Alexandra Bracken's Blog
June 9, 2015
Man, I’m so excited for you guys to finally see this cover! We went through so many different options, but this one was always my favorite for its classic simplicity, and I am mega excited that Leia is my big featured character. As I mentioned before re: the hair, there wasn’t really a way to make the double buns work because of where they’re positioned on her head and the angle of the silhouette. The book touches on Leia, Han, and Luke’s lives before the film, so I like to imagine this is just one of Leia’s many rotating hairstyles.
Here’s the full summary:
The galaxy is at war.
Although the Rebel Alliance has won a few battles against the Empire, hope is fading. The Empire is about to finish building the greatest weapon the galaxy has ever seen-the Death Star. The rebels’ only chance to defeat it now lies in the unlikely hands of a princess, a scoundrel, and a farm boy. . . .
Acclaimed, New York Times bestselling author Alexandra Bracken delivers a captivating retelling of Star Wars: A New Hope like you’ve never experienced before. Since the premier of the original film, Princess Leia, Han Solo, and Luke Skywalker have become iconic, larger-than-life characters. The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy takes a deeper look at these three heroes as they join forces to defeat the evil that threatens their entire galaxy.
I jokingly call this “The Star Wars Breakfast Club” because it plays with the idea of labels–how Leia is dismissed as being a mere pretty princess when she’s trying to earn respect as a senator, and, later, work her way up through the ranks of the Rebel Alliance; how Han struggles to balance his need to stay alive and the sense of right and wrong he’s tried to suppress; how Luke is dismissed as “kid” and a “farmboy,” even by himself, and ultimately rises up to become a hero.
In addition to delving deeper with the characters, I had THE BEST time writing a bunch of “off camera” scenes you don’t get to see in the films; aside from the film script, I had permission to pull directly from the radio drama script (the sorely missed) Brian Daley was commissioned to write (something I’ve always held as true canon), bits of the EU that have remained canon, and in certain moments, solely from my own imagination, so long as it all stayed true to the new canon they’re developing with the upcoming films and novels. (Side note: it was super interesting to see what bit of lore/character backgrounds I couldn’t use–it gave me a little hint or two about what might be coming.) It was a privilege to have the freedom to use pretty much anything I wanted from this super rich material to create something that will hopefully feel fresh, but extremely true to the canon longtime Star Wars fans know and love.
These are meant for younger readers, but I honestly think readers of all ages will get a kick of the retellings. I grew up reading Star Wars EU books exclusively (pretty much from ages 8-13, if it wasn’t SW, I didn’t want to touch it), and, as most of you know, it is a huge part of my life. My greatest hope is that you’ll share it with kids who are just taking their first steps into a much larger world, and that you’ll enjoy the story of this “found family” together with your own.
If you’d like to pre-order it, you can find it available here:
May 13, 2015
I’m so thankful to have a number of opportunities to hang out with you guys and at BEA/BookCon this year. Here’s my full schedule:
Thursday, May 28th
9:30 AM, Disney Booth #2757
I’ll be signing 200 early special edition ARCs of PASSENGER in the Disney Publishing Booth, #2757. Please note that this is a new add (my editor made some magic happen in getting these ARCs printed) so this won’t be listed in the program or on the BEA website. You can read more about the ARCs and what I mean by “early special edition” here!
1:00-2:00 PM, Table 5 in the signing area
I’m signing free copies of IN THE AFTERLIGHT! Feel free to bring your copies of TDM series from home The first 20 or so people in line will also have the chance to participate in a fun game to compile an excerpt from PASSENGER… #PassengerHunt!
Saturday, May 30th
2:00-3:00 PM, Panel Room 1A
I’m talking Star Wars adaptations with Tom Angleberger, Tony Diterlizzi, and Adam Gidwitz! Our previous panels have been an absolute riot, so I’m excited to reunite with the gang.
3:30-4:30 PM, Location TBD
The above gang and I will be signing chapter samplers of our SW adaptations! Please feel free to bring your personal TDM copies with you for me to sign!
In addition to the above, Hyperion will also have chapter samplers of PASSENGER and a really cool little swag giveaway (details to come).
See you guys around the Javits Center!!
