Monday, March 30, 2015

Among the Shadows announcement!

Hello all! So excited to announce the cover reveal for AMONG THE SHADOWS, a collaboration of darkish short stories from thirteen YA authors!

The release date is set for September 14th and I'm beyond thrilled to be included in this lineup of amazing authors.

We have a Kickstarter campaign to help with publishing this collection, and it includes all sorts of fantastic perks, so check it out here.

I love the concept of this subject matter. Weird and creepy does show up in my writing a bit, so it was nice to let loose and get, well, creepier. :) I know I am having a blast (and scaring myself in the process) with the story I'm including in the collection.

Spread the word, if you dare!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


Hello all and long time, no blog!

I'm so happy to announce the release of the sequel and conclusion to the CONTROL series! I'm thrilled with how this book turned out. It's hard to believe that Catalyst was just a seed of an idea 2011 when I sold Control. I had ideas for a sequel, and let me tell you--it was a trial to make it happen.

Here's a short timeline of how CATALYST came to be. 

October 2011: My agent, Eric Myers, sells Control (back then it was called "The Fountain") to Penguin.

January 2012: I start drafting an outline for book two. Back then, I didn't know what it was going to called. I thought book two could be called CATALYST, and book 3 could be called CODE. I loosely outline CODE, too.

July 2012: I finish writing about 60% of a rough draft of Catalyst. A certain Very Important Someone is NOT in this book. I am calmly told by one of my trusted beta readers that this is sacrilege. After all, in Return of the Jedi, we all know what happens in Jabba the Hut's lair, right? (Trying not to be spoilery but that was super spoilery if you know anything about Star Wars, so...) I discuss this issue briefly with my editor at Penguin, Kathy Dawson, who agrees.

December 2012: Finish drafting Book 2. Commence jumping for joy.

February 2013: This happens:

Lydia Kang's CATALYST, sequel to CONTROL in which a teen girl in 2151 is forced to align herself with her worst enemies in a safe house that's anything but safe, to Kathy Dawson at Kathy Dawson Books, in a good deal, for publication in Fall 2014, by Eric Myers at The Spieler Agency (World).

March 2013: I start drafting book 3. 

June 2013: I start losing hair over book 3. It's not working out well, at all. Meanwhile, I'm writing other books, and gearing up for promotion of CONTROL which releases in December. 

December 2013: Just before CONTROL releases, my editor and I realize that the series would exist best as a duology. I am relieved, because book 3 is full of issues. I am also panicked, because this means I have to rewrite much of CATALYST and smush parts of Book 3 into CATALYST and make it work seamlessly. Oh *$&#@$. 

January 2014: The rewrite of CATALYST is done. That's right. Two months. Less, actually. I basically rewrote 2/3 of a book in about six weeks. One of the most stressful times in my life, because I was also actively promoting CONTROL this entire time. 

February 2014: There is discussion (for the last year, actually) about the title. I want Catalyst to be the title. I NEED it to be the title, for so many plot/chemistry reasons. But Laurie Halse Anderson has a book of the same title, and you know. LAURIE HALSE ANDERSON. I frown and plead and hope. 

July 2014: The cover for CATALYST is revealed! AND YAY, I get to keep my title!!!

January 2015: Reviews start rolling in for CATALYST. And they are good, hooray! Kirkus, VOYA, and Booklist are all glowing!

March 24, 2015. Here is it---CATALYST! 

Zelia Benten has lost her father, the love of her life, and any future she might have imagined for herself. Now she, her sister, and the band of illegal genetic outcasts they’ve come to call their family are forced to run when the safety of their foster home is compromised. But on the way to a rumored haven in Chicago, Zel hears something impossible: Somehow Cy—the boy she loves, the boy who traded himself for his sister’s safety—is whispering insider her head. She has no idea what it means, but she veers off plan in order to search for him.
What she finds is not what she expected. They’ve been protecting themselves so long against the rest of the world, it’s never occurred to them that the real enemy could be much closer than they realize.
Catalyst is a thrilling ride through a dangerous future that will have you racing through the pages, falling in love, and questioning exactly what it means to be human.
Praise for CATALYST:
“Engrossing sequel…Kang spins an evenly paced and thought-provoking story, employing symbolism deftly…[and] wraps up her duology neatly and satisfyingly.”                         —KIRKUS REVIEWS
“Kang packs her plot with suspense and surprises as she explores good, evil, self-sacrifice, ambition, and what it means to be human. The remarkable mix of science, technology, and fantasy—the novel’s centerpiece—will draw a high-tech audience of young people and adults.” —VOYA
“Sci-fi fans with a taste for Orwellian tales of government control will enjoy this solidly written sequel.” —BOOKLIST

Thank you guys for all your support through the years. 
I hope you enjoy CATALYST!

Love, Lydia

Friday, March 20, 2015

Bonus Scene from CONTROL!

Hi all!

Last fall, the YA Scavenger Hunt was a blast. I posted an exclusive bonus scene from CONTROL from Cy's perspective.  A new, exclusive scene is arriving soon for the Spring Scavenger Hunt...but in the meantime, if you missed it, here is the bonus content from Cy's perspective. Enjoy!

