We both enjoy love stories, but the relationship at the heart of the books we’ve been writing for the last couple of years is one between two siblings. Although both our main character, Merry, and her brother, Leo, have romantic entanglements, it’s their relationship with each other which provides the framework for our trilogy. Through The Witch’s Kiss and The Witch’s Tears Merry and Leo take care of each other, save each other, misunderstand each other, fall out and make up. They argue about boyfriends, share ice-cream and fight bad guys together. In The Witch’s Blood (out next March) they’ll face even more challenges. One thing we can say for sure is that they will want to face those challenges together.
Why do we love writing about siblings so much? Partly it’s because we’ve always been very close. We agree with Jane Austen that there’s something unique about the sibling relationship which isn’t replicated by even the closest friendship: ‘Children of the same family, the same blood, with the same first associations and habits, have some means of enjoyment in their power, which no subsequent connections can supply; and it must be by a long and unnatural estrangement, by a divorce which no subsequent connection can justify, if such a precious remains of the earliest attachments are ever entirely outlived.’ (Mansfield Park)
But partly, it’s wish fulfilment. Much as we love each other, we’ve always wished we had a big brother too, so Leo is really our fantasy sibling. And yes, if we had the technology to create a Leo android, we totally would!
Here are some other fictional brothers we think would be perfect sidekicks for any YA heroine.
Hector Delos (Starcrossed Trilogy, Josephine Angelini)
Hector is ultra-protective of his younger siblings, Jason and Ariadne. Plus, he is super-strong and can breathe underwater, so he would be an excellent big brother if you had to save the world from invasion by giant deep-sea dwelling monsters.
Eomer (The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien)
Eomer comes across as a pretty traditional guy. He probably doesn’t really understand his sister’s terrible fear of being put ‘behind bars, until use and old age accept them’. But he does try to protect Eowyn
from the lecherous Wormtongue, and when he thinks she’s died at the battle of the Pelennor Fields, he’s almost overthrown by grief. Best big brother to ride into battle with.
Edmund (The Chronicles of Narnia, CS Lewis)
Maybe not the obvious choice. But we think Edmund – after his experience with the White Witch, of course – would be a much more understanding big brother than the rather too perfect Peter. He’s quite forgiving of Eustace in The Voyage of The Dawn Treader, and we’d like to think he’d excuse any sisterly bad behaviour in the same way.
Fred and George Weasley (Harry Potter, JK Rowling)
All the Weasley boys are good older brother material – even Percy’s heart is back in the right place by the end of the series. But Fred and George are by far and away the most fun. With the twins around it would be impossible to be sad for long.
Alec Lightwood (The Mortal Instruments, Cassandra Clare)
Like Eomer, Alex would be a good choice if you needed a brother to fight at your side, but he also seems like someone you could discuss boyfriends with (despite his horror whenever he sees Izzy in a compromising position with Simon). Best big brother if your fictional adventure involves destroying demons.
Henry Tilney (Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen)
Henry is amusing, loves reading novels, and he’s happy to go shopping with his sister to help her choose dress fabric. The perfect big brother if you just want to hang out for the day.
Can true love's kiss save the day...?
Electrifying dark magic debut by authors and sisters, Katharine and Elizabeth Corr.
Sixteeen-year-old Meredith is fed-up with her feuding family and feeling invisible at school - not to mention the witch magic that shoots out of her fingernails when she's stressed. Then sweet, sensitive Jack comes into her life and she falls for him hard. The only problem is that he is periodically possessed by a destructive centuries-old curse.
Meredith has lost her heart, but will she also lose her life? Or in true fairytale tradition, can true love's kiss save the day?