Skip to main content

Interview - THE MIRACLE GIRLS by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt

Captain's Log, Stardate 09.15.2008


Today, I have a special interview with Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt about their latest young adult novel, Miracle Girls!

Ana Dominguez was happy in San Jose, but everything changed when her dad moved the family to Half Moon Bay, California, to open a law practice. Her parents think she's settling into her new school nicely, but she has them fooled. Riley, the most popular girl in school, has picked Ana as enemy #1, and Tyler, Ana's crush, doesn't even know Ana exists.

When Ana ends up in detention with Riley, her life suddenly changes. When Ana, Riley, Christine, and Zoe share their essays on "The Day My Life Changed," it turns out they have more in common than they ever would have imagined. Now as Ana lives out her faith, she and Zoe are determined to befriend Riley and Christine. But the drama of high school life has only just begun. . . .

Read an excerpt here.

And now, here’s me, Anne, and May!

What inspired the story of The Miracle Girls?

Anne: I used to be obsessed with this now-defunct magazine for teen girls put out by Guideposts called Sweet Sixteen. It featured true, real-life stories from real girls, and sometimes the stories were about girls surviving things that should have killed them—a car falling in a ravine, or a sickness miraculously healed. I started to wonder about those girls, and what it would be like to live after surviving something like that, knowing that God had spared you. That’s where the idea started.

May: The older I get, the more interested I become in the super-natural side of life. Ghosts, near-death experiences, etc. I blame it on watching too much Lost, personally. And so with this series I wanted to get more in touch with the mystical side of Christianity, the ineffable moments that we all experience when it seems that God has moved. Also, high school still feels really fresh in my mind, the cliques, the crushes, and, of course, the drama. It was a lot of fun to relive the horrors and triumphs of my own experiences.

What is your favorite scene from the book (one scene for each of you)?

Anne: One time in college my friends “taught” me to ski by taking me to the top of a mountain. I think they really thought I would just pick it up without any kind of lesson or anything, but after tumbling halfway down the mountain, I gave up and rode the rest of the way down with the guy who came to save me on the snowmobile. Amazingly enough, Ana has a very similar experience in this book (where do we come up with this stuff??). That one was fun to write, because, well, revenge is sweet.

May: I think I might have fallen in love with Ana’s boyfriend in the book. On paper, he seems so wrong for her, but he ends up being exactly the kind of guy she needs. My favorite scene would be one Anne wrote, when they finally get together. I won’t give away anything else!

If your heroine were a candy bar, what would she be and why?

May: Ana would never approve of being something like a candy bar. She’s going to Princeton. Haven’t you heard? And they most certainly do not let candy bars into Princeton.

Anne: Maybe she’d be Nerds: fun and sweet and tart (did I just call our heroine a tart?) but still, well, a nerd.

If each of YOU were candy bars, what would you be and why?

Anne: I’d probably be something really boring, like just straight-up chocolate. It’s reliable, but nothing fancy.

May: I have to choose just one? I guess I would have to say a Snickers bar, because I love to please everybody and I’m a little nutty.

Describe your dream vacations.

Anne: Ooh! I just got back from mine. We went to Cape Cod for a week, and all we did was sit by the beach and eat ice cream and read mountains of books. It was bliss.

May: My honeymoon! We’re going to Thailand in November for two straight weeks. We’re going to explore vibrant cities, amble through the jungle on an elephant’s back, take cooking lessons, and scuba dive!

You're off the hotseat! Any parting words?

May: Is Zac Efron getting cuter every second? Is that just me? Anybody want to see HSM3 with me in the theaters?

Anne: Check out Camy’s new book Single Sashimi!

Camy here: LOL Thanks, Anne! And May, I would see HSM3 with you! I would probably see it with the high school girls at my church if they asked me to join them (I might be a liability to their rep).

