Sofía Lapuente is an author, screenwriter and avid world traveler who immigrated from Spain to the United States to realize her dream of storytelling. Since then, she has studied Business and Management of Entertainment at UCLA, worked as a producer and casting director on an Emmy nominated show, and has co-author credits in Gleanings, the fourth installment of the bestselling Arc of a Scythe Trilogy, with her partner Jarrod. Together, the couple writes and produces film and television under their production company Dos Lobos Entertainment.

Jarrod Shusterman is the New York Times bestselling author of novel Dry, which he is adapting for a major Hollywood film studio with Neal Shusterman. He is also the author of accoladed Simon & Schuster novel Roxy. His books have all received critical acclaim and multiple starred reviews. Sofía and Jarrod are partners in every sense of the word, with love and multiculturalism as an ethos— living between Madrid, Spain and Los Angeles, California. If they are not working it means they’re eating. For behind the scenes author content and stupidly funny videos, follow them on IG and Tiktok @sofiandjarrod.

Sofia and Jarrod are two of the speakers for our YA Symposium, The Young and the Reckless: Writing for Teens. 

Q1: What is it like working together as co-authors?

Jarrod: Writing together is a labor of love. It’s extremely rewarding, though it’s a lot of hard work! It’s made us really feel like a team, we’re more communicative partners, and through brainstorming and character interviews, now I know exactly what my significant other would do in the craziest of hypothetical situations. In the end, you really grow closer. If we’re not in the line editing process, we usually always work simultaneously on google docs.

Sofi: Jarrod is such a great partner and writing with him is amazing. We have a rule where both of us must like an idea to include it, so instead of being obstinate and digging our heels in about one idea we have faith that together we’ll come up with a more powerful solution. And it’s always better! So, disagreeing is a good thing. It makes the book better. Also, because our perspectives are different when it comes to nationality, language, gender, and religion, we couldn’t be more multicultural. We believe that it allows us to connect with a wide audience of people from all over!

  

Q2: You have written across multiple genres. What would you say is the most fun for you to write and why? Is there a genre you’d like to try writing next?

Sofi: The most fun are Romance and Thrillers. The best for me is if they can be put together. Naturally Jarrod and I would be writing romance storylines into our books! Often, Romance is action for some people, because it gets the adrenaline pumping, and I love to be a part of that. And the pacing of writing a thriller is so unique because it’s so heavily based on plot twists, the entire story needs to be figured out retroactively—so it’s like a giant puzzle, rather than a linear event. However, once you pull the trigger, and let pen hit the page, there is no stopping how fast you can write! It’s exhilarating!

Jarrod: For me, the most fun part is writing action. I come from a background in cinema, so for me I already see the movie in my head while the words are on the page. Basically, anything that is physical, like blocking or character movement—I go crazy for it (even though prose demands much less attention on physical description of action than screenwriting).

  

Q3: What is the best investment you ever made in your writing?

Jarrod: Apart from the typical ones like a laptop or amazing six colored pen, for us, it would be our own relationship. When you are a couple that invests the wellbeing of your personal life within that work, it forces you to be a better partner all around. It also puts story in perspective, because the health of our partnership always comes before our work!

Sofi: I completely agree. Relationships are about being a better person. Writing partnerships are about being a better writer. So, we are everything rolled into one! I have traded my comfortability to speak in just Spanish all day and now I write in English. But most importantly it’s also been time away from my family. As a UCLA alumni, I came to the states to study and ended up building a career here, though my family and many of my friends are back in Spain. For that reason, there is so much at stake for me—which is the fuel that keeps me working!

  

Q4: What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to the writers attending the symposium?

Sofi: I would say to stay humble and listen to different viewpoints, however contrary they may be to your own. Because as a writer, being exposed to different ways of thinking is what pushes you out of our comfort zone and allows you to grow.

Jarrod: I would say, never forget that writing is a craft that takes 10,000+ hours with a mentor to master (which can also be teachers and great instructional books). Some spend a lifetime. As writers we are always honing our craft! And attending this symposium is a way to clock the most quality of hours, so absorb it all like a sponge!

 

Sofia and Jarrod’s lecture for the symposium is titled: YA fiction: Writing Across Genres       

Today’s most popular genres  in YA fiction include Romance, Thriller, Sci-fi and Fantasy. This workshop explores the archetypes of these genres are, what it takes to bend such genres without breaking them, and how to combine multiple genres together to tell your unique story, whether that be romance/thriller, romance/comedy, or drama/comedy. Writers can use genre to inform protagonist choices and plot while avoiding the pitfalls, tropes, and cliches of genre-specific literature. We’ll dive into why some of the most successful books can’t be fit into a genre specific box and look at multicultural subgenres and how they relate to authentic diverse voices.

Click here to register for the YA Symposium 

Learn more about Sofia and Jarrod

Tiktok: @sofiandjarrod

Instagram: @sofiandjarrod

 

 

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