Hey everyone! If you follow my blog you know I’ve just reviewed a book that I absolutely loved, Dance in Shadow and Whisper. Now I have the amazing authors behind the book, Sarah and Victoria, here in a short interview!! You can also read an excerpt and participate in a giveaway to win a paperback copy of Dance in Shadow and Whisper and some swag!
1-So Sarah and Victoria, what made you two want to start writing?
Sarah: As a kid, I always had my own character that I imagined in my favorite shows and movies, and at night, I’d rewrite the stories in my head. It came to me like an epiphany, “I should write my own stories!” I was about eight or nine. It was a pretty awesome concept, too! From there, I segued into Zelda fanfiction and I am not ashamed.
Victoria: When I was in middle school, my creative writing projects were always my favorites. Right around that time I also got into role-playing and fanfiction, and then came my other love, which was mythology. I’d always read a lot, but then my reading started to turn to fantasy and mythology, and my all-time favorite series back then was Daughters of the Moon by Lynne Ewing.
2-How did you come up with the idea of writing a novel (series?!) together?
Sarah: Victoria and I have separate characters that we write. It’s a lot like role-playing. My series begins with three books, then hers begins.
Victoria: As I write my characters in Sarah’s books, I actually have almost no idea what’s going to happen, which means the twists and turns take me by just as much surprise as they do my characters. Then when my series begins, it’s my turn to do the same to Sarah’s characters.
Sarah: It started with us having two separate stories going, but then we did the Cassandra Clare thing and gave cameos to each other’s characters. Through rewrites and many years, the characters ended up taking on greater roles, and the stories merged together.
Victoria: This also means we have to be fluid and roll with the punches. A lot of the time our characters decide they don’t want to do exactly what we’ve planned, which ruins many outlines.
Sarah: Many, many outlines.
3-Any advice for aspirant writers?
Sarah: My favorite piece of advice comes from Amanda Hocking: write a lot and read more than you write. I love writing advice posts on our writing help blog, Keyboard Smash Writers, but in the end, the most progress writers can make is to write a lot, lot, lot.
Victoria: Agreed 100%. Reading is one of the best things any writer can do, because it gives them a sense of what works and what doesn’t. Read, read, read and write, write, write, and no matter what, know that you are good enough to do it, too.
4-I know you’re fans of anime since you’ve became friends in a Sailor Moon roleplay and I know you love Attack on Titans. So random question of the day, what are your favourite animes?
Sarah: Oh MAN. Well, I was a much more prolific reader of manga (since getting my hands on anime was a tough job), and the series I gobbled up were Death Note, anything Clamp (despite how they tortured us so), Fushigi Yuugi, Ceres, Saiyuki, Fruits Basket, Nana, Paradise Kiss, Angel Sanctuary, Basara, Hana-Kimi, Demon Diary, Model, Hot Gimmick – it goes on and on. Recent anime we’ve watched are Madoka (cries), Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood (I watched the original back in the day, wow), and Kamisama Hajimemashita.
Victoria: My mom has kept my bedroom at her house almost exactly the same as it was when I was in high school, and somewhere in there I still have old X wallscrolls and Sailor Moon posters and CLAMP chess piece sets that I bought specifically for Tokyo Babylon. I was a nut for a lot of the same ones Sarah’s already mentioned.
Attack on Titan broke us. Sarah also failed to mention that we’ve started watched Free! because how can we not watch an anime about a bunch of boys who like to swim?
Sarah: Uh! “Failed”! Geez, what a harsh critic.
5- Dance in Shadow and Whisper has an ending that let my jaw fall to the floor. There has to be another book! Do you have it planned already and if so, will good things happen to Kali?
Sarah: Eheheheh. The second book is already finished! I’ve revised the first draft and Victoria’s in the process of her read-through. Then, it’s one more revision before we send the manuscript to our critique partners. The cover is about 80% done already and shouldn’t take much longer. We’re aiming for the release to be in August, early September at the latest!
Hm, I suppose you could say Kali still has some surprises in store, and she’s not the only one!
Victoria: There will be good and bad! We’re so excited for you to read and see what comes next for Team Kali, so just hang on tight!
Dance in Shadow and Whisper
Book 1 of The Marionettes of Myth Saga
Kali unexpectedly discovers on her first day of human high school that she’s forbidden to eat or partake of the toilet during class time, the assigned history and species books look best on the shelves of popular fiction, and the boy she’s watching over is definitely a reincarnated war lord.
The highest powers of Kali’s people and the highest powers of Yuuhi’s people, irreconcilable enemies, designated them to find proof that Jason is, in fact, the reincarnated Ares.
All Yuuhi sees in Jason is the typical scrawny, socially inept emo kid dressed in conflicting shades of black. But Kali sees that Jason’s shadow is bigger than he is, and if the powers of Yuuhi’s people find out, Jason won’t be human much longer.
The desire to protect him from an unexpected visitor brings out her most dangerous sides. Something’s changing in her, something she can’t control, and she’s not afraid of Jason mutating into a creature of the shadows more than she’s afraid she’s becoming something even worse.
And the highest powers will be watching her.
My chest tightened with a deep breath of preparation. I stared at the front door handle, simple brass and weathered from its once gossamer brilliance, the tread of my boots planted against the new carpet, the back of my neck tingling with sweat.
This whole mission was a joke.
I was the joke.
There must have been so many others much more capable than me, others who could handle the foreign outside world. Damn it, I was lucky if I could handle silencing an incoming call on my brother’s cellular telephone gadget.
The doorbell chimed. A disarming melody lulled throughout the house but echoed shrilly in my brain.
It was too late now.
My arm lifted, but my moist palm stopped just short of the sweeping grin of the handle when I saw how my fingers quivered. I hadn’t noticed until then.
There was no reason to be afraid—concerned, perhaps, for my personal wellbeing, but afraid? No. Certainly not. If I had to, I could hole-punch this guy through the chest with my fist if he gave me the right justification.
My fingers clamped the cool handle and twisted. The door popped open. The fresh, crisp light of early morning flooded the hallway.
There he stood, the embodiment of my fear and apprehension and sweaty palms. He stood nearly half a foot over me, tall for something that had once been human, but his skin was so white that he could pass more for a glow stick than any human I’d ever seen. His eyebrows raised above the rims of his aviator sunglasses as he regarded me with eyes so sinister and evil and diabolical that I couldn’t see them behind the mirror lenses.
He must have been sensitive to sunlight.
“Kali?” he asked.
My lungs bloated with another deep breath.
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Sarah and Victoria run the writing help blog Keyboard Smash Writers on both Tumblr and Blogspot and are the authors of the YA urban fantasy “Marionettes of Myth” and NA “Monsters of Myth” companion series.
The two became friends through the early days of AOL chat rooms and Sailor Moon roleplay. They only officially met when Victoria came down from Pennsylvania to attend Sarah’s high school graduation in 2006, which was when the two crashed together upon first meeting in the airport and fell to the floor for everyone to see. Suffice to say Sarah and Victoria’s faces were very red.
Sharing two halves of the same mind has made writing together easier than writing separately, and when characters do things that ruin the lives of the authors, the sympathetic shoulder to cry on helps. Sort of.
Sarah and Victoria have a penchant for characters that supersede gender roles and expectations, and also characters of diverse backgrounds and cultures. Mythology of the world is a guaranteed way to get their salivation glands going.
Their ultimate dream is to make readers suffer as they have at the hands of their characters.