Rummanah Aasi
  One of the reasons I love blogging is to find out new, awesome book news! I received an interesting email from Harper Teen yesterday in explaining that Michael Grant, the author of the bestselling Gone series, is working on a transmedia series. Have you ever heard of a transmedia novel? No? I haven't either. A transmedia story is an interactive narrative told through different forms such as the book itself, video, puzzles, etc. Think of it as the choose your adventure type books you when you read when you were a kid. Essentially, the reader gets to ultimately decide how much you want to delve into the story. The author wants you to be more involved with the books! The series, called Go Bzrk, will be released this winter.

Image credit to: deanashour

   Here is a snippet of the book's description from the publisher:
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" put 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.
 I was also sent a snippet of an interview in which Michael explains how the transmedia series came about:



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.

Why “transmedia”?

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.
 

 Pretty cool, huh? I'm going to sign up. I've never read a transmedia novel before and it sounds really cool. I hope you sign up too. Thanks again to Harper Teen for passing the information along!
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3 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    I got this email too and am very curious to see how this is all going to work! Love that their making it really interactive, that should be fun:)


  2. Missie Says:

    I'm not to sure about this for me. I'm kind of old fashioned when it comes to reading. Too many distractions and I forget the story. Still, the concept sounds cool.


  3. I love the idea of this! I can't wait to see how it all comes together :)


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