We can"t believe the time has come... The final chapter for the entire High School Story series is out! As we get ready to bid adieu to Berry High, let"s meet the team that brought us there:
Brianna: I"m a writer on High School Story and I took over as Book Lead starting from Book 2 of Class Act!
Emily: I was a writer from the end of HSS: Class Act Book 1 through the beginning of HSS: CA Book 3.
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Rachel Z: I have been a writer on High School Story since Book 2.
Rachel S: I was one of the original writers on High School Story on Books 1-3. I also used to write on the OG High School Story for a bit.
Max: I served as a mentor on the very first book of High School Story and helped with brainstorming for several of the other books.
Stella: I am an art producer who worked on the earlier part of the series.
Elyssa: I’m also an art producer on High School Story, starting with Class Act! I work with the artists and the writing team to help create the amazing artwork needed to tell the story of HSS.
Josephine: I’m on the QA team! I started on Book 3 of the original trilogy.
Daniel C: I"ve been the technical producer on all of Class Act!
It"s been one heck of a journey! How does it feel to say goodbye?
Brianna: Surreal. HSS was the very first thing I worked on when I started at Pixelberry, so it has a special place in my heart.
Max: It feels like a real graduation. Bittersweet that it"s ending, but also a nostalgic time -- an opportunity to look back and reflect on the last six books and the awesome story various writers have told.
Rachel Z: I"m sad to say goodbye to the kids I love, but I believe the characters" stories reached a natural ending. They"ve fulfilled their major high school goals of romance and success, and each of them have a bright future ahead.
Elyssa: HSS has been such a solid fixture in the choices lineup since I began at Pixelberry (just before the very first HSS book launched!). It will be weird to see a book lineup that doesn’t include a new HSS book somewhere.
Rachel S: I can"t believe it"s over! I still remember the struggle of getting all 15 chapters ready for the day of launch almost three years ago. It"s bittersweet to say goodbye to characters new and old... but it"s also fun to imagine what happens next.
From brainstorms to art to launch, what are your most memorable moments as part of the HSS team?
Max: When we launched Book 1 of HSS, the whole thing launched on the same day! We aren"t really used to crunch at our studio, but getting sixteen episodes, with some of the most branching stories we"ve ever told ready all at once was probably the closest we"ve ever come.
Stella: Personally, I think the character art creation process during Book 1 was most memorable - we had so many artists, with different styles, work to create a cast that all came together.
Emily: My favorite memory is when our very own Goth Queen, Rachel Z., dressed up at the HSS: CA Goth Queen Skye for Halloween. It was perfection!
Daniel C: The High School Story team has been writing together for a long time during this series, so seeing the writers grow and express themselves in these characters and stories was super rewarding to see.
Elyssa: I loved brainstorming outfits. It felt like going back-to-school shopping for my precious children every time a new book started.
What was the most challenging part of creating High School Story?
Brianna: Balancing the large cast of characters, especially between the original cast and Class Act cast. I wanted to make sure everyone had their time in the spotlight.
Max: HSS is a series that is constantly reinventing itself. Book 1 started as a spinoff of the original mobile game and thus had to serve out existing fans while appealing to new ones. Then, when we started Class Act, we had to do the same thing all over again!
Emily: It’s funny, but it was coming up with all the dates and activities. Not only was I a teenager 15 years ago, but I didn’t date at all in high school — so I had no idea what teens would find fun!
On the flip side... what was the most rewarding?
Brianna: Having a strained relationship with my own parents, the scenes with Skye’s parents were emotional and a little cathartic for me to write. It was gratifying getting to tell her story and see the love she got from fans.
Emily: I’m really proud of the work the team did in handling Ajay’s divorce storyline. My own parents got divorced just before I went to high school and it was rough. The team handled the situation with care and it honestly felt very realistic to me as someone who’d gone through that. I hope it helped anyone going through something similar.
Elyssa: When fans could see themselves represented in the huge, diverse cast of HSS, it was always very rewarding!
Rachel S: The fan art! When HSS Book 1 dropped 2 and a half years ago, I remember freaking out when I found my first piece of fan art. We had put blood, sweat, and tears into making this book go off without a hitch. I was happy to see people liked it.
If you had to choose from the entire HSS cast, who"d be your best friend?
Brianna: The main character of Class Act! They"re so pure and earnest. As a fellow awkward person, I think we"d have a really comfortable and fun friendship.
Max: Personally, I"ve always appreciated Maria for her drive and ability to get stuff done!
Josephine: Ajay! We’re both very pragmatic and logical, and I absolutely love his sarcasm.
Stella: Myra - she"s very devoted and supportive to her friends. Who wouldn"t want that?
Emily: Dang, what a hard choice! I think I’d probably be best friends with Erin. She’s so positive and fun, and we share a passion for both sports and the arts.
Rachel Z: I"ve always thought Skye and I would get along. We both have an alternative fashion sense, a dark sense of humor, and fierce loyalty to those who earn our trust.
Daniel C: For sure the Class Act main character. They"re incredibly determined, awkward yet constantly a great friend. They"re not perfect at everything, but love what they do.
Elyssa: I think I’d want to be friends with Ajay the most, though I’d probably be too intimidated to ever actually talk to him and break through his cool exterior.
Rachel S: Ooh. That"s a tough one... I"d say Jordan"s Dad or Emma, but I think I would"ve gotten along with Ajay. #TheatreMajorFTW
What was your favorite scene in the series?
Brianna: To be completely honest, the makeout in the computer lab with Maria in HSS, Book 1. I am not accepting questions at this time.
Max: I love the scene where Michael sees the statue dedicated to the original founder of Berry High (our MC from the original mobile game!) and realized this place is different from every other high school... and his faith in humanity is kind of restored. It"s a sweet scene that kind of encapsulates the whole theme of the series.
Josephine: All the promposals!
Stella: Meeting everyone on your first day of school was my favorite - everything and everyone was so new!
Elyssa: Any scene where you could tell a character off for being a straight up jerk will always be a fav.
Rachel Z: The first kiss scene at the end of HSS:CA, Book 1. There"s nothing more intrinsic to the teenage experience than pining over your formative romantic experiences and feeling your heart stop when they confess they have feelings too!
To the current HSS team, what"s next for you now that you"ve graduated? (No spoilers please!)
Brianna: I’m transferring schools! There’s something endlessly fascinating to me about the teenage experience, and I’m excited to explore that through a messier lens...
Max: I"m also working on a new project in a high school setting... but with the drama turned up to 11. Be on the lookout!
Emily: Witness: A Bodyguard Romance!
Rachel Z: Now that I"ve graduated Berry High, I"m working on a story about a competitive business in New York. One of the senior employees is seriously hot.
Do you have any final words for the fans?
Brianna: We’ve been honored to have you at Berry High! We poured our hearts into this series, so thank you for sticking with us through this whole journey.
Rachel Z: You"ve put as much of your love into