Today I am so excited to share some incredible news that I’ve been sitting on since April. Yes, that’s right, April. I’ve been dying to talk about this for the past eight months and now I finally can…

I’m writing a sci-fi duology with HarperTeen!

contagion announcement

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Erica Sussman at HarperTeen has acquired Erin Bowman’s YA sci-fi duology, consisting of Contagion and its untitled sequel, about two teens working internships for a drilling conglomerate who are coerced into investigating a distress call from a research crew lightyears away, and about the sole survivor they find when landing on the supposedly uninhabitable planet. Pitched as Alien meets The Thing, the novels are scheduled for spring 2018 and spring 2019; Sara Crowe at Pippin Properties negotiated the deal for North American rights, while at Harvey Klinger, Inc.

!!!! I’m so excited to be working with Erica and the HarperTeen gang again. They did such a fantastic job with the Taken trilogy (from beautiful covers to getting the books into the hands of readers), and I’m sure things will be no different with this duology. Now, to answer some questions…

That pitch is really vague. Who are these two teens?
Thea Sadik, an ambitious seventeen-year-old with a love for science, and Nova Singh, a high-school dropout with piloting experience who’s looking to snag permanent work. While temporarily employed by drilling conglomerate Hevetz Industries, things go awry (naturally), and both girls find themselves on a rescue mission neither is qualified for.

Who’s the sole survivor? 
I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you. Ahem. What I mean is, this is one of those stories where the less you know going in, the better, so I’m going to be a withholding jerk and tell you to read the book when it comes out. 😈

So when does it come out? 
May 2018!

Can I pre-order it? 
Not yet. But you can add it to goodreads or stalk the pinterest board.

This sounds so different than your westerns! Where the heck did the idea come from? 
I’ve actually been working on this story for ages. The idea first came to me back in 2012, from a dream, no less—my first novel inspired by a dream! Actually, it was more of a nightmare. At the time, I was busy writing other contracted projects, but I’ve been continually returning to this story whenever I have downtime and now it will finally be a book! If you follow me on pinterest, you’ll know this story was once titled Achlys, after the destination planet “lightyears away” in the above pitch.

Why did you retitle it from Achlys to Contagion?
Achlys, as a title, is tricky—hard to know how to pronounce (if you read it) and hard to know how to spell (if you hear about the book via word of mouth). Contagion doesn’t have that problem, plus it packs a punch. It’s mysterious, dangerous, dark—everything we needed the title to be. I’m really happy with it, and it speaks so well to the whole of the story.

Does this mean you’re done with westerns? Why do you keep jumping between genres?
Well, I have Retribution Rails, the companion to Vengeance Road, coming out in November 2017. And then, who knows! I love writing westerns, but I also love sci-fi. Just as I love dystopian. And I have the start of contemporary projects on my hard drive, as well as speculative fiction and fantasy. I read across genres and I especially love to write across genres. It keeps me on my toes, provides new challenges, and helps me grow as a writer. So, no, this doesn’t mean I’m done with westerns. It simply means nothing is off limits for me.

Wait, don’t go! You haven’t answered my question. 
Leave it in the comments, and I’ll do my best to answer it.
I’ll also continue to answer questions and reveal teasers via my monthly newsletter, so be sure to subscribe if that sounds like your thing!


Thanks for all the support you’ve shown my books so far. I can’t wait to share this latest venture with you guys, but right now, Contagion is in the middle of a major revision and I need to get back to it so I have something shiny to share next spring. Over and out! 😎

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