Ask Alyssa Embree Schwartz and Jessica Koosed Etting -- Wednesday June 12th! discussion

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Ask Alyssa and Jessica!

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message 1: by Kaamna (new)

Kaamna Bhojwani-dhawan | 2 comments Mod
Welcome to the group!

Alyssa and Jessica will be answering questions on Wednesday, June 12th in this thread only. Introduce yourselves, add your questions here, and invite your friends!


message 2: by Nia (new)

Nia (thatfictionaddiction) | 2 comments Alyssa and Jessica: Hi, my name is Nia, and one thing I'm really fascinated by is technology. Particularly (because I love reading), technology and books.

I'd love to hear your perspectives on what it was like to write specifically for a digital format -- how the process was different, thoughts on how ereaders are changing publishing, and if you were planning to implement technology in any new ways for season two!?
Thanks!


message 3: by Nia (new)

Nia (thatfictionaddiction) | 2 comments OH, and I almost forgot. I was wondering how you two met, and what it was like working together. Did you work together on plot? Did each of you write specific characters' perspectives? The transitions between viewpoints were pretty seamless, so how did you do it!?


message 4: by Gen (new)

Gen | 2 comments Hi Alyssa & Jessica - I love all the names you picked for your characters--they are all really cool names and seem to fit the characters personalities. What is your method for coming up with the names?


message 5: by Jordan (new)

Jordan Knott (jwknott) Hi, I'm Jordan, and I'm wondering which was your favorite episode/book to write?

Also, do you guys have a favorite character?


message 6: by Tasha (new)

Tasha Turner (tashaturner) | 1 comments I'm Tasha an avid reader, budding author, and book hoarder.

I'm loving the season one so far. What was it like to write the "choose character to follow". Did you find it easier or harder to write that into the story? Did you grow up on choose your adventure books?

Thanks for stopping in to answer our questions.


message 7: by Sandra (new)

Sandra | 1 comments I love your series and have recommended the books to friends!
How many books are planned for the series and are we going to see the characters graduate from high school and move on to college?


message 8: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie (scharle4) Hello,

I just love Season One! Can you give us teasers from the second one? When do you anticipate Book Five to be out?


message 9: by Kaamna (new)

Kaamna Bhojwani-dhawan | 2 comments Mod
Ladies, I am dying to know about the fashion! Where do you get your inspiration from? Are you crazy fashionistas yourselves? I absolutely used the girls as my benchmark (well, Brinley and Ellie) to see if I was keeping up with the latest trends!
thanks!


message 10: by Alyssa (new)

Alyssa Schwartz | 6 comments Mod
Jordan wrote: "Hi, I'm Jordan, and I'm wondering which was your favorite episode/book to write?

Also, do you guys have a favorite character?"


Hi Jordan!

Books Three and Four were probably our favorites to write because by that point we had really established the characters and could just run with the plot. Book Three was fun because of the ski retreat aspect -- we both have some great (and blurry) memories of high school retreats! And Book Four was great because we got to pay off a lot of the drama and relationships we'd been setting up since Book One.

Thanks for your question!!


message 11: by Alyssa (new)

Alyssa Schwartz | 6 comments Mod
Tasha wrote: "I'm Tasha an avid reader, budding author, and book hoarder.

I'm loving the season one so far. What was it like to write the "choose character to follow". Did you find it easier or harder to write ..."


Hi Tasha! So glad you love Season One!

Writing the choice points was definitely challenging and sort of like filling out a logic puzzle! In every book, those chapters took the longest to write because we kept having to go back and forth to make sure the timing and dialogue were consistent for every character's chapter. We realized after the first book that one of us needed to write all the choice points scenes rather than splitting them up between us and that made it A LOT easier.

In the end, though, those scenes were so fun to write because we loved seeing the same event from four different perspectives. And when conversations overlapped, it was great knowing what each character was thinking rather than just seeing one POV like in the other chapters. It was the perfect way to explore one of the themes of the books -- there are always two sides to every story.

