I have news! I tweeted about this last week, so for those of you who've already heard the news, forgive the repost.
Also, a warning, if you haven't read Altered, there *may* be spoilers in this post. I will try to highlight them as a pre-warning warning. :-)
From Publisher's Marketplace: Jennifer Rush's ALTERED: The Beginning, a digital original prequel to the Altered series, shedding light on how the Branch came to be and how the boys, and a girl's older sister first became involved with the organization, to Pam Gruber at Little, Brown Children's, for ebook publication in Fall 2013, by Joanna Volpe at New Leaf Literary & Media (World English). I am BEYOND thrilled to continue writing in the Altered world, especially when it dives even deeper into the past of the characters and the Branch. [SPOILER]The "older sister" mentioned in the summary is Dani, Anna's older sister. I wrote Dani's origin story way back before Altered sold, and I couldn't wait to share them with the world. Originally we had considered putting them in the back of the Altered paperback, or the Erased hardcover, but at the time, the Dani pages were only about 2,000 words or so, and I knew her story was so much more than that. Furthermore, some of what is revealed in those original pages are revealed in Erased. And I didn't want to repeat what readers might already know. [END SPOILER] I told my agent and editor that I wanted to do a novella in the Altered world earlier this year, and thankfully Little, Brown was on board! It all happened fairly quickly, and before I knew it, I was drafting the novella at lightning speed so it would be ready for release this year. I turned in the first draft last month, and my equally lightning fast editor already returned first round edits. Which are brilliant! No surprise there! When I announced the news on Twitter, I received a few questions about the project, so I'm going to answer a few of them here. What's the release date? December 3, 2013, the same day as the Altered paperback! How long will the story be? I've drafted the story, but it hasn't gone through edits yet, so it will definitely change. As of right now, the story is 11,000 words, which I think roughly translates to 55 pages. When will the novella take place? Far, far before the opening of Altered. Will there be hot shirtless boys? OH YOU KNOW IT. Will you have to read Altered first in order to understand what's going on in the novella? No. Definitely not. But I think it would only add to the fun of reading the novella if you did. :-) Furthermore, if you read the novella first, a few things will be spoiled for when you read Altered. And I hate spoilers. I'm sure you do too!
[ALTERED SPOILER FOR SURE]
Will we see Dani and Sam's relationship begin?
Kind of. Sort of. I don't think I can say more than that!
Will Anna be part of the story?
No. Anna will only appear in Dani's thoughts.
I can't wait for everyone to read Altered: The Beginning. I had a ton of fun drafting it (especially the Altered style twists and turns!) and I'm looking forward to revising over the next month or so to whip it into shape!