Interview with Paige McKenzie, NY Times Best Selling Author
Paige is the teen star of the hit YouTube channel The Haunting of Sunshine Girl. What began as a simple “girl and her haunted house” story has grown to a multi-webisode network with stories of zombies, ghosts, Sasquatch and lots of Sunshine! Full of positivity, humor and plenty of scares, The Haunting of Sunshine Girl has allowed Paige to spread her unique brand of adorkableness to other teens (and many adults) all over the world! At the age of 16, Paige (along with her mother, actress Mercedes Rose and producing partner, Nick Hagen) co-founded the production company Coat Tale Productions. The Weinstein Company recently optioned The Haunting of Sunshine Girl for a multi-book and screen deal.
Here is her interview with New Theory:
NT: How did you get your literary start?
I started telling the story on YouTube back in 2010. A A few years later, a literary agent approached me about turning the story into a book, or actually a series of books.
NT: Why did you write The Haunting of Sunshine Girl?
Once the literary agent got involved, I jumped at the chance to tell a more complete Sunshine story in print form. Sometimes it’s hard to put all the small details or a backstory in a video!
NT: Who is the main character and why is she important?
Sunshine is the main character and she’s a strong girl that is more interested in chasing ghosts than boys. She also has a really great relationship with her mother, something I don’t see always portrayed in young adult fiction.
NT: What does she learn about her past?
As the books progress, Sunshine learns that she is descended from a ancient race of essentially ghost hunters. But they are more than that, the Luiseach which literally means light bringer, help spirits to move on. Sunshine finds out that she is the last of her kind to be born and has to figure out what that means for not only her survival but the world at large.
NT: Who should read this book and why?
Part of what I have loved about doing the series is how many different people it appeals to. From the eight-year-old that just likes to scare herself with a slightly creepy book to her mom who wants to know what all the fuss is about to the brother who wants to make fun of it but ends up loving it! I’ve heard from so many people all over the world that have loved following Sunshine on adventures. I like to call it “horror light” because while it is creepy it is not gory
NT: What was your inspiration?
Way back when I started the YouTube channel it was to tell a fun story, work with my mom and see what magic we could put out into the world. Telling a story on YouTube was still a new idea back in 2010 so I liked the idea of doing something different. Besides, I would suck at doing beauty vlogs.
NT: Tell us about the Weinstein deal?
The Weinstein Company got involved with the books first and from there decided to take it to the screen. Originally the idea was to make a Sunshine film but TV is really hot these days so the change was made to the small screen. The TV show has a pilot script and series treatment that have been developed internally, and while I can’t go into detail, we just went out to market and I am so excited that the first offers are coming in!
NT: What other projects are you working on?
I’m always working on something! The TV show is the biggest thing along with trying to decide what’s the next book project to do. I also have a number of other TV shows and films that are in various stages.
NT: Tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a vertically challenged, sarcastic, TV loving celiac that spends more time with her dog than any human.
NT: Any shout outs you’d like to give?
Shout out to young Charlie and every single person who has done a Sunshiner Instagram fan page!
To get a copy of her book, The Haunting of Sunshine Girl: Buy Here on Amazon