Popular Posts

Laura’s Apricot Shell Shawl knitting pattern

I usually have a knitting project in mind when I write it into one of my books, but Laura’s apricot-colored shawl just kind of appeared upon the page as I was writing the first scene of Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 4: Betrayer , and it surprised even me. I immediately went to my yarn stash to find a yarn for it, and I searched through my antique knitting books to find some stitch patterns. I made her an elegant wool shawl she could wear at home. The shawl ended up tagging along with Laura into the next book, Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 5: Prisoner , where it imparts some comfort to her in her trying circumstances. The two stitch patterns are both from the same book, The Lady’s Assistant, volume 2 by Mrs. Jane Gaugain, published in 1842 . A couple excessively clever and creative knitters might have knit these patterns in the Regency era, but they would have only passed them around by word of mouth or scribbled “recipes” to friends or family, and it wouldn’t have been widely use

No Cold Bums toilet seat cover

Captain's Log, Stardate 08.22.2008 I actually wrote out my pattern! I was getting a lot of hits on my infamous toilet seat cover , and I wanted to make a new one with “improvements,” so I paid attention and wrote things down as I made the new one. This was originally based off the Potty Mouth toilet cover , but I altered it to fit over the seat instead of the lid. Yarn: any worsted weight yarn, about 120 yards (this is a really tight number, I used exactly 118 yards. My suggestion is to make sure you have about 130 yards.) I suggest using acrylic yarn because you’re going to be washing this often. Needle: I used US 8, but you can use whatever needle size is recommended by the yarn you’re using. Gauge: Not that important. Mine was 4 sts/1 inch in garter stitch. 6 buttons (I used some leftover shell buttons I had in my stash) tapestry needle Crochet hook (optional) Cover: Using a provisional cast on, cast on 12 stitches. Work in garter st until liner measures

Narrow Escape contest for January!

I’m so excited because my January Love Inspired Suspense, Narrow Escape , is now available! Here’s the back cover blurb: KIDNAPPED IN BROAD DAYLIGHT Arissa Tiong and her three-year-old niece are snatched off the street by members of a notorious drug gang. Having lost her police officer brother to a drug bust gone bad, Arissa knows the danger she's in. But she has no idea why they want her. Desperate to protect the little girl, Arissa escapes and runs straight to Nathan Fischer. She knows the handsome, weary former narcotics cop hasn't told her everything about the night that ended her brother's life and Nathan's career. But he's all that stands between her and dangerous thugs who are after something she doesn't even know she has. This is the 4th book in my Sonoma series , but each book is stand-alone. The hero is Nathan Fischer, who had a minor role in the 3rd book, Stalker in the Shadows . To celebrate, I’m giving away 10 copies of Narrow Escape ! Her

Keriah’s Pyrennees Shawl knitting pattern w/ @knitpicks Palette

Why I knit this shawl: I wanted to knit the sunset-colored shawl Keriah was wearing in chapter 5 of my book, Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 2: Berserker , so I looked for an antique pattern that might have been used during the Regency era. This one caught my eye, even though it was published in a knitting book a few decades later than the Regency era. The Spider-Net border pattern was most definitely in use in the Regency period, but it’s also remotely possible that the Alice-Maud stitch and the lacy border stitch patterns were also in use during the Regency, being passed on from knitter to knitter via hand-written receipts, by verbal instruction, or with knitted sampler squares (like how many Shetland lace patterns and Bavarian cable patterns were shared). My/Keriah’s version of this shawl would have been lacy but warm because it is knit with fingering yarn on small needles. Since Keriah was cold, I think she would have grabbed this shawl rather than something more elegant and airy.

Phoebe’s Muffatees knitting pattern

In Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 4: Betrayer , Phoebe wears a pair of lace muffatees, or gauntlets/arm-warmers that hide a rather deadly surprise. :) I actually got the idea of having her wear muffatees because I saw a lace manchette pattern in Miss Watts’ Ladies’ Knitting and Netting Book , published in 1840, page 20. However, after doing some research, I found that they were called muffatees in the Regency era, and the term manchette did not arise until a few years later. They were essentially arm-warmers worn under those long sleeves on day dresses, which were usually made of muslin too thin to be very warm. I decided to knit Phoebe’s muffatees using a Leaf Pattern originally suggested for a purse in Mrs. Gaugain’s book, The Lady’s Assistant, volume 1, 5th edition published in 1842, pages 234-237. I think there was an error and row 36 in the original pattern was duplicated erroneously, so I have adjusted the pattern. The original manchette pattern called for “fine” needles a

New contest!

