However, Michael Grant is taking a new direction with this upcoming series (the first book is titled BZRK). In addition to the books, Michael will present the book in a “transmedia” experience. This may not be a familiar term to some, 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.
In doing this, two websites have been set up. The Society Twins as well as Nexus Humanus, which will not only both have a part within the books but show a bit of what's to come.
To get a general feeling for this may be going, here's an short excerpt from a post on The Society Twins:
Hi everyone. We’re Sophie and Sylvie Morgenstein, just your run-of-the-mill identical twins… and no, this isn’t one of those sites so get your mind out of the gutter. You know who you are.
We could be modest and say we’re pretty average, if you consider growing up with a father on the UN Security Council and a genius mother with blue in her veins “average.” Not that her side of the family is still Rockefeller rich or something, but we’re not exactly down town, either. It can be embarrassing, you know, having to explain all this to new people so we wanted to get that out of the way.
Anyway, this site is really for our brother. We’re sure you could care less about our plans for school. We probably wouldn’t care either if it wasn’t us who’s going. But Davis is another story.
You can also watch the following video:
As time continues and as the first book's releases approaches, more will be reveled, but don't wait until later. Take a look at the different sites and get a feel for what's to come. This series sounds like it will be amazing, and I can't wait to see how Michael and his publisher use a “transmedia” experience to further the experience.
Though, what do you think? Are you excited about this new series? Are you looking forward to seeing how the 'transmedia' experience will be presented? Let me know in the comments, and I'll be sure to keep you posted as this project develops. :)
Edit to Add: I also got sent an interview in which Michael discusses the upcoming book and transmedia experience. Find out what he has to say below.
A Q&A with author Michael Grant
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.