Open Road’s First Young Adult Enhanced E-book Original Sets the Stage for the Next Phase in Digital Reading
Good books have a way of bringing characters to life. But what if your favorite character sang a song and you could actually hear it? What if your favorite character drew a picture and you could really see it? These are some of the questions Andrea J. Buchanan, author of the bestselling The Daring Books for Girls, considered while imagining her next project, GIFT, an e-book original that seamlessly pairs a YA paranormal story with the latest technology.
“It’s fascinating to me how, due to the technology and the platform, books are no longer just books, but rather books with potential. This seems ripe for innovation beyond the typical bundling of un-embedded content tacked on to a text file in an e-book,” said Andi. “To that end, I’ve been working on Gift while keeping in mind the potential for it to exist as both a traditional storybook and as some kind of enhanced, immersive, new electronic book experience.”
A spellbinding ghost story, GIFT follows four teens as they unravel their past and uncover frightening secrets. GIFT has readers totally engaged, unable to predict what’s in store for its characters or themselves. Deliberately placed triggered enhancements scattered throughout the book breathe life into its pages. Readers will witness chilling messages from a ghost float across the screen; listen as Daisy’s crush serenades her with a song he has written especially for her; see the graphic novel that tells Vivi’s story; and comprehend Danielle’s terror by discovering her diary at the end. Experience the story with the characters.
Andi had written more than 40 percent of the book when she contacted and started collaborating with Swedish musician and YouTube sensation FreddeGredde. Together they developed the book’s soundtrack including two original songs: "Don't Look Back" and "This Falling World," lyrics written by Andi and music composed by Fredde. They worked so well together that Andi eventually went on to use Fredde as the model for Kevin’s character in the story. She then reconnected with Alexis Seabrook, who illustrated TheDaring Book for Girls, for the book’s added graphic content.
“I set out to create a story that takes advantage of the technology without disrupting but rather enriching the reading experience,” said Andi. “The story and characters came first and the technology, in effect, is used to serve them.”
Andrea J. Buchanan is a writer whose work includes the New York Times and internationally bestselling The Daring Book For Girls (which was made into a video game for the Nintendo Wii and DS), as well as seven other books. Before becoming a writer, Andi trained as a pianist, earning a bachelor of music degree in piano performance from the Boston Conservatory of Music and a master's from the San Francisco Conservatory. Her last recital was at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. She lives with her family in Philadelphia.