I’ve received a lot of questions about Altered 3, especially now that people have read Erased, so I thought I’d do another Altered 3 update post for those of you who might be new to the series (or the blog).
Altered and Erased were Anna’s books, and her story ended with Erased. But, while her story has an end, the Branch’s story doesn’t. The same could be said for the boys. There are still a lot of holes in the boys’ pasts. Who were they before the Branch? How did they come to work together? This was something I wanted to explore in Altered 3, and I really really wanted to explore it with Nick.
Altered 3 is Nick’s book, for sure, but it will be told in a dual POV. Half from Nick’s POV, and half from a new girl character’s POV. If you read my old post about A3, then you might have heard me call her Callie, but once I started writing the book, I realized she wasn’t a Callie at all. So I changed her name! It’s now Elizabeth, and it fits so much better.
Nick has been having flashbacks about his life before and after joining the Branch, and there’s one girl he can’t get out of his head. He breaks from the group to do a bit more digging, and that’s when the action begins. Who is this girl? And is she connected to the Branch?
Altered 3 is very close to being finished (YAY!), so I can confidently say that it turned out to be a lot different than Altered and Erased. For one, it’s a dual POV, and one of those POVs is a genetically altered (male) badass. I’ve never really tackled writing a male POV (other than Trout in Bot Wars – but he’s a preteen, so it’s different!). Nick doesn’t see the world the same way Anna does. That was an adjustment, but a great writing experience. He’s also a lot angrier, a lot more broken, and a bit unpredictable. I loved writing him.
Elizabeth is also broken, for many reasons, and I certainly don’t want to give anything away. But, I can say, she’s a perfect match for Nick, in that they’re both confused about the past, present, and especially their future. They both have a lot of healing to do before either of them can let another person into their lives.
When I set out to write this book, and when I tried to picture who would make a great companion for Nick, I originally pictured a girl who was as equally badass as Nick, someone to whip him into shape, someone who wouldn’t take his crap. But then I realized, Nick would never let someone like that into his life. He would immediately go on the defensive. He grew up in a home where he was constantly pushed around, whipped into shape, and those kinds of strong personalities turn Nick off.
What someone like Nick needs is a person who is not afraid of a damaged past, who knows what pain is, and who would accept him, flaws and all.
I love writing characters who kickass, especially female characters that kickass! But strength can come in many forms, and I thought perhaps it was time to write a female character that, on the outside, is the opposite of kickass, but on the inside, is as strong as steel.
Altered 3 is a long ways away (eleven months!) but I can’t wait for people to read it. It IS different from Altered and Erased, but I think it’s a good different. And of course, there IS lots of ass kicking!
If you have any other questions about Altered 3, drop them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer!