NIGHT SPEED cover!!!!

Here it is!!

Night Speed Chris Howard Artwork Cover Design

Awesome, right?! I couldn’t be happier with how it looks, and am super grateful to Joel Tippie at Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins) for his inspired art and design! So, you wanna know some more about the book? Right, then…

“Every page of NIGHT SPEED made me say, ‘Wow!’ Tighten up that seatbelt, kids, because Chris Howard has his foot on the pedal and doesn’t let up, from page one to the end. This is superpower made real, made consequential, with characters you care about and a story that is pure adrenaline. An absolute must-read.”
— Michael Grant, New York Times bestselling author of the Gone series

“Howard has an unmatched talent for blending high-octane action with gut-punching emotion. His taut writing will make your heart race, break it into a million pieces, and then put it back together again, doing what great books are meant to do-change the way you see the world … and how we see each other.”
— Kass Morgan, New York Times bestselling author of The 100

Only those young enough can survive the pulse-pounding rush of tetra, a dangerous new drug that fuels a nine-minute burst of superhuman strength and speed. Tetra is addictive. It’s hard on the body and hard to control. But Alana West has been trained to use the drug so she can pursue the young criminals who abuse its power—criminals like the breakneck who nearly killed her kid brother.

On tetra, Alana is unstoppable. The rush makes her an explosive blur as she surges through New York City, battling to bring down breaknecks before they leave more people dead or injured in their wake. But with the clock ticking down to her eighteenth birthday, Alana will soon be too old for the rush… then just one more dose will prove deadly.

Supported only by her strong and steady handler, Tucker, Alana goes undercover, infiltrating an elite gang of breaknecks to locate their source of the drug and end the supply. But when Alana gets trapped on the wrong side of the law, she learns the breaknecks are not quite what they seem—especially Ethan, the artistic boy whose bottomless brown eyes seem to see the truth inside her. And with her own dependency on tetra increasing, Alana must decide where her loyalties lie before the rush ends. Forever.

… So, yeah! You want to read this! And it’s out May 3rd, so go ahead and add on GoodReads, and get on the pre-order, either Indie , or Amazon or B&N.

Much more coming soon… including an update on the third and final ROOTLESS book, a new website, and lots of exciting NIGHT SPEED stuff in the build-up to release!

New book deal… NIGHT SPEED

Thrilled to be able to share news about a book I’ve been working on for the past eighteen months. NIGHT SPEED will be out summer 2016! New book, new publisher… Deal announced by Publishers Weekly.

NIGHT SPEED is about teens who use a drug that for 9 minutes makes them able to…

While the world becomes all

The drug is highly addictive

And though you get a burst of superhuman strength

And speed

You also experience increased aggression

And a disconnect from reality

One girl risks addiction and death to infiltrate a group of young criminals who use the drug to…

Driven by revenge, she has to prove herself as one of them

But with less catsuit, and a little more

So… yeah!! I wanted to write a story where the stakes are high, the action is high-octane, and things are as thought-provoking as they are thrilling. A book that would explore cycles of addiction, cycles of violence, and… um, the temporality of existence!?!

NIGHT SPEED will be out summer 2016, courtesy of my new friends at Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins). I can’t wait for you to check it out!
Oh, and you can already add it to your list on Goodreads!

The Art of Tree Building #7

In ROOTLESS, Banyan builds trees out of scrap metal, creating beautiful forests for people who crave some semblance of nature in a future where no nature survives. But throughout human history, there have been many different types of “tree builders”. This blog series will introduce you to some of them…



Been up to some real-life tree building this summer (along with working on new manuscripts!) so I thought I’d share a little about the adventure here. There will be lots of pics. Lots of sparks and steel and lots of me not staring at a computer screen and thinking about stories – though that did also happen a lot this summer. When I wasn’t doing this:


But perhaps I should back up a little, because this isn’t the first tree building I’ve been involved with since ROOTLESS came out. And this here bloggy-blog post seems like a good time to give a big shout out to the great teachers and students at Denver Academy, who first taught me what it takes to forge a forest…

school tree building

Denver Academy is lucky to have both an awesome art/welding teacher, Beverly Ball, and a fantastic school librarian, Jolene Gutiérrez. And I was lucky enough to work with both of them. Here’s Bev and I, plotting… Teachers are great to plot with, I’ve found.1397389_10151635411026577_835277791_o

Now, this young guy, John, is a student at Denver Academy, but he’s also a brilliant teacher. Here he is showing me how they’d been forging leaves for the tree they were building. I can’t wait to see the finished thing!


