Interview with Sarena and Sasha Nanua

Interview with Sarena and Sasha Nanua

The Serious Questions

What made you want to become an author?
I’m not sure there’s a specific reason. We’ve just always loved reading from a young age, and we started writing our first book together when we were nine years old. That’s really how we got started. We never thought we’d actually become authors–when we wrote, it was just for us. Luckily we started really researching publishing and know a lot more about the industry now! 🙂

Tell us about your current work in progress.
We recently finished a book and started querying a few weeks ago. But our current WIP–which we just started yesterday–is an MG fantasy that we’re really excited about! We only just started it so we’ll see where it goes.

What do you do to cure writer’s block?
Usually we search for some inspiration–take a small break and look at our surroundings. As vague as that sounds, it really works! Sometimes the best cure is just to look away from the WIP and get some fresh air!

Are you plotters or a pantsters?
Definitely plotters. We need to outline first, always!

Do you have any writing rituals?
Hmm. I suppose we just kind of get writing in the afternoon (sometimes mornings), usually with a cup of tea 🙂

What is your favorite book? What about favorite book to movie adaptation?
Sasha: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
Sarena: Harry Potter … all of them 😉

Our favourite book-to-movie adaptation is Catching Fire. And pretty much every HP movie 🙂

What is it like to write a book with someone else? Was it easier or harder because it was your twin?
It’s definitely easier to bounce ideas off someone else. I think writing with a twin is much easier–especially since we have a lot of the same thoughts and ideas, so usually everything works out pretty well. Plus, our writing styles are similar, too!

Tell us about your journey to publication. What was it like?
When we started writing THE GEMSTONE, we were just writing for fun. Like all our previous books, we’d never really given thought to actually publishing. We were only 13 when we started writing it, and 15 when we self-published. A lot of that time was spent revising, and I think that holds true for all authors. Most of the time, we’re editing/revising more than we’re actually writing, because first drafts are always sucky.
We were super excited when THE GEMSTONE came out. We had lots of encouraging family and friends. Now we’re hoping to take the traditional route with our new manuscripts and learn more!

What is the best piece of writing advice you NEVER followed?
Maybe getting CPs. I know every writer should have a CP, and we technically do. But we usually pass ideas along to our writer friends and implement those in our book, rather than sending the whole book unrevised their way. We like to revise as much as possible before getting too many eyes on it. We did win a MS critique from an awesome author a few months ago, so that was great advice! 🙂

The idea for THE GEMSTONE, the first book in the trilogy, came from the cover of The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong. I (Sarena) got this random image in my mind of three gemstones connecting together to form the shape of a heart. I told this idea to Sasha in August of 2010, and we started writing it from there!
The second book, THE KING’S JEWEL, and the third, THE POISONED EMERALD, came out in 2013 and 2014. All the info is on our website

We also blog about our books/other YA and MG books on our blog

The Random Questions

Chocolate or vanilla?

Dinos or dragons?
Dragons. Go fantasy!

What psychic power would you want?
Telepathy … but I suppose we have twin telepathy already. Haha

Favorite Disney character?
Sasha: Cinderella
Sarena: Ariel

Dream vacation?
Paris for us both! We love French…

Tomatoes: Fruit or veggie?
Totally a veggie. Though it’s technically a fruit, we still stand by vegetable 😉

Morning Person or Night owl?
Morning. We’re early sleepers.

Favorite Book Ever:

Favorite Movie Ever:
Monster House/Ratatouille

Music Earworm of the Moment:
Imagine Dragons — all their songs are awesome!

About Sarena and Sasha

Sarena and Sasha Nanua are teenage twins living in Mississauga, Ontario. They love reading books in their spare time and enjoy fantasy and science fiction novels. They have been writing books since they were nine years old. The Gemstone is their first novel. 

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