August 06, 2011
A bit of news
So I got a rather epic e-mail the other day and I wanted to share with you all a bit of what it was about. It went some thing like this:
This winter, Michael has a new series coming out that was conceived not only as a book, but also as a “transmedia” experience. This may not be a familiar term to YA fans, but essentially a transmedia story is an interactive narrative told through the written word, video, puzzles, and more. But most importantly, it encourages fans to become part of the action.
I thought your readers would be interested in hearing about this new adventure that’s at the cutting edge of the digital publishing frontier. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but our tale has just gotten underway at societytwins.com and nexushumanus.com. Keep in mind that these sites are just the beginning… the intrigue unfolds from here.
The missing son of a U.N. diplomat... the reemergence of a strange organization... a pair of society twins caught in the middle... this is just the beginning of "Go BZRK," a new transmedia experience from author Michael Grant.
If you're ready to take the plunge in an interactive story like you've never experienced before, visit societytwins.com and register with nexushumanus.com to take your first steps in a strange and compelling universe.
Filled with video, puzzles, community collaboration, and more, "Go BZRK" puts YOU the player right in the middle of the action as you join Nexus Humanus and unravel a mystery that may hold the key to the fate of all mankind.
And then they sent me a Q and A with Michael himself, to answer some of your burning questions:
What is “Go BZRK”? Is this a book or some kind of interactive story?
Both. The book comes out this winter, but the interactive part starts now. One leads up to the other, but they're part of a complete package.
There are different approaches to transmedia. Most people take a single story and reproduce it on various platforms. My philosophy has been to make each element - ARG, app, web, book - a thing unto itself, each revealing some aspect of the world of BZRK. I've been fascinated with this is as a new way to tell stories. The book remains central, but now I can reach beyond the book and create a much more complete world. I can tell stories that enhance the book, and stories that parallel the book, and stories that are offshoots of backstory. I guess the answer to "why" is "because it's fun."
Is this the future of publishing?
I began a few years ago reaching out to publishers and saying we collectively needed to understand that the old models were dead or dying. I want publishing to survive, and of course I'd like my own career to thrive. So Egmont Publishing and my partners and I certainly hope this is a part of the future of publishing.
How long is this running? Is this part of a larger picture?
We'll be running this in several chunks between now and the book release this winter. Because these things have a hard start/stop point, August is a ramp-up phase. There'll be a lot of content coming out, but the experience really gets underway at the end of the month… just in time to distract the kids from their schoolwork.
What if someone wants to follow the story but doesn’t want to participate?
You don't have to do anything. You can do one thing and not another. But the deeper you plunge the wetter you get. I think every part of this is fun, I think people will enjoy the ARG, the app, the site and the books.
App? You've mentioned that a couple times now.
Just wait and see.
What can you tell us about the story? What is “BZRK”?
It's a battle for the soul and freedom of the human race carried out simultaneously in the world we know, and in a world that you're not going to expect. It's a world where if you make a false move, you're going to lose your mind.
Insanity… is this something you have a personal familiarity with?
The line between writer and crazy person is very thin. Both go around holding long, involved conversations with people who aren't there.
What’s this other world thing all about?
Do you really want spoilers? I'll tell you this. We'll be going "down in the meat." It's going to be vast, bloody, and beautiful.
Wait… isn’t this supposed to be for kids?
Adults like to flatter themselves that kids won't get, won't understand, won't be able to handle, more intense, more complex stories. That's nonsense. It's the adults who are easy to creep out or scare. Say the word "biopsy" in a room full of adults. Or "audit." See? Easy to scare. Kids are a tougher audience because kids think they're immortal.
I don't know about you but I am pretty stinkin' excited about the whole thing. Enjoy!!