Q: Are you two writing a second Divinicus Nex book?

A: Yep. It’s called DROP DEAD DEMONS and it’s currently in final edits. We had some issues and delays but it should be out early summer 2014.

Q: Did you always know you wanted to be writers?

A: (Alyssa) No I didn’t. For a long while I was going to be a vet, realized I didn’t like blood or any science-y stuff that I’d need to do to be a vet. Then I decided I’d be a horse trainer. But I’m allergic to horses. Then one day I realized that writing down my daydreams could be turned into a career and low and behold, here I am.(Eileen) I’m a writer? Hehe. I always knew I wanted to be a writer. Always been writing. I was the editor of my college newspaper. But I never thought I’d be lucky enough to write with one of my kids.

Q: How did Demons At Deadnight come to be?

A: (Alyssa) It was one of my daydreams. Living in a town where we used walkie-talkies instead of cellphones and let’s not forget NOT having a license AND being an hour away from civilization, boredom had completely numbed my mind. I was looking out at the mountains and asked myself, What should I do with my life? What college should I go to? Wouldn’t it be cool if demons suddenly attacked and a cute guy moved in next door to help me battle them?! You know, the usual life questions.

Meanwhile, I was having issues with my brothers not reading books. I mean, how I can have a serious discussion about if they’re Team Hot Guy A or Team Hot Guy B if they won’t read any of the books. I asked them why they wouldn’t read. Below is our conversation, just bear in mind this conversation was like, about 4 years ago. Jake and Greg were the mature and wise ages of 13 and 14.

“Ah…Alyssa—here, sit down.” Jake sighed and placed his hands on my shoulders. “The girls in your books are pathetic and whiny.”

“What?!” I said.

Jake nodded. “And the guys don’t act like guys, they act like…like girls in guys clothing. It’s shameful.”

“Nothing blows up,” Greg said.

“I know, right?!” Jake said. “How am I supposed to read something with no explosions?!”

“And there’s never any fighting.”

“Ever! Ugh. And they’re not funny. It’s always,” here Jake pulled on his best squealy girl impression, “I’m nothing if he doesn’t love me! Why doesn’t the mean girl, who is clearly the daughter of Satan, like me? It must be because I’m worthless and—”

“Okay!” I said. “So if there was a funny book with a kickbutt girl, guys that acted like guys, and lots of explosions and fighting, you’d read it?”

Jake and Greg looked at each other and nodded. “Yeah.”
And the trap was set! I took my demon invasion fantasy complete with cute next-door neighbor and turned it into something my brothers would actually want to read.

But before they could read it, I needed someone to proofread it.

(Eileen) And that’s where I came in.

I had always encouraged Alyssa’s writing. Especially since it was a great love of mine. I had read her many stories over the years (she wrote her first complete 300 page novel at thirteen – yeah, I’m a proud mama) and her work had always been good. So when I went to read DEMONS AT DEADNIGHT, I was really blown away because it wasn’t just good, it was great! Sure it needed work and we’ve done a lot to it over time, but I was totally hooked and absolutely thrilled that Alyssa wanted me to work with her on the project. It’s been an absolute joy. Except those times when I’m right and she’s wrong and she won’t admit it.

Q: What’s your writing process?

A : We storyboard out the plot. We each write a scene, usually consecutive ones. Then we switch scenes and each go over and tweek what the other has done. We then move on to the next scenes and pretty much…Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Until it’s done. Revising? Ugh. Pretty much the same story. Glamorous it ain’t. But we do have a lot of fun!

Q: Is self-publishing difficult?

A: Not necessarily difficult but certainly time consuming. The beauty is you have complete control, but that also means you have to do everything yourself. And if you want to put out a professional quality product, you’ve got to hire professionals to help in key areas. We think an editor is an absolute must. As our amazing editor, The Sage, pointed out, every big author has an editor. And so should you. Then there is a cover artist, an interior formatter, and ebook formatter…and it goes on and on. Some stuff you may have the talent for but if nothing else, we recommend an editor as a must have!

Q: How did you get Demons at Deadnight published?

A: It was really quite a simple and painless process.

Alyssa wrote the book then showed it to Eileen.
Alyssa and Eileen started attending writing conferences, lectures, and classes.
A&E wrote the next drafts together.
They queried agents for two years.
They received a mountain of rejections until…
Alyssa signed with an agent.
Publishing houses almost liked the book enough to buy. Almost.
A&E worked on another project. Agent wasn’t interested in new project.
A&E started noticing the big authors going into self-publishing.
A&E did a ton of research on the subject and decided rather than look for new agent, they’d spend their energy on self-publishing.
In the summer, A&E said goodbye to agent.
A&E worked with a slew of professionals – editor, artists, formatters, etc. – to help turn DEMONS AT DEADNIGHT into a reality.
Demons at Deadnight is a reality.
See? Simple.

If you’d like to review our research into writing and publishing that we’ve gathered over the years…no, no, you don’t want to go through it. We don’t organize well.

Q: Where did your fabulous cover come from?

A:  We had a definite idea of what we wanted. Alyssa did a mock up of our vision then we had Elena Dudina (who is in Spain) do her magic! She did the DROP DEAD DEMONS cover too!

Q: I want to be a writer too! Any advice?

A: We know you’ve heard it a hundred times before, but READ. Read everything in your genre, know you genre inside and out, and then read outside your genre.

Also WRITE, even if you’re quite certain its crap. It just means you’re getting it out of the way so you can get to the good stuff.

There’s no secret formula to success. Everyone takes a different path.

If you’re looking for tips, there are a ton of wonderful websites and books out there with great advice!

Q:I’ve got a project I’m working on. Will you guys take a look at it?

A: No. We know that sucks. But right now, we’re pretty swamped. We highly recommend joining a critique group, writers’ organization, writing class and/or conference.

Q: Do you eat those recipes in the book?

A: Not the recipes because the paper tastes terrible. But the food made with the recipes? Absolutely. And so should you. They’re delicious! Especially the cookies. Yum.

Q: Favorite TV shows?

A: Supernatural, Hawaii Five-O, The Mentalist, Psych, Person of Interest, Castle, Firefly, Once Upon A Time (except for the fact that they killed the hottie huntman!) Haven, Fringe, Glee, Justified, Modern Family, The Closer, Grimm, White Collar, Nikita.

**Note that every show is funny and/or action packed and has handsome heroes and kickbutt heroines. Gee, think we have a type?

Q: Who’s your favorite Hex Boy?

A: We love them all for different reasons. Yes, even Matthias. The more important question is… Who is your favorite Hex Boy? (We should get a quiz up on that. Thanks for a great idea!)

Q: Why do you have a character from Australia?

A: Because we love the accent. Yeah, we’re that shallow. Think Hugh Jackman, Simon Baker, Alex O’Loughlin, Chris Hemsworth, Eric Bana, Ryan Kwanten, Julian McMahon. Need we go on?

Q: Do you really have horses?

A: Just one right now. Along with three dogs, one cat and two birds.

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