Jen: Today we are excited to welcome the mother-daughter writing team of Suzanne and Melanie Brockmann to Romancing the Book. Ladies, will you share a short bio with us?
Suz & Mel: Suzanne Brockman, a New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author, has won 2 RITA awards, numerous RT Reviewers’ Choice, and RWA’s #1 Favorite Book of the Year three years running. She has written over 50 books, and is widely recognized as a “superstar of romantic suspense” (USA Today). Suzanne and her daughter, Melanie Brockmann, have been creative partners, on and off, for many years. Their first project was an impromptu musical duet, when then-six-month-old Melanie surprised and delighted Suz by matching her pitch and singing back to her. Suzanne splits her time between Florida and Massachusetts while Mel lives in Sarasota, Florida. NIGHT SKY is Mel’s debut and Suzanne’s 55th book.
Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
Suz: Night Sky is a YA paranormal, set in the same dystopic world as my recent novel, Born to Darkness. For a long time I had been interested in working with Mel on a project, and I’d also been toying with the idea of writing a story set in the Born to Darkness world from the point of view of a teenaged girl. Suddenly, I got the idea that Melanie’s brilliant, youthful writing voice might work in a collaboration – and when I asked her, happily she said YES!
Suz: Basically, it’s the story of Skylar Reid, a teenager who learns that Sasha, a little girl she babysits for, has gone missing.
Mel: The police think that Sasha’s father kidnapped and then killed Sasha, but Skylar doesn’t believe it.
Suz: And in the middle of all of this, Sky discovers that she’s got superpowers.
Mel: And then Sky is approached by a young woman named Dana, who has similar powers, and together, with two other friends named Calvin and Milo, they go in search of Sasha.
Suz: It’s an exciting, somewhat dark, but also very funny book, and we had a blast writing it.
Jen: Favorite flavor of ice cream?
Mel: Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Therapy.
Suz: I’m allergic to dairy. So I’ll say mango sorbet.
Jen: Favorite Holiday Tradition?
Mel: Singing “Trees are Christmas” with my family. (That song was created about 25 years ago by my then-four-year-old brother, Jason. Some of the words are, “Trees are Christmas, trees are Christmas. Not na na not not, not na na not not. Carrots grow on tress, but they’re pretend.” Trust me. It’s genius.)
Suz: Watching The Family Stone. I love that movie.
Jen: Who is your hero?
Mel: My seven year old son, Aidan.
Suz: Paul Newman.
Jen: How neat is your work environment?
Mel: Extremely neat, unless my boyfriend, Vern, is also working in there. Then it’s extremely messy.
Suz: At the beginning of a new project, it’s very neat. And then, it gradually gets messier, until the book is finished. At which point I clean it up, and start all over again.
Jen: What one person would you want on a deserted island with you?
Suz: Mr. Spock.
Jen: What book family would you want to be a part of?
Mel: I would want to be the sister of Meg and Charles Wallace from A Wrinkle in Time.
Suz: I don’t think I’d want to be in a family in any of my favorite books. (The Hunger Games? No, thank you.) So I’ll say I’d like to be related to Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Jen: Cats or dogs?
Suz: Dogs. Definitely.
Jen: So what’s next for you?
Mel: Mom and I are collaborating again on the second book in the Night Sky series. It’s called Wild Sky.
Suz: We’re right in the middle of writing it. I’ve got a strict “no talking about works in progress” rule, so I can’t say much about this next one.
Mel: But we can tell you that Sky, Milo, Calvin and Dana will be back, and that the adventure continues!