Markus Zusak has finally finished his long-anticipated young adult novel Bridge of Clay. The book will be published by Random House in October, The New York Times reported.
Zusak has been working on this project since his best-seller, The Book Thief, hit bookshelves in 2005. "When I started writing [Bridge of Clay], and this was 12 or 13 years ago, I just couldn't quite feel that it was right, and so I just kept trying and trying and trying and then I'd get halfway through and I couldn't keep going because I thought: 'This isn't it,'” Zusak told the Times.
Bridge of Clay follows a boy named Clay who is the only one of his four brothers willing to help their estranged father build a bridge on his property. The story "includes many more characters" than The Book Thief did, the Times explained, and "uses a completely different sort of narrative voice," which made it trickier for Zusak to write.
Though it's taken over a decade to write the book, Zusak said he actually had the idea for it 23 years ago, when he was 19. He told the Times that an intervention from his wife in June 2016 got the writing process back on track after years of stalling. "I could write this book until I die and it still won't be the way I want it," he said. "But I think now it's got the right heart."