My Dearest Fellow Conspirators,

Well, Terminus, the final book of the nine-book Conspiracy Chronicles is finished, published, and up for sale!

(It’s weird to think of the books as being “for sale.” I feel like once you buy them, I’m never going to see them again. And that makes me weirdly sad.)

Anyway, it’s been an amazing ride, one I’m happy so many of you decided to share! I heard from sooooo many readers during the course of this series. Your kind words and involvement in the lives of Kress and her friends inspired me and kept me going. If you’re reading this, please take a bow—you’re as responsible as I am for this series!

Now that Kress’s adventures are complete (for now, at least), it’s time to move on. But don’t worry, we won’t be moving too far.

My next series is called The Academy of the Apocalypse. The first book, The Emergents Academy, is scheduled for release on January 16!

I’m insanely excited about this upcoming series for a lot of reasons:

1. It’s a spin-off of the Conspiracy Chronicles, so I’m able to inhabit the same world but with a new set of characters.

2. It’s a chance for those new characters to explore that world in greater depth, with all the risks and rewards that entails.

3. It takes place in a secret school in the mountains where Emergents are trained how to use their abilities, how to survive in a post-apocalyptic world, and how to help that post-apocalyptic world to heal. (Assuming it doesn’t kill them first!)

4. It can double as a guidebook for how you, too, dear reader, can survive the apocalypse, yourself! With classes such as Marksmanship & Sniper Training, Surveillance & Reconnaissance, Outdoor Survival, and Unarmed Combat, there’s a wealth of courses, handy lessons, and helpful hints for everyone!)

Personally, I love academy books. And I have some thoughts (don’t I always?) about the reasons for their appeal.

First of all, they involve a handful of main characters against a backdrop of an entire student body.

They’re the best combination of Bottle Episode (where all the action takes place in the school) and traditional adventure (where the action bounces around throughout the rest of the world).

They’re scary, fun, tense, and educational all at the same time.

They enable us to see young characters—on the cusp of adulthood—mature, grow, and evolve in relation to each other.

But perhaps more than any of these things, school is something pretty much all of us have in common. We’ve all been taught. We’ve all had schedules to follow, lessons to learn, and homework to hate.

We’ve all woken up in the morning, slogged through our closets for something to wear, had a quick breakfast of cereal or waffles and runny eggs, panicked over the homework we didn’t do, and left home to go to a factory-like building where we spent more time with our teachers than we did with our parents or guardians.

We’ve all had classes that were too easy, classes that were way too hard, and classes that were mind-numbingly boring.

We’ve all navigated halls and crowded staircases and tried to get through the day without being trampled to death in another pointless fire drill.

We’ve all juggled classes, friends, families, and hobbies.

We’ve all made friends, and many of us have made an enemy or two.

We’ve all been bullies or bullied.

We’ve all suffered through lunches that stranded castaways and convicted felons wouldn’t touch.

We’ve all stressed over our friendships, our skin, our reputations, and our place in the universe.

We’ve all said, “When am I going to have to know this?”

Which is to say…we all have a LOT in common!

Despite our differences in race, sexuality, gender identity, politics, and all the other ways we get brainwashed into identifying ourselves as separate from everyone else, the one thing that continues to function as a unifying experience, is school.

So yes, I’m hoping you’ll read and enjoy the Academy of the Apocalypse series as much as you read and enjoyed the Conspiracy Chronicles. But more than that, I’m hoping you’ll find people, students, teachers, and situations in these books you can relate to. I’m hoping you’ll be frightened, inspired, sucked in, and entertained.

And in this crazy world in these even crazier times, maybe a little light fantasy, superheroic, sci-fi adventure about gifted kids in a boarding school  where they’re trained to survive and overcome the apocalypse is just what we all need to remind ourselves that we’re all still here, right? Which means that we’re ALL still survivors.

So, enjoy the next series. Enjoy life!

Enjoy your enrollment in the Academy of the Apocalypse. It’s GREAT having you along for the ride!

And, as always, thank you for reading!

Conspiratorially yours,