A few years ago, we were both reading YA novels like mad and joked about writing one of our own. As middle school English teachers we thought, “How hard can it be, right?” Ha! Well, Staci had a crazy dream that she thought would make a great book, and it didn’t take much convincing to get Sara onboard. Before we knew it, we were plotting out our novel. In the end, it was far different from Staci’s dream, but it was that dream that sparked the idea that became SINFUL.
2) Wow, that's so awesome! I love dreams that turn into books, I think those are some of the best! So, how did you both go about writing it together? Did one of you write and give it to the other to add and edit? Did one of you write while sharing ideas?
Amazingly enough, no blood was shed. We really do work well together. We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and aren’t afraid to say what we think. We had no idea what we were doing at first or how it would work writing together, but we started meeting once a week, and it all just kind of worked out. We would sit and drink coffee at Starbucks while passing the computer back and forth as we wrote. The majority of the revising and editing, we did on our own time, but the most of the writing took place when were together.
3) That sounds pretty organized. I was always cruious how co-writers...well...write together. I just adore Michael, he is one of my favorite characters in Sinful. He is so different from all the guys that I’ve been reading about in books lately, actually ever. He’s sweet, sensitive, but still strong. How did you come up with him?
We’re not really sure how Michael came to be exactly. Like we said, we didn’t really know what we were doing when we started, but one thing we did know was that all too often in YA novels, the main conflict is between the main character and her love-interest, and we wanted the conflict to be an outside source, which allowed us to create “a good guy” in Michael. We’re glad that we didn’t make Michael the fallen angel. We like that our love-interest for Elizabeth is the kind of guy that teens should long to be with, not the “bad boy” (though we are both quite found of our fallen angel too).
4) I too was drawn to Daniel, the fallen angel, but I still love Micheal. I really like your thoughts behind the "love interest". I think it's an amazing change from the bad boys, but I still love them too! Ok so, just for my own curiosity, why angels? I love them but is there a specific reason you chose them?
Believe it or not, at the time we started writing SINFUL, there were no YA romances on the shelves about angels. So, the answer that question is because we wanted to do something different. Little did we know, books about angels would be coming out right and left after our novel was already written. Just about the time we signed our contract with our publisher, angel book after angel book hit the shelf. It takes a long time for a book to get published, and it was an 18 month wait before we actually saw our novel in print. In fact, our original title for SINFUL was FALLEN. Our novel was titled FALLEN for almost two years before we had to change it last December when Lauren Kate’s book came out.
5) I was actually happy with the title change! I think it really works for the book, and it really fits the cover. Are there any special foods, or anything really, that get you through the writing process?
Not food, but caffeine is a must. We rarely write anywhere other than Starbucks, so of course some type of caffeinated beverage is always purchased and consumed.
6)What are one or two things that you NEED when writing?
As I said above, caffeine, but we also have to have our notes. We have proven to ourselves over the years that we take the absolute worst notes, but we can’t seem to work without them. We plan out our chapters and keep notes about things we need to go back and add and stuff we might want to add later. We never fail to amuse ourselves when we go back to read all the great ideas that we had, but then we can’t understand our own notes. We try really hard to be specific now, but we still usually have to piece our “brilliant ideas” back together.
7) What are some of your favorite YA books?
How much time do you have? Let’s see - 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson Unwind by Neal Shusterman Venomous by Chris Krovatin Numbers by Rachel Ward The Hate List by Jennifer Brown A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb Impossible by Nancy Werlin Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause Anything by John Green North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles Willow by Julia Hoban We could go on and on, but those are some that stand out in our mind as really good YA reads.
8) Those are some really good books! Though I still have most of them on my to-read pile. Will there be more paranormal beings in the future?
The series we are working on now is about werewolves. We hope for it to be a several book series, but we don’t plan to stop there. We have tons of ideas (mostly rolling around in Staci’s head), so there will definitely be other paranormal beings in the future.
9) I can't wait to see what other characters you both will create. I have to ask, will we be seeing both Michael and or Elizabeth again? I sure hope so!
SINFUL was written as a stand-alone novel, so there won’t be another book about Michael and Elizabeth, but we’ve discussed writing Daniel’s story. It would be fun, but it's not in the works right now.
10) I would love a book with Daniel as the main character! Please write it! May I ask how did you both get the idea for Static? It’s completely different from Sinful.
We’re not sure exactly how we came up with the story line, but we wanted to do a series like some of the adult romance series that we read, in which each book is about different people that are all a part of a group of some sort. Thus, the Red Ridge Werewolf Pack was born. The first book, STATIC, is about Allison and her love interest Cade, and then each book after that will be about other members of the pack. We both get tired of reading series about the same main characters, so this way we can write a series and hopefully not get sick of our own characters.
11) I cannot wait for this new series! It sounds so good. Can you tell us anything about Static? And when is the release date?
In STATIC, seventeen-year-old Allison Wright is turning into a werewolf; she just doesn’t know it yet. When her new behaviors become too much for her to control, her mother makes the difficult decision to move her family back to her old pack where Allison meets the wolf of her dreams. Unfortunately, he is already taken by Kendall, a girl who will do anything to keep him and her position in the pack. When Kendall teams up with a rogue werewolf with an agenda of his own, things get hairy (ha ha). We are currently looking for an agent to represent STATIC, which will hopefully lead to STATIC being picked up by a publishing house. That means STATIC is nowhere near a release date, but if everything goes the way we hope it does, STATIC will be on the shelf someday in the not-too-distant future.
12) Hopefully sooner rather than later! Any other ideas of what you’re doing after Static?
After the holidays, we plan to start plotting out the sequel to STATIC. It will be about Allison’s “were-challenged” brother Aiden. Aiden’s character provides quite a bit of the comic relief in STATIC so it should be fun to write.