The Other Big News

TEAM HUMAN, by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan
Coming out spring 2012



A girl and a vampire fall madly in love… The girl’s best friend is deeply unimpressed.

What does this all mean? It means… There is going to be another book by me out before UNSPOKEN. Surprise! Even better surprise… I wrote it with the brilliant Justine Larbalestier.

But how did this happen, you may ask yourselves? ‘Did you slip something in her drink to get her to agree to write with you, Sarah?’ you may add accusingly.

I did not, because we were in different countries at the time. Amazingly, she seems to have done it voluntarily. Justine and I chat often, as writer friends will, about all our nerdy interests. One of which? Vampires. We love us some vampires. Justine sent me SABELLA by Tanith Lee, about vampires on Mars, and I cheerleaded Justine’s marathon of my beloved THE VAMPIRE DIARIES.

But let me confess something I have not heard many writers confess: we got the idea for our vampire book from TWILIGHT.

Actually, we got the idea from NEW MOON. I will explain. Justine was at a showing of the movie NEW MOON, and we were chatting beforehand, and I said: ‘Let me know how you enjoy my favourite part.’ So when she returned…

JUSTINE: So what was your favourite part?
SARAH: When Bella’s friend yells at her.
JUSTINE: When the heroine’s friend yells at our depressed heroine? Sarah, I thought you were Team Bella!
SARAH: I am! Of course I am! Go Bella’s agency and having whichever dude she pleases! But that scene just really reminded me of school, when your friend gets all wrapped up in this guy-
JUSTINE: Yes, and you don’t think the guy is that great-
SARAH: Exactly, but he’s suddenly always the topic of conversation, and you have all this friend jealousy-
JUSTINE: It’s all part of the difficult untwining time of friendships when you’re having first romances and you’re like ‘Hey, my friend and I aren’t the same person. TURNS OUT.’
SARAH: Different needs! Who’d have thought.
JUSTINE: Someone should write that book. There need to be more friendship books.
SARAH: Yes! All about the girl whose best friend starts dating a vampire.
JUSTINE: We should write that book.
SARAH: We totally should.

Readers, I did not believe we would. We’d talk about it for a bit, I thought, but Justine wouldn’t really want to (Justine is super cool, y’all, she has a lot of cool stuff going on) or we’d have a big fight (Justine and I, both Ladies of Strong Opinions, and I am a shouty wench). Something would HAPPEN.

But we kept talking about the book. We wanted a world like ours–super into vampires–and we didn’t want secret vampires, so in our heads we built New Whitby, a city in Maine where people go for vampires like people go to Las Vegas for gambling. And once we had the city, and our heroine Mel who likes jokes and sports a lot more than vampires, and her dreamy book-loving best friend Cathy, and beautiful disdainful vampires, and grouchy vampire cops, romance and an adventure… Well, we had to go on the adventure.

I kept wondering if we’d finish it. And then we did, and I had to tell my agent I wrote a secret book. She took it very well. (She may have become accustomed to erratic behaviour from me at this point…)

And then I thought, well, a book about friends, will people get it? Will they want it? Will people think we’re making fun of vampires because we wrote a funny book about vampires, when we LOVE VAMPIRES? Will we– At this point, I believe Justine said: ‘SRB, stop having the vapours.’

She was right. Anne Hoppe of Harper, who publishes Melissa Marr and Lili Wilkinson and who we knew we could absolutely trust with a story about girls and the supernatural, wanted the book. So did Justine’s fabulous Australian publisher, Jodie Webster of Allen & Unwin. They said such smart things to us: they really got the book and what it was about: us loving and talking vampires, and friends who love each other.

We were so happy.

I had so much fun writing this book, and I’m having fun now writing the sequel. (It’s a duology! Never written one of those before.)

For those of you who don’t know Justine’s work and what an enormous treat you are about to be in for (I assume Justine’s fans are at this point running around going ‘Who is this IRISH WENCH? What are her intentions! What is anything!’) I thought I would celebrate this announcement by giving away copies of Justine’s books: a trilogy about sketchy magic users, MAGIC OR MADNESS, a hilarious book about fairies, HOW TO DITCH YOUR FAIRY, and a strange beautiful psychological thriller called LIAR. You will be entered into a draw to win them all now – all you have to do is write a comment, or link to this post from anywhere you like! And then you are in to win all Justine’s books.

You can read Justine’s report of our big news here. And later I’ll talk some more about co-writing, and all the fun we had. And in spring, you can read mine and Justine’s book, and have fun with us and vampires.

I hope you are one squillionth as excited as me!

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