I can’t believe I’m writing this post.
In the Fall of last year, my good friend Lauren Gibaldi and I were at a book festival together. And it was on the way back that she brought up an idea, at like five in the morning, while we were about to pass out in an airport.
An anthology of stories about a high school’s Battle of the Bands night.
Music was such a huge part of my high school life. From playing saxophone in the school band, to playing in a bunch of local ska bands (about a decade too late to ride the third-wave of ska), to attempting to play guitar at open mics and talent shows with… limited success. But I loved it so much. And a high school’s Battle of the Bands is such a huge part of the teen experience, up there with homecoming and prom.
We teamed up on the project, emailed a bundle of our favorite authors, and now, almost one year later, here we are with some of the greatest news.
So excited to say that BATTLE OF THE BANDS has been acquired by Candlewick Press. Co-edited by Lauren Gibaldi and myself, it’s a collection of short stories from a number of celebrated Young Adult authors. The anthology weaves together the story of one evening at a single high school’s Battle of the Bands night. While all the stories stand on their own, they all thread together, with characters from other short stories popping up as the night (and book) goes on.
It’s not just about the kids on the stage, but about the teens running the lights, taking tickets, hanging in the audience, and skipping out to cause trouble.
And we’ve got such an amazing roster of authors in this book:
Okay that was very silly. Here’s the proper list:
And Justin Courtney Pierre, who some of you might recognize as the lead singer of Motion City Soundtrack, is contributing a story, making his YA debut.
I’m beyond thrilled about all this, and you can expect to see Battle of the Bands in bookstores everywhere in the Fall of 2021.
Massive thank you to my agent Dawn Frederick, for taking this project on, to Lauren for asking me to be involved in the first place, and to all our star contributors. This book is going to be so much fun, and I’m so wildly excited to work on this with you. And to the HarperCollins publicist who sent me that ARC of Lauren’s The Night We Said Yes in early 2015, and unknowingly ended up launching this friendship. Who knew.
Can’t wait to see it out there.
To the youth in bands, and the bands of our youth… you’ve inspired this.