Tell us about one of your stories that you have written, are working on, or planning.
We are currently working on re-writing “Summer Storms”. It’s the first book in an urban fantasy trilogy about faeries set in the summer in rural Oklahoma. It is a story about a demented faerie who practices peculiar rituals that one of our character becomes involved with. It is about dealing with death and family ties. It is about friendship and life and trusting the most unlikely individuals.
Is this part of a NaNoWriMo or Camp NaNoWriMo event or a personal project?
It’s a personal project that we have been working on together for a couple years now.
Tell us about the characters in your story.
There are four main characters: Ailsa, Diego, Leon, and Monica. Ailsa and Leon are siblings and Diego and Monica are cousins. And the two pairs have very different dynamics that constantly evolve along with the individuals. Ailsa is a believer in all things supernatural, as she has a heightened sense about those things. Leon is a skeptic who has learned to brush off most things. Monica is completely opposed to anything that sounds remotely illogical. And Diego knows far too many things about people’s deaths.
What’s your favorite friendship in the story?
Isis: I definitely love Diego and Ailsa’s friendship the most because they really understand each other. They can just talk about anything, and nothing ever sounds crazy enough to either of them.
Nicole: I have to say Leon and Monica’s friendship. It’s something that is developing more naturally in this rewrite because in the original they didn’t have much to do with each other. It’s nice how they have trouble believing in everything that is happening so they lean on each other for support.
What’s your favorite romantic relationship in your story?
There won’t be an important romantic relationship in this novel. In the other two novels there definitely will be. In this one, however, we have Monica and Jayce in an established relationship. It’s a rocky one, but it’s there for a reason.
What is the saddest scene in your story?
Isis: I think the saddest scene is the one we recently wrote where Diego and Leon have a really emotional fight. The thing about those two is that they care about each other but they’re both so particular about their personal relationships that drama must ultimately ensue.
Nicole: I think we haven’t written it yet. I think it’ll be towards the end of the book when it’ll be Diego’s dead brother’s birthday. It’s extra emotional because Diego feels responsible for his death, and he has really unhealthy ways with dealing with his problems in this book.
What is your favorite scene in the story?
Isis: I’m gonna have to pick a scene that hasn’t already been written. There’s a scene we’re planning to write also between Diego and Leon where they talk through their problems and plan what we like to call a “friend date” so that they can work on their friendship. I love friendships in books, and it’s important to me that these characters are actually working on building a solid friendship despite their previous misunderstandings. I think Nicole and I are constantly on the same page when it comes to erasing any drama that could be fixed through communication.
Nicole: So far it would have to be the first time Diego sees a faery. There’s this little winged creature that shouldn’t exist, and he stands there talking about his garden.
What is the opening scene in your story?
The opening scene is with Ailsa interviewing for a teaching position at an elementary school, while feeling like someone is watching her in the room. It’s an eerie beginning which we hope will set the mood for the rest of the story.
“Oh, sorry. Can you repeat the question again?” Ailsa asked, trying to focus on the principal sitting in front of her. This job interview was important to her, but she was having trouble focusing. In her defense, it was really difficult to keep her head straight when she could swear someone was standing right behind her.
Where did the idea for your story come from?
The idea came equally from both of us. Isis initially came up with Diego, and she knew exactly who he was right away. An alcoholic with a lot of problems rooted in his difficult past. From there she found this beautiful house listed online in Red Oak, Oklahoma, so she figured she might as well have him live there. Then she gave him a cousin, Monica, who she knew was there because she had this need to protect him and somehow “fix him” in her own way. Isis brought these ideas to Nicole, as she does, and she came up with the faeries because she said she’d never read a book about faeries. Slowly we both put a lot of thought to the rest of the setting, and Nicole created Leon and Ailsa. It became easy to just tie everyone together, and we’ve just been building up from there. We usually talk through everything that we want to add to make sure we’re both on board.
What is the theme of your story?
There are many themes in our story. Friendship again is a big one. Death seems to be a significant portion of it. For this book, though, the main theme is regarding family, both blood-related and non-blood related. Sure, there are dangerous faeries and intrigue and whatnot, but the root of it all ties in with the characters coming to terms with each of their families and maybe adding a few new people into that category.
What’s not working in your story that needs to be fixed?
Isis: I think the thing not working now is us forgetting to add important setting and character information. Since we both know everyone so well, it’s so easy to forget to add these small details during our re-write. But I think it’s something we can both work on during edits.
Nicole: What made us need to rewrite the most was with characters. We didn’t know them as well as we should have, and that made them come across in a way we didn’t want them to. We also were too scattered with the faery story line so we have plans to fix that in this version too.
What do you absolutely love about your story?
Isis: I absolutely love the fact that these four very unique individuals came together during the worst of times, and that they each care for each other so deeply. That’s the most important thing for me to write about, human relationships. They formed their own sort of family together, and it’s a special connection they all share.
Nicole: I love that all of the relationships are very different but each are strong in their own way. Each relationship brings out a different side to each character, and I think that’s pretty neat. I’m also pretty proud of our faeries and how they fit in since it was hard to wrap our minds around at first.
Do you plan on trying to publish this story or is it just for you to read?
We would love to publish this novel traditionally. That will definitely be our aim once we have the first book finished. If we don’t succeed, we’ll self-publish it. Either way, we would love for everyone to discover this story that is very dear to us.