Anthony Zuiker by Steve Granitz/ Anthony Zuiker by Steve Granitz/
CSI mastermind Anthony Zuiker has inked a seven-figure deal to launch a trilogy of "digital novels" in an effort to encourage reading among youths,

Variety reports. In an effort to catch up with the times, the project incorporates interactive media, with the use of two-minute online videos and a social networking site, which readers can access after every five chapters. At each book's conclusion, readers can discuss the novel on community message boards and make suggestions for future manuscripts. The books will be a crime series, and the first,

Sqweegel, is targeted for a fall 2009 release date by Dutton. "I want to give traditional crime novel readers a more immersive experience," Zuiker said, adding that multiplatform experience "offers publishing a chance to catch up with the YouTube generation that has lost passion for reading." - Joyce Eng