I received an eARC of The Raging Ones (2018) from Wednesday Books. Because life got in the way, I haven’t finished it yet, but so far, I am enjoying this one. The Ritchie twins tell the story of a frozen planet where everyone who lives knows when they’ll day. Three teens have avoided this death day and are trying to get on a ticket to a Distant Star to escape the consequences. I really like these teens’ spiritual bond and dynamic. Read on below for an interview with Krista and Becca about how they brought The Raging Ones to the page.
Working with another author is hard, let alone with your twin, what was working together like and how did you address differing opinions on the work? What are your favorite and least favorite things about writing with each other?
We’ve been writing together since high school, so we’ve been able to really fine-tune our process. Being sisters seems like we’d bicker a ton, but we find our bond a huge strength. We understand each other’s vision and welcome varying opinions and ideas. We always describe what we have as a mini “writer’s room” where we constantly bounce thoughts off one another and try to improve our work. When we have different opinions, it kick-starts discussions, which often ignites better stories. Our favorite part of working together is definitely collaborating. We value our time together and our discussions surrounding our projects. Always having someone equally passionate and invested in the book fuels our love of writing. Least favorite part: honestly, there aren’t a lot of negatives! Maybe our three-minute silent treatments when we’re frustrated, and then we make up almost immediately.
Do you have any advice for authors looking to co-write books either with family or in general?
Krista: Communication is the key! Especially when discussing ideas. There are no bad ideas, only ideas that could lead to better ones.
Becca: For anyone looking to collaborate, honesty and an openness to give and receive feedback is probably the most important part. It can turn a good story into an amazing one.
Writing The Raging Ones
When did you first get idea for The Raging Ones? What was your inspiration for this book?
Back in college, one of us (Krista) had this concept about a world where everyone knows the day they’ll die, but three teens don’t die on their deathday. We’re huge fans of science fiction and fantasy, and we’d written several Young Adult novels that never saw the light of day. But we wanted to write a new story together with new characters, and I jumped on board once she agreed to add a fantasy element. While writing The Raging Ones, we were really inspired by character-driven stories with science fiction backdrops. From movies like Interstellar to television shows like The 100.
The Raging Ones is your first YA novel. What made you decide to move into the genre, and was the transition difficult? Was writing in a different genre/for a different age group hard? Was your process different?
Even though The Raging Ones is our first published YA novel, it isn’t the first one we’d written together. In our childhood, high school, and college, we mostly only wrote YA. The harder transition for us had been going from writing Young Adult fantasy novels to writing contemporary romance. In a lot of ways, The Raging Ones was like returning to something we’d started but hadn’t finished yet. We always attribute our romance books as the reason why we’re better writers, and when we went back to this other genre, we realized how much more we could do and push ourselves. Our writing process is pretty much identical across the map for Young Adult and Adult.
What is the weirdest thing you had to research for the novel?
Since The Raging Ones takes place on a frozen planet, we had to keep jumping down an Animal Planet rabbit hole. We paid close attention to the animals that could exist. It’s not too weird, but there were a lot of times we had to double-check each other and be like, “Cotton isn’t a fabric here” and “You can’t make them eat chicken. There are no chickens.”
Did The Raging Ones have a certain soundtrack you listened to while writing?
Yes! We always listen to music while we’re writing, and we complied a public Spotify playlist for the book, which includes songs that were in our earbuds as we were typing. We love the dramatic scores from Gravity and Interstellar, but we always say “Keeping Your Head Up” by Birdy is the essence of the book.
Listen to the The Raging Ones Spotify Playlist
Krista & Becca Ritchie are New York Times Bestselling Authors and identical twins, one a science nerd, the other a comic book geek. With their shared passion for writing, they combined their mental powers as kids and have never stopped telling stories. Graduates from the University of Georgia in Biology and English & Journalism, the twin writing duo now lives in Atlanta. The Raging Ones is their first young adult novel and you can get it today from Amazon, Indiebound, Barnes & Noble, or wherever books are sold.