I haven’t had a contest since October! Here’s new one just in time for Christmas. I’m picking 3 winners to each be able to choose 10 books from my Christian book list! And yes, that list includes my books! 1) You get one entry into the contest when you sign up for my email newsletter at http://www.camytang.com/ . If you already belong to my email newsletter, let me know! 2) You get a second entry into the contest if you Like my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CamyTangAuthor . If you already Like my Facebook page, let me know! 3) You get a third entry into the contest if you join my Goodreads group: http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/49078 . If you already belong to my Goodreads group, let me know! 4) You get a fourth entry into the contest if you follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/camytang . If you already follow me on Twitter, let me know! 5) You get extra entries into the contest if you get someone else to join my email newsletter. Just email camy {at] c

Year of the Dog serial novel, chapter 13

I’m posting a Humorous Christian Romantic Suspense serial novel here on my blog! Year of the Dog is a (second) prequel to my Warubozu Spa Chronicles series. Year of the Dog serial novel by Camy Tang Mari Mutou, a professional dog trainer, is having a bad year. While renovating her new dog kenneling and training facility, she needs to move in with her disapproving family, who have always made her feel inadequate—according to them, a job requiring her to be covered in dog hair and slobber is an embarrassment to the family. She convinces her ex-boyfriend to take her dog for a few months … but discovers that his brother is the irate security expert whose car she accidentally rear-ended a few weeks earlier. Ashwin Keitou has enough problems. His aunt has just shown up on his doorstep, expecting to move in with him, and he can’t say no because he owes her everything—after his mother walked out on them, Auntie Nell took in Ashwin and his brother and raised them in a loving Chri

Year of the Dog serial novel

About Year of the Dog : A month or two ago, I remembered an old manuscript I had completed but which hadn’t sold. It was a contemporary romance meant for Zondervan, titled Year of the Dog . The book had gone into the pipeline and I even got another title ( Bad Dog ) and a cover for it, but eventually my editor at the time decided she didn’t want to publish it, for various reasons. She instead requested a romantic suspense, and so I cannibalized some of the characters from Year of the Dog and thrust them into the next book I wrote, which was Protection for Hire . Honestly, I didn’t take a lot from Year of the Dog to put in Protection for Hire , aside from character names and a few relationship ties. I was originally thinking I’d post Year of the Dog as-is on my blog as a free read, but then it occurred to me that I could revamp it into a romantic suspense and change the setting to Hawaii. It would work out perfectly as (yet another) prequel to the Warubozu series and introduc

Chinese Take-Out and Sushi for One

Captain’s Log, Supplemental My agent sent me an article from Publisher’s Weekly that discussed this incident: Chinese Take-Out Spawns Christian Controversy And here’s also a blog post that talks about it in more detail: The Fighting 44s This is Soong-Chan Rah’s blog: The PCS blog In sum: Apparently Zondervan (yes, my publisher), who has partnered with Youth Specialties, had put out a youth leaders skit that had stereotypical Asian dialogue, which offended many Christian Asian Americans. In response to the outcry, Zondervan/Youth Specialities put out a sincere apology and is not only freezing the remaining stock of the book, but also reprinting it and replacing the copies people have already bought. I am very proud of my publisher for how they have handled this situation. The skit writers have also issued a public apology . (I feel sorry for them, because they were only trying to write a funny skit, not stir up this maelstrom of internet controversy. I’ve been in youth work long enou

Toilet seat cover

Captain’s Log, Supplemental Update August 2008: I wrote up the pattern for this with "improvements"! Here's the link to my No Cold Bums toilet seat cover ! Okay, remember a few days ago I was complaining about the cold toilet seat in my bathroom? Well, I decided to knit a seat cover. Not a lid cover, but a seat cover. I went online and couldn’t find anything for the seat, just one pattern for the lid by Feminitz.com . However, I took her pattern for the inside edge of the lid cover and modified it to make a seat cover. Here it is! It’s really ugly stitch-wise because originally I made it too small and had to extend it a couple inches on each side. I figured I’d be the one staring at it, so who cared if the extension wasn’t perfectly invisible? I used acrylic yarn since, well, that’s what I had, and also because it’s easy to wash. I’ll probably have to wash this cover every week or so, but it’s easy to take off—I made ties which you can see near the back of the seat. And