Jodi Picoult is teaming up with daughter Samantha van Leer once again for a new young adult novel called "Off the Page." The mother and daughter duo explained how they worked together on the project on "CBS This Morning" Thursday.
Van Leer first had the idea for the novel when she was 13 years old, daydreaming in a French class.
"I was starting to think about books and what happens when we close a book, because I just couldn't believe that the characters stay frozen in time and waiting for us to return to breathe the life back into them," van Leer said. "I started playing around with different personalities that characters could have while the book is closed, who they really are when there is no one reading them."
Best-selling author and mother Jodi Picoult loved the idea immediately, and decided to collaborate on the project with her daughter. "When she told me-- I thought, my daughter is just brilliant," Picoult said.
Picoult and van Leer worked together to write the book. "We sat side by side and would speak the entire book outloud," van Leer said.
Back and forth, countering each other with ideas, they wrote every line together. "There were moments when we were both stumbling over each other to get out this brilliant idea we had, and then we'd realize we were saying the exact same thing," van Leer said.
But, as can be expected, working together could be challenging and occasionally tense. Picoult says they argued a lot while working on this book, which she attributes to van Leer becoming more sure of herself as a writer. "She would really challenge me," Picoult said. "And I think I challenged her, too."
While Picoult knows she has more experience, but she had to respect the strong instincts of her daughter. "I had to treat her as a co-author, not as an intern," Picoult said. She calls the novel tighter and more emotional than their first collaboration.
"Off the Page" is available now.