GIFT -- the book, the music, the Minecraft map!
March 26, 2012 11:56 PM   Subscribe

GIFT -- the book, the music, the Minecraft map!
Today marks the official publication of my new young adult novel GIFT, a multimedia ebook featuring original music, art -- and a playable Minecraft map of the world of the book.

Today marks the official publication of my new book GIFT. GIFT is quite different from my other books -- not only because it is fiction (my previous 8 books were all nonfiction), but also because it is being published as an e-book first, with a print edition to follow in July.

As explained in this Publisher's Weekly article and in this piece on VH1's The Fab Life, the enhanced ebook (available for iOS devices from iTunes) features text events, original art (including a mini graphic novel "by" one of the characters in the book, but really by illustrator Alexis Seabrook), and music, including a music video and four tracks of songs embedded within the ebook. The book's video teaser gives a peek at some of these interactive elements.

The music, which is purportedly written by one of the characters in the book, is really by Swedish YouTube sensation Fredrik Larsson, aka FreddeGredde. He made two music videos ("Don't Look Back," music by him and lyrics by me; and "Is It All Right," music & lyrics by me, made awesome by him) and four songs total, plus instrumental musical interludes for the enhanced ebook.

So, what the heck does Minecraft have to do with this??? Well, I'll tell you! In the multimedia e-book GIFT, the world of the book is enhanced with music, video, art, and spooky text events, all designed to immerse the reader in the story of four friends who must work together to untangle a ghostly mystery. But there's an additional way to experience the story -- through the magic of Minecraft! In a specially commissioned map, based on the world of the book and designed by the shadowy Minecraft map mastermind known only as Vechs (of Super Hostile Maps fame), the player must conquer the environment and battle bad guys to locate and retrieve special blocks in order to win the game. Just like the novel, the map features three main areas: a Southern California town where the characters live, the spooky dream world, and the nightmarish underworld. While anyone can enjoy playing through the map, if a player has read the book, she will recognize the settings and might even be able to use some of what she remembers from the book to get ahead in the map. While maps of fictional worlds have certainly been created in Minecraft (and on Mefi's very own Aporkalypse), this marks the first time a novel has been released with a custom Minecraft map sanctioned by the author.

The map is a free download, and to celebrate its release, Minecraft YouTube-er Joe Hills is playing through the map in his latest daily "Let's Play" video series. (Also planning to play through the map: Paul Soares Jr., famed for doing the very first instructional videos for how to play Minecraft. He'll be playing through the map multiplayer style, with his teenaged daughter and mine.)

You can grab the map and character skins at


Thanks to those Mefites who have heard me talk about this project for like a year now, and who have been unfailingly supportive and enthusiastic along the way! I owe you guys a few hundred plates of beans!

Here are more links to the book online:
GIFT on Facebook
The enhanced iBooks edition
Gift on Amazon
Gift at B&N
Gift at Google Books
Gift at Kobo
Gift at Overdrive
Role: Author
posted by mothershock (4 comments total)

Wow, so the Minecraft aspect of this has really gone over well -- the map's been downloaded over 3,000 times already (causing my dropbox account to be suspended) (luckily I have a better link up now). Here are a few articles about it:

From MSNBC's tech blog: "GIFT gives gift of Minecraft"
From Gamers News Daily: "Gift enhanced ebook has Minecraft map commissioned"
From VentureBeat: "Minecraft makes Multimedia History"
From ShackNews: "Young adult novel inspires Minecraft map"
From GalleyCat: "Andrea Buchanan commissions Minecraft map for new novel"
From "Author commissions Minecraft adventure map to launch with her new novel"
posted by mothershock at 5:08 PM on March 28, 2012

My son and I are both thoroughly enjoying the map, and it's just frustrating enough that I'm looking forward to reading the cook in search of clues to find that silly wool. I'm not sure that was your intent, but it's working in any case.

Also, I always secretly hope to one day have a daughter when I see your Daring book.
posted by Perthuz at 3:21 PM on March 30, 2012

I can tell you that seven of the wool blocks are in the Nether (which is much harder than the overworld). And that you gain access to the portal to the Nether via a certain lever in the high school computer lab. But if you get really stuck, MeMail me!

Glad you guys are enjoying it!
posted by mothershock at 9:53 PM on March 30, 2012

There's been a map update, and there is also now a "Super Hostile" version of the map, in case you enjoy dying in fires. You can grab both from

Also, mentioned on Minecraft Mondays.
posted by mothershock at 6:59 AM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

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