favorite YA Authors Share Their Teen Writing
Saturday, May 16, 2015 – 4:30pm to 5:45pm
Atrium Level
Room: Gaston

Also, I’ll be at the huge Book Fair signing on May 16. Several of my books will be available for sale there.

Note that you have to get admission to the RT Convention to attend an of these events.

And finally, I’ll be at several events around Book Expo America and Book Con here in NYC.

Book Expo
Javits Convention Center
Friday, May 29th
10:30 – 11:30 am, Zeroes signing (in signing area)
3:30 – 4:45 pm, CBC Tea (room TK)

BookCon
Javits Convention Center
Sunday, May 31st
2:00-3:00 pm, Afterworlds signing
3:30-4:30 pm, The Big Bad Theory
(Sci Fi Panel, moderated by CharlieJane Anders)

More details to come!

NYCTAF

Hey, everyone. I’m back in the States for the New York Teen Author Festival (#NYCTAF). I’ll be doing several events, and there are many more to choose from. Here’s the complete schedule.

And here’s my personal schedule:

“What is YA anyway?”
Monday, March 16
Mulberry Street NYPL, 10 Jersey St
6-8pm

At a time when YA feels ascendant, we’re going to check in and ask: What is YA, anyway? Where does it come from? What does it mean to authors, readers, and the media? Where is it going? Are there fears that it’s just a “trend” right now, and that the pendulum will swing away from it again … or is YA here to stay? How, as writers, do we continue to keep it evolving? None of us will have answers, but we’ll certainly have opinions.

Leigh Bardugo
Daniel Ehrenhaft
Donna Freitas
Lev Grossman
Micol Ostow
Danielle Paige
Scott Westerfeld
moderator: David Levithan

Reader’s Theater/Signing
Friday March 20
Union Square Barnes & Noble, 33 E 17th St
7-8:30pm

Our annual Reader’s Theater, which is always a highlight of the Festival. I will follow up with more details on this one. This year we’ll have two groups of four, with me as the swing.

Cathleen Bell
Holly Black
Heather Demetrios
Kevin Emerson
Tanuja Desai Hidier
Kathryn Holmes
David Levithan
Scott Westerfeld

Exploring Feminist YA
Saturday March 21
42nd Street NYPL, Bartos Forum, 5th Ave at 42nd St
1:40-2:30pm

A conversation about gender in YA, and about writing and promoting feminist YA in particular.

Libba Bray
Gayle Forman
Nova Ren Suma
Scott Westerfeld
moderator: David Levithan

No-Foolin’ Mega-Signing
Sunday March 22
Books of Wonder, 18 W 18th St
1-4pm

My signing slot is 3:30-4pm. Seee the complete schedule for everyone else involved.

Hope to see many of you in NYC!

Tour Is Done

My twenty-city, three-country, back-breaking tour for Afterworlds is done! Now I can go back to that other job I have. Which is, um . . . writing. Yeah, that’s it.

A few notable things:

My next graphic novel project has been announced on io9! (More on this here soon.)

The New York Times gave me a great review, which contained this marketing-department-happy-making pull-quote:

“‘Afterworlds’ is a wonderful book for any young person with an interest in growing up to be a writer.”

Though I would add the words or who is already a writer. Because it’s November, and real writings are underway.

Of course, we can forgive the paternal tone here. We all know that YA reviews in the NY Times aren’t targeted at actual teenagers. (I mean, the review also compares Darcy Patel to Mary Tyler Moore and Cary Bradshaw, as opposed to any characters created in, say, the current century.) And trust me, I fully comprehend that it’s churlish to take issue with one’s positive coverage in the New York-frickin’-Times. So I’m not so much complaining as thinking aloud about who the imagined audience for this review is—not teenagers, pretty clearly—and what that says about the overall relevance of the Paper of Record to the greater project of YA lit.

But please, all you Times-reading adults with credit cards, go order my book for the writerly young people in your life! They’re the ones with dark circles under their eyes muttering “word count, word count” at the breakfast table this month.

They aren’t just growing up to be writers; they are writers right now.

Other stuff:

My first flight in the second leg of the tour was delayed, which left me in DFW airport at almost exactly midnight. If you’ve read Afterworlds, you know that this is pretty hilarious.

