Sirenz Blog Tour Guest Post: Are You Your Character?

When people started reading SIRENZ, and then met and spoke to us, more often than not the inevitable question would come up: “Are Meg and Shar based on the two of you?” Sometimes the question would be preceded by a raised eyebrow and a semi-incredulous statement-query: “You two? Together? Wow.”

            Let's have a look at the latter first. We admit it. We're an odd couple. Tall, willowy, and dark blonde Char towers over the pixie, curvaceous and brunette (when the mood takes her to go natural) Nat; elf and hobbit, party girl and goth. And the differences go beyond appearance. Sartorial taste (Char's color pallet is of the rainbow variety. Nat, not so much—though a splash now and then isn't so bad.), spiritual beliefs (Our moms said never to go into detail on this, but let’s just say there's a berth) and personal accessories (Char goes for the sparkly stuff, Nat is more of a tattoo connoisseur) are nearly polar opposites .

            Still, friendship blossomed. Yes, even the most different of people can become pals. We're the poster children for it, because underneath the surface veneer of our lives, there was—and is—common ground. Maddening (though loveable) husbands, three children each... when Nat joined Char's critique group six or seven years ago, talk of common concerns, joys, frustrations with day to day life became a habit—after the manuscripts were pulled apart of course. And then another thing we had in common emerged: we're both pretty darn serious about writing.

            Which brings us back to the former: Are you your characters? Did you write yourselves into SIRENZ?


            And No.

            From the beginning we wanted to write SIRENZ from two different points of view because we had such distinct points of view—though strangely enough this was one of the things we had to edit because at first the girls sounded too much alike! Char wrote the initial drafts of the Shar chapters while Nat did the ones for Meg.

            Looking at Meg's physical description, you'd probably say, “Oh yeah, that's Nat.” The new age slant, the vintage clothes... but Meg's green streak is a reflection of one of Char's passions—recycling and being eco-friendly when possible. And unlike Meg, Nat (and Char too) is an unapologetic carnivore.

            Similarly, Char would probably have a stroke if she spent money like Shar. Char likes clothes, but not with the same mania that Nat puts into outfit planning. And while Shar could be a teen version of Char looks-wise, the fictional character's experiences and personality are far removed from reality (other than the fact that Char really is a New Yorker. Nat's a born and bred Jersey Girl).

            Are we our characters? Most writers put a bit of themselves into the books they create; they bring their experiences and vision to a given paradigm. For us it was a reinventing of an unlikely couple—but then again, that is our story.


EAN: 9780738723198
Trade Paperback
Young Adult/Fiction
Price: $9.95
Available: June 2011

Bickering frenemies Meg and Shar are doing some serious damage at a midnight sample sale when they find themselves arguing over a pair of shoes—with fatal consequences. One innocent bystander later, the girls are suddenly at the mercy of Hades—the god of the underworld—himself. To make them atone for what they’ve done, Hades forces the teens to become special-assignment Sirens, luring to the Underworld any individual whose unholy contract is up.

But just because they have an otherworldly part-time job now doesn’t mean Meg and Shar can ignore life’s drudgeries (work) or pleasures (fashion!). Finding that delicate balance between their old and new responsibilities turns out to be harder than they expected, especially when an entire pantheon of Greek deities decides to get involved. Then there’s the matter of the fine print in their contracts . . .

Author Bios:

Natalie Zaman is the co-author of Sirenz, the first in a YA contemporary fantasy series published by Flux. Her work has appeared in various magazines, newspapers, e-zines and anthologies for adults and children. She's currently plotting disasters for the characters of Sirenz and working on a Victorian steampunk fantasy for teens. Natalie lives in central New Jersey with her family and several fine looking chickens.

Charlotte Bennardo is the co-author of Sirenz, the first in a YA contemporary fantasy series published by Flux. When not contemplating embarrassing situations for the characters in the sequels, she works on her own YA, MG and adult level novels. She has been published in magazines, newspapers, e-zines and anthologies. She is held captive in New Jersey by three sons, husband, cat and friends. 


1 comment :

  1. This was such a fun post!! And the book sounds great! It is definitely going on my must-read list!


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