02 February, 2015

The Zeroes trilogy—Westerfeld, Lanagan, Biancotti

The press releases went out on (US) Friday from Simon & Schuster US and UK, and today Allen & Unwin in Australia will make a similar announcement, about their acquisition of Zeroes, a YA fantasy trilogy that I've been working on for a while in collaboration with Scott Westerfeld and Deborah Biancotti.
     What's it all about, you ask? It's about Zeroes, who are teens who've developed new kinds of superpowers. Specifically, it's about six different teens. To quote the press release:
There’s Ethan, aka Scam, who’s got a voice inside him that’ll say anything you want to hear, whether it’s true or not. There’s Chizara, aka Crash, who can bring technology to its knees; Riley, aka Flicker, who can see through anyone’s eyes but her own; Thibault, aka Anonymous, who’s out of sight, out of mind; Nataniel, aka Bellwether, who can focus any crowd’s energy on a single goal; and Kelsie, who can amp up or damp down a mob’s emotions. They were all born in the year 2000, and live in Cambria, California. Their abilities make them anything but heroes—until a high stakes crisis changes everything.
     Here is Scott's blog post about Zeroes. That's probably where the liveliest Zeroes talk is going to be going down. Most people's first question has been, "How does this collaboration business work? Are you each writing a book?" And the answer is, the process works really well. And no, all three of us are collaborating on each book. There are six characters, so we each draft for two characters' viewpoints and then poke and prod at each other's chapters to make them all fit together. So far, there have been no assaults. Raised voices, because we're all pretty passionate and opinionated. And more tears of laughter than solo writing usually gives rise to. 
     It's been a long time keeping Zeroes under wraps, so it's exciting that the world is starting to hear about it.
     I've never seen a book move so fast through the production process. We've already submitted the first book and that'll be published at the end of September this year (with Books 2 and 3 to follow in Septembers 2016 and 2017). Right now we're responding to the Book 1 copy edits, and first-drafting Book 2 chapters.
     We've seen several versions of the cover, and now that's starting to firm up. I got to give up my day job to deal with the first-round edits, back in November. You can imagine how upset I was kissing technical writing goodbye. Even if it only ends up being a temporary parting, I am definitely on this wagon for at least the next three years. So that's enormous news.
     This year, then, is going to be full of writing and publicity. And more writing. And more publicity—Westerfeld-level publicity, which I'm learning is a whole different animal from Lanagan-level publicity. Hold onto your hats.