The Cuffe Sisters
STEPH: I don't much about "Arrow That Flies." What's it about?
SOPHIE & SADIE: "Arrow That Flies" is an inspirational romantic suspense novel. The heroine, Jackie Duncan, is a forester and an undercover officer in the state environmental task force. Her mission: to take down environmental eco-terrorist, Rand Adams. The hero, Robbie Adams, thwarts her investigation at every turn because he's also looking for his brother, Rand, who's been kidnapped. Forced to think quick, Robbie assumes the identity of his identical twin brother and sparks fly when his type-A personality collides with Jackie's type-Z ride-by-the-seat-of-her-pants nature. Robbie and Jackie get into some scrapes and tight spots, including protests, fire, and an unknown predator archer who stalks them both.
STEPH: Where did you find the inspiration for it?
SOPHIE & SADIE: We've always lived in rural areas in a blue collar world and our writing reflects that background. Some of our manuscripts have been rejected by editors for being non-authentic in terms of small town culture and happenings. Our inspiration came from wanting to portray rural people as the smart, funny, hard working, strong individualist, and believers they are, true to themselves, regardless of the current fashions and fads of NYC or Paris. We also wanted to create a heroine who could be both feminine and rural woods-smart, and that inspiration came from generations of rural women across the country.
STEPH: How long did it take you to write?
SOPHIE & SADIE: The initial manuscript was written in probably a three month period. It's hard to pinpoint the exact timeline as we both sandwich our novel writing time in between other tasks. Also, "Arrow That Flies" wasn't an instant darling with publishers, so the rewrites took years! (Years to whittle and hone, and years off our life doing it!)
STEPH: How important is setting to the novel?
SOPHIE & SADIE: The setting of the northern woods is essential to the novel because it takes place in a small community dependent on logging for its survival. That way of life is quickly disappearing from our national landscape, so we hope we've captured this fragile moment in time.
5. Did you have to do a lot of research for the novel?
For many years we lived in a county with more trees than people. There were wood turning mills, shingle mills, and small lumber mills around every corner and at the foot of every hill. When we got the idea for the story, we researched the changing face of wood harvesting, collected local and state newspaper articles on the subject, and witnessed firsthand in our community the passing of an era as the wood turning mills shut down and workers with chainsaws and peaveys were replaced with big harvesting machinery.
STEPH: Hollywood just told you they want to make a movie of your novel. Cast the leads!
SOPHIE & SADIE: We're going to show our age here because we don't know that many younger stars, but if we suspend the Hollywood age stigma, we'd pick Lorraine Bracco for our heroine and Jack Scalia as our hero.
STEPH: What do you want people to take away from the novel?
SOPHIE & SADIE: We'd like them to take away a satisfied feeling from a compelling story with a good ending. And we hope we've passed on the knowledge that faith makes a difference -- in giving you the confidence to live life to the fullest and succeed at being the unique, gifted individual God designed you to be.
STEPH: Are you a plotter or a panster?
SOPHIE & SADIE: Sophie's a plotter. Sadie's a panster. Because we come from opposite ends of the personality spectrum, we work well together. Occasionally we try to shift roles and it's never pretty!
STEPH: What's your writing space like?
SADIE: Chaos, I'm ashamed to admit, not even organized chaos. I have stacks of research, snippets of paper with ideas and bits of dialog on every flat surface and in every cubbyhole. Notes are crammed onto old envelopes and there's a computer here somewhere on a tiny oasis in the middle. I also have a photo collage of Sophie and me through the years -- the wrinkles have set in but some things never change. Our office is compact and Sophie's desk backs mine so we can pass off flash drives in seconds, confer about anything and everything, wheel over the sleeping dog, and occasionally whack each other.
SOPHIE: Organized chaos. My files are alphabetized (and yes, even the subfiles). My pencils are all sharp and handy in a "No.1 Mom" mug on my desk. I have a messy stack of papers I'm working my way through, but they're in a semblance of order, too. My wall is peppered with photos of my kids and grandkids, and a motivational Garfield poster that reads "My office, my rules." Kinda true, at least on my half. LOL. We're surrounded with beautifully hand-crafted wooden bookshelves and desks, compliments of our father and grandfather. We have a way-cool office.
STEPH: Tell us a little about the state you live in.
SOPHIE & SADIE: Other than our perpetual state of confusion? LOL Maine is unique. We have impenetrable forests, rugged mountains, blueberry barrens, family farms, black bears, moose, loons, bald eagles, whales, seals, thundering surf, and secluded coves. The end (or the beginning) of the Appalachian Trail is located here on Katahdin, a rocky peak just shy of a mile high. It's a great place to hike. We have a million lakes and rivers, some very remote and pristine. We also have over 3,000 miles of coastline with small fishing villages, lighthouses, and rugged cliffs. There are islands and island communities off the coast, accessible by ferry and they're fun places to bike. Acadia National Park is located on the Downeast coast and brings together mountains, coastal terrain, and islands in one place. The southern part of the state is more populated and mainstream. The rest of the state is rural with vast stretches of uninhabited territory, but you won't find a more caring people anywhere on earth.