Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon talk about Destined for Doon and what it’s like writing together.
Destined for Doon is a battle of passions. Does Mckenna go back to Chicago to pursue her dream of being an actress, or does she stay in Doon to pursue her dream of a divinely chosen soulmate? But if Doon is completely destroyed by an ancient curse sweeping the lands, none of that might even matter. Read our review.
Interview with Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon
Tell us five random facts about yourselves.
a. My first job out of college was selling cars. It wasn’t my first choice, but my student loans were due and I learned a ton!
b. My first literary crush was Dallas Winston from The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
c. My current literary crush is Will Herondale from Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices series. (Guess I’ve always had a thing for tortured, complex heroes.)
d. I’m a very visual writer – Pinterest is one of my favorite apps! (Waste way too much time here.)
e. I have Crohn’s disease. Yes, it sucks, but I don’t let it stop me.
a. I didn’t start watching Supernatural until after the first Doon book came out and then I binge watched the first eight seasons. I am completely addicted!!! It’s a problem, just ask Lorie.
b. I am also addicted to ABC family! Switched at Birth, The Fosters, PLL – I love ‘em.
c. My favorite book of all times is Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables. (I did a college paper on the contrasting spiritual symbolism of Jean Valjean and Javert.)
d. After high school, I toured with a repertory theater company for five years before college. I spent most of my time in England and Italy. (Fact: The Rosettis are based on a family I often stayed with in Torino.)
e. I am a total theatre nerd. I just watched the full PBS Broadcast of Oklahoma with Hugh Jackman online. I also spent the better part of a recent afternoon watching YouTube clips of Rent at the Hollywood Bowl (2010). I started watching for Aaron Tveit (my fav) as Roger but got blown away Skylar Astin’s (Pitch Perfect) Mark Cohen.
How did you two meet and what made you want to write together?
Lorie: We met at a local writer’s meeting and became friends almost instantly! We’d just finished editing our respective solo projects and were discussing what we each wanted to write next, when I mentioned my idea of doing a retelling of Brigadoon. Coincidentally, Carey had just completed her second young adult novel, so I was picking her brain on voice and technique when somewhere along the way our conversation took a detour. Our ideas for the mythical kingdom of Doon sparked an explosion of evil witches, magic spells, daring adventures, two unique best friends, and heroic princes in kilts … soon it became clear that this story was bigger than the both of us, but that together we could make it amazing. So we jumped in with both feet and Doon was born!
What was it like putting a modern twist on such an old and fabled legend?
Lorie: The original story of Brigadoon is about a small village that only appears to the modern world once every hundred years. But one thing always bothered me about the original – during the hundred years that the portal to the kingdom is closed, the people in Brigadoon sleep. Really? They sleep! So it was a blast not only filling up those hundred years, but turning the sleepy village into a Camelot type kingdom.
Carey: I really liked the blending of fantasy and reality. I love “based on true events” type stories. As a result, there’s lots of actual Scottish history seeded into the series as well as real settings such as Bainbridge, Indiana and The Poet’s Corner Coffeehouse in Alloway, Scotland.
Do you relate more to Kenna or Veronica?
Lorie: I think there are always parts of ourselves in the characters we write. Doon is unique in that Carey and I each write a main character. I write Veronica and Carey writes Mackenna. But there are bits of each of us in these two vastly different, but best friends. Like Vee, I’m tenacious when I set my mind to something and I’m a ‘smile while your world is falling apart’ kind of person. But Vee’s more analytical side comes from Carey. And Carey is theater obsessed and has a flare for the dramatic like Kenna. But Kenna’s goofy sense of humor is a bit more like me.
Carey: I do have to add, that while Kenna is also a theatre nerd her favorite Broadway shows differ from mine. We agree on Sondheim, but she loves Rodgers & Hammerstein and my tastes tend to be less mainstream.
Did you approach Destined for Doon in a different way than you approached Doon?
Carey: From a structural standpoint, no. There are things about Doon that will hold true for the entire series, such as Kenna and Vee needing to work together to face a series of challenges that comprise their destiny. From a writing standpoint, yes. D4Doon is more Kenna-centric. It’s like the picture negative of the first book.
Was there pressure to make the destruction of Doon even bigger and more terrifying than the first?
Carey: No. I think when you’re constantly trying to one-up the last book, you inevitably reach that tipping point where the plot become less climactic. You can’t out-do yourself forever. Before Lorie and I finished the first book, we plotted out the witch’s actions/reactions based on her end game, much like predicting your opponent’s moves in a chess match. There is a purpose to every bit of mayhem Addie inflicts and she initiates the external plot until the final showdown in the series.
What’s easier to write, the first line or the last line?
Lorie: Typically, the first is easier for me. I almost always know what the first line will be before I even start writing a new book (Doon was an exception to this rule – long story). I agonize over that last line and usually have to rewrite it over and over before I get it right. I want to leave the reader with the perfect last impression.
Carey: The last. The first line engages the reader and if it sucks (pardon my language) then you lose readers. After spending months in the story, I’ve had oodles of time to think about the end and the last lines come very organically for me.
Which YA novel do you wish you had when you were a teen?
Lorie: The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas or Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo or any fantasy story with a strong female lead!
Carey: Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series, The Fault in Our Stars (or anything else by John Green), and Eleanor & Park.
That cliffhanger at the end was so intense. How in the world do you expect us to survive until book 3?
L & C: LOL! Sorry about that, but it’s a necessary evil at this point in the series.
Speaking of book 3, is there anything you can tease us with?
L & C: In the third book, we’ll be revisiting some characters and settings from the first book. We’ll check in on Bainbridge, Indiana and maybe even get a glimpse of Vee’s father.
About the authors
Carey Corp wrote her first book, a brilliant retelling of Star Wars, at the prodigious age of seven. Since then, her love affair of reinvention has continued to run amuck. Writing both literary fiction and stories for young adults, she begins each morning consuming copious amounts of coffee while weaving stories that capture her exhaustive imagination. She harbors a voracious passion (in no consistent order) for mohawks, Italy, musical theater, chocolate, and Jane Austen. Her debut novel for teens, The Halo Chronicles: The Guardian, earned her national recognition as 2010 Golden Heart finalist for best young adult fiction.
A few years ago, Lorie Langdon left her thriving corporate career with a Fortune 500 company to satisfy the voices in her head. Now as a full-time author and stay-at-home mom, she spends her summers editing poolside while dodging automatic water-gun fire, and the rest of the year tucked into her cozy office, Havanese puppy by her side, working to translate her effusive imagination into the written word.