Santa Monica authors Marcy Winograd and Jackie Hirtz are back with a sequel to their tween novel “Lola Zola and the Lemonade Crush.”

The new novel is titled “New Girl on Salt Flat Road” and debuted May 21 from Brown Girls Publishing.

The story centers on 11-year-old Lola Zola, a 6th grader struggling with her transition to womanhood. Her mother doesn’t want her to grow up too quickly, but when a new girl from Malibu moves in next door she becomes caught up in a fast-paced lifestyle that eventually gets her in trouble with the law.

In this far more personal sequel, Lola deals with body image issues, mother-daughter conflict, and the police as she tries to race to womanhood, fearing she’s growing up to slowly.

“I drew on a lot of my own experiences as a 6th grader,” Winograd said. “My mother didn’t want me to go up too fast, but I had friends who were developing so quickly I felt like maybe I was too slow.”

She said the experience of writing the book with Hirtz was heartening, as writing is often solitary and can become lonely.

“I’m glad to be working with an author whose style compliments my own writing,” she said.

Winograd and Hirtzhave worked together before on a project about an 11-year-old when they collaborated on the Nickelodeon show “Doug.”

Winograd says she is has already started working on the third book in the series.

“It’s called ‘Lola Zola and the Bingo King,'” she said. “The story centers on a con man who sweeps into town selling pipe dreams and the towns people are all too willing to buy into his tricks, but Lola is on to him.”

Both authors credit Santa Monica as having an influence on their work, especially in the case of Lola Zola.

“In Santa Monica there are kids like Lola Zola who aren’t focused on being pop idols like Kim Kardashian,” saidHirtz. “You see a lot in Santa Monica — you see kids acting out, but you also see kids doing amazing things like raising money for earthquake victims in Nepal.”

Hirtz and Winograd are working with Brown Girls Publishing for the first time and they’re thrilled with the opportunity.

“The publishing industry is changing so fast, and in the midst of that they formed this company and it’s really taken off,” saidHirtz. “They’re doing amazing things.”

editor@www.smdp.com

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