April 29, 2015
I’m so excited to share the cover of my next YA book with you! You’ve heard me talking about Passenger here and there, but I can finally, finally give you some more details! The cover, summary, and first chapter were all released over on Entertainment Weekly’s website, so be sure to check that out.
First, the jacket copy:
Violin prodigy Etta Spencer had big plans for her future, but a tragedy has put her once-bright career at risk. Closely tied to her musical skill, however, is a mysterious power she doesn’t even know she has. When her two talents collide during a stressful performance, Etta is drawn back hundreds of years through time.
Etta wakes, confused and terrified, in 1776, in the midst a fierce sea battle. Nicholas Carter, the handsome young prize master of a privateering ship, has been hired to retrieve Etta and deliver her unharmed to the Ironwoods, a powerful family in the Colonies–the very same one that orchestrated her jump back, and one Nicholas himself has ties to. But discovering she can time travel is nothing compared to the shock of discovering the true reason the Ironwoods have ensnared her in their web.
Another traveler has stolen an object of untold value from them, and, if Etta can find it, they will return her to her own time. Out of options, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the mysterious traveler. But as they draw closer to each other and the end of their search, the true nature of the object, and the dangerous game the Ironwoods are playing, comes to light–threatening to separate her not only from Nicholas, but her path home… forever.
And now…. the cover!
What do you guys think?? I love the little New York City skyline, and how cleverly it hints at the time travel element without being super duper obvious about it.
Passenger is out January 5, 2016! I will have pre-order links up for you guys ASAP.
In the meantime, would you like some fun The Darkest Minds news? I know what you really want to hear about is the movie, and I promise there’s stuff happening behind the scenes that I can’t talk about! Buuuuut how about a new novella to tide you over?!
Beyond the Night is set a few weeks after the end of In the Afterlight and is a continuation of Spark Rise. While Lucas is definitely out of commission and can’t narrate, Sam shares narrator duties with a new character! It was fascinating for me to dive back into TDM world after being out of it for so long and to really contemplate what’s going in their world. The story is largely about the chaos and uncertainty that comes post-war and before a new, stable regime settles in… and, trust me, not everything is shiny and perfect. Basically, the kids have a new very real, immediate threat to their lives and they aren’t really sure where they stand in the world… but they have each other. A few familiar faces miiiight pop up, but you’ll have to read to see which ones!
BEST OF ALL: In Time, Sparks Rise, and Beyond the Night are being bound up in a print edition! In fact, that’s the only way that you’ll be able to get to novellas going forward. This is something I’ve been pushing for on behalf of the international readers who haven’t been able to legally access the stories before now. And, well, these stories are LONG and will look hefty and gorgeous as a hardcover. I’ve seen the cover comps for this and they are COOL. The bind up is called Through the Dark: A Darkest Minds Collection and will be available in e-book and hardcover format up front, with a paperback coming later down the line. It’ll be out October 6, 2015.
Phew. I think that’s all for now! I’ll be back with more updates on my Star Wars novel + my BEA schedule soon!
January 24, 2015
Hi guys! I hope your 2015 is off to a great start… I’ve been busy finishing up a draft of PASSENGER (more information soon!) and trying to get my head on straight for the upcoming year. I should have A LOT of fun stuff to share with you soon! In the meantime…
If you’re in the Philadelphia area, I’ll be in your neck of the woods at the end of February for ApollyCon!
When: February 28th
Where: Embassy Suites Philadelphia Int Airport
What: I’ll be signing paperbacks of The Darkest Minds and Never Fade plus the hardcover of In the Afterlight.
** Please note that you need to reserve a ticket to attend–please click the link above for more info!
Can’t attend but want a signed, personalized copy of one or all of the books? Head on over to this page! Ordering is open to both US and International residents!!
November 10, 2014
Okay, lots to cover in this post BUT FIRST:
The Darkest Minds is iBooks’ Book of the Week… which means that you can download this 500 page beauty FOR FREE on all of your iOS/Apple devices!! Here is the link to the iBooks page. Go forth! Download! Tell your friends to download! Force it on your family members!
