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Byers Lake Sept. 2017

My wife and I live in Fairbanks, Alaska and try to make at least one trip per year to Byers Lake to spend a few days hiking, canoeing, bird watching, and viewing bears from hopefully safe distances. The forest landscape in all seasons provides a backdrop of beauty, surrounding the lake.

Until this summer (2019), our last trip to Byers Lake was September 2017 when the landscape was an explosion of yellow interspersed with dark green from the many spruce trees that are part of the forest. The spruce trees are green all the time so you don’t notice them as much as the birches and aspens which change shades from light to dark green and then to yellow.

This June (2019) when Dana and I arrived at Byers Lake the landscape was starkly different. Most of the spruce trees that had been alive just 20 months ago were now dead or dying.

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Byers Lake June 2019

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Byers Lake June 2019

One result of climate change, which is accelerated in Alaska, is that the warmer winters are allowing the spruce bark beetles to survive in much larger numbers instead of being killed by the traditionally coldly temperatures, and the longer summers are allowing them to complete their life cycle in one year instead of two. The beetle larvae eat the layer of the tree that transports nutrients, effectively starving it. Although the beetles are a natural part of the environment, they are thriving due to the warming climate.

Byers Lake is but one of many places undergoing intense change in Alaska. As an Alaska fiction writer, climate change has naturally crept into my stories.

TheWildLands-CVR-AuthorApproval-2My recently published YA novel, The Wild Lands, is a survival story set in the future in a climate-change-altered Alaska. Being at Byers Lake made me feel like I was living in my novel even though the novel does not address the spruce bark beetle infestation at all. The Wild Lands (Macmillan January 2019), is a story that travels a path in Alaska 80 years in the future where the consequences of climate change play out.

My soon to be published middle grade novel, Follow the River (Move Books November 6th, 2019) also has a climate change element in the plot.

 

Paul Greci writes young adult and middle grade fiction. His stories are set in the Alaska wilderness, where climate change is an ongoing threat to the ecosystems.

Book Covers copy

Paul Greci is the author of The Wild Lands (Macmillan 2019) and Surviving Bear Island (Move Books 2015), a 2015 Junior Library Guild Selection and a 2016 Scholastic Reading Club Selection. Forthcoming is Follow the River (Move Books Nov. 2019) and Hostile Territory (Macmillan Jan. 2020). You can order all of Paul’s books here.

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I’m thrilled to share the cover of my forthcoming YA novel (Hostile Territory, Macmillan Jan. 2020). You can pre-order Hostile Territory here.

As it reads on the jacket flap:

In Paul Greci’s Hostile Territory, a catastrophic earthquake strands four teens in the Alaskan wilderness—and leaves them without a civilization to return to.

Josh and three other campers at Simon Lake are high up on a mountain when an earthquake hits. The rest of the camp is wiped out in a moment—leaving Josh, Derrick, Brooke, and Shannon alone, hundreds of miles from the nearest town, with meager supplies, surrounded by dangerous Alaskan wildlife.

After a few days, it’s clear no rescue is coming, and distant military activity in the skies suggests this natural disaster has triggered a political one.

Josh and his fellow campers face a struggle for survival in their hike back home—to an America they might not recognize.

Paul Greci is the author of The Wild Lands (Macmillan 2019) and Surviving Bear Island (Move Books 2015), a 2015 Junior Library Guild Selection and a 2016 Scholastic Reading Club Selection. Forthcoming is Follow the River (Move Books Nov. 2019) and Hostile Territory (Macmillan Jan. 2020). You can order all of Paul’s books here.

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The Wild Lands has received some great editorial reviews from the press.

Snippets of reviews, spoilers excluded, are listed below.

“This fast-paced book contains all the hallmarks of a classic wilderness survival novel (deadly terrain, vicious predators, literal cliff-hangers) and the best of the postapocalyptic genre … The author’s decades of Alaskan wilderness experience is evident throughout … A great high-stakes wilderness survival tale.” ―School Library Journal

“Heart-thumping suspense for readers who liked Rick Yancey’s The 5th Wave.” ―Booklist

“Heart-racing… A rugged wilderness lover’s post-disaster survivalist tale.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Raw and accessible. Offering hints of Hatchet with markedly more manmade danger.” ―Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“The themes of teamwork, choice and free will are incredibly well done … an intense and thrilling ride.” ―TeenReads.com

If you read The Wild Lands, please consider leaving a short review on Amazon or Good Reads–a couple of sentences and a rating will suffice. In this day and age reader reviews have an impact on the visibility a book receives and my hope is that people who are drawn to page-turning adventure stories will be able to find The Wild Lands.

Thanks for stopping by.

Paul Greci is the author of The Wild Lands (Macmillan 2019) and Surviving Bear Island, a 2015 Junior Library Guild Selection and a 2016 Scholastic Reading Club Selection. Forthcoming is Follow the River (Move Books Nov. 2019) and Hostile Territory (Macmillan Jan. 2020).

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I had a wonderful author visit today at Barnette Magnet School in Fairbanks, Alaska. One hundred 7th and 8th grade students had read Surviving Bear Island. I was met at the door by two students who escorted me to their “old library” which is a warm open space. For the next hour I stood and answered questions from a very polite, engaged and interesting group of students. Every student had a journal to take notes. Because of privacy guidelines I can’t post photos of the students but here is one of me and Heidi Imhof, one of the teachers that used Surviving Bear Island in her classroom.

