The last time we spoke with best-selling author Jodi Picoult, she was beating the drum for assisted suicide and dismissing the self-publishing revolution.

This time around however she's in far less a provocative mood, probably because she's promoting her new book beside the calming influence of her new co-author - who also happens to be her 16-year-old daughter, Sammy.

Together the pair have penned Between The Lines, a young adult novel (Picoult's first) that takes the familiar premise of book characters that come to life once the covers are closed.

jodi and samantha


Here we have a quick chat with mother and daughter about the experience of writing together - and whether they'd ever dare do it again...

How happy are you with Between The Lines?
We are Very happy with the book, and it is quite an accomplishment. It is one of the most beautiful books we've seen and we are thrilled to hear from so many people - kids and adults - that this is one of their favourites. The colour illustratons and the black and white incidental pictures make it very special.

What was the best part of the process?
Jodi: Learning that Sammy is an even better, more instinctual, writer then even I was expecting. She is a natural at finding a good plot line, or sensing what is right at a given moment.
Sammy: Having such an experienced mother/mentor to help me through the process ... and really enjoying it too!

... and what was the more difficult?
Jodi: turning around in the office, mid-sentence, to see Sammy wearing a feather boa, Dr Seuss hat and dark glasses because her attention had wandered (what those things are doing in my office, I don't know!).
Sammy: That is easy .. working through my summer vacations!

How did the writing process work?
Jodi: We literally wrote every sentence together. Quite often saying the same word at the same time, which was a bit crazy. We wrote through the summer one year, and edited it through the summer the next year - and now we are promoting it. Sammy was 13 when she came up with the idea and she is 16 now - she this was not an immediate book! We decided how much was to be written every day, and how long twe would spend writing, and that is what we did. We also decided on the rules within the book - what was possible and what was not possible for the characters to do ... which made it even trickier getting Oliver out of the story and into the real world ... but we got there in the end, and we are really, really pleased with the story.

Would you work together again?
Jodi: Yes!
Sammy: Never! Seriously, we have talked about writing a sequel - but that won't be until I have done my college applications and got college under way.

So what's next?
Sammy: College ... I'm really interested in early child development and psychology, so I want to explore those fields.
Jodi: I'm in the process of editing The Storyteller, my book for 2013, and hope you all want to read it then!