Book Launch Day, and Dan’s Mystery Project Revealed!

First things first: today is the official release day for I Don’t Want to Kill You, the third and final book in the John Cleaver trilogy. As much as I love the first two, the third book is my favorite: it has my favorite character, my favorite ending, and my favorite reactions. Mr. Monster was the book that my friends read and said “Dan, you really scare me.” I Don’t Want to Kill You is the book my friends read and say “Dan, I hate you and I can’t believe you did this to me and when are you writing the next one?” Don’t let that comment fool you: this is the end of the series, and the plot you’ve been following for three years comes to a solid resolution. When friend and fellow author Seanan McGuire finished the book she said: “You stuck the landing, and you stuck it HARD.” I won’t leave you hanging. But that’s not to say that I won’t someday come back and tell a new story with these characters….

The book lauch will be tonight, Tuesday March 29, at Sam Weller’s in Salt Lake City at 6pm. I’ll be signing at the Orem Barnes & Noble tomorrow night at 7, and then heading off on a month-long tour; full details are on my website calendar. I’ve also added to that calendar every con appearance I have scheduled for the rest of the year, including some very big events: WorldCon, DragonCon, World Fantasy, etc. If you’re going to be at any of those, look me up.

Now, on to the other piece of exciting news: the long-awaited revelation of the Mystery Project I’ve been teasing you with for months. Remember when I always used to say “no one will knock on your door and ask you to write a book”? Well, I can’t really say that anymore.

Several months ago, my agent was talking to a friend at Harper Teen about how they were looking for a solid YA post-apocalypse series, and they didn’t really have any in the pipeline; my agent, being awesome, said “I’ve got an author who could KILL a YA post-apocalypse series,” and promptly called me. Within a few hours I was emailing the editor, resulting in a phone call with two editors, resulting in me pitching them an idea for a series about genetic manipulation, engineered plagues, and semi-human armies (at this time I was in the middle of writing my cloning book, Extreme Makeover: Apocalypse Edition, so genetics were on my mind). They liked the ideas, we kicked around a few other options, and before I knew it we were signing a contract for a trilogy.

The first book in the series, which I have finished and which my editors, Jordan Brown and Ruta Rimas, are currently reviewing, is called Partials, a reference to the semi-human army I mentioned earlier. It starts about eleven years after the Partials released a plague that destroyed mankind, all but wiping our civilization off the face of the earth. The North American survivors have gathered (and may have been herded) to Long Island, where they are struggling to cure the plague and save their species. The main character is a girl named Kira, a 16-year-old medical student, determined to unravel the mystery of the plague, the Partials, and everything else.

Partials comes out sometime in 2012, the same year as my schizophrenia book The Hollow City; I don’t know the exact date, but my guess is either Spring or Fall, which narrows it down to about half a year, which doesn’t really tell you anything. The manuscript for the first book was due in the first of March, after signing the contract sometime in November, which meant the turn-around for the book was insane: I had to plot out the trilogy, craft the characters, outline the first book, and write it, all in about three and a half months. It was nuts, but I’m really proud of the results. The second manuscript is due in the first of March next year, which will be much easier to hit. I’m hoping I can go back to Extreme Makeover and finish it by the end of summer, about five months from now, which will give me six months to finish the second Partials book; since the world has already been created, and the overall plot is already in place, the prep work for Partials 2 (not the real title, obviously) will be pretty light. Extreme Makeover will be a Tor book (my editor Moshe is incredibly excited about it), and I’m hoping to arrange the situation such that I can put out two books a year: a YA from Harper and an adult book from Tor. In 2012, in between writing the second and third Partials book, I plan to start a new series set in the John Cleaver universe, which should make a lot of you very happy. So now you know what I’m working on for the next two years—with the caveat, of course, that I am an excitable man, and fickle in my writing tastes, so don’t be surprised if I end up taking a few months in the middle somewhere to write something else for no good reason.

So that’s the news. I hope you can all join me on my tour in April, to talk about John Cleaver or Partials or The Hollow City or anything else. Also, stay tuned tomorrow when I announce the crazy dumb thing I’m trying to do while on tour. A gauntlet will be thrown.

26 Responses to “Book Launch Day, and Dan’s Mystery Project Revealed!”

  1. Brodi Ashton says:

    That is such exciting news! I love Jordan Brown and Rita Rumas. They seriously rock.

    I’m so excited for you!

  2. That’s fantastic news. You’re the man for the job, Dan–can’t wait to read these.

    Keep ‘em coming.

  3. T.J. says:

    Congrats Dan! Now I have more books to look forward to reading and I still haven’t finished Mr. Monster.

