Fans of the bestselling supernatural YA series Beautiful Creatures, which concluded in October 2012 with book four, Beautiful Redemption, can breathe a sigh of relief: co-authors and best friends Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl are writing a new series, set in the same world.
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers will launch the new series with the e-novella Dangerous Dream on December 17, 2013, followed by the first novel, Dangerous Creatures, on May 6, 2014.
Rather than focusing on Beautiful Creatures lead characters Ethan Wate and Lena Duchannes, the Dangerous Creatures series will star fan favorites Link (Ethan’s best friend, a musician) and Ridley (Lena’s cousin, a siren) who are “witty and a little edgy,” said LBYR’s Kate Sullivan, who is co-editing the new series with editorial director Erin Stein. (Julie Scheina, who acquired the Beautiful Creatures series in 2008, has moved on from Little, Brown.) Sullivan edited Stohl’s Icons, and Stein edited the Beautiful Creatures movie guide and Garcia’s Unbreakable, hitting shelves October 1.
Dangerous Dream takes place at high school graduation in Gatlin, S.C., where the original series is set. “I view it very much as a bridge between Beautiful Creatures and Dangerous Creatures,” Sullivan said.
Dangerous Creatures picks up at the end of the summer, when the characters are packing up for college, she continued. Link tells his conservative mother that he is going to a Christian school, but in fact, as Garcia and Stohl revealed to PW, he is starting a band called Sirensong in New York City. “Fans were always begging them for more Link and Ridley,” Sullivan said. (Beautiful Creatures characters John and Liv will head to Oxford but make appearances.)
“We’re going to have new teen characters, new villains, new settings, and old settings,” said Garcia. “It’s really the best mix of the old and the new.”
Readers will find laughs amid the intrigue. “It’s going to be different in tone because you’ve got these two boisterous characters,” Sullivan said. “It’s going to have the danger and mysteriousness, but with these two telling the stories, it’s going to have a lot of humor and attitude.”
Once Garcia and Stohl decided they would like to collaborate on a new series, the rest happened quickly. This past June, Garcia and Stohl’s agents contacted Megan Tingley, executive v-p and publisher of LBYR, with the idea. “It sounds corny, but it’s a labor of love, and it’s so fun to work on,” Stohl said, and Garcia agreed: “We would never have committed to it if we didn’t love this universe so much.”
The authors, who have completed Dangerous Dream, are almost finished writing Dangerous Creatures. Stohl is drafting the first book and sending chapters to Garcia every night for changes. They will swap roles for the second book. For the Beautiful Creatures series, they took turns drafting and revising, chapter by chapter. “Our regular process is we just hack and slash each other’s work away,” said Garcia. (They do compose an outline together before they start writing.) “We liken the process to erosion,” said Stohl. “It’s like one wave beats on the shore, and another wave beats on the shore. It has to withstand both kinds of pounding…. My husband always says it’s like the secret language of twins.”
In June, Garcia and her family moved from the West Coast to the Washington, D.C., area. Previously, both women lived with their families in Los Angeles, where Stohl developed videogames and Garcia taught elementary school; Stohl’s three daughters, now ages 20, 18, and 12, were among her students. Stohl’s oldest daughter famously dared the two friends to write Beautiful Creatures, which they did in 12 weeks. To date, the publisher has sold nearly 3.5 million copies of the Beautiful Creatures books. A film adaptation of book one came out in February from Alcon Entertainment and Warner Bros.; Alcon has also optioned Stohl’s Icons for film.
The Dangerous Creatures series will weave in other Beautiful Creatures characters, including Ethan, Lena, John, Liv; each book will be set, for the most part, in a different city. Little, Brown is not yet announcing how many books will be in the new series, but Sullivan said the tentative plan is for one new title each year.
Garcia and Stohl will participate in a live Twitter chat on Tuesday, September 17, at 4:00 p.m. PST/7:00 p.m. EST. Fans can ask questions about the new series using the hashtag #DangerousCreatures.