“It was all about the story. The story I couldn’t stop thinking about, the one I was the most excited to write,” says Sarah J. Maas, best known for her two YA series Throne of Glass and Court of Thorns and Roses, of her decision to create her first epic fantasy series for adults. The new Crescent City series launches with the publication of House of Earth and Blood (Bloomsbury, early 2020). It is set in a world of demons, shape-shifters, and angels, where humans struggle to survive and half-human, half-Sidhe Bryce Quinlan joins forces with a powerful warrior-angel to avenge the death of her best friend.

Like Maas’s previous novels, her new one takes place in a world different from our own, but this time it’s a modern one. “They have technology similar to our own, which has made writing it even more fun, and in some ways easier,” says Maas. “When something vital is going down, characters can just call each other, rather than relying on messengers or magic. It also adds a whole new level to romantic banter, when characters can flirt with each other over text.”

Maas credits “Shenzhou,” written by the British film composer Steven Price for the movie Gravity, with inspiring the book’s climax. “I was listening to it on a plane and all of a sudden, I saw this scene play out,” Maas says. “I literally began sobbing and had to pull the hood of my sweatshirt over my face and lean into the window to hide how hard I was crying. I’d never met these characters before, had no idea who they were, or what their world was like, or what had brought them to this particular moment. But as I listened to the track over and over, I began to piece things together. By the end of that flight, I knew I had to write this story if only to be able to one day write that scene.”

As for what readers can look forward to in the new series, Maas says, “A world with ancient magic and danger lurking down every alley, a few tattooed broody guys swaggering about, lots of banter, and a snarky heroine with an indomitable spirit that [readers] will hopefully love as much as I do.”

Today, 4:15–6 p.m. Sarah J. Maas will sign samplers at the Happy Hour signing in the ABA Member Lounge.

Today and tomorrow, 10 a.m. There will be a ticketed giveaway of samplers at the Bloomsbury booth (1538).