Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Chatting with Brittany and Brianna Winner

Today's Wednesday Wonderfulness interview is with Brittany and Brianna Winner, two 13-year-old twins who have written (with their dad) a sci-fi/fantasy novel called The Strand Prophecy ( Brittany and Brianna stop by today to talk about their favorite sci-fi authors, their inspirations and advice for fellow teen writers. Thanks, girls!

INN: Where did you find the idea for The Strand Prophecy?

Brianna: We made up the ideas by combining everything we wanted in a story and putting it into a book.

Brittany: As long as we can remember we’ve loved adventures stories and sci-fi. There was nothing better than our dad taking us to see a sci-fi movie and to the comic book store afterwards. We have been creating worlds with thousands and thousands of characters since we were young. So creating was nothing new to us.

INN: How did you balance writing the book with school?

Brittany: When we started to write the first book we would go to school, come home, get our homework done then write with our dad until it was time to go to sleep.
Brianna: After the book was published, the public school system put us on a special independent study program, so we could tour schools and inspire other kids to read and write. We do our school work at night.
INN: Who are some of your favorite sci-fi authors?
Brittany: Isaac Asimov and Jules Verne

Brianna: Stephanie Meyer and Jules Verne

INN: What has it been like, seeing your book receive such great reviews and prestigious awards?

Brittany: When we started to write the book it was a father, daughter, daughter project and we really didn’t have any idea that people would like it. But now… well I am overwhelmed with the responses and overjoyed that so many people enjoy our book.

Brianna: We are really happy that people like our book! We are excited about our second book coming out soon and we are now writing screen plays. We love sci-fi but all our books and screenplays are really about people and trying to make things better.

INN: What can readers look forward to in the next Strand book?

Brittany: There are five books plus a prequel so six books total. We have finished the second book and it is in edit and 20,000 words into the third book. In the first book, Strand has to warn the world and in the second book, well… let me put it this way… he was more right than even he knew.

Brianna: That’s right, millions of people start to evolve and mysteriously migrate north. They just stop what they are doing, and start walking, they could be cooking or driving or in their pajama’s. Meanwhile the Strand Team must also evolve to become something more than they are to try and solve the mysterious migration and find a solution to help humanity survive.

INN: Any advice for teen writers?

Brittany: I was born 11 weeks early and suffer from dyslexia, dysgraphia and more. In school I felt very bad about myself, I could not catch up with the classroom work no matter how hard I tried.

Then my dad had a radical idea, to write a book… I mean, I had the vocabulary and the ideas but getting them down into a novel was unfathomable. Together we focused on our strengths instead of our weaknesses and look at what we have been able to achieve.
So my advice is for everyone to keep in mind that we all have strengths and weaknesses, don’t conclude that you are less than anyone else just because it appears that people are writing faster or seem smarter or better then you at school. Focus on what you CAN do, not what you CAN’T do. Get your ideas down on paper one page at a time, one day at a time and soon you will have written a novel.
Brianna: Yes, write chapter at a time and don’t worry about how long the book will be when it is done. Think about your character and the situation, then write and keep writing.
Brittany: Brianna is right. Don’t stop, just keep writing. We never edit, rewrite or change the story until the whole book is done.

Brianna: When the book is done and we edit, we may delete entire scenes or rewrite them a different way.

Brianna: Just get it done. Write, write, write until it is done. Then go back and edit.
Thanks, Brittany and Brianna!


Anonymous said...

Great interview, Gabrielle. If they can do it, anyone can.

Many writers all say the same thing: "Keep writing." And it's sound advice.

Unknown said...

thank you
a life time of not knowing and now i do. thank you.