it’s my book birthday! again!!

my MG debut JILLIAN VS PARASITE PLANET is out today from Tachyon!! It’s a very science-forward survival story in spaaaace, which I have seen described in various places as The Martian for kids, which makes it sound very shiny.


If you like that cover, wait til you see the interior illustrations! Those and the cover are all by Scott Brown. But I mean seriously:


I wrote this one for my kid back when he was the same age as the protagonist, and filled it up with science and weirdness and creepiness and hopefully also some humor. It’s got a girl protagonist, though, because we need about a zillion more of those in SF and adventure stories for kids, and she’s got anxiety because I got really frustrated with how that tends to get depicted in fiction.

I’ve always wanted an excuse to invent a mind-control parasite from scratch, and my mom always told me I should really try my hand at writing a kids’ book, and those two things collided in my head for…whatever reason…and refused to be separated. (If you’re even remotely interested in the topic of real-world mind-control parasites, start here and then read The Wasp that Brainwashed the Caterpillar by Matt Simon, The Plight of the Living Dead also by Matt Simon, Parasite Rex by Carl Zimmer, and This Is Your Brain on Parasites by Kathleen McAuliffe. For an all-ages intro, check out Animal Zombies! by Chana Stiefel.

One of my favorite parts of writing Jillian was the space probe/multitool/cartoon addict SABRINA (Semi-Autonomous Bio-Reconnoitering Intelligent Nanobot Array). SABRINA’s shapeshifting abilities were probably pretty solidly subconsciously inspired by Jake the dog from Adventure Time, but I couldn’t have written it without having been a longtime fan of Janelle Shane’s blog AI Weirdness or her book You Look Like a Thing and I Love You. Highly recommend both!

Here are some blurbs I just shamelessly lifted off of Tachyon’s site (sorry I know it looks squashed, click on it to embiggen):

And to those of you who’ve read my books Archivist Wasp, Latchkey, and Firebreak, and are wondering whether this one is also connected to the general overarching story that each of those is part of, the answer is: what do you think 😀

(you absolutely do not have to have read my other stuff for this, it’s arguably lots more of a standalone than Firebreak is, but. Just. There is continuity. And watching readers discover it has been an utter delight.)

Anyway, if any of this is of interest to you, please consider giving Jillian a read! I’ve never even attempted a kids’ book before so I’m really curious to know what you think of it. And as always, I realize books are expensive and everything sucks right now, but your local indie bookstore needs your support more than ever, so if you’re going to get one of my books I’d love you to go there for it–or get your library to pick it up for you!

Comments are closed.