Writing has always played a big part in these two book princesses’ lives. In fact, it’s how Sha and Mandy met back in 2011. Back on a little known writing website, Sha and Mandy built their friendship in the comments box on the review of Mandy’s work-in-progress, Everlasting. The site, Inkpop, may now be defunct, but the friendship lives on.
However, what about those writing dreams? Today’s post is a deep dive into the writings of Sha and Mandy circa 2011-2015. Be prepared. There is a very definite reason these works did not hit the desks of any publishing agents!
*not to say we didn’t have some good writing moments. we shall still leave the publishing to the Ahdiehs and St. James’
Everlasting by Mandy
I’m going to shoot my clock; I really am. Its freaky, oversized eyes follow my every step, and the slightly stalkerish smile splayed across its kitty face just creeps me out. Why exactly did I buy this in the first place, again?
Jumping up from my chair, I start to pace in my kitchen, careful not to run into the marble island in the middle of the room. I’m starting to lose my mind, I just know it. Why do I allow him to do this to me? To get all flustered and antsy? I have better things to do, although nothing is coming to mind at the moment.
I walk to the metal sink and pour myself a glass of water. The clear liquid whooshes out of the cup as my hand shakes like an 8.0 earthquake. After a few tries to get it to my mouth, I give up. I set the glass down and rub my temples aimlessly. I can do this, I can do this.
The creepy clock finally strikes midnight. He’ll be here any minute now. My fingers fiddle with my ruby heart necklace. I’m making a bigger deal out of this than it really needs to be, right? I think I’ve been watching too many soap operas lately. I know he’s just my brother, but usually on soap operas, the brothers always end up being mass murderers or come back from the death repeatedly—or something to that effect.
SHA: I love how the MC has to focus intensely to not run into the large marble island during her pacing. But IDK, this intro passed muster for me? Who was the “him” that had our girl so stressed? I am a simple person, and I have the NEED TO KNOW NOW. I do think there was a tiny bit too much description, like why we gotta knwo the water be clear? Usually we assume the characters aren’t chugging some brown water haha. I would totes want to read more though!! (Um, obvs I did, I got to finish this and it was so good.)
MANDY: Omg, why was I so dramatic? Like, this is exactly how this story opens, and like we start right off the bat with IMMA SHOOT THIS CLOCK AND STARE OUT WINDOW DRAMATICALLY KK HIIIIIIIII. Like, you can tell I was watching the soap operas that I mentioned, so I soooo dramatic. Also, really into mantras. Omg, this is bringing it all back. It wasn’t quite as cringe as I was expecting (I’ll leave those to like the 5 other books written before this one), but it’s still so much cringe.
THE PLOT: Oh, gosh, where to even begin for this plot. I’ll try to give the basics. Our MC/heroine is Adora, who is a power dark arts sorceress…and the sister of Death. Death is a person that’s dramatic af and the mysterious “him” in this excerpt. They have a strained relationship, and it becomes even more complicated with Death’s constant string of relationships. When Adora finds out that her brother is about to marry another human girl for the 97th time, she decides to save this girl from a dangerous fate since the ex wives are getting murdered with a ragtag group of reapers, witches, hunters, and more.
Bound by Sha
“As we all know, after the war ended in 2067 the world was in near ruins. Even to this day many places are uninhabitable.” Ms. Sampson pauses to point at a map, tracing a circle around several places to indicate the unliveable areas. “Also, the world population suffered a tremendous drop: there is a current approximation of merely twenty million inhabitants.”
Cain, one of my best friends, raises his hand and begins speaking nearly as soon as the teacher calls on him. He gets easily excited about education. “What is the human to vampire ratio?”
Ms. Sampson laughs. “I should have known you’d be the one to ask a question I don’t have an answer to. I’d estimate it at one human to every three vampires.”
John Harlan, who’s definitely at the top of my Most Disliked list, starts speaking without bothering to put his hand up. “That’s not a lot of humans. Won’t we run out of blood to drink?”
SHA: My major issue when writing is I always wrote from a distance. I was too professional (I didn’t even use contractions sometimes). This is YA, Sha, not a college essay! I diiiid spend a long time on worldbuilding, no matter what I was writing. That was major to me. And omigosh okay, yes, my first big novel was a vampire book ahaha. I can’t get over that. A POST-APOCALYPTIC vampire novel nonetheless.
