Friday, September 18, 2015

On This Day . . . Happy Birthday, Brodi!

On this day in history, September 18 (and no, we’re not going to tell you the year, pbbt), our lovely co-writer BRODI ASHTON was born. And the world was suddenly a better place. So today we remaining Lady Janies would like to take this opportunity to talk about our friend Brodi.

(turns to Jodi) So, Jodi, what do you remember about when you first met Brodi?

Brodi and Jodi at Greenwich, England
As we’ve said many times before, we all met on the Dark Days tour in 2012. I was really, really nervous to meet everyone because I loved all the books so much, but I had Brodi’s phone number and thought I’d see if she wanted to do anything before our event that night. I texted. We met up. She was lovely. I was intimidated. Then we went to find a flat-iron since she’d forgotten hers. (This would become a trend. There was a hairdryer purchase while we were in England.) By the time we got the flat-iron situation worked out and had been talking non-stop for an hour, I felt like I’d met a writer soul mate. Plus, we were the two debuts of the group and, I think, both totally freaked out.

(passes the mic back to Cynthia) How about you?

Brodi and Cynthia in Times Square, NYC
I just remember immediately liking her; she was just so smart and funny and, like you, I liked her book so much, too. I had a brain-crush on both of you on account of your amazing books. Then there was a moment on the trip where we were all hanging out, talking about our lives, and we discovered a crazy coincidence between Brodi and me (which I won’t talk about here, because it’s pretty personal, cough), and it was the kind of thing that could have made things awkward, but later Brodi came up to me and said, “This is only going to make us closer friends, right?” And I was like, “YES.” And it did. That’s one of the things I love most about Brodi--her kindness and sheer open-heartedness. And I came away from that whole experience feeling like we were destined to be friends.

So, next question: Any favorite moments with Brodi that spring to mind?

Brodi and Cynthia facing their demons. . .
At least fifty or a hundred favorite moments. This one is hard! 

Yeah, I know. I’m having a hard time picking, too. (flashes back to the time that Brodi burned her bangs off with her flat-iron, or the time Brodi and I went to Disneyland together and faced our worst fears--namely enclosed-spaces and Winnie the Pooh--or the time Brodi and I went dress-shopping at the Trashy Diva in New Orleans, which means that I may be one of the only people ever to see Brodi Ashton in a DRESS, or the time. . . Gah, we’ve just had so many great times together!)

Brodi cracks Jodi up.
If I have to pick just one, I think I’d have to go with one of the quiet moments of the three of us just hanging out in our secret mountain hideaway, or the flat in London. Not doing anything special but having fun and being together.

I completely agree--I love those moments when we’re just laughing and talking and doing what we do. I also really enjoy that first few seconds when we finally see one another again after we’ve been apart awhile. We’re always so joyful and bouncy and thrilled to be together.

Gosh, yes, those are great. 

Okay, I have a question! What is one (and only one!) of your very favorite things about Brodi?

Sometimes she even cracks herself up. . .
So people are always quick to say how funny Brodi is, but I think what makes Brodi so funny is that she never takes herself too seriously--her humor comes from a very humble place, where she’s willing to be the punchline for her own joke. It’s a kind of witty vulnerability that I wish I could pull off--it’s completely charming.

How about you?

Wow, yeah, that witty vulnerability. Yes. I love it. Additionally, I love Brodi’s heart. There is nothing she wouldn’t do for a friend. Even though we live on almost opposite sides of the country, I know that Brodi would be at my door in an instant if I needed her to be.

She's always there to cheer you on.
Okay, last question now--because we could go on and on about Brodi, but we do have to wrap up this post. What are some things about Brodi that other people might not know?

Brodi is really at the heart of the humor in MY LADY JANE. All three Janies have a bracelet that reads WWBS, which stands for WHAT WOULD BRODI SAY? Brodi is the Janie with the keenest comedic instincts, so after we’d each finish our chapters, Brodi would go back over and “Brodify” them--as in, she’d make them funnier.

Also, Brodi has celiac disease, so she can’t eat gluten. Please stop bringing her cupcakes. It’s just mean. (You should probably go ahead and give all the cupcakes to Jodi, but that's a different post.) But Brodi does LOVE tomatoes. She's our tomato connoisseur.

Brodi is an amazing navigator. For our England trip, Cynthia planned where we’d go -- and Brodi’s the one who got us there. She studied the Tube maps, train schedules, and (except for any time she said “I’ve never been more certain in my life!” about a direction we were walking in a strange country) she never got us lost.