In Dallas, a model-making fan named Jon-Luc showed me his diorama of the death of the Goeben, which was pretty amazing:

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The kind students of Alvin, TX gave me this amazing gift basket:

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And at the Texas Teen Book Festival, I learned that there is a tortoise named Deryn.

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Had a lovely time at Changing Hands, as always. And at Hicklebee’s Books in San Jose, CA, where visiting authors sign the walls, doors, and columns, I did something naughty:

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Had a great time at the NaNoWriMo fund-raiser at Books Inc. in San Francisco. Even though we were up against the Giants in the World Series, we pulled a big crowd. Way to put books before sportsball, SF!

Boston Book Festival was the bomb, as was Toronto last week. And the tour finally wrapped up at the amazing YALLfest in Charleston, SC, where I met the very smart and terribly poised 16-year-old author of Popular, Maya van Wagenen:

IMG_4366

And then, with Varian Johnson, I conspired to photobomb the crap out of noted rappers V-Roth, S-Dess, E-Hop, G-4, and D-Paige.*

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All in all, it was too much fun.

To all who came to my events, thank you! I hope it was as fun for you as it was for me. For those of you who missed me, I’m sorry we didn’t connect. Maybe next year.

Yes, I will be touring again next year, though for an entirely new series. (TOP SECRET!)


*Veronica Roth, Sarah Dessen, Ellen Hopkind, Gayle Forman, and Danielle Page. Duh.

Donate to Young Writers

As you guys know, I’ve been matching donations to NaNoWriMo’s Young Writers Program. Today, Tuesday June 17, is the best time to donate, because folks who donate between noon and 1PM US Eastern (9AM-10AM Pacific) will be automatically entered to win one of five signed copies of Afterworlds.

That’s right, you get to read it NOW.

The YWP is revamping their website, refreshing their already excellent (and free!) curriculum guides for schools who participate in Nano, and expanding their outreach to correctional facilities, halfway houses, and juvenile detention facilities.

Click here to donate and support young writers.

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Me at BEA (& Heavenly Fire Launch)

To all you folks coming to Book Expo America in NYC, I’ll be signing copies of Afterworlds and otherwise entertaining you! For you non-BEA attenders, I’ll also be at the 92nd St Y for the launch of Cassandra Clare’s City of Heavenly Fire. And there’s also a surprise on Friday. (Scroll down.)

Here’s the whole week:

Book Launch for The City of Heavenly Fire
With me, Maureen Johnson, Kelly Link, and Holly Black.
Lexington Avenue at 92nd St
Kaufmann Concert Hall
Monday, May 26
10:00PM

Update: Sorry, I got sick and can’t do Cassie’s thing. I’m on the mend, though, and will be WELL for the rest of the week. Everyone else will be there tonight, so click here for tickets and details.

BEA EVENTS

Talent Show and Silent Auction
River Pavilion, Javits Convention Center
Wednesday, May 28
5:00-7:30PM

Join the ABC Children’s Group and the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) in supporting and protecting the free speech rights of young readers. More than 100 pieces of art from well-known children’s illustrators will be auctioned. Proceeds from the auction support ABFFE, the Kids’ Right to Read Project, and Banned Books Week.

I shall be performing my uncanny “double-Donald.” You must buy tickets!

The Craft of Writing Panel
Me with Brandon Mull, Kiera Cass, and Amy Ewing.
Uptown Stage, Javits Center
Friday, May 30
2:00 – 2:30PM

Afterworlds Signing
S&S booth #2638-9, Level 3 (not the cattle yard)
Javits Center
Friday, May 30
3:45 – whenever 150 copies are gone!

Afterworlds Trailer Revealed
Friday, May 30
Time: ????
Website: io9

Stay tuned for details on this. But here’s a behind-the-scenes picture from making the trailer:

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Pretty cool, huh? More still coming in the next week.

And finally, I’m still matching any and all contributions to the NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program, the wing of Nano that assists teen novelists. The YWP is revamping their website, refreshing their already excellent (and free!) curriculum guides for schools who participate in Nano, and expanding their outreach to correctional facilities, halfway houses, and juvenile detention facilities.

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Donate in the next month through this website, and Justine and I will match the first ten grand of your donations.

Tell your friends!

Support Young Writers

As a little kid, I understood by doing. I rarely listened to music without picking up an instrument, or watched TV without twitching along with the scenes, like those old guys whose shoulders dip and fists clench whenever a boxing match is on. More important to the ultimate course of my life, I couldn’t read without writing.