MANDY: Okay, first off, “Most Disliked list” is totally a Sha thing to say, and I’m down for it. This excerpt is just another perfect example of writing. It’s professional, easy to read, intriguing, and Sha’s voice can easily be seen in little snatches like the Most Disliked list part. I always read Sha’s work and went, “Yup, that’s professionalism.” For this excerpt, I enjoyed how Sha snuck in all the interesting world building facts in a fun way instead of intense info dumping. *sniffles* I now want to binge read a Sha novel. She gave quality excerpt, and my book has whooshing water, lol.
THE PLOT: Muahaha, I saved my summary on my computer so I will just snatch that up real quick.
How to Hack a Heart by Mandy
Frank snorts. I’m not sure if it’s the new amount of stress I’m under, I’ve always just wanted to do something like this and now it’s a dream come true, or I really have truly cracked, but that little puff of air makes me snap. Literally, I start to launch myself over the booth and at Frank. “That’s it! That spatula is going in!”
Ben and Donnie have to restrain me, and trust me, it must look like quite an odd scene. There are two muscle-filled guys holding back some skinny brunette chick, screaming about sticking a kitchen utensil up someone’s butt and across the table is a man clutching a spatula. Yeah, you know, everyday occurrences at fast food joints around the world.
MANDY: Oh where do I even begin with How to Hack? This book was kind of an accident. Everlasting was my pride and joy. I invested so much into it, and it was like, everything. I started writing this book on the side, perhaps to explore some of the randomness in my brain, and omg, I don’t even know how to explain everything that came out — and also its odd success? When Sha and I were discussing what excerpt to include, I was like, “Oh I mean, I could include the spatula butt sequence without any context” and Sha was rightly like, “WHAT?” I think this was the weirdest and most random thing that happened in this book, but honestly, I’m not even quite sure since there was just so much. Y’all, Sha and I are crying so much over here. It’s so much. I don’t even know what to say other than I don’t know what I was doinggggggggggg.
SHA: This book was the wildest kind of ride. You never knew what to expect. I didn’t even remember this scene existed until Amanda ripped it out of the pages of her Word doc. Imagine every single chapter is an action scene, and you have H2HaH. Somehow it was one of her most popular books up on Inkpop and then Wattpad, so I mean, craziness worked.
THE PLOT: Our main character/heroine is a sarcastic, witty hacker who is trying to find out what happened to her missing parents along with hacking into a lot of illegal things to get by. When she gets arrested for the millionth time, she accidentally strikes a deal with the son of the head of the FBI to help him uncover a murder plot against his father in exchange for information on her parents. Obviously, a lot of insanity ensues, while meeting quirky suspects and dealing with her growing feelings with the son (aka PRJ – which is a nickname she gives him) after being not emotionally invested in anything for years.
How I Saved the World (or so They Told Me) by Sha
“It’s time to tell her of the prophecy,” Xavier said in a suddenly much deeper voice.
Oh, gosh, they’re all nuts, I realized.
Owen exited the room and came back a few minutes later with a roll of toilet paper. He pulled down a few sheets and I saw there was writing on it. “As you can see here,” Owen said, “It says—”
“Whoa, whoa,” I interrupted. “Your prophecy is seriously on a roll of toilet paper? Are you kidding me right now?”
Gray pulled a face. “Penelope, please. This ‘roll of toilet paper’ was found by our uncle twenty years ago. He has been safeguarding it, waiting for the only person able to fulfill it to come along and . . . fulfill it.” He ended his apparently very important speech by widening his eyes dramatically.
I shrugged. “Whatever. Read me the toilet paper.” I took in their sour faces, rolled my eyes, and reiterated. “Read me the, uh, scroll?”
SHA: I’m not gonna lie, this story is like my pride and joy. It doesn’t have a real age range though, because I didn’t write it with any specific age in mind, so it’s kinda juvenile for YA and the characters are too old (I mean, sixteen) for MG. It’s really just a satire I wrote in my free time, poking fun at “save the world” tropes.
MANDY: Omigosh, I can’t. This story was forever hilarious. It’s an intriguing storyline forever infused with snippets of Sha’s brilliant humor. I just. It’s just so amazing. It’s not forced random humor either, but it’s actual humor that can just be super enjoyed. Honestly, it reminds me a bit of Brooklyn 99?? If B99 was taking on crimes of the supernatural world ending variety. So much vibes.
THE PLOT: Thank you me for never deleting anything and having this blurb too!
What do you think of our writing journey? That’s only two (each) of what we have created, but Mandy and I have actually started over a dozen books each. (Mandy finished four, I finished two. We are better at starting then finishing!)
To keep this post brief, we selected highlights. If you want to see some more of my old work, you can check out my Wattpad page. Mandy has no work available online anymore.