  4. So very cool, all of it! Congratulations, and can’t wait to read therm all!

  5. I can’t wait for the Partials series or for Hollow City. They sound magically delicious. I have to say just how much I enjoyed I Don’t Want To Kill You. It was satisfying, totally surprising and had my crying at the end – in a cool, non-sappy way. Awesome with a capital Awesome!

  6. Josi says:

    That’s awesome, Dan. Way to go! I wish you much patience as you keep up with this–it sounds daunting, but very exciting. Congrats.

  7. I saw the Partials deal in PM and was so excited! Also congrats on I Don’t Want to Kill You, I read the UK version and loved it.

  8. I’m so excited to finally hear about your secret project! It sounds awesome. And I can’t wait to get I Don’t Want to Kill You. :)

  9. Marta says:

    I’ve literally just finished reading “I don’t want to kill you” and I swear, this book has one of the best endings to a trilogy. And yes, you did punch me in the gut, more than a couple of times. Wish this Croatian girl could attend the book tours ’cause I’m curious as to who your fav character is.
    And even though I’m gonna miss John, can’t wait for the new releases!

  10. Katya says:

    Partials 2 (not the real title, obviously)”

    How about “Partials 2: Partialer”?

  11. Robin Weeks says:

    I have I DON’T WANT TO KILL YOU in my hot little hands–and let me tell you, everyone here at work is insane with jealousy. Lunchtime needs to come faster….

  12. Reece says:

    I can’t wait to read your new books! They sound fascinating!

  13. Eliza says:

    This is great! I’m excited to see your career moving along like this. Good to know I’ll have plenty of books to read by you in the next few years. Congratulations!

  14. Steve D says:

    And just so everyone who has those really tiny moments of doubt about whether Hollow City is good, and if Partials will be good…

    …they are both completely full of win.

    And they have confirmed the longstanding conspiracy theory that Dan is indeed a frakking cylon.

  15. Very exciting news! Congratulations to you and your publishers. And you just get to keep writing and writing. Awesome.

  16. Jace says:

    Congratulations! It all sounds extremely cool, and will no doubt be an awesome array of books.

  17. Daniel says:

    You know you don’t have to keep up with Brandon, right? But it all sounds exciting.

  18. The Stray says:

    I found your work through the “Writing Excuses” podcasts. I picked up the first two John Clever books, then immediately went out and preordered “I Don’t Want To Kill You.”

    I just finished reading it. Damn do I want more.

    But since, to paraphrase Neil Gaiman, “writers are not my bitch,” I will contain my need for more books in this universe and take a look at what I’m expecting will be plenty of goodness to come, and the Partials universe sounds sweet, and “The Hollow City” sound worth checking out.

    You are made of win.

  19. Kendra Putter says:

    They all sound Wonderful!!! Congrats for all the books you get to create!!!! I Love your work and can’t wait to read the ones to come!!!! Went to your book signing tonight. You Rock!

  20. Kevin says:

    Your John Cleaver books are among my favourites of recent years.
    I read the Brittish version of “I don’t want to kill you” the day it was released, and it was fantastic. The best book in an excellent series.

    I love the way you entered the mind of a psychopath. It makes me more than a little curious how you’ll handle schizophrenia.

    I’m also a big fan of post-apocalyptic stuff, and even though I don’t fall into the YA target audience, you’ve built up more than enough cool points for me to give the series a read.

  21. Robin Weeks says:

    I just finished I DON’T WANT TO KILL YOU, and, when I’m able to hold a thought in my head, I’m coming after you.

    Ditto this, times a thousand:
    “Dan, I hate you and I can’t believe you did this to me and when are you writing the next one?”

    You mad, you mean, you marvelous genius.

  22. Jake says:

    Gee thanks, it’s totally fine for you to force me to stay up until an hour or two before dawn reading your book then having to go to work–jerk. Seriously, did you HAVE to write it that well?

  23. robert devoe says:

    I was referred to your books by Larry Correia , and I really enjoyed this trilogy. It seems like the last book could easily be the launch for some more books with JW Cleaver. Hes just conquered his third demon. He discovered he really doesn’t want to kill people, got a partner (with insider knowledge) , and been contacted by other Hunters.! Perfect setup for some really good books.

  24. Hannah says:

    Yay for impending literature!
    I just want to thank you for our awesome books; I used IANASK as my related text for an english essay in school, and it was one of the best essays I’ve ever written. I credit you because your book is the most interesting thing I’ve analysed in a while.

  25. Breana says:

    “I Don’t Want to Kill You” is just….it just IS. I love the book I love it but it also made me sad at the same time, and I also cried at the end like a pathetic baby but it made me so sad and happy all at once, it’s just a great book!

  26. Eva says:

    “Partials” is now one of my favorites!! Does anyone know if there will be a sequel and when? I’ve read Partials twice already and I LOVE IT! (:

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