Interview – Charlotte Bennardo and Natalie Zaman, authors of SIRENZ

Below are only some of the questions I asked authors Charlotte Bennardo and Natalie Zaman. For the FULL interview, view the ENHANCED version below.




Out of Meg and Shar, which character is most like you in real life?

Char: Surprisingly, I’d say I’m half of each; I’m tall, blond and snarky like Sharisse, yet eco-friendly and socially conscious like Meg. I’m not a shoe freak or fashion obsessed, nor am I semi-Goth, New Agey. So, neither!

Nat: I have a little of each girl in me–but I’m probably the guiltier with the shopping. *blushes*

What was it like collaborating together for a novel? Was there ever any moments you disagreed over some things while writing?

Char: If anyone tells you they NEVER had a disagreement with a co-author, whip out the lie detector kit. Yes, we disagreed, but it’s how we handled it that made it possible to work together. We gave our honest opinion in a non-aggressive way and either put the problem aside so we could mull it over or we threw ideas back and forth until we worked out a compromise. When writing scenes with each other’s characters, some things won’t come out quite right because we have our own voice and style, so the other would have to clean up the scene. We didn’t take things personally.

Nat: It took some trial and error, but we ended up making one rule: If it’s your chapter, you have the final say (unless it destroyed the plot, or dialog or character action that was not in character). Then of course, if an editor or agent axed it, you’d accept their ruling. We had to do that with 3/4’s of the original manuscript that we submitted to Flux–our editor only let us keep the first five chapters intact!

What did you feel when you first held a final/semi-final copy of the book in your hands?

Char: I wished I had an oxygen tank because I nearly hyperventilated. Our publisher sent the ARCs to my home, so I rushed over to Nat’s so we could open it together- and take pics! It was profound for both of us.

Nat: I don’t think I really believed it. There are days that I still don’t believe it.

What is something you learned before/after/ or during writing SIRENZ?

Char: Before- I didn’t realize how much fun it could be to work on a project with a creative, dedicated and great person like Nat! During- There isn’t any part of the story that can’t be revised and made better if you keep yourself open. SIRENZ would not have been as polished without our editor Brian Farrey or the copyeditor Sandy. After: writing is not the hard part–promoting and publicizing your book is!

Nat: What she said *blushes again*, names reversed. And cookies help in getting through challenging situations. Lots of cookies…

Favorite Greek God/Goddess or Myth?

Char: I’d have to say the mystery around Hades. I don’t believe he’s the horrific, creepy, dead-looking god most texts and stories interpret him as. (Technically, he should have ruled the pantheon, he was the oldest.)

Nat: I’m kind of liking the harpies at the moment. Yelling, screaming, always hungry–sounds alot like my house!

What can we expect in the sequel, SIRENZ: BACK IN FASHION?

It’s coming out in June, 2012, so you won’t have long to wait to see how manipulative yet vulnerable Hades is, how Shar is desperate to wear the ugliest dress imaginable, and how Meg gets her dance groove on. And of course, there is chocolate. Really.

What advice do you have to offer aspiring authors?

Be persistant, humble, and open. You have to keep pushing yourself beyond the one book you’ve started or finished. (We have many other projects stuffed in drawers.) You improve and move on to write other books, revise, and submit them. And when someone tells you something doesn’t work; a plot line, a character, a scene, a bit of dialogue, accept the criticism–you WANT honesty. Be open to change, even if it makes you a bit uncomfortable. You want to do what’s best for your story.

 Is there anything else you would like to add?

Co-authoring isn’t for everyone and you’ll never know unless you try, but before you go into those dark waters, ask yourself: Which is more important–the friendship/relationship–or the book? And which are you willing to sacrifice if you had to? Stop by and say hello at,, and We have contests, giveaways, funny stuff.

Follow The Authors



I would like to thank both of these fantastic authors for allowing me to review their book and also answering my interview questions! Thanks so much!!



RJ Gonzales

RJ Gonzales

RJ Gonzales is a born and raised Texan that unfortunately didn’t get the cool accent or sweet hat/boots. Aside from attending a local university to study Film and TV Production, he can be found nose-deep in a pile of YA books, or behind a screen writing some. He has a habit of picking up skills when bored; one of them being writing his biography in third person.