HomeInterviewsAuthor InterviewsMy Writing and Reading Life: Paige McKenzie, Author of The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl: Book One By Paige McKenzie, Alyssa Sheinmel

My Writing and Reading Life: Paige McKenzie, Author of The Haunting of Sunshine Girl

Paige McKenzieThe Children’s Book Review | April 18, 2015

Paige McKenzie

PAIGE MCKENZIE, the face of The Haunting of Sunshine Girl, is thrilled to have the chance to bring her unique voice to life in a book series. The Haunting of Sunshine Girl began its life in 2010, when Paige teamed up with producer Nick Hagen and her mother, actress Mercedes Rose, to bring a character and a world to life through episodic YouTube videos. Within a few years, the series had expanded and boasted viewership in the tens of millions. Paige was named one of Seventeen Magazine’s “Pretty Amazing” finalists, and has created two feature films through the production company she co-founded, Coat Tale Productions. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

The Haunting of Sunshine Girl: Book One By Paige McKenzie, Alyssa SheinmelLatest published book …

My latest book is my first book, The Haunting of Sunshine Girl, which I worked on with my rad co-author, Alyssa Sheinmel. The sequel, The Sacrifice of Sunshine Girl, comes out next year. (And there’s a third book the year after that, too!)

You wrote it because …

The Haunting of Sunshine Girl actually started as a web series when I was sixteen-years-old. The show took off in ways I never could have imagined! But after a few years of telling Sunshine’s story on YouTube, we started thinking about ways to tell a bigger, more behind-the-scenes sort of story than we had so far. In the web series, you don’t know a whole lot about Sunshine’s life before she moves into a haunted house, and you don’t know why her house in haunted, or why her mom doesn’t believe her. So when we teamed up with Alyssa and had the opportunity to put Sunshine’s story into a book – the chance to reveal more of her story to new readers and longtime-Sunshiners – I was thrilled!

Best moment …

Since this is a reading/writing blog, I definitely want to pick a moment from that part of my life…. The moment I realized that this crazy, fun world I had created on YouTube was going to have a place in the literary world. Books are  a huge passion of mine, so I knew I would love every part of bringing Sunshine to the printed word. And I was right! Best life-changing moment for sure!

Your special place to write …

When I am not gallivanting around the world on book tour or filming I spend my days (and many nights) in my studio so that is where pretty much EVERY creative thing happens!

Necessary writing/creativity tool …

Music is a necessary “life tool” so that carries over into any and all creative endeavors! I have my iPod and computer for Spotify of course but I also have 2 record players – one in my bedroom and one in the studio. So I do have to carry vinyls up and down stairs but it’s totally worth it!

Favorite bookshop …

Powell’s is my local hometown wonderland, so it gets top billing closely followed by some of the cool stops on my recent book tour – RJ Julia in Madison, CT and Books of Wonder in NYC are true treasures, among so many others.

Currently reading …

I’m usually reading/re-reading three or four books at any given time. Currently, I’m rereading Tales of Terror and overhearing my little sister reading Stephen King’s Eyes of the Dragon for the first time. Nothing better than sharing a book you loved with someone!

All-time favorite children’s book you didn’t write…

I have many many many favorite books from growing up – and I am only twenty-one! But I will say Princess Academy by Shannon Hale has a special place on my shelf!

An author you idol …

There are so many authors that I admire but Stephanie Perkins in my latest obsession. Rarely do I love EVERY book by a certain author and granted, she only has 3 so far but that WORLD she has created is addicting.

Favorite illustrator …

Julie Filipenko has a style I am crazy about! A little whimsy + a little graphic = a winning combo as far as I’m concerned! Any author with a dark sense of storytelling would be lucky to have her illustrate their books!

A literary character to vacation with …

Can you have a crush on a fictional character? (Of course you can!) So mine is St Clair from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins….sigh. I would basically follow him to the ends of the earth, vacation or otherwise! Too bad he came out of Stephanie’s head and isn’t roaming the streets of Portland!

Connect with Paige McKenzie …

TheHauntingOfSunshineGirl.com | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Tumblr | Pinterest | YouTube

The Haunting of Sunshine Girl: Book One By Paige McKenzie, Alyssa SheinmelThe Haunting of Sunshine Girl: Book One

By Paige McKenzie, Alyssa Sheinmel

Publisher’s Synopsis: Shortly after her sixteenth birthday, Sunshine Griffith and her mother Kat move from sunny Austin, Texas, to the rain-drenched town of Ridgemont, Washington. Though Sunshine is adopted, she and her mother have always been close, sharing a special bond filled with laughter and inside jokes. But from the moment they arrive, Sunshine feels her world darken with an eeriness she cannot place. And even if Kat doesn’t recognize it, Sunshine knows that something about their new house is just … creepy.

In the days that follow, things only get stranger. Sunshine is followed around the house by an icy breeze, phantom wind slams her bedroom door shut, and eventually, the laughter Sunshine hears on her first night evolves into sobs. She can hardly believe it, but as the spirits haunting her house become more frightening—and it becomes clear that Kat is in danger—. Sunshine must accept what she is, pass the test before her, and save her mother from a fate worse than death.

Ages 12 and up | Publisher: Weinstein Books | 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-1602862722

Available Here: 

Discover more middle grade books like The Haunting of Sunshine Girl: Book One, by Paige McKenzie and Alyssa Sheinmel, by checking out our reviews and articles tagged with  and , and be sure to follow along with our Writing and Reading Life series.

How You Support The Children's Book Review
We may receive a small commission from purchases made via the links on this page. If you discover a book or product of interest on this page and use the links provided to make a purchase, you will help support our mission to 'Grow Readers.' Your support means we can keep delivering quality content that's available to all. Thank you!

Bianca Schulze is the founder of The Children’s Book Review. She is a reader, reviewer, mother and children’s book lover. She also has a decade’s worth of experience working with children in the great outdoors. Combined with her love of books and experience as a children’s specialist bookseller, the goal is to share her passion for children’s literature to grow readers. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, she now lives with her husband and three children near Boulder, Colorado.

  • I love all your books

    May 2, 2017

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.