Sam (on my left) and John (on my right) were such a great couple of guys to work with. Here we are with my first finished “leaf”. It was an awesome moment.


And, seeing as I’m covering lots of ground in this here blog post (I don’t blog often, but when I do….watch out!), I’d like to also give a shout-out to Trinity Prep in Winter Park, FL. They had me head out there to be involved in building a tree for their school library. Big thanks to Georgia Parker (and her husband!) as well as all the awesome students and faculty who made my visit so rewarding. Below is my favorite pic I took while working on the tree… it shows only a fraction of the recycled-bottles leaves that the students made. There were hundreds of them. And the leaves look like spring, summer and fall to me, all at the same time. With nature (and art) I love to pay attention to the details, not just the “big picture”, and this picture reminds me of that…


Other schools have also been tree building, and I have LOVED seeing what people have been inspired to build, such as this work by 8th graders at Cathedral School for Boys in San Francisco. Big thanks to the boys, and their teacher, Jessie Jackson, for sharing their art with me…

school trees

I’ve also received some very beautiful pieces of tree art from ROOTLESS readers. This one, by Jennifer Redstreake, is now hanging in my living room. Check out more of her amazing art at

reader art

Meanwhile, this hangs in my Creation Station… (where I write)…


And the one below’s in my garden… Thanks Nick Kapke!

sculptureAnd so back to my work this summer… For a few glorious months I was part of the crew creating the Tree of (im)Permanence, an almost thirty-foot tall, fully-interactive art installation. I’m super grateful to my good mate Nick Geurts (or “Yeti”, as we call him) who knocked on my door back in March and asked if I’d like to help him build a giant musical “tree”. Here’s how Nick described his vision before we got started:

“The “Tree of (Im)Permanence” is a tree-shaped set of playable tubular bell chimes. The chimes are played by pressing the keys of a toy piano at the trunk of the tree. At night when each bell chime is played it also lights up. The piece represents our physical and spiritual connection to the objects around us. The experience of the bell chimes is a union between the measurable physical processes involving the fundamental vibrational properties of the metal and air and the subjective interpretation of these vibrations by our physical and spiritual selves. This is meant to be not only an auditory experience but a journey of self-discovery.”

And (as you can see from the pictures below) that’s what we built! I learned how to plasma-cut and weld. I drilled holes in steel, bent steel, sanded steel, polished steel… I helped tune giant bell chimes, and contributed an old MIDI keyboard to help build the “brains” of the musical components. I learned about LEDs and solenoids, got covered in epoxy, got to ride a split lift through the desert, managed not to break any bones or kill anyone while wielding powerful tools and scrambling about at great heights, and ultimately I got to watch people “playing” the tree at sunset, and then again under the stars, “listening as the wind blew tunes through the branches, watching as the breeze shook rhythm from the leaves.” And, yes, that was a self-quote. I helped build a giant steel tree, and if you can’t self-quote on your blog once every ten years or so then this whole blog thing is even more of a mystery to me today than it was yesterday! Oh, yes… but there was more… working on this art project, I made wonderful new friends. Which is really the best thing you can say about anything. The whole thing was epic. As in… EPIC. And I’m really proud that I was part of Yeti’s team. Following are some photographic highlights of my friends and I working on the tree…


IMG_3601IMG_3532IMG_7474IMG_7477IMG_747610626657_339287832905626_2204512258906846884_nIMG_7556IMG_75371233514_339281642906245_7847067085250048633_nIMG_7507Till next time, BURN BRIGHT THE DARK…