Friends, family, readers, authors, and members of the Simon and Schuster team that published the book came out to celebrate the release of Fire with Fire, the sequel to Burn for Burn, on a beautiful Friday evening. The basement of McNally Jackson Books was packed, every set filled with people enjoying the free beer and cupcakes as the authors worked the room.
Siobhan told a story about finding out she was pregnant on the last tour. It was compared to a “scene from a YA novel”, with Jenny telling Siobhan she was pregnant while Siobhan was in denial. Finally, Jenny forced Siobhan to take the test in their hotel bathroom, confirming her suspicions. “She knew before my husband did,” Siobhan said, drawing a laugh.
Jenny and Siobhan met in one of David Levithan’s classes at the New School, where both we’re looking to get their MFA in Writing for Children. Once they graduated from the program, several graduates had formed a writing group, which soon fell apart, but Jenny and Siobhan found they still worked well together. They started as critique partners and first started writing together by working on a TV pilot. While writing together, the two rarely have major disagreements, but can either compromise or use the disagreement in the work.
Burn for Burn began while Siobhan lived in Brooklyn, just around the corner from then-critique partner, Jenny. Once Siobhan relocated to Pittsburgh, the pair began traveling for frequent writers retreats, Skype calls, and emails to collaborate on the book. Because of their personal life changes, how the books were written has changed to accommodate that. First with Siobhan’s moving during book one, then her pregnancy and birth during book two, and now raising an infant while finishing up book three.
Burn for Burn is the story of three girls on Jar Island all seeking revenge for different reasons, but working together to accomplish their vengeful plans. Fire with Fire picks up exactly where Burn for Burn leaves off. The authors wanted to answer all the leftover questions from their cliffhanger. They also wanted to connect this book with Halloween, which lead to a lot of costume research. Jenny claimed that was book three, Ashes to Ashes, is what they’re really psyched for. They set out to write a trilogy, so the final book includes scenes the pair have been talking about since the beginning.
Jenny and Siobhan also played a modified version the Newlywed Game, hosted by Justin Chanda, one of the editors at Simon and Schuster. Siobhan was able to correctly answer which bone Jenny would break next (“Her ankle, again”), Jenny’s favorite game (Scramble with Friends), and her favorite reality TV show. Ultimately, Jenny won by answering four questions correctly about Siobhan. She was able to guess that The Summer I Turned Pretty was Siobhan’s favorite book of Jenny’s, who Siobhan would want to play her in a movie, that Siobhan celebrates finishing a book with a spa trip, and that “The Amazing Race” is Siobhan’s favorite reality TV show.
Less than forty five minutes after this event began, it was over. Jenny and Siobhan moved over to their signing table, offering little goodie bags to guests. People milled and continued enjoying the restocked free beer and San Pelligrinos. It was relaxed, casual, and fun. Definitely an ideal way to celebrate the launch of a drama fueled sequel.
To learn more about the authors, you can check out Jenny Han’s Website, Jenny Han’s twitter, Siobhan Vivian’s website, and Siobhan Vivian’s twitter. For more about McNally Jackson, you can visit their website.