Thursday, November 17, 2011


I wanted to share with TKZ that Michelle Gagnon and I will be launching a new group blog geared for thriller authors writing dark YA. Our blog will be called ADR3NALIN3. I hope you’ll check it out at this LINK.

ADR3NALIN3 is the brainchild of a group of authors who write the dark side of middle grade and teen fiction. We are far from cozy and we don't do warm and fuzzy. We want to make your skin crawl and your heart beat faster as you venture deeper into the dark recesses of our imaginations. Reality can be overrated or just plain scary. We offer you a savory feast of chilling contemporary thrillers, eerie mysteries, fantasies from your worst nightmares, and our bent and twisted take on the paranormal.

Michelle’s new series sounds absolutely fantastic—dark & delicious. Here’s a sneak peek.

Don’t Turn Around (Series-Book #1)
HarperTeen, TBA 2012

Sixteen-year-old Noa has been victimized by the system ever since her parents died. Now living off the grid and trusting no one, she uses computer hacking skills to stay safely anonymous and alone. But when she wakes up on a table in an empty warehouse with an IV in her arm and no memory of how she got there, Noa starts to wish she had someone on her side.

Enter Peter Gregory, A rich kid and the leader of a hacker alliance. Peter needs people with Noa¹s talents on his team. Especially after a shady corporation called AMRF threatens his life in no uncertain terms.

But what Noa and Peter don¹t know is that she holds the key to a terrible secret, and there are those who¹d stop at nothing to silence her for good.

Fans of THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO will devour the story of Noa, a teen soulmate to Lisbeth Sander.

 And another of our members launches a book tour this week, Carol Tanzman. Here’s a sneak peek of her book:


by Carol Tanzman

Harlequin Teen, Nov 2011

Part mystery and part romance in this digital age where teens put their lives online, dancergirl (Harlequin Teen) will grab you from the first page and won’t let you go until the thrilling conclusion. When someone secretly films 16 year old Ali Ruffino dancing at a concert and posts the video online, things start to get out of control as the dancergirl craze takes on a life of its own. Her admirers want more, the haters hate, her best friend Jacy—even he’s acting weird. And if someone watching has their way, Ali could lose way more than just her love of dancing. She could lose her life.

We are officially starting active posts during the first week of January 2012 but since we have two virtual book tours starting in Nov & Dec, we are getting the word out earlier. I’ve featured two of our authors, but visit our site to see who else has joined us. We also hope to promote the genre with featured guests. I hope you’ll follow our new blog and on twitter at @ADR3NALIN3BOOKS.

Once we get going, what kinds of posts would you like to see on ADR3NALIN3? What have you liked most about following TKZ?


  1. Thank you Jordan, Michelle,and everyone who fights the good fight in YA fiction. My teenaged daughter needs some literate, interesting fiction for her age group. I will send her to your books and new blog.

    Re: your about on occasion mentioning/recommending new YA thriller fiction/ Short reviews, perhaps?

  2. Hey Joe. Wendy Corsi Staub sent me an email, telling me how much she loves you. This new blog should be fun. And your idea is a good one. I'll kick it around with our authors. Thanks.

  3. I love Wendy too, Jordan. But don't tell anybody.

  4. To answer your question: what I most like about TKZ is that there are a variety of contributors with varied opinions and topics. IMHO many single author blogs are, well, one note and boring. Coming up with a blog topic once every week or two keeps the blog fresher. A single writer gets caught up in the drama of his/her life and eventually has trouble keeping a regular blog schedule. With multiple contributors and a regular posting schedule the reader has an expectation. I like that.

    Here's my question: Can someone explain to me the rise in YA fiction, and how it is becoming so attractive to adults? When I was a teenager there was very little YA, S.E. Hinton, Judy Blume and maybe a couple of others. Now there is a giant - successful - section. Not that I felt deprived; I wanted to read adult books, not books about kids. I've also noticed that YA seems to tilt heavily toward darker subjects (which I would have loved when I was a teenager so this doesn't surprise me). What surprises me most about the trend is that a lot of adults are now reading YA. I'm an adult. I want to read about adults. I'm beginning to think I am a minority in this. Due to all the hullabaloo I did read The Hunger Games, and because I got so engrossed in it the rest of that trilogy as well. I can't wait for the movies. For those of you who have written books aimed at adults and are now writing YA what inspired you to start writing YA? How is writing YA different for you than writing for adults? Do you intend to now only write YA, or for both adults and YA?

