When did you first start writing?
We first started writing when we were really young—our mom used to teach English, so reading and writing was always a part of our lives. We started our first big project when we were nine. It was a fantasy novel about phoenixes and mystical huntresses. 😅😅😅
What made you decide to co-write?
It just sort of happened that way! At first, TDWD was a project among a friend group of about five girls, but eventually everyone either lost interest or stopped working on it until it was just the two of us. I guess we never really considered doing it alone; we already do everything else together. It just felt natural to write and publish as a team.
Is co-writing hard?
Yes and no! On one hand having two people to spread the workload over can be a total lifesaver, and our individual skill sets allow us to get stuff done pretty fast if we put our minds to it. But when we don’t agree on something or get into a fight, it can be really hard to make both of us happy, especially when it comes to the plot and characters.
What is it like working with your sister?
Awesome and terrible all at once. There’s no escaping your writing; we go everywhere together and live in the same house. If we don’t agree on something, it follows us everywhere, and we get into bigger fights than normal writing buddies would since we’re sisters. But it’s also really fun because we think alike and can work on a project alllllll the time without having to worry about scheduling meetings or keeping in touch.
What was the hardest part of publishing as teen authors?
Probably the publishing part itself. Since we self-published, sorting out formatting, getting the books on Amazon/KDP/Kobo, anything like that got super confusing and stressful at times. But that didn’t really have anything to do with the fact that we’re teens—the only setbacks caused by our age were funding, which our dad ended up covering, and balancing writing with school.
Who does what in the co-writing process?
Maya writes the initial draft, creates characters, and fills out a basic plot line. Then, Sofie comes through with a round of edits, Maya checks them over, and then we work together solving beta reader comments and editor feedback. Sofie also manages our social media, communications, and most of the publishing process.
Who is your favorite character in The Day We Die?
Ahh so hard to choose! Hunter holds a special place in my heart, just because he’s so lovable and sweet. But I also love Don and how there are more complex layers of truth behind what makes him who he is—as you’ll see in our new novella, Bluebird.
Don’t make me pick, I love them all so much! If I had to choose I would probably pick Hunter, or maybe Tessa. Hunter is just so kind and loveable it’s impossible for me not to be obsessed. Tessa is totally different. She really struggles with understanding herself, but the way she pushes through throughout all the bad stuff in her life and devotes herself to everyone around her is really inspiring.
What was your favorite scene to write?
Without spoiling anything, my favorite scene to write/edit was probably when Hunter revealed his secret to Tessa. The emotional rollercoaster and ticking clock as time ran out for the expirees combined to make a scene that was powerful to both write and read.
That’s really hard, too, because as the author, the flaws in every scene jump out at me so much. I love the ending; it was really fun to finally wrap everything up and let Tessa’s crazy emotions take over. The last few chapters came really easily to me because the characters just kind of led us through the plot—I barely had to try, and I think the results are pretty good!
What inspired you to write this story?
This book was, in short, inspired by a surge of unwavering fangirlism and motivation. After reading a few dystopian novels, our sixth grade selves became inspired to create our own novel that blended together all our favorite aspects of a good story, with characters that were equally incredible to the ones we loved so much. Motivation to continue this story and someday share it with the world pushed us forwards, even at the most frustrating times, and got us to where we are today.