The word “fanfic” had barely been invented in those pre-internet days, but I spent thousands of pages cloning Tolkien, wrote many proto-novels channeling Joanna Russ, and still commit the occasional Raymond Chandler-esque simile.

Writing has always been a part of my reading. I think it’s a part of any writer’s reading. We understand books by making them.

That’s why I’m a supporter of NaNoWriMo, the month-long festival that invites everyone to become a novelist. A few years ago, Justine and I produced writing tips for every day of November. And my next book is about a young Wrimo who sells her novel to a big publishing house and moves to NYC.

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But I’m here today to raise money. This year, the NaNoWriMo Associate Board is focusing on the Young Writers Program, the wing of Nano that assists teen novelists. The YWP is revamping their website, refreshing their already excellent (and free!) curriculum guides for schools who participate in Nano, and expanding their outreach to correctional facilities, halfway houses, and juvenile detention facilities.

This is all great stuff. If you love novels and writers, you should help out. And as a bonus, if you donate in the next month through this website, Justine and I will match the first ten grand of your donations.

Seriously. We all want to see the novel flourish in the future, right? We want young people to understand the form, to embrace its history and its future, and to continue the mad practice of creating these absurdly long, imperfect strings of text.

We all want this.

So click here to read more about the YWP and to donate. Then tell your friends to do the same.

Uglies on Humble Bundle

A couple of days ago, a new Humble Bundle featuring my book Uglies launched!

Excitement!

But what, you may ask, is a Humble Bundle?

It’s a set of e-books (or video games) that are sold together to raise money for charity and for the creators of the books.

Here’s why it’s cool:

1) It’s super cheap. In fact, you pay whatever price you want. The only limit is, if you pay less than the average of all previous purchases, you only get four of the books. But if you pay the current average or more, you get the two “locked” books as well (one of which is Uglies). The average payment currently stands at US $10.87. Not too bad for six books! And if you pay $15 or more, you also get an audio version Cory Doctorow’s Homeland.

But wait! There’s more! A set of mystery books will appear soon, and you’ll get those books too if you pay the average or more. So many books for a bit over ten bucks.

A slightly helpful infographic:
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2) Humble Bundles support charity. In fact, you can choose how much of your payment goes to charity and how much to the creators (and you also can tip Humble Bundle for providing the infrastructure). The charities for this bundle are WorldReader, a global literacy charity, and the SFWA emergency fund, which helps science fiction writers who find themselves bankrupted by medical bills.

3) All the e-books are DRM-free. You can use them on any device and make as many copies for personal use as you desire. (We are trusting you not to be pirates. Please do not be pirates.)

4) The books are good:
The Best Days of Our Lives by Wil Wheaton
Tithe by Holly Black
Jumper by Stephen Gould
Zombies vs. Unicorns edited by Holly Black & Justine Larbalestier
Mogworld by Yahtzee Crowshaw
Uglies by me
Homeland (exclusive audio version) by Cory Doctorow
Plus bonus mystery books by mystery authors! (I am fancy and already know what they are and they are great! Note: Not actually mysteries in the genre sense. More like YA.)

In other words, a combination of classic and new YA, and some nonfiction to boot. Plus secret bonus books, which is fun.

As I write this, 12,950 bundles have sold, raising $136,889.60!

Anyway, to buy the bundle simply go to humblebundle.com and cough up some bucks. Do this within 12 days!

So why am I participating in this process?

1) I will get some money out of it. That’s cool.

2) Money will be raised for two fine charities. Global literacy means more readers in the world, which is good for me and for civilization, and emergency medical funds for sf writers are often needed. (I live in the socialist hellscape of Australia, so my medical bills are guaranteed for life. But I have lots of friends who might need this one day.)

3) People will read Uglies for this almost free price and then go buy other books by me for real money. (An old trick.)

4) People who come to buy Uglies will get exposed to the other books on the list, which will be good for those lovely authors! (The reverse is also true, but covered under 1 and 3.)

5) It seemed like the cool kids were doing this. And it’s fun to watch the counter go up and more money appear.

Still not sold? Because, like, all you guys already have Uglies? Surely this video will change your mind:

More Uglies TV show news here soon! (But not instantly, because Hollywood.)