This is a story that must be penned in blood…
We’re thrilled to share the cover for All of Us Villains, the start of a dark tale of ambition and magick co-authored by Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman—publishing November 9th with Tor Teen.
You Fell In Love With The Victors of The Hunger Games.
Now Prepare To Meet The Villains of The Blood Veil.
After the publication of a salacious tell-all book, the remote city of Ilvernath is thrust into worldwide spotlight. Tourists, protesters, and reporters flock to its spellshops and ruins to witness an ancient curse unfold: every generation, seven families name a champion among them to compete in a tournament to the death. The winner awards their family exclusive control over the city’s high magick supply, the most powerful resource in the world.
In the past, the villainous Lowes have won nearly every tournament, and their champion is prepared to continue his family’s reign. But this year, thanks to the influence of their newfound notoriety, each of the champions has a means to win. Or better yet–a chance to rewrite their story.
But this is a story that must be penned in blood.
Amanda Foody is the author of YA novels Daughter of the Burning City and The Shadow Game series (HarperCollins/Inkyard), and the forthcoming middle grade series Wildlore: The Accidental Apprentice (Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry). Formerly an accountant preparing taxes for multinational corporations, Amanda lives in Boston with Jelly Bean, her feline beastly companion.
Christine Lynn Herman is the author of The Devouring Gray, its upcoming sequel The Deck of Omens, and a standalone contemporary fantasy called The Drowning Summer (Little, Brown/Hachette). You can find her in the nearest forest, attempting to become a tree, or on Twitter and Instagram at @christineexists.
What inspired you to write All of Us Villains and to write it together?
Both of us came of age during the heyday of Twilight, The Hunger Games, and Divergent—books came to define an era of YA publishing. As such, we’ve always had a soft spot for those kind of huge, splashy tropes, and we got to discussing how fun it would be to write one. We were both already best friends and authors, and we already collaborated with each other regularly when it came to talking through our own writing ups and downs… so it felt like a natural next step to work on something together. And who wouldn’t want to write a death tournament book with their best friend?
What does your co-writing process look like?
It’s very collaborative and relies a lot on communication and trust–both of which are absolutely essential when writing a book with someone else. In the beginning, we outlined the entire manuscript together, chapter by chapter, and then each of us drafted two of the four POV characters. We talked through every beat along the way, and we had a world-building glossary for us both to refer back to so that we were always on the same page. Both of us are always cognizant of the other’s writing process, and we’ve melded them together in a way that can work for us both.
So much of writing a book can feel like holding a whole world inside your head, by yourself. Having someone else alongside you who knows just as much about the project as you do is a game changer.
Have you always had an affinity for villains and their stories?
Both of us have always been interested in morally gray characters and multi-POV narratives where the protagonist and antagonist change depending on who’s telling the story. We’ve often found ourselves asking why some characters end up at odds with one another–and where the real lines are between heroism and villainy. Every story where characters play with those expectations, and those labels, are the ones that have stuck with us. Villainy can mean so many different things in so many different contexts–which as storytellers was a fascinating concept for us to explore more deeply.
Are the characters in All of Us Villains inspired by any characters you’ve seen and/or read in TV/Movies/Books?
No one in our cast is inspired by specific characters from other media, but during our initial brainstorming process, some of them did begin as classic archetypes. For instance, Alistair Lowe was meant to embody the perfect villain, while Briony Thorburn could be called the perfect hero. We began with these concepts and worked back from them, unpacking what it means for any person to be labeled as strictly one or the other. Ultimately, all of our characters are a combination of both. There is no one person to root for or one person to despise. This played into the death tournament idea so well, because then no one character is lifted up because of their goodness. They are all on equal terms to win… or to die.
What’s something you want readers to know before diving into All of Us Villains?
Get ready, because you’re in for a wild ride.