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I’m always amazed at the insights students have and today was no exception. When they asked me how and why I started writing fiction, I shared with them that when I worked in an alternative school and was designing and doing creative writing assignments with my struggling readers and writers, I discovered that I liked writing stories so if it weren’t for my students I may have never undertaken fiction writing.

Students teach teachers as much or more as teachers teach students. I’m still a teacher and I still continually learn about life from my students.

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We got to talk a little bit about my next book: The Wild Lands (Macmillan 2019), which comes out in January. It’s another Alaska survival story which you can read about on my website.

Right now it is a screaming pre-order deal on Amazon for $12.32. The regular price is $17.99!! Surviving Bear Island is now out in paperback for $6.95.

 

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I’m  thrilled that quotes from authors Emmy Laybourne, Eric Walters, and Lex Thomas will be on the back cover of my young adult novel The Wild Lands (Macmillan January 2019). You can pre-order it now.

“This rugged survival story places a group of teens in a dark, burned-out post-apocalyptic nightmare. Your heart will pound for them as they face terrible dangers and impossible odds. Gripping, vivid, and haunting!” — Emmy Laybourne, international bestselling author of the Monument 14 trilogy

“A compelling story that wouldn’t let me stop reading. Greci has created both a frightening landscape and characters you believe in and want to survive it.” — Eric Walters, author of bestselling Rule of Three series

“A brutal vision of things to come. Greci delivers an apocalyptic odyssey that’s honest, relentless, and backed by his first-hand knowledge of the wilderness.” — Lex Thomas, author of the Quarantine series

 

10887107_593638450768945_837515248378900968_oPaul Greci is the author of Surviving Bear Island, a 2015 Junior Library Guild Selection and a 2016 Scholastic Reading Club Selection. Forthcoming is Follow the River, a sequel to Surviving Bear Island published by Move Books. In January 2019, Paul’s first young adult novel, The Wild Lands will be published by Macmillan.

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About a year has passed since I first started working with Macmillan on getting The Wild Lands into print. And just yesterday, upon returning from a walk on the wild lands adjacent to our house, there was a box on the front doorstep. Inside the box were a few copies of Advance Reader Editions for The Wild Lands!! As you can see from the photo above, my wife, Dana, immediately started reading a copy.

On the nine-year journey from book idea to publication date: January 29, 2019, Dana has been with me every step of the way, offering her insights as she read early drafts of the story. Needless to say, the book is dedicated to her.

My agent, Amy Tipton, also helped shape the story, as did my editor at Macmillan, John Morgan. Copy Editors and Proofreaders at Macmillan have also contributed their expertise into what will be the final edition.

The Advance Reader Copies are uncorrected proofs for review, i.e. they have some typos that will be corrected before the final printing for publication.

Here’s a little information about the book:

In The Wild Lands, Travis and his sister are trapped in a daily race to survive—and there is no second place.

Natural disasters and a breakdown of civilization have cut off Alaska from the world and destroyed its landscape. Now, as food runs out and the few who remain turn on each other, Travis and his younger sister, Jess, must cross hundreds of miles in search of civilization.

The wild lands around them are filled with ravenous animals, desperate survivors pushed to the edge, and people who’ve learned to shoot first and ask questions never.

Travis and Jess will make a few friends and a lot of enemies on their terrifying journey across the ruins of today’s world—and they’ll have to fight for what they believe in as they see how far people will go to survive.

The Wild Lands is a pulse-pounding YA thriller full of shocking plot twists. It’s the ultimate survival tale of humanity’s fight against society’s collapse.

ISBN: 9781250183583

384 Pages, Ages 14-18

The publication date is January 29, 2019 but you can pre-order The Wild Lands from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indie Bound now. It is also available as an Audiobook and an E-book.

I’m really excited this story has found a home in the world and feel fortunate to have the support of family, friends and professionals on my writing journey. As we get The Wild Lands ready for publication, I’m also working on a second young adult novel for Macmillan that should come out sometime in 2020!

10887107_593638450768945_837515248378900968_oPaul Greci is the author of Surviving Bear Island, a 2015 Junior Library Guild Selection and a 2016 Scholastic Reading Club Selection. Forthcoming is Follow the River, a sequel to Surviving Bear Island published by Move Books. In January 2019, Paul’s first young adult novel, The Wild Lands will be published by Macmillan.

 

 

 

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The Flat Iron building, home of Macmillan.

My first young adult novel, The Wild Lands, is going to be published by Imprint (2019), which is part of Macmillan, with another YA survival story to follow. I’m totally thrilled to be working with Imprint. I got to meet the whole Imprint team on a recent trip to NYC.

From Publishers Marketplace:

July 12, 2017: Children’s: Young Adult:

JLG winner Paul Greci’s THE WILD LANDS, set in a future where the United States officially abandons Alaska and a brother and sister decide to leave—facing an epic, several hundred-mile journey across a harsh and surprising landscape while defending themselves from people as desperate as they are, to John Morgan at Imprint, in a two-book deal, by Amy Tipton at Signature Literary Agency (world).

 

10887107_593638450768945_837515248378900968_oPaul Greci is the author of Surviving Bear Island, a 2015 Junior Library Guild Selection and a 2016 Scholastic Reading Club Selection.

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