So, the word is out now, and I can finally talk about something I’ve been up to since last year. I’ll be writing an original YA Assassin’s Creed series, which is incredible, and to help me out with everyone’s questions, I’ve asked the made-of-straw, ever-inquisitive FAQman to join us.
Hey. Listen, I’ve got some questions.
I thought you might. So let’s get started.
Okay, so first thing, Assassin’s Creed?? HOLY CRAP
I know! Can you believe it?
No. Who are you?
I . . . I’m an author.
I know, but like, what have you written?
Well, if you look over in the sidebar of this blog, you’ll see some of my stuff. So far, it’s been mostly middle grade novels. But you’ll notice most of it takes place in different historical settings, and usually with some kind of speculative twist. I love playing with history. Especially secret histories. That’s why writing for Assassin’s Creed was such a perfect fit for me.
How did this whole thing happen?
Well, last year I got an email from an editor at Scholastic, my publisher. They had just partnered with Ubisoft, and they were looking for someone to write an original Assassin’s Creed series. They asked if I’d be interested, and I said YES WHERE DO I SIGN.
So why did they ask you?
Short answer, because I’m incredibly lucky. Longer answer, because the editor knew the kind of historical stuff I like to research and write, he knew I’m a gamer, and I can usually turn projects around pretty quickly.
You’re a gamer?
Yes, but nowadays, because I’m so busy, a pretty casual gamer. (Except for Skyrim – I spent a not-casual number of hours on that game.) I started gaming when I was a kid, playing the King’s Quest series, Quest for Glory series, and other Sierra games on my family’s Atari ST computer. (Remember those? The thing had amazing sound and graphics, but adorably, no hard drive.) I’m mostly into PC games these days as well, but I grew up playing all the Nintendo consoles. I’ve been drawn to the world of Assassin’s Creed from the first game, and Prince of Persia before that. But like I said, I’m pretty busy these days, so I’ve just watched my step-son play through the last two Assassin’s Creed games.
And now you’re writing an Assassin’s Creed series.
Yes. Like I said, I’m incredibly lucky.
Is your series tied to any of the games or the movie that’s coming out?
No, this is an all-new story, but fans of the games and graphic novels will notice some familiar names and connections.
So what’s your story about?
Here’s the official synopsis of the first book:
Nothing in Owen’s life has been right since his father died in prison, accused of a crime Owen is certain he didn’t commit. Monroe, the IT guy at school, might finally bring Owen the means to clear his father’s name by letting him use an Animus – a device that lets users explore the genetic memories buried within their own DNA. The experience brings Owen more than he bargained for. During a simulation, Owen uncovers the existence of an ancient and powerful relic long considered a legend – the Trident of Eden. Now two secret organizations will stop at nothing to take possession of this artifact – the Brotherhood of Assassins, and the Templar Order. It soon becomes clear the only way to save himself is to find the Trident first.
Under the guidance of Monroe, Owen and a group of other teenagers go into a memory they all share within their DNA: the 1863 Draft Riots in New York City. Owen and his companions will find themselves tested on the violent streets of New York, and their experiences in the past will have far-reaching consequences in the present.
How has it been working with Ubisoft?
Honestly, it’s been an incredible experience so far. Everyone I’ve worked with has been so supportive and enthusiastic about what I wanted to do with this story.
How much freedom did they give you?
A lot, actually. We had a meeting where they discussed their vision for the story in really broad strokes, but after that I was basically allowed to come up with whatever I wanted. I was able to pick the time periods, create the characters, the plot, all of it. Then I sent it back to them, and the collaboration began, which again, has been amazing. Ubisoft Montreal has some really talented, creative people, and it has never felt like anything was imposed on me. We were all just part of a team working to create a series that would expand and enrich the world of Assassin’s Creed, which itself has almost endless storytelling possibilities.
What do you know about the movie?
A little. I know what I need to know to write my story. They actually asked if I wanted to read the script, but I said no, because I want to go into the theater and be surprised and blown away like everyone else. I think it’s going to be really, really good.
So, is it going to–
I really can’t tell you anything about the movie. Do you have any other questions?
Not at the moment. But if I think of any, I’ll come back and ask you.
Of course. Thanks, FAQman.
If you have any questions that he didn’t ask, feel free to drop them in the comments.
Publishers Weekly did a write up here
As did IGN here
And Game Informer here
And Game Spot here
A video announcement of the series:
EVEN FURTHER UPDATE:
FAQman heard there was a great question in the comments, so he decided to come back and ask.
Yeah, I’m back. So when will the first book come out? When can I pre-order it?
The first book is scheduled to be released in September 2016, with the second to follow in January 2017. I don’t have firm release dates yet, but as soon as I do, I’ll post them here and on twitter. Same with the option to pre-order. Good question!