Thursday, September 11, 2014

Words With An Author | Sarena and Sasha Nanua

      Hey Fantabulous Readers! 
      Today I have the pleasure of interviewing the wonderful sisters Sasha and Sarena, authors of the Pendant Trilogy. 

      1. How did you get into writing? When did you first start writing?

We began writing when we were nine-years-old. Sasha and I were on a plane to St. Maarten when she decided to start writing a story in a notebook. I really liked what she wrote, so I continued writing from there! Ever since that moment we’ve been a writing duo, and we bounce ideas off one another well. (The Writing Duo also happens to be the name of our blog). Since we’re twins we have similar thoughts when it comes to book ideas!

 2. Where did you come up with the idea for the Pendant Trilogy? Who/ what is your inspiration?

I (Sarena) came up with the idea in July 2010. One day I was reading The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong, and if you know the book’s cover, there’s a girl on the front holding a ruby gemstone. I remember looking at that image and getting this strange picture in my mind (don’t ask where it came from—it was very random) of three gemstones that could form the shape of a heart. I never thought anything of it. It was just a hazy thought.
In August Sasha and I sat down to come up with some new book ideas. I brought up the picture that had so randomly produced itself in my mind, and at first she didn’t believe it was my idea! I told her that the idea was definitely mine; and from there, we came up with a story about these gemstones and started writing! 
I’d say one of our biggest writing inspirations is J.K. Rowling. (Isn’t she everyone’s?) We love to write, and Harry Potter is such an important part of our lives. She and loads of other sci-fi and fantasy authors definitely inspire us to keep writing what we love.

 3. Are any of your characters based on people you actually know, if so which ones?

No, we don’t base any of our characters’ personalities off people we know. Instead, we decided to use some relationships that we have in real life and implemented them in our books! For example, there are twins with an older brother in our books because we’re twins who have an older brother. (Twins are awesome, though I might be biased.)

 4. Have you written anything before The Pendant Trilogy?

Sasha and I have written countless unfinished novels before The Pendant Trilogy came to fruition. The first book we wrote together (that began on the airplane) was called Chicky Planet and followed a little chick and her monkey and tiger friends as she ventured through outer space. It was pretty imaginative. That was the only book we completed before writing The Gemstone!

 5. If you had to pick only five books from your bookshelf you could keep, what would they be?

Wow, that’s a tough question! I, Sarena, would choose: Harry Potter (can I keep all of them? Please?); Heroes of Olympus (Mark of Athena or House of Hades); Jane Blonde; Game of Thrones; and Fahrenheit 451.
Sasha’s choices: Pretty Little Liars; George’s Marvelous Medicine (or any Roald Dahl book for that matter); Percy Jackson; Uglies; and Catching Fire.

 6. Who is your favorite character from any book and why?

Sarena: I’d say I really like Hermione Granger … but I love so many characters! Also I really like Luna Lovegood and Annabeth Chase. They’re fierce but cool heroines!
Sasha: Definitely Hermione! She’s smart but she realizes that bravery and friendship are what’s really important in life!


 7. How long did the writing process take for The Pendant Trilogy? From conception of the story to final publication?

It took six months to write the first draft of The Gemstone, so it was completed in February 2011. A lot changed from that draft. The book was published May 23, 2012. We began writing the sequel, The King’s Jewel, right after the publication of The Gemstone. Most of the book was written in two months, but the first draft wasn’t complete until January 2013. The book was published in July 2013. We began writing the final book in the trilogy, The Poisoned Emerald, in July 2013, and completed most of it in the summer of 2013. The book wasn’t finished until May 2014, and it will be published in late September 2014!

 8. Who are some of your favorite authors?

J.K. Rowling, Scott Westerfeld, Rick Riordan, Roald Dahl, George Orwell, Sara Shepard, Jill Marshall, Laini Taylor, and lots more!

 9. What actors/ actresses could you see playing the characters of your book?

We don’t have a list of actors/actresses to play certain characters in our books. However, there is one character that we think would fit Lana Parrilla perfectly! The headmistress at Hill Valley (the boarding school in our books) is exactly who we imagine as Lana! (Plus, we love Once Upon a Time!)

10. How did you come up with the title and cover of The Pendant Trilogy? Did they morph as you wrote the book, or were they constant?

The titles in The Pendant Trilogy were a bit different from their original names. The Gemstone never changed (we had used that title from the start). The King’s Jewel was originally The Underworld and then The Sorcerers Underworld but we didn’t really like the fit. The book was mainly about The King’s Jewel, and we loved the little ring to it! The original title for The Poisoned Emerald was The Poison. It didn’t change much, but the “emerald” is pretty key in the book. We wanted each book to have some kind of “gemstone” or “jewel” in the title! The “Pendant” referred to in the Pendant Trilogy is the “heart-shaped” image I originally thought of four years ago. When the three gems come together, it’s called a pendant! The original title for the trilogy was The Pendants Trilogy (not much of a difference, but it’s pretty significant. There’s only one pendant!).

11. Are you planning to write any other books?

We have lots of other ideas in the works. We’re planning on starting another book later this year that will incorporate some of our love for food … and it’ll have a fun twist on a classic tale!

 12. What would your advice be to someone who's aspiring to be a writer?

Read every day, write every day. It takes practice to get things right, just like in sports! Practicing every day and taking your time while writing will really help you hone your skills and create your own unique writing style.

 13. Finally, just to wrap things up, what's your favorite color and why?

Sarena: Purple! (Fun fact: my favourite colour is purple because that was the favourite colour of Abby Hayes … one of my favourite books as a kid.)

Sasha: Red! (No story behind it!)


Where to Find Them: 

Blog: thependanttrilogy.wordpress.com
Twitter: twitter.com/pendanttrilogy (@PendantTrilogy)
Instagram: instagram.com/sashananua
Tumblr: thependanttrilogy.tumblr.com
Official website: thependanttrilogy.com