About the Book:
Title: BURNING MIDNIGHT
Author: Will McIntosh
Release Date: February 2, 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
For fans of The Maze Runner and The Fifth Wave, this debut YA novel from Hugo Award winner Will McIntosh pits four underprivileged teens against an evil billionaire in the race of a lifetime.
Sully is a sphere dealer at a flea market. It doesn’t pay much—Alex Holliday’s stores have muscled out most of the independent sellers—but it helps him and his mom make the rent. No one knows where the brilliant-colored spheres came from. One day they were just there, hidden all over the earth like huge gemstones. Burn a pair and they make you a little better: an inch taller, skilled at math, better-looking. The rarer the sphere, the greater the improvement—and the more expensive the sphere.
When Sully meets Hunter, a girl with a natural talent for finding spheres, the two start searching together. One day they find a Gold—a color no one has ever seen. And when Alex Holliday learns what they have, he will go to any lengths, will use all of his wealth and power, to take it from them.
There’s no question the Gold is priceless, but what does it actually do? None of them is aware of it yet, but the fate of the world rests on this little golden orb. Because all the world fights over the spheres, but no one knows where they come from, what their powers are, or why they’re here.
- Quickly, give us the title and genre of your book and a 30-word or less tagline:
Burning Midnight is Adventure/Science Fiction. It’s about mysterious colored spheres that are hidden all over the world, and if you have two of the same color they give you something. Easy-to-find colors might give you straighter, whiter teeth; rare colors might give you high intelligence, or physical strength. In the book, two teens find a sphere so rare no one knows what it does. But everyone wants it.
- Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?
Readers who love books like The Maze Runner and Divergent, but crave something that’s a little different. I think gamers would love it, as there’s a strong resonance between the plot and video game themes.
- How did you come up with the title of your book or series?
We started out with the title Midnight Blue, which is the color of one of the rarest spheres, but decided that sounded too much like a romance novel title. So my editor at Delacourt, Kate Sullivan, my agent, Seth Fishman, and I came up with a new title together. In the book, when people absorb the powers from a pair of same-colored spheres, they say they’re ‘burning’ them. So if you were to absorb the powers from two Midnight Blue spheres, you’re burning Midnights.
- Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?
Isn’t it great? I’d like to take some credit for the cover design, but all of the credit has to go to the design people at Penguin Random House/Delacorte Press. My only input was to see an early version of it and type, “Awesome! I love it!” It really captures the feel of the book. At first I didn’t realize that all those specks on the cover are Gold spheres raining down on Manhattan from the sky!
- Who is your favorite character from your book and why?
Hunter. I like working with characters who are broken, who are a mix of likeable and unlikeable traits, and that’s Hunter. She’s bossy as hell, impulsive, abrasive. But she’s clever and passionate, and she had a really tough childhood, so her abrasiveness is understandable.
- How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
Alex Holliday. I was on a convention panel about writing villains last fall, and I confessed that I don’t like villains. I find them hard to write. The other writers on the panel loved their villains, but sometimes I have to force myself to give them space in the story.
- If you could change ONE thing about your novel, what would it be? Why?
I kind of wish I had planned it as a two or three-book series from the start. I may still write a sequel, but I haven’t set it up to make that particularly easy. There’s just so much more to explore in this world.
- What’s the next project for you?
I’m working on another YA book. I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s about lying. It’s about all the ways we’re lied to, the lies we tell, and what would happen if no one could ever get away with a lie again. I kind of want to title it The Future Will Be Bull**** Free, but that might not sit well with librarians.
- What are you reading right now?
M.T. Anderson’s Feed. Need to catch up on some of the modern YA classics I missed.
- Any advice for upcoming authors?
At the outset, write from a sense of joy. Get your pleasure straight from the process of creating something new and original. It’s important to get feedback so you can improve, but if you write from a place where you crave praise and external success, it will be hard to keep it up long enough to get as good as you can be.
Will McIntosh’s debut novel, Soft Apocalypse, was a finalist for both a Locus award and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. He is a frequent contributor to Asimov’s, where his story “Bridesicle” won the 2010 Reader’s Award, as well as the 2010 Hugo Award for Best Short Story. His third novel, Love Minus Eighty (based on “Bridesicle”) was published by Orbit books in June, 2013, and was named best Science Fiction novel of the year by the American Library Association. His upcoming novel, Defenders has been optioned by Warner Brothers for a feature film. Will recently moved to Williamsburg, Virginia with his wife Alison and twins Hannah and Miles. He left his position as a psychology professor in Southeast Georgia to write full time, and still teaches as an adjunct, at the College of William and Mary. Will is represented by Seth Fishman at The Gernert Company. Follow him on Twitter @WillMcIntoshSF
3 winners will receive a finished copy of BURNING MIDNIGHT, US Only.