If you’re new to the series, or thinking about starting, here’s the order:
Book 1: The Darkest Minds
e-novella: In Time
Book 2: Never Fade
e-novella: Sparks Rise
Book 3: In the Afterlight
(The e-novellas are absolutely not required reading, but they do flesh out the world and connect with the main storyline.)
If that isn’t enough excitement for you (It is for me–someone bring the smelling salts!), I’m so thrilled and incredibly excited to tell you guys that The Darkest Minds series is debuting at #7 on The New York Times series bestseller list!!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for supporting the series over the last three years–it’s been such an incredible journey, and I can’t believe that there won’t be more books, that I won’t get to keep checking in with the gang (aka ruining their young lives). How lucky am I that I not only got to tell a story with characters I love, but also connect with all of you? Thank you for coming on this crazy ride with me.
Next week, I think I’ll go ahead and post a FAQ list for the final book and the series, but I still want to give folks another week to finish reading before I potentially spoil them!
Also, if it’s of interest, In the Afterlight‘s playlist is up in full on Spotify! Have yourself a lil’listen:
November 4, 2014
Hi guys! Here’s where you can find me this weekend at YALLFest in Charleston! I hope to see your adorable, amazing faces there
Saturday, November 8th
AMERICAN THEATER BALLROOM – 446 King Street
ASSASSINS, SECRETS & SPIES [YA]
What you don’t know can kill you, especially in YA & MG novels.
Moderator: Michael Johnston
Alexandra Bracken, Ally Condie, Becca Fitzpatrick, Kami Garcia, Brendan Reichs, Morgan Rhodes, Scott Westerfeld
*SIGNING AT BLUE BICYCLE BOOKS COURTYARD – 418 King Street
AMERICAN THEATER BALLROOM – 446 King Street
SHE’S KICKING IT (MG/YA)
Writers talk girl-powered heroines across genres, cultures and ages.
Moderator: Jocelyn Davies
Alexandra Bracken, Sarah Fine, Ryan Graudin, Marie Lu, Sarah Mylnowski
October 28, 2014
Hooray! Today is the day! Happy book birthday, In the Afterlight! I don’t want to say much about the book right now… I really want you guys to have a chance to read it first and form your own thoughts and feelings before we delve a little deeper. But I’m so excited to be able to share the end of Ruby’s story with you at long last. It’s been an incredible journey in more ways that one.
When I finished the copyedits on this book and sent it back to my editor for the last time, I had that same feeling I had after finishing the first draft of The Darkest Minds–I just missed the characters and wondered what they were doing and if they were okay. The feeling was more pronounced this time around, knowing that it was the end of the line. The Darkest Minds series is the first trilogy I’ve ever attempted and I learned so much about myself as a writer and storytelling over the past few years. Gosh–four years?? I still remember the apartment I was living in, the job I was working at, coming home each and every day tired but still desperate to get back to writing The Darkest Minds.
Thank you guys from the bottom of my heart–I’m so honored and thrilled you’ve come along for the ride and that you care about these characters as much as I do. You are the best, the best, the best.
OKAY! Time to get down to business:
Twitter chat with @NookBN TODAY!
I’m chatting with B&N today on Twitter at 4:30 PM EST time and everyone is invited! Ask me all your burning questions! Or just follow along on the hashtag: #NOOKTalks. I’m hoping to keep this pretty spoiler-free for IN THE AFTERLIGHT.
Launch Party at Books of Wonder TONIGHT!
If you’re in the NYC area, my eternal fave Books of Wonder is hosting the launch party for IN THE AFTERLIGHT from 6PM to 8PM. We’ll start with a chat between me and my fab editor, Emily, and then open it up to audience questions (if you have any!). After that, I’ll sign books! It’s going to be a ton of fun–I hope I see you guys there!
More upcoming events!!
Tomorrow morning I’m flying home to Arizona for an event at the Phoenix location of Changing Hands on Thursday, October 30th at 7 PM.
And then, on November 3rd, I’ll be at Blue Willow Bookstore at 7PM!
On the east coast? I’ll be at YALLFest in Charleston on the weekend of November 8th. Will post my signing time and panels next week!
NEVER FADE is 99 cents!
