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Power of Three, and The Star of the Sea


This is just a brief update to say that my third Chilling Adventures of Sabrina book, Path of Night, is out now! It’s my third trilogy, which feels a bit special. I started my career with the Demon’s Lexicon trilogy, and then there was the Lynburn Legacy trilogy. There have been cowritten projects (an honor, many talented ladies) and standalones (what’s up, Tell the Wind and Fire, In Other Lands!) but I do love how a series gives one room to luxuriate in the feelings.


There was a discussion by Charlie Jane Anders about tie-in novels on twitter the other day and it got me thinking about them—what I grew to love about them, what they are. I was prejudiced about them from a young age because I read a tie-in to a property I really liked, and I was like ‘This is garbanzja.’


As many of you know, I was sick for a bit and my ability to write fell off a cliff. I was feeling pretty lost when I was offered the opportunity to write the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina books. I’d never written a tie-in book, and like I said, prejudiced! But I loved the gothic soap mood of Riverdale, and I loved the old Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and I was really excited about the project. So I said yes I wanted to, and that I’d try. And I came to really adore the story of an untraditional magical family against the background of a weird, wild world.


Writing tie-in books has been super educational! You have to write them fast—because TV shows or movies or graphic novels come out when they come out–and they have to be snappy because they fit in with fast-moving visual media. (Fast is fine. Snappy… I’m shocking at. I cut twenty thousand words from the third Sabrina book. I’m a menace.) You come to an audience already invested, but they also have different ships, and different thoughts about characters, and it was really interesting for me to try and absorb the many great thoughts but also hew true to the story being told.


Fanfiction can break from a story (which is awesome). Tie-ins stay with a story, and illuminate the spaces in it: what a character is thinking and feeling, a deeper dive on people’s backstories that elucidate why they behave the way they do, hinting at what’s to come. Which also seems awesome to me.


Not sure if there will be more Sabrina books (though I love the world and the characters, so very open!). Thus I wanted to take this time to say I’m really grateful to Sabrina. And to my fabulous editor at Scholastic for approaching me, and the whole team at Netflix for being so cool. And to those of you who came on the witchy journey with me, I’m really grateful to you too! And I’m excited for upcoming journeys… like the FENCE novel (a tie-in with C.S. Pacat’s awesome FENCE graphic novels) out this autumn. And of course I’m excited for… journeys where I and others can say, safely ‘go outside’ and ‘visit a friend’s home…’


I know a lot of people are feeling pretty lost right now, and I keep thinking about what to do about it. (Other than stay indoors, wear my bee-patterned face mask (I LOVE BEES OK), donate where I can, support essential workers, and try to make beautiful things in a world that still needs beautiful things.)


Soon to come: I have a second Comfort Book Club pick upcoming, where I parody and give away one of my favourite books which I think will be comforting for readers during lockdown.


I was also thinking about writing, as I know many people are cooped up at home and some are working on creative projects, so I thought I’d do up a post on what writing tie-in books taught me about structure. Since it might be helpful for the writers out there.


Everyone’s saying: stay safe, be well, which is lovely. A lady on the street said to me: star of the sea, save you. Which I liked a lot, so I’ve been saying it a lot. Star of the Sea, save you.


Sarah Rees Brennan
Sarah's Lexicon

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