So sit back, enjoy, and count down the hours until tomorrow’s release day!
“How did the book come about? The concept and the collaboration?”
Oh God, I know it's horrible to say our vampire book was inspired by Twilight, but it really was: Justine was watching New Moon, and I said my favourite scene was when Bella's friend is like 'why do you have to go chasing around on motorbikes just because your boyfriend broke up with you!' And then we talked about our friends who had boyfriends we didn't like--I think everyone has friends like that, it's universal, and it's especially bad in school when you can't get away from them being all 'Ethan is soooo dreamy.' And then we thought, what if the boyfriend of our friend that we hated really was a vampire? And I made Justine watch the Vampire Diaries. That was a very important part of the process. I love those vampires and their diaries.
“How did the writing process work? Did you write separate sections or work on it together? Or did you have specific characters that were ‘yours’?”
We'd alternate chapters. Usually one of us would write a couple and the other would write a couple more: I often write overlong so Justine would split up my chapters and cut them down, and I'd add to hers, so there are no chapters that ended up being *just* anybody's.
“Did you write it apart or together? And did you meet up to block it out?”
We were apart--SUPER apart! Justine lives in Australia and America, and I live in Ireland. Luckily, I keep a vampire's schedule, so Justine would be like 'we need to talk' and I'd be like 'It's three a.m. So I'm ready, gimme a call!'
“Who was the voice of reason in the process?”
I'm sure Justine would say it was her. ;) I admit once such was definitely the case.
JUSTINE: You can't write a make out scene with the surf pounding on the shore... it'll seem NAUGHTY.
SARAH: Why I never, Larbalestier you filth monger!
SARAH: ... I've typed in some things into google and I now realise you are entirely correct. Now leave me... I must wash out my eyes.
“How were the harder decisions made when writing, was there a nominated person who had the final say?”
Oh, no. I think if there had been the other person would have strangled them. The only fair thing to do is keep offering solutions until one is acceptable to both parties... and everyone has to be open to compromise. You get to a place where one person says 'No, it's all my own way' and it's all over... collaboration means cooperation. So, lots of just talking things through. We were like the Vampire UN for a while there.
“Did it help the writing process having someone else involved, or did it make it harder?”
Easier in some ways, and harder in others!
“Where did the title and tag line come from, because they are AWESOME.”
Thank you VERY much! Scott Westerfeld, Justine's brilliant husband, came up with the title, and Justine and I were both like 'Huh! ... Actually we really like it.' And the tag line 'friends don't let friends date vampires' - was ME! That's right, ME! (Drunk on power, Sarah collapses into a heap of confetti.) It's due to Harper being awesome that it's on the book. I was like 'Imma put this joke on these Team Human stickers I'm making' and they were like 'Can we put on the book?' and I was like 'Can you!' and they were like 'No, but can we?' and I was like 'Yes! Yeah, sorry, I thought that was implied...'
“We know you have a thing for irredeemable characters, is there one in Team Human for us to root for?”
Hmmm. Maybe. Vampires are always up to dodgy business. There's this one vampire called Minty who fakes a British accent, totally sneaks illicit bites on the sly, and who is our editor's favourite character...
“Has the response to ‘Team Human’ surprised you at all? And what were your agents reactions?”
I've just been really happy that people seemed happy we were doing it, and excited to read it! And then there were amazing starred reviews, and I was even happier! (Writing books full of jokes means sometimes you don't get taken seriously... breaking news, I know! But I was just so glad people saw what we were trying to do.)
I must say however that my agent, Kristin Nelson, had a reaction I found totally insulting!
SARAH: So I secretly wrote a book with a friend of mine I'm sure you're pretty surprised.
KRISTIN: Being your agent has led me to be very zen. This isn't such a crazy thing to do. Not compared to some of the other stuff I fear you doing. Hey, a book, great! I'll go sell it.
SARAH: ... Good?
KRISTIN: Remember don't put any fireworks up your nose and don't buy a sports car and drive it into a tree.
SARAH: ... You can't tell me what to do.
“Would you collaborate again in the future?”
Me and Justine, or me and someone else? (Call me, J.K. Rowling. ;)) Collaboration is generally a fun thing to do, if you have an idea you're excited about and you're both willing to compromise! (Seriously J.K. Rowling, call me. Any time. Night or day.)
“We know you have Unspoken coming out in Autumn 2012, is that a standalone or will there be more books to come in that series?”
I do! It's book one of the Lynburn Legacy series, and it's a trilogy. I love a trilogy. I have a rule--book 1, set up, book 2, make out, book 3, defeat evil. Unspoken's a Gothic mystery about a girl reporter who finds out her imaginary friend is a real boy living in the Gothic manor up on the hill. There are also dark deeds going on in the woods. No geographical location is safe! And as you can imagine, there is much scope for making out and evil-battlin'!
I hope you guys will enjoy it. And I hope you will enjoy Team Human!
A huge thank you to Sarah for taking time out from her hectic schedule to talk to us! And if that Q&A made you laugh, smile or even snort just a little bit, go and buy it tomorrow! It will be the best purchase you can possibly make!
To see more of Sarah’s special brand of crazy visit her Live Journal here .
And her tumblr page here!