    BTW this is not meant to imply that I don't think that teenagers don't deserve books aimed them or that deal with teenage themes. I'm just fascinated by this sea change in YA in the marketplace.

  5. Great comment, Catfriend. I love TKZ for the same reason. All the authors & the fresh material hits on a number of cylinders for me with posts ranging from craft to trends to industry news. I've learned a lot.

    I'm also a big reader of YA. I like darker suspense YA tales because my reader roots took firm hold in crime fiction. Now the paranormal or dystopian or dark fantasy YA books gives me new villians. And the coming of age aspects add a complicated layer of emotion that adults can still resonate with. Writing YA gives me a whole new range of personal experiences to tap into also.(Scary, I know. You have no idea.)

    I also like that YA is very cross genre with loads of imagination. Adult book genres tend to be about book store shelving with more "rules" on writing.

    I still like writing for both adults & younger readers. Both stretch me in different ways. My hopes are that YA will flex my imagination muscles to make me a better writer, while having fun too.

    Another thing about writing YA is that younger readers are so enthusiastic about books they like. Their eyes light up when you sign their books & they tend to "SQUEE" more. The squee factor is amazing fuel to an author. And your books can touch them on a deep level that can make a difference in their lives. Getting sweet emails in the early morning hours from a young reader who got my message that it's okay to be different, that really touches me too. It's a 2-way street.

  6. I also find that writing craft changes between adult books & YA. Adult books are more about pace & plot for me while YA adds more emotional layers that are important to capture the age. When you create an adult plot premise, you may focus on the character first, but in YA, I think it's important to come up with an "oh, wow" plot, then create the character second. That insures you wont keep writing a cliche kid with every book. Pit the right kind of kid with each fresh book because there are many different kinds of kids. I'm still trying to understand how adult writing differs from YA.

  7. Being an adult lover of YA- it comes down to plot. I read many adult books, but always come back to YA. The plots are more exciting and the worlds more imaginative. Would I like reading about non-teens? Sure, but I will give up reading about adults to have books that aren't full of sex and gore. (And yes I know there are always a few books in the YA and adult sections that go against the majority).

    Thanks for the great conversation!

  8. I read YA almost exclusively and have since I was a kid (I'm turning 23 next week). I majored in creative writing in university, however, and we never read anything but adult novels and short stories. That said, I've found that I still prefer YA to any other genre, partly because of the sheer carefree imagination of YA novels.

    I'm not sure that I agree that writing a "wow" plot is the best way to start with YA, since I've found that stories can fade--characters remain in my head and heart for years. Adult novels tend to be peppered with cynical and world-weary characters, which to be honest, is exhausting. If I curl up at the end of the day with a book, I want it to be something I can enjoy while I consider its message. I hate hearing people say that YA/teen fiction is easy. It's not.

  9. Coranne---Thanks for your comment. I love the imagination of YA books because they often surprise me. I still read adult-centric books but seem more drawn to the diversity of YA offerings. Happy reading.

  10. Hey Angel--Thanks for weighing in. By wow plot, I'm talking about ideas that grab you in concept--like Jay Asher's THIRTEEN REASONS WHY about a girl who committed suicide & sent 13 audio recordings to the people who contributed to her making that dark decision. Or THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak about a young girl's story during the holocaust, narrated by Death. Those are wow factor books that are impossible to resist, that cry out for the best character to tell those stories.

    And there's an interesting thing that certain publishers are realizing there might be a gap between YA & adult books. They're calling these books NEW ADULT, with character ages between 18-24. Not sure if this will become "a thing" but it seems interesting.

