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The Winnowing (Stanley & Hazel #2) by Jo Schaffer
Publication Date: February 26, 2019
Darkness descends over St. Louis, a city already rocked by the Great Depression. More and more people are disappearing, and some have turned up dead. A sinister secret society is putting forward their plan known as “The Winnowing,” designed to wipe out those they consider “undesirable.”
After Stanley and Hazel foil the diabolical plans of Charles Chouteau, they become instant celebrities. Hazel is thrust into the role of debutante, and risks loses herself in it. Meanwhile, Stanley must deal with the horrific tragedy of his best friend’s death while being threatened by the unseen forces of the Veiled Prophet.
With things spiraling out of control, Stanley and Hazel’s relationship is tested, possibly beyond repair. As bodies pile up, people become more desperate. The divide between wealthy and poor grows ever wider, threatening to tear their worlds apart. Now, the two must find a way to work together if there is any hope at all of saving their relationship and their futures.
Interview with the Author
- What is your writing process? Do you aim for a word count daily or maybe just a scene?
Before I start writing I do a lot of research and note taking. Then I create a rough outline—I like to leave some wiggle room for the creative process. I don’t pay attention to word count as I write but I try to move forward with a scene as much as possible. I usually progress through the book chapter by chapter and rarely skip around to write a scene. The way forward influences where the story goes. I learn about my characters and the story as it evolves.
2. What sort of research did you do for this book?
The 1930s was a fascinating time. The glamor and the poverty that coexisted in America created a little bit of a split personality in the culture while Hitler rose to power in Germany. I read a lot about the Great Depression era and watched a lot of movies from that time period to get a feel for the culture.
3. What are you working on now? Any hints about the next book in the series?
I am working on several YA projects, and an anthology. Also, Book 3 of Stanley and Hazel is in development. In the third installment a lot of intense things happen as the kids go head to head with Legion and the Veiled Prophet. Some characters will not survive and others will surprise you as loyalties are called upon.
4. How did you come up for the idea of your book?
I was raised on classic film and I’ve always been fascinated by the era. And I wanted to explore how history tends to repeat itself. I became very interested to look at what things we’re doing now as a society that mirror back then. The ideologies and divisions according to class and race that gave birth to the ideas of genetic cleansing. Nobody wants to believe that their culture is capable of atrocities but it is a road we all travel in denial about where it leads. My best friend Jonathan and I talked about these things a lot and together we came up with the world of Stanley and Hazel.
5. Just for fun — what TV shows or movies have you really enjoyed (or disliked?) recently?
I haven’t had a lot of time to watch TV lately but I like shows that have great character development and intelligent plot lines, humor, drama and metaphor. My all-time favorite show is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But I enjoy shows like The Office, Parks and Rec, Pushing Daisies and Psych.
About the Author
Jo Schaffer was born and raised in the California Bay Area in a huge, creative family. She is a YA novelist, speaker and a Taekwondo black belt.
She’s a founding member of the nonprofit organization that created Teen Author Boot Camp, one of the nation’s biggest conferences for teens where bestselling authors present writing workshops to nearly a thousand attendees.
Jo loves being involved in anything that promotes literacy and family. She is passionate about community, travel, books, music, healthy eating, classic films and martial arts. But her favorite thing is being mom to three strapping sons and a neurotic cat named Hero. They live together in the beautiful mountains of Utah.