Spotlight on Burning Midnight by Will McIntosh, Plus Giveaway!
Today, we're spotlighting Burning Midnight! This new book is a contemporary thriller sure to keep you hooked all the way through. Read on for a guest post by Will McIntosh himself, and a chance to enter the giveaway!
But first, meet Will McIntosh!
WILL McINTOSH is the author of several adult speculative fiction novels, and a frequent short-story writer. He has received such accolades as a Hugo Award for Best Short Story and a Locus Award for his first novel, Soft Apocalypse and his work has been included on the ALA RUSA Reading List Selection for science fiction. His newest novel for adults, Defenders, has been optioned for film by Warner Bros. Burning willmcintosh.net or on twitter at @WillMcIntoshSF. is his first novel for young adults. Will lives with his wife and twin children in Williamsburg, Virginia. Visit him online at
Now meet his new book, Burning Midnight!
A harrowing standalone speculative YA thriller on par with the best of Michael Crichton.
Sully lives in Yonkers and sells collectible spheres at a flea market. Like gemstones, though they occur all over Earth, they're hard to find, and can be quite valuable depending on the rarity of the color. Money's been tight since retail sphere dealers like Alex Holliday's have opened up all over. Until he meets Hunter-- and together, they find the rarest sphere of all, a Gold. But Alex Holliday will stop at nothing to take it from them. Worse, none of them know it yet, but the fate of the world rests on this little golden sphere.
Sounds great, right?! With introductions in order, it's time for Will's guest post about building the world of his new book!
Building the World of Burning Midnight
In Burning Midnight, mysterious colored spheres have materialized in hiding places all over the world. If you find two of the same color, you can “burn” them by pressing them to your temples, and gain something. Some spheres give you small things‐‐Army Green spheres, for example, give you immunity from the common cold. Other, rarer spheres give you wonderful things, like great physical strength or high intelligence. The story is about two poor teens who find an incredibly rare sphere in New York City. They can sell it for millions‐‐if billionaire dealer Alex Holliday doesn’t take it from them first‐‐or they can try to locate its match and find out what they give you, because no one knows.
Burning Midnight actually began as a short story, “Midnight Blue”, which was published in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine eight years ago. I kept coming back to that story, thinking about it, until I finally realized it was on my mind because I wasn’t finished with it. So I decided to turn it into a novel.
You can get away with providing very few details in a short story, but for a novel I needed to provide a lot more detail about the spheres, like where they came from, how many there were, what benefits they provided to people who “burned” them, and how much they were worth.
I ended up coming up with forty‐something sphere colors. One of the rules I set from the start was that the “powers” the spheres provided had to be possible. So none of the spheres allow people to fly, or morph into cats. I didn’t want to cross the line into fantasy. Coming up with powers turned out to be harder than I thought. Once I got past the obvious ones: strength, intelligence, enhanced eyesight/hearing/smell, speed, quick healing...I hit a wall, and had to get creative. There had to be a lot of sphere colors, or the book wouldn’t be much fun. So I dug deeper and came up with some quirkier things:
Rose: Ability to hold your breath a long time. Hot Pink: Ability to call up a rush of adrenaline. Olive: Pain control.
Ruby Red: White, even teeth
Mint: More outgoing
You get the idea. I created a spreadsheet of the various spheres’ values, with the spheres that provide really desirable things (Mustard ‐‐ intelligence) worth millions, and more run‐of‐the‐mill spheres (Lemon Yellow – grow an inch or two) worth a few hundred dollars. I gave each sphere a handy scarcity rating ranging from 1 (common) to 10 (only two exist), which led me to imagine a ten story pyramid‐shaped sphere store in midtown Manhattan, where the common spheres are for sale at ground level and the higher up you go, the rarer the spheres.
One of the themes of Burning Midnight is that we’re drawn toward things that are scarce. Whether it’s a painting by Picasso, a Gucci purse, or Yu‐Gi‐Oh trading cards, we have a gut emotional reaction to crave things that not many people have. So these mysterious spheres become commodities that are bought and sold (and stolen...), with a stock market ticker updating prices by the minute. They can lead people to be blinded by greed and desire, and I don’t want to spoil the ending, but sometimes they can seem too good to be true, or come with a hidden cost.
By: Will McIntosh
Release Date: February 2, 2016
Two winners will receive one copy of Burning Midnight, US only. Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below.
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I have been following this book and author from blog to blog because I am really enthused about reading this one! The storyline is exactly my taste; although, I never would have guessed it from the ambiguous but aesthetically pleasing cover... Many thanks and cheers, Kara S
I like both the cover and the synopsis. I've been interested in this book for quite some time and am looking forward to reading it. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.
Love the cover--it matches well with the synopsis with the gold sphere. I also see snake-like strands that are produced when certain chemicals are set on fire. Awesome to witness! The synopsis makes me want to read this book, so it's on mark for me.