  11. Thanks for the mention, Jordan! I'm really excited to share another blog with you :)
    For me, I wrote the YA novels pretty much the same way I tackled the adult ones. The suggestion to write toward a younger audience actually came from an editor who noticed that I usually had a teenage character featured prominently in each "adult" thriller (something that I hadn't even realized until he pointed it out). So the only real difference for me has been that the protagonists are all younger than they are in my other series.
    We also felt that there was a bit of a gap between YA and adult fiction, in that there weren't many YA novels that were true thrillers (Hunger Games being a notable exception). And there certainly weren't many set in our current world. So with my new trilogy, there are a lot of chase scenes and fairly continuous action. One character is on the run for most of the novel. The really funny part is that it was in some ways the smoothest writing experience I ever had. The initial draft flew, I finished it in eight weeks.

  12. Can't wait to read your series, Michelle. It sounds like you have a cast of characters. Is your series told through first person or close third?

  13. Close third person. I have two main characters, a boy and a girl, so that seemed like the way to go.

  14. Thank you Jordan for yet another great post,

    Love your website and thanks for putting up the link.

    How exciting!

    The thing that I've thrived on as a new author with TKZ this past year has been the sense of community that all of the regular posters have invited.

    I love getting up early and checking in here because every single one of you have incredible topics to discuss, and you ask us, the collective commenters to chime in. Then you answer us! It's so cool. TKZ has been like the best of college without all the tests and stress of papers, etc.

    The reason I keep coming back is that sense of community, no matter the topic being debated for the day.

    Regarding the YA rage, I agree with you Jordan, it's the crossing of the genre' boundaries, that liberty to have romance and mystery and thrills and even some dark themes that keep me up late at night.

    One of my favorite characters in my current novel Careful is a teenaged boy named Patrick Jones who steals the story with his incredible character arc. He comes in mid-way through the story and 'kicks it up a notch'. He's the light in a really dark romantic suspense thriller.

    Hey, maybe I've been marketing this book to the wrong agents!

    See, that's what The Kill Zone does for me. It stimulates new synapses, and new opinions abut my world.

    Jordan, and Michelle, if you can accomplish near the same thing with ADR3NALIN3, you'll have the coolest blog on the web.


    p.s. Does anyone but me realize that Breaking Dawn opens at midnight tonight? That's ironic...

  15. Thanks, Michelle. Can't wait to read your series.

    Paula--I love that sense of community here too. Our followers really contribute & I love the discussions. This post & the varied comments will help shape our new blog. So thank you.

    I can relate to how you feel for your character Patrick. Some characters steal your heart, no matter what their role. You gotta love that. Sounds like you had an epiphany about how you are pitching this story. Fingers crossed for you. Happy writing & reading.

  16. Forgot to mention the Twilight buzz, Paula. I never really got into Twilight. My big thing will be the Hunger Games movie & the Casandra Clare Mortal Instruments movie. Been following those closely. Film makers have plenty of plot to work with in both series. And I loved the character development in both series too. These books sucked me in and made me forget I write. Love that.

  17. Congrats on your new adventure! For a YA blog, I'd think in terms of seeking out ways to involve a younger readership in an active way. A dynamic format might include a chat room, YouTube videos, or perhaps updated dynamically with readers' "Likes" from Facebook. The doing of that would be a technical challenge, so I'd seek out some techie guru who could make the blog dynamic in a way that would appeal to younger readers.

  18. Sounds (and looks great) I think posts on what inspires you would resonate well with teenage reader. I think a lot of teens aspire to write and would love to hear your take on how you come up with your ideas.

  19. Thanks, Kathryn. Great ideas. It will be interesting to find a balance on topics that will engage our followers. We have some ideas & the comments today help too. I'd never thought about a chatroom. Maybe when we get further along, we can do something like that.

  20. Hey Clare. Thanks for your input. I have several young writers who have asked advice & still stay in touch. We all need that boost, don't we? So craft with a little creativity will be fun. I learn a lot from young readers too, especially ones who understand the writing process. Thanks for your comment.

  21. Jordan and Michelle - Thanks for your responses to my question.

  22. HOT blog page, Jordan!! I wish you every success with this page. It rocks!

    I'm sharing it on FB and Twitter NOW!!

  23. Awww, thanks, Kathleen. You're the best.