1. You lovely ladies are the first writing duo to be featured on my blog! (um...congrats? *wink*) How does the writing process work between you both?
Jess: Stephanie and I have been friends for a long time, so it’s easy for us to talk about things without having any drama involved. We can just decide what we want to do, then put our heads together and figure it out. It’s fun to write with someone whose opinion you value. It gives you the freedom to let the creativity flow. I truly enjoy writing with Stephanie, and I feel lucky to have her as my co-author.
Stephanie: I agree with what Jess said and love working with her. I would add that we also spend a lot of time talking out what we want to write next. Sometimes we read aloud a chapter or two and then discuss what we think will happen next. Our phone conversations are mostly about writing! Then, whoever has a chance to start writing first goes into Google Docs and writes. The other person will read what was written, make edits, and start adding their thoughts. Because we use Google Docs we can write from wherever we are, and the changes are instant. We agreed when we started writing together that we wanted to write the best stories we could and that we wouldn’t let our feelings get in the way, and that has made a world of difference.
2. I love creepy houses in fiction. Do either of you live in a creepy house?
Jess: Not currently, but the Begonia House is based on an experience in my grandparents’ house in Ridgefield, CT- though the fictional house has grown in magic and size quite a bit due to our vivid imaginations.
Stephanie: I don’t live in a creepy house, but my current house is about 100 years old and we have found unique items in it dating back to the first family that lived here. For example, we uncovered a drawing on the wall behind wallpaper we were taking down that was done around 1930. Unfortunately the wallpaper remover got to the pencil drawing and it only lasted minutes, but it was fascinating to uncover and see it while it lasted. I also lived in a house from the 1700s for a few months, and it really got me thinking!
3. You're in the check-out line at the grocery store. What candy bar tempts you most?
Jess: Payday or Snickers.
Stephanie: This is tough, as I am a chocoholic. All of them? It depends on the day- but probably Twix, Snickers, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, or Take 5.
4. What will you be doing on release day to celebrate?
Jess: When the book is released on 12/1, I’ll be enjoying every moment with my awesome co-author. We’ll be signing books at the Waterbury, CT Barnes and Noble at 2PM on Friday 12/5 to cap off launch week.
Stephanie: Our plans for our release week are still coming together, but we will definitely take time to celebrate. I know we will laugh, possibly cry (from joy), and there will be squeals of delight. If the weather cooperates we will celebrate in person, if it is snowing (we are in CT after all) then we will enjoy the moment over the phone!
5. What is a fav line(s) from TSFoFM (one from both of you, please!)?
Jess: The daylight began to fade, painting the sky with long pinkish purple streaks of color. Fairday’s bedroom was hazy with the last dusty beams shining through the window. As she closed the door and switched on the overhead lamp, shadows shifted over the walls. Lizzy flung her overnight bag in the corner, then sat down on the bed, listening with rapt attention to Fairday’s recount of the incident involving… ;)
Stephanie: Fairday left the room and was heading back down the hall when she heard the strangest sound. It was faint, and it was coming from behind the padlocked door. She walked over and put her ear up against it. Something that sounded like music was coming from behind the door, but really odd music. It was high-pitched and whiny. Was she imagining it? She listened for a minute, trying to think of what could possibly make sounds like that, and then she knew.
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Jessica Haight is a true New Englander, with a deep desire to be near the ocean and a love of the four seasons. She enjoys drawing while standing up and cultivating magic in her garden. She easily floats away in the pages of a good story and is still waiting for her owl from Hogwarts. Jessica lives in Connecticut with her charming fiancé, James; dog, Jack; cat, Bill; and a very entitled bunny named Alice.
Stephanie Robinson lives with her husband in a quiet town, though not as quaint as Ashpot. After teaching fifth grade for almost fifteen years, she is now enjoying her role as a school media specialist. One of the many benefits of her job is that she learns something new every day. When Stephanie isn't working, she spends her time creating stories, getting lost in books, and traveling to new places.
Fear Not the Unexpected
Eleven-year-old Fairday Morrow is less than thrilled that her family is moving thousands of miles from civilization to the quiet country town of Ashpot, Connecticut, where she’s absolutely certain she’ll die of boredom.
As if leaving New York City and her best friend, Lizzy, the only other member of the elite Detective Mystery Squad (DMS), weren’t bad enough, Fairday is stuck living in the infamous Begonia House, a creepy old Victorian with dark passageways, a gigantic dead willow tree, and a mysterious past.
Before she can even unpack, strange music coming from behind a padlocked door leads Fairday up a spiral staircase and into a secret room, where an ancient mirror, a brass key, and a strange picture of a red-haired lady are the first in a series of clues that takes the members of the Detective Mystery Squad on an amazing adventure.
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“Remember, young lady, you have to think beyond what you know to be real. You have to see with your mind as well as your eyes.” The old man pulled his glasses down to the end of his nose and looked at her. “Be careful, Miss Morrow. Please be very careful.”
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