By day, Leslie Johnstone heads the science department at a large Vancouver high school, while Shar Levine takes on the public face of the duo as The Science Lady. In this recent interview by Fiona Bayrock, they talked candidly about their writing relationship and methods.
How did you become writing partners?
A mutual friend introduced us at a New Year’s party. We sat up all night and talked about science. It was like finding a soul mate. When I had an opportunity to write a new book, I phoned Leslie and said, “Can we do this together?”
We just kind of clicked… you know, the old L.M. Montgomery kindred spirit thing from Anne of Green Gables. Even so, we were friends for two years before we started writing together. I don’t think we could have stepped in and started writing the very first day, but when Shar called, it turned out the timing was right. Doing that first pair of books was kind of scary because we didn’t know how it was all going to turn out.
We ended up doing several books together within about two years—Silly Science (1995), Everyday Science (1995), and Science Around the World (1996) with John Wiley and Sons, and The Microscope Book (Sterling, 1996). They all did well, and we had a great time writing together.
And we’ve been writing together ever since.