Here are five things you may not know about the Sky Fall series.
1. The setting of the books (the Coachella Valley, CA) is where I grew up.
So all those details about the date roaches and the dust storms and the unrelenting heat are things I’ve personally experienced. Vane’s house is also modeled off of my childhood best friend’s house, which was right next to a date grove and a fire-scarred shack.
2. Since the series is fantasy set in a contemporary location, I wanted to describe any “real” elements as accurately as I could.
So not only did I return to the desert many times, but I also stayed in Santa Monica and went to the pier in the middle of the night to see how many lights they turned off, what kind of people were around, etc. (side note: the valet at my hotel gave me a very weird look when I asked for my car at 4am and directions to the pier…)
3. I also considered it essential research to eat at In-’n-Out as often as I could.
And I’m with Vane—animal style all the way.
4. The original title I gave the first book was WINDWALKER—which is totally proof that I’m terrible at titles.
My editor made it clear right from the start that we definitely needed to change it, and about five hundred rejected titles later (sadly I’m not exaggerating. Like I said, I’m terrible at titles) and we landed on Let the Sky Fall, which was actually right before the Adele song came out so she was a huge help in getting people to remember my title (still crossing my fingers she’ll write a song about storms breaking or wind rising).
5. I wrote the opening two chapters of Let the Sky Fall at 4am, when I finally decided to write down the two voices that were refusing to let me sleep.
I fully expected to read them the next day and find them to be total garbage. But I loved them, and they actually changed very little before the final version was published.
Shannon Messenger graduated from the USC School of Cinematic Arts where she learned—among other things—that she liked watching movies much better than making them. She’s studied art, screenwriting, and television production, but realized her real passion was writing for kids and teens. She is the author of the middle grade series Keeper of the Lost Cities and the Sky Fall series for young adults. She lives in Southern California with her husband and an embarrassing number of cats. Find her online at ShannonMessenger.com and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.