Cynthia's son loves Brodi, too!
Brodi is a great mom--she has two little boys, and I’m always impressed by how awesome she is as a parent. My kids love her so much, too. One time I was on a roadtrip tour with Brodi and we brought my daughter, who was about eighteen months old at the time, and every time we went anywhere, people assumed my daughter belonged to Brodi. They both had the same hair color, and my daughter was just enraptured with Brodi and hung on her every word. Then later in the airport as we were going home, my daughter realized that Brodi wasn’t with us anymore and threw a huge fit because she wanted to stay with Brodi. It was all, “where’s Bro-ee?” and “I want Bro-ee!”

So happy birthday, dear Brodi! You are a hilarious, talented, spectacular writer and a wonderful, thoughtful, amazing friend. We love you!


Monday, May 25, 2015

Happy Anniversary, Jane and Guildford!

The Janies are celebrating, because on this day in history (May 25, 1553) Lady Jane Grey and Lord Guildford Dudley were married!

In real life, Jane and Guildford's marriage was not so much of a love story as it was a flat-out tragedy. They were strangers when they married, didn't really like each other much at first, and then a bunch of unfortunate things happened to them in quick succession, which ended with--well, it, didn't end well for either of them.

But our Jane Grey story is different, (since we're revising the history here to include more magic and less beheadings) and in our opinion, the marriage of our Jane and Gifford (yep, we've even altered his name) is DEFINITELY a love story. So anyway, it's (kindof) our anniversary!  We love Jane and G!

Jodi and Brodi, who write Jane and G's POVs, gaze at each other adoringly

We're also pleased to inform you that we've just finished the latest round of revisions for MY LADY JANE. (The next step is copy edits.) And we've received a tentative release date for the book . . . which we can't tell you yet, but it's in early summer 2016. Things are coming along! Our book is almost done! Hooray hooray!

And now we say, To Jane and G, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, and may you live happily ever after!

*clinks glasses*

Sunday, May 3, 2015

What's Up With The Janies, May Edition

We haven't checked in for a while, so here's the latest on what's been happening with the Lady Janies:

1. We went to England! For two whole weeks in April, the three of us explored the UK, singing our theme song: "We see London, we see France, we have no clean underpants!" (Okay, so the washer/dryer  in the flat we were renting was all mildew-gross and didn't so much dry as it mocked us.  But we survived with the help of some heated towel racks. Clean underpants were achieved, and all was right with the world. . .)

Jodi gazes in despair at the washing machine / dryer.
Still, in spite of a few minor bumps, we had a fantastic time. We met with some of our fans and ate our weight in chocolate and saw a lifetime's supply of castles. We took about a thousand photos and hours upon hours of video, which we promise we will show you later. (After one of us figures out how to use a movie editing software.) And best of all, we really felt our characters come alive as we walked in the footsteps of the people who really lived the story of Lady Jane Grey. It was a trip of a lifetime.

The Janies outside of the Tower of London

2. We finished Draft #2 of MY LADY JANE! This was the big-changes draft, so we may have, I don't know, completely rewritten the ending. (Trust us, it's better this way.)  Since we were together when we did most of these revisions (in England!) there was some bartering involved: "Okay, I'll make your training montage scene funny if you rewrite the Jane-gets-injured scene." "You throw in a piece of marshmallow fudge, you have a deal."

We loved our book before, but now we love it even more. And it's that much closer to being ready to print.

3. We're starting to get all the book-business work done. We wrote the bio that goes on the book jacket, selected our author photo, and got to see some of the work that our cover designer is doing on THE COVER. We can't show you what it's going to look like yet, but the concept is AWESOME. Our book is becoming a real book!

4. We miss each other already, so we're packing up to meet each other at the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention, which will be May 12-17 in Dallas, TX. Click here for details.

And that's all the news for now.  I'll leave you with one last England picture. :)

Hanging with Henry VIII. Yep, we're wearing costumes and crowns. We embraced our inner dorks.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

We're Coming to England!

Hi! We've been spending the past few months with our noses to the grindstone, finishing MY LADY JANE. We are happy to report that we have a first draft, and as of about a week ago we have notes from our lovely editor at HarperTeen, and we are working on the first round of serious revisions. In that spirit, we are coming to England to research the locations from the novel, to talk to some really smart Englishmen/women about the Lady Jane Grey, to have all-the-fun seeing the sights, and to finish Draft #2.

We're also doing a meet-and-greet with our British readers and fans! So yes, if you live in England, we'd love to meet you!

Here's the information:

Sunday, April 12th, we will be hanging out at a cafe called Le Pain Quotidien, starting at 2:30 p.m. and going until whenever they run out of cookies . . . er, biscuits.

The address is
15 Winchester Walk

and we're told it is right next to the Borough Market.

We are unbelievably excited about the whole thing. We love English history (duh), and we love traveling together, and we love getting to meet our readers. Win win win!

And yes, if you bring copies of our books, we would LOVE to sign them. We'll even break out the special pens.