IN THE AFTERLIGHT Playlist
I’ve been slowly but surely adding tracks to the playlist each week! I’ll be adding the last three songs this Friday. Here’s the playlist so far:
I think that’s it for now… I can’t wait to hear what you all think of book 3! Let’s chat a bit more next week about the story itself
October 9, 2014
I’ll make this short and sweet because yours truly is on deadline and having to write like a crazy person (seriously–you should see the state of my apartment). We have less than 20 days(!!!!) until In the Afterlight hit shelves. To tide you over, my publisher has released the first three chapters for you to read. Chapter 1 was previously released with Sparks Rise, but the material in chapters 2 and 3 is all new.
And next Monday, my publisher will be releasing an all new trailer!
I suppose now is as good of a time as any to remind you guys that if you happen to find an early copy of the book floating around bookstores or libraries, please try to refrain from posting spoilers! Please. It really mean a lot to me and I know your fellow readers will appreciate being surprised by some of the reveals in this book.
September 20, 2014
Hi guys! A number of you have been asking me about signing events surrounding the release of In the Afterlight. Here’s the confirmed list—I hope I see you guys at one of them!
September 27, 2014
Boston Teen Author Book Festival
Cambridge Public Library
Boston, MA 02138
Panel: Characters Who Forge Their Destiny (2:00 PM)
Book Signing: 3:00 PM
October 9-10, 2014
New York Comic Con 2014
Jacob Javits Center
655 West 34th Street at 11th Avenue
New York, NY 10001
10/9: In Booth Signing with Disney: 4:00-4:30 PM
10/10: Damsels in Distress Need Not Apply: 3: 15 PM (Room 1A01)
October 28, 2014
Launch Party at Books of Wonder
My editor, Emily Meehan, will be joining me as we discuss the series! (You can ask her how bad my first drafts are, ;)) We’ll probably chat for about a half hour and then I’ll sign books. I think I’m going to bring a cake/baked goods, so get excited!
18 West 18th Street
New York, NY
October 30, 2014
Changing Hands Bookstore
300 W. Camelback Road (
Phoenix, AZ 85013
November 3, 2014
Blue Willow Bookshop
14532 Memorial Drive
Houston, TX 77079
November 7, 2014
Panel and Signing Details to come!
September 16, 2014
That’s right! Three years after the rights for The Darkest Minds were optioned (back when it was still called Black is the Color!), I have some news for you–they’ve hired a very awesome screenwriter to start adapting the book for film. I had the opportunity to talk with Chad this summer and I think we’re all in very good hands! There’s still quite a way to go production-wise, but this is an amazing first step in a long process.
Chad Hodge, the creator of the Fox TV series Wayward Pines, has been tapped to adapt the first book of the Darkest Minds YA trilogy byAlexandra Bracken.
Shawn Levy and his 21 Laps banner are producing.
The book is described as combining superhero conventions with tones of coming-of-age stories such asStand By Me and postapocalyptic survivor tales like The Walking Dead.
Minds is set after a pandemic kills most of America’s children and teenagers. When some survivors develop various superpowers, they are deemed too dangerous for society, taken from their families and placed inside internment camps.
The first book tells of a 16-year-old with telekinetic powers who escapes her camp and joins a group of teens on the run from the government.
Minds was published December 2012 while the second book, Never Fade, was released in October 2013. Both were New York Times best-sellers. The final book, In the Afterlight, is due to hit stores October 2014.
With the hiring of Hodge, Fox is signaling a serious push into the YA field. The studio has YA adaptation The Maze Runner opening Sept. 19 and sees both Runner and Minds as franchise hopefuls.
Billy Rosenberg and Dan Cohen are overseeing Minds for 21 Laps.
As a director, Levy has the Warner Bros. dramedy This Is Where I Leave You opening Friday (it premiered at the Toronto Film Festival) followed by Night at the Museum: Secrets of the Tomb, opening Dec. 19. On the producer side, he has Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day opening Oct. 10.
WME-repped Hodge hails from the TV world, where in 2011 he created The Playboy Club.Wayward Pines, which is set to air as an event miniseries in 2015, boasts a cast that incudes Matt Dillon, Carla Gugino, Terrence Howard and Melissa Leo. M. Night Shyamalan directed the pilot.