Maz Rauber and Amy Reingold’s debut novel, CAPITAL GIRLS, is a must-read! A mix between Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars, this first book in the new series is sure to get you hooked. Before you know it, you’ll be counting down the days until the second novel, SECRETS AND LIES hits stores – which is on November 13 in case you were wondering.
Set in Washington, D.C., CAPITAL GIRLS follows the lives of three best friends – Jackie, Lettie and Laura Beth – attempting to move on after the death of their rebellious and loving friend Taylor.
Taylor was the glue that kept the three together, and though the girls are still close, the absence of their friend is ever present.
Jackie finds herself constantly needing to talk to Taylor. After all, she’s the only one that could possibly understand why Jackie cheated on her boyfriend Andrew, the President’s son. Laura Beth definitely wouldn’t understand, figuring she’s super jealous that Jackie’s dating him in the first place. And Lettie…well it doesn’t follow her morals and way of thinking.
So instead, Jackie keeps her romance troubles to herself and tries to salvage her boring relationship with Andrew. That is, until the new girl Whitney moves into town. With her mother owning a Gossip Column, Whitney will do
anything to get dirt on Jackie and not only ruin her image, but ruin the chances of the President’s re-election.
Dealing with negative attention from the press while simultaneously going on college visits is bad enough, but when Taylor’s twin brother comes to the girls the idea that his sister’s death wasn’t an accident, things start to heat up.
Does Andrew know something about Taylor’s death that he hasn’t shared? Is that why he acts so weird a the mention of her name? Do their parents know something they aren’t sharing with the girls? One thing’s for certain, CAPITAL GIRLS will keep you on your toes.
Once we started reading the novel, we couldn’t put it down! It’s not very often you get a portrayal of the elite teen living in Washington, D.C. Think Gossip Girl’s Upper East Side but with more media attention, more scandal, and more back-stabbing.
Written by Virginia Van de Wall
What happens when you’re a powerful politicians daughter living in Washington D.C.? Well, a heck of a lot of drama, back-stabbing and cheating, that’s what!
Amy Reingold and Maz Rauber have joined forces and brought us the first book in their hot new series, CAPITAL GIRLS. Think Pretty Little Liars meets Gossip Girl, but with more secrets, more politics and more at stake! Writing under the pseudonym Ella Monroe, Maz and Amy raised their children in D.C, becoming all too familiar with the Capital’s daily drama and juicy scandals. Lucky for us, we got to speak with the co-authors to find out just how they went about planning and executing this red hot hit!
MISS LITERATI: What made you decide you wanted to coauthor a book together?
AMY REINGOLD: We knew it would get done that way. We had a good idea and thought that if we worked together it would actually get done.
MISS LITERATI: What was the writing experience like?
MAZ RAUBER: It was surprisingly easy. We’ve been friends for a long time. We used to meet at Amy’s house for coffee every 3 or 4 weeks with a group of women and we all discussed the idea of writing a book. But you know, sometimes big group projects don’t go beyond talking so Amy and I decided to go on our own.
AMY REINGOLD: We have similar personalities and work habits. We liked our idea and wanted to follow it through to the end. We’re still friends!!
MISS LITERATI: What was your planning process like? Did you outline what you wanted to happen in the entire series?
MAZ RAUBER: We plotted the whole series and divided it up into three story lines. We did it in a very permitted way. We literally came up with the plots, then with each book, plotted out each chapter, cut it out, laid it on floor, moved it around – and told the dog to get out of the room when she was stepping on the papers.
AMY REINGOLD: It was so easy for us to work together and was a totally collaborative experience! As Maz just said, through the outline we sort of knew what we wanted and from there we would talk about we wanted to take each story. Maz would type and we would say “no she would say this,” It really was like one person in two bodies.
MAZ RAUBER: Before we even started writing, we became very familiar with all the characters. It was almost instinctive and [because of that] we would agree upon what all the characters would say.
MISS LITERATI: What inspired the idea behind CAPITAL GIRLS?
AMY REINGOLD: We live in Washington D.C. and we both raised our children here. The Election of 2008 with Obama was the first year our daughters could vote. [During that election] D.C became the center of the universe. It was a cool town and everyone was excited. We just thought it could be turned into a book.
