Courtney, what is This is Not a Test about?

courtneyFeatured, fyi, omg, this is not a test, zombies

It has been a long time since I blogged! It’s probably a bad thing I begin every blog entry with variations of this sentence. I once read that it’s terrible form to call attention to the fact you’re a bad blogger, which means I CAN’T DO ANYTHING RIGHT! But I thought I’d type something up because I’ve been making a slew of Book 4 related announcements all over Twitter and Facebook and we know nothing I say is official until I shove it in a blog entry like ten weeks later. So here we go! As of today, my fourth book is officially done. There are not enough exclamation marks to express how I feel about that so I am not going to use any. Here is the title, which I revealed ages ago:

You might be wondering why I decided to make that an image. I was thinking since I announced it everywhere else first I should go the extra mile here. I also thought I should make up for my blog neglect and tell you some more things about This is Not a Test IN THIS SPACE that I have not announced anywhere else. Blog exclusive! What things? Well, the answers to these questions: When is This is Not a Test coming out? and What is This is Not a Test about?

In answer to the first question: June 2012 is when This is Not a Test is estimated to come out. I am not sure exactly when. But I don’t want you to miss it! So cancel everything for that month and pencil in THIS IS NOT A TEST PROBABLY COMES OUT. If you want to. I want you to, of course, but I want lots of things.

In answer to the second question–what is This is Not a Test about? Well. I have been wanting to tell you that for ages! I think this is the longest I have gone without giving you an idea of what I’ve been working on but there is a very good reason for that. This book has been hard and it has been many things. At one point, it wasn’t even going to be the next book! But now it is! So I can tell you WHAT it is! Are you ready? ARE YOU? Okay. Here goes. This is Not a Test is about…

Oh, whoops. SORRY. That’s not it. That’s how I feel inside every day. Ahem.

Let’s try this official sounding summary instead:

It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up.

As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live. But as the days crawl by, everyone’s motivations to survive begin to change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life–and death–inside.

When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?

But just in case that’s a bit too subtle, here is a snippet from the manuscript for clarification:

“Zombies,” Harrison says.
“Shut up,” Trace tells him.


SO WHAT MORE CAN I SAY. Except some people guessed it every now and then, what I was writing! And I had to say, “ZOMBIES HA HA WHO ME WAT.” And then I did some school visits earlier this year and my most asked question was, “Why won’t you write a zombie book?” And I had to be like, “ZOMBIES HA HA WHO ME WAT MAYBE SOME OTHER TIME.” Sorry for lying to your faces, people! This book was such a process that it was safer that way for all of us. And also admitting it before officially admitting it would’ve harshed on my reveal, you know? You guys would’ve had the stress of having to act surprised for my benefit on your shoulders.

So I was just thinking of YOU.

And fear not: if you liked Cracked Up to Be, Some Girls Are and Fall for Anything but zombies make you furrow your brows because they are not what falls into the category of ‘realistic YA,’ I think there is still something in here for you. ANYWAYS, soon I will write about zombies and how I love them in case you didn’t know and how alive they make me feel in my heart and the process of writing of this zombie book but for now I am just going to decompress and play some Left 4 Dead 2. Because short of surviving the zombie apocalypse, I can’t think of a better way to celebrate finishing my zombie book than playing a video game devoted to zombie carnage.

Seriously, you guys, I am really super excited and so happy to share this news with you. Writing this book was very demanding but it was worth it. I am so proud of it! And I hope you like it when it comes out! (In June!) (Probably!) Also you should add it on Goodreads! If you’re so inclined! And if you want up-to-date info on This is Not a Test, you should follow me on Twitter and Facebook since apparently news goes on the blog last, except this news, which was first. But don’t think that’s gonna be the standard!

I’m such a bad, bad blogger.