The hundred needles pierce the skin of my neck with lightening speed. The metal tattoo machine hovers over my body, lying flat on the table. A hundred years ago, this design would have taken days to finish; in my room, it’s taken twenty excruciating minutes. I squeeze my eyes shut and grip the table edges, grinding my teeth. Every inked flame of hellfire, every scythe and screaming body, is driven into me. It hurts so goddamn much.
This is good.
“Cy. It’s time. Marka will be here any minute.” The voice of Hex, my foster brother, penetrates the room via the wall-com. I don’t have time for this.
“Not coming,” I growl. The tattoo machine quiets to a purr, its job complete. I push it away, sitting up to feel my tender, newly-marked skin. Half my body throbs with exquisite pain, but already the swelling is receding. Sometimes, I wish I didn’t heal so fast. I wipe the droplets of blood away with a towel.
“But I’ve got cookies.”
I grimace. “I said, no.” I can’t waste my time on meeting the pathetic new member of Carus House. I hear she has no trait, even though she’s Dr. Benten’s daughter. It’ll go something like this: She’ll judge us. Then she’ll freak out. Then she’ll judge us some more.
Yeah. Not going.
“Cy. It’s Vera.” She pauses, and the silent few seconds are menacing. “Don’t make me come up there.”
Hex may have four arms and two legs, but he’s sloppy and unfocused when it comes to everything, including fights. Vera, on the other hand, pulls no punches and is a dirty fighter. Not that we’ve fought, but I saw her and Hex go at it recently when he made fun of her striped yoga pants. Hex couldn’t walk straight for days after that one.
“Fine,” I groan. After tugging on an old t-shirt, I take the transport to the common room. Inside, Wilbert is primping, if you can call it that. He’s flattening the hair on top of his normal head with careful strokes of his fingertips.
 “I want to make a good impression,” he says defensively, when he finds me staring with derision.
Should I tell him it’s a lost cause? He has an extra freaking head. But I don’t care. There’s only one thing I care about. The work. Already, the throbbing pain of the tattoo is fading and guilt settles into its absence.
I need to get back to the lab. I can’t wait until this show is over.
“They’ll be here any minute,” Vera says, sweeping into the room. Her green skin is lush and vibrant, even in this dim light. Hex quietly tiptoes in soon after. He stalks behind Vera and stretches out his four arms, until he resembles a mantis about to murder its katydid-like victim. Menacing, except for the one hand clutching a chocolate-macadamia nut cookie.
Vera calmly stares ahead, unflinching. “If you touch me, Hex, you’ll need tweezers to remove your nuts from your eye sockets.”
Hex freezes, and his smile disappears. He coughs, backs away, and stares innocently at the ceiling, all four hands hidden behind his back.
I give them a sidelong glance. Sometimes I desperately crave what they have, wishing I could immerse myself in that casual happiness, even when disguised as annoyance. But I don’t deserve it. I don’t belong in that world. They know it, and keep their distance. I give them both murderous looks, wishing for silence.
An alarm beeps from the door. Wilbert peers into the screen next to it. “They’re on their way up. Wow. The new girl is really scrawny.”
“I’ve got cookies,” Hex offers.
“Shut up!” Vera hisses.
We wait. Marka must be telling her about us. I’m the least shocking of the four of us, physically. A tiny clink by my feet tells me that one of my ear studs has fallen out. There are several left, including the large black one in my lip. I forgot—I pierced myself at least seven times this morning. Soon, my body will heal and push them all out, one by one, and it’ll just be me again. Which is another brand of torture.
The room becomes still with anticipation. The door beeps once again, then slides quickly open.
Marka stands there, her close-cropped hair framing a steady but apprehensive face. You can hardly see it, but she’s biting her lip. Next to her, a petite teen girl stands, frozen.
She’s cornered the market on frizzy brown hair. There are dark circles beneath large eyes, and pale lips puckered by anxiety. A heart-shaped face, with an irregular prettiness camouflaged by plainness. Behind the fear in her eyes lurks a sharp intelligence that makes me catch my breath. My pulse starts to race.
She looks just like Professor Weisberger, the holo professor I work with almost every day. A doppelgänger, except wearing untidy, oversized clothes and a thick layer of distrust.
She’s so familiar, but not. I want to gaze at her longer, want to hear her speak. But wanting these things? I hate it. I stare her down, daring her to be disgusted by us. Her cinnamon brown eyes travel over my neck, my face, my piercings. Against my will, my face flushes warmly, hopefully hidden beneath my tattoos. I frown even more, but feigning anger doesn’t calm my body down.
Soon, the girl’s eyes find Vera, and she actually stops breathing. Then they see Hex who crosses one pair of arms before waving with his second pair.
“Hi,” he says, all friendly-like.
Wilbert, hiding behind Hex, presses his cowlick down one more time before emerging at last. When the girl sees Wilbert, any color she had left in her face drains completely away.
“Here we go. Three, two, one...” Wilbert says.

On zero, the girl whirls around and bolts back through the door.