MISS LITERATI: There is a lot of drama and back-stabbing in CAPITAL GIRLS. Having teenage daughters yourself, did you draw some of the specific scenarios from real life drama that happened in your daughter’s lives?
MAZ RAUBER: Not really. There were some little things that would give us an idea for a particular plot or twist. Both our girls read the early manuscripts and they would sensor it. If they thought something was too similar to their lives we would take it out. When you live in D.C, you’re rubbing shoulders with kids and adults that are powerful people and taking those experiences for specific scenes. Everyone in the book is heavily disguised.
MISS LITERATI: The novel is being compared to a mix between Pretty Little Liars and Gossip Girl. The mysterious car crash kind of reminds of us Princess Diana. Did you watch any of those shows before writing the book or use any of those ideas as inspiration?
MAZ RAUBER: We actually think of the trilogy as Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars meets the West Wing.
AMY REINGOLD: My daughters watch Gossip Girl. I should have read the books but I didn’t. Overall I probably have not watched more than 4 episodes [of the show]. Even though it’s compared, we didn’t base it off that. I still haven’t seen Pretty Little Liars.
MAZ RAUBER: Pretty Little Liars and Gossip Girl deal with teenage girls. Wherever they grow up there are traditional plots and teenage angst. The difference in D.C. is that the kids in our book have the extra burden of being in the spotlight and being used as pawns by their parents.
MISS LITERATI: Are any of the character’s based on yourselves? Or have any of your personal traits?
MAZ RAUBER: Of course they are! Because they are beautiful and thin and popular, which is what I wanted to be like. laughs
AMY REINGOLD: I went to high school so many years ago but it is based on feelings I would have had.
MISS LITERATI: Have you disagreed on specific sections of the book? On whether to keep them, omit them, or add to them?
AMY REINGOLD: No, we are a lucky writing team! We really saw [the story] the same way. We didn’t have any big disagreements. We had small things like, “oh that doesn’t work.” But never any trouble spots.
MAZ RAUBER: A key to anyone writing another person is that you need to be on the same page. Chuck your ego at the door and don’t take something personal. If someone says “That lines seems clumsy” just talk it out.
Be careful who you pick to write with. Remember that both of you are there to be successful. It’s not an ego trip.
MISS LITERATI: What was your favorite part about writing this book?
MAZ RAUBER: Getting to pretend we’re 18 again!
AMY REINGOLD: I think my favorite was writing book 3. The whole process was easy because the characters start to speak for themselves. The characters become real people to us.
MAZ RAUBER: You know the characters so well by that point that it almost writes itself. These characters become so real that you love them and you know what they do and wouldn’t do. Sometimes they take you on little twists that you didn’t initially plan for.
MISS LITERATI: What was the most challenging part of writing it?
AMY REINGOLD: Probably coming up with the idea and having the discipline to meet.
MAZ RAUBER: Yes, were met 5 days a week 6-8 hours. There’s no boss standing over you looking at the clock. We had to draw up a schedule.
MISS LITERATI: Did you ever have days when you weren’t feeling creative and decided to skip meeting?
AMY REINGOLD: No, we really stuck to the schedule. That’s why you need to pick your writing partner carefully. We went to a book conference last fall and there were two writing partners we spoke to. It was really interesting because they said they knew a lot of people that would like to [write a book] with a friend. You just have to make sure it will work out. I would be awful if you come up with the idea and then your partner’s too busy to continue from there. Just make sure you pick the right person.
MAZ RAUBER: Occasionally we’d run dry [with ideas]. If we did get stuck, we’d take a break and get back to it. By the next day we were unstuck.
AMY REINGOLD: Off and on MAz is in Australian so we would meet via Skype. It worked fine!
MISS LITERATI: Wow, Australia…isn’t there a huge time difference there?
MAZ RAUBER: Yes, it’s a 13-14 hour time difference. That part was a little crazy.
AMY REINGOLD: It would be dark in my house and there’d be birds chirping in the background at Maz’s with a brightly lit room. laughs
MISS LITERATI: This is part of a three book series. When can we expect to see the other books?
AMY REINGOLD: To be completely surprised!
MAZ RAUBER: There’s lots of twists and turns. Very unpredictable twists and turns!
Ahhh, we can’t wait!!!!
Interviewed by Virginia Van de Wall