Jude Watson is unstoppable!
By Guest Blogger on March 22nd, 2013
First there was The 39 Clues. Then there was The 39 Clues: Cahills versus Vespers. And now, there’s The 39 Clues: Unstoppable! Jude Watson — a.k.a. National Book Award Winner Judy Blundell — has some news to share. She first spilled it on The 39 Clues message boards, but now she’s here on OOM with even more details. Thanks, Jude! Readers, check it out!
When I first got the call that Scholastic had decided to continue The 39 Clues series and wanted me to craft the arc and write the first book, I couldn’t believe my good fortune. When you spend years with characters who have faced the worst that life can throw at them and triumph, who have had a series of cool adventures all over the world, it’s like an amusement park for a writer. I couldn’t wait to go for another ride.
So I put on my Mean Writer Hat and asked myself one question: what’s the worst I can throw at Amy and Dan Cahill now? They’ve developed mad skills, grown up faster than kids should have to, have faced terror and betrayal. What can possibly be next?
How can I get them to test themselves further, to reach down deep and grab hold of their best selves, and stretch even farther than they have already? And what kind of exotic places can I bring to our readers? Where can we go that we haven’t been? What historical figures can we highlight? How can we grab the next generation of readers into our subversively educational series?
The answer wasn’t easy. It took sixteen colored Sharpies, eleven wastebaskets of crumpled paper, a handful of Advils, and a number of despairing emails to my editor, Rachel Griffiths crying “help!” We reached back into the past for Unstoppable—way back, into lost civilizations, among them Troy, Carthage, Tikal, and Angkor Wat—and stretched our arms around the wide world again.
In addition to the usual amazing facts about different times and places, I wanted these books to have a deeper psychological journey for Amy and Dan. I wanted to bring them to a new place of maturity and depth. In other words, they grow up. It’s all about the ride, though— for our readers, Unstoppable is another round-the-world rollercoaster. I had a blast writing the first book, Nowhere to Run, which launches in October 2013. As for the following three books, I can’t wait to see what Jeff Hirsch, Natalie Standiford, and my old partner in crime Gordon Korman come up with!
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