We hope you enjoy Book Four! And good luck with the writing!


message 12: by Jessica (last edited Jun 12, 2013 08:07AM) (new)

Jessica Etting (jessicaetting) | 6 comments Mod
Alyssa wrote: "Jordan wrote: "Hi, I'm Jordan, and I'm wondering which was your favorite episode/book to write?

Also, do you guys have a favorite character?"

Hi Jordan!

Books Three and Four were probably our f..."


Jordan, as for favorite character, that's hard! It definitely changed from book to book and evolved, and we probably could never settle on just one.

If you're asking who the most fun to write is, though, we'd have to go with Brinley and Brooks Madison, particularly when they're together!

Thanks again for the question!


message 13: by Gen (new)

Gen | 2 comments Hi - I'm a huge fan of your books-- I was wondering how long does it take to write a book? Just started Book Four and loving it...I know the minute I finish it I will be needing Book Five!!
Also have you ever thought about turning the series into a movie or TV show? and if so who would you choose for your main characters?


message 14: by Alyssa (new)

Alyssa Schwartz | 6 comments Mod
Gen wrote: "Hi Alyssa & Jessica - I love all the names you picked for your characters--they are all really cool names and seem to fit the characters personalities. What is your method for coming up with the ..."

Hi Gen!

Love that you appreciate the name choices -- we obsess over our characters' names for hours. We've been writing together for 10 years so we've definitely used up a ton of names along the way between TV shows and movies we've worked on! We've exhausted a lot of the baby name sites so lately our go-to has been the Baby Name Wizard book. And of course if one of us is out and hears a great name, the other immediately gets a text!


message 15: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Etting (jessicaetting) | 6 comments Mod
Nia wrote: "Alyssa and Jessica: Hi, my name is Nia, and one thing I'm really fascinated by is technology. Particularly (because I love reading), technology and books.

I'd love to hear your perspectives on wh..."


Hi Nia!

In a lot of ways, the process of writing for digital versus print is not so different. No matter the platform, forming strong, clear characters and interesting story lines are always the key. What we've found is that with digital, and particularly with our publisher Coliloquy, we've been able to delve into that more deeply. For example, our choice points let readers see different sides of our characters than they would have in a more traditional format.

The cool thing about eReaders in our opinion is that they can make more books accessible to more people. Pricing for eBooks is generally a little better and that can make a big difference. Also, there's nothing better than the instant gratification of seeing or hearing about a book that piques your interest and then having it at your fingertips and ready to read with a single click.

As for Season Two, we have some ideas....but not giving anything away just yet! ;)

Thanks for the questions!


message 16: by Alyssa (new)

Alyssa Schwartz | 6 comments Mod
Sandra wrote: "I love your series and have recommended the books to friends!
How many books are planned for the series and are we going to see the characters graduate from high school and move on to college?"


Thank you so much for recommending the books, Sandra! It's great to hear you love the series!

We actually haven't mapped out a full game plan for the series yet. Most of the characters are only sophomores so we would probably want to milk high school for as long as possible. Also, the actual school is almost like a character itself in the books and it's really want makes the series tick. Or maybe we're both just scarred from our bad memories of the original 90210 cast during those college years...


message 17: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Etting (jessicaetting) | 6 comments Mod
Nia wrote: "OH, and I almost forgot. I was wondering how you two met, and what it was like working together. Did you work together on plot? Did each of you write specific characters' perspectives? The trans..."

Hi Nia!

Love all the great questions! The two of us actually met freshman year of college and (after initially hating each other) soon became best friends.

People are always curious what it's like to write as part of a two-person team! Over the years we've honed in on a process that really seems to work for us.

Whether it’s for a book, television show or a movie, we do all our brainstorming and outlining together. And by “together”, we mean via Skype because we now live across the country from each other (though truth be told even when we were in the same city, we did the same thing!)

For the Georgetown Academy series, after we do our very detailed outline of all the story and character beats, we split up the chapters evenly and send each other our work over email. Then we edit each other’s work and keep revising together until our perfectionist selves are happy -- if there are any kinks or hiccups between POV's we iron them out together at that time too.

We both work on all the characters within a book as opposed to splitting them up because we genuinely enjoy them all! Many times we actually end up flipping a coin to see who will write which chapters just to keep it fair!

