I reviewed the book Destined earlier this week and lucky for me the authors of that wonderful book agreed to answer a few questions for me! Here's what they had to say!
1. Why did you guys choose to have a female protagonist?
When we started working on Destined in March 2014 we thought there should be more female protagonists in the genre. We wanted a strong female to represent this incredible story, and felt very strongly that this was the right move. With all the feedback from readers, we have been right so far - they love Leana!
2. How did you come up with such a unique story line?
Destined is our love letter to all the stories that have inspired us throughout our lives. Ultimately the story came from within, but we also asked ourselves questions like, “What is it about the characters in Star Wars or Lord of the Rings (for example) that made us fall in love with those stories?” or “What is the main message we want our readers to hear in this book and how can we communicate that in a creative, fantastical way?”
One major pro to having two authors on this project is being able to play “devil’s advocate” with each other on every single idea we bring to the table. Not only is this strategy sound (questioning one another’s ideas), but it forces us to think deeper into our imagination, and to bring light to ideas we never thought of in the first place. The first six months were our favorite time to work because it was just brainstorming ideas, building our imagination for the world of Destined, and creating a story for people to escape into.
3. Have you both been writing stories your whole life, or was this a new thing for you?
This is our first novel individually, and together. We’ve both been writing for a long time, but all short stories or screenplays.
I (Jordan) had a huge passion for storytelling when I was a child. I remember drawing pictures of my favorite Saturday morning cartoon characters, and then describing the story that took place on that page to my mother. I never really knew I truly enjoyed the writing part until mid-way through college.
I (Will) have used storytelling as an escape my entire life. As a kid I would dive deep into the characters of Nintendo, Ninja Turtles, Star Wars, LOTR, and other stories. As I grew up I drew the Looney Tunes and other characters I love, which eventually translated into writing stories and dabbling in filmmaking. Developing stories and immersive experiences became an obsession that I knew had to be explored, and now I get to do that with Destined!
4. What are some pros and cons of writing with a partner?
As in any relationship there are always pros and cons. The first con that needed to be recognized and addressed was trusting one another. We were both strangers to one another, and bringing together our own personal stories and ideas was a big step. We also struggled with responsibilities, patience, and getting to know one another’s personality and pace to this project.
The pros completely outweigh the cons. Our passion for this story and the determination to make it great kept us holding on. The first book was a two year project, and there were so many people who didn’t believe we were going to do it; Arnold Schwarzenegger called them the ‘nay sayers’. We continued to give each other support, forgive each other’s mistakes, and we were able to build off one another. We both have skills the other person doesn’t, so we’ve learned from each other as well. We compliment each other in our different ways of brainstorming, debating, and creating. In the end, it’s our differences and determination that make us such an amazingly creative, and effective, team. Also, we’re both devastatingly handsome, so there’s that.
5. How long do you plan to make this series?
Destined is book one of a trilogy. We’re already working on book two, but we have some short stories in the works as well. We have had numerous talks about the future, and where we see Destined going. There is so much backstory, history, and depth that we haven’t even touched. It could seemingly go on forever just like the Star Wars. George Lucas brought something into the American culture that he successfully shared with the whole world, and that was nearly 40 years ago. So many generations of people have experienced his dream and vision. That is something we hope to do. We want to inspire, encourage, and entertain people around the world. We put the journey within the pages for readers to escape into, and it’s their job to turn those pages. Our job is to write something that makes them keep turning. Who knows, maybe people will fall in love with the Destined universe too. Only time will tell. One thing’s for sure though, we’re just getting started.
You can check out their website here.