A Virginia Tech journalism professor and several of his students have inked what appears to be the first book deal about the campus massacre. The book's title is "April 16th: Heartbreak in Blacksburg."
Plume Books, an imprint of Penguin Publishing, is scheduled to publish the book this summer. Plume said Monday that it had signed Roland Lazenby and three of his students -- who run the planetblacksburg.com Web site -- to write the book.
The student-run Web site was a frequent and much-clicked-on Internet resource for journalists around the world who tried to get an inside look into the minute-by-minute chaos on campus that day.
An unspecified portion of the proceeds from the book will be donated to a victims' fund at Virginia Tech and to journalism education at the school, according to the publisher. Neither the book's editor nor its authors could be reached for comment.
"When I spoke to Roland that Friday after the incident, we both felt strongly that the Virginia Tech story be told by the young people who lived through it," said Cherise Davis, editor in chief of Plume Books.
"Having been on campus that morning, having known some of the victims, the students will write with an emotion outside journalists won't be able to imitate.
"The entire crisis is very disturbing on many levels, but this group will present an account that exemplifies the resilience of the campus community and leave the reader with a sense of hope."