The main question we always get is how we end up with a cohesive final project if we write separately, especially with a book like Georgetown Academy with four different POV’s. The truth is, we are best friends who basically share a brain. We often get the same ideas at the same time and constantly finish each other’s sentences. We’re sort of like the werewolves in Twilight.


message 18: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Etting (jessicaetting) | 6 comments Mod
Stephanie wrote: "Hello,

I just love Season One! Can you give us teasers from the second one? When do you anticipate Book Five to be out?"


Hi Stephanie!

So glad to hear you loved Season One! We had a blast writing them! We're not 100% sure on the timeline for the next book yet, but we promise to keep everyone posted!

And if you want some fun never-seen-before Georgetown Academy scenes, spread the word about our GoodReads giveaway. If 1000 people add Season One to their "To-Read" shelf, we'll release a "lost scene". If 2000 people do, we'll release another. And they're from the GA guys' POV's, so trust us, they're juicy!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...


message 19: by Alyssa (new)

Alyssa Schwartz | 6 comments Mod
Kaamna wrote: "Ladies, I am dying to know about the fashion! Where do you get your inspiration from? Are you crazy fashionistas yourselves? I absolutely used the girls as my benchmark (well, Brinley and Ellie) to..."

Glad to hear the GA fashion inspires you as much as it inspires us! It's a blast getting to play costume designer for our characters, especially Brinley since there is a major wish fulfillment factor there.

And yes, we are both fashion lovers with different styles so we had a lot to draw from for our four main girls. Netaporter is a favorite site of ours because we love how they style whatever article of clothing you click on. We definitely would peruse that when thinking of outfits for the characters. And then there are so many amazing street style blogs like Garance Dore, The Sartorialist, Jak & Jill, we could go on and on. But nothing can beat old school fashion reading for inspiration -- curling up with the new edition of Vogue.


message 20: by Dianne (new)

Dianne (dianne212) How much did the characters "help" with the plots? Did they whisper ideas, or in Brinley's case, did she demand to be heard? :)

Also, I admit, I was a little iffy on making these kids act like mini adults, but I was converted, completely, especially when my grand daughter asked if I had ever heard of these "awesome" books and how she was dying for book 4!


message 21: by Alyssa (new)

Alyssa Schwartz | 6 comments Mod
Dianne wrote: "How much did the characters "help" with the plots? Did they whisper ideas, or in Brinley's case, did she demand to be heard? :)

Also, I admit, I was a little iffy on making these kids act like m..."



Hilarious!

And once we get in our writing groove, the frightening thing is, these characters absolutely speak to us. We both end up dreaming about them constantly. Luckily neither of us has had one where Brinley is going crazy on us, but there's still time!


message 22: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Etting (jessicaetting) | 6 comments Mod
Gen wrote: "Hi - I'm a huge fan of your books-- I was wondering how long does it take to write a book? Just started Book Four and loving it...I know the minute I finish it I will be needing Book Five!!
Also..."


Hi Gen!

So glad to have you as a fan!

It's hard to answer the question about the length of time it takes to write one of these books because when we first conceived of the idea, we spent a lot of time formulating the characters, the world and the over-arching story lines. However, once that's all in place, it's a several month process for each book between our outlines, rough drafts, multiple revisions with editors and final copy edits.

We are screenwriters so we'd love to see Georgetown Academy as either a TV show or film. Our favorites to be in it change on a daily basis, but we love to hear from readers who they think would make a good Ellie, Taryn, Brinley or Evan!


message 23: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie (scharle4) Jessica wrote: "We are screenwriters so we'd love to see Georgetown Academy as either a TV show or film. Our favorites to be in it change on a daily basis, but we love to hear from readers who they think would make a good Ellie, Taryn, Brinley or Evan! "

Oh GTA would make a fabulous TV show or film! It has it all--great characters, intrigue, a different spin on familiar topics, drama, romance...need I go on? Do you think that this a possibility?


message 24: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Etting (jessicaetting) | 6 comments Mod
We hope so!! So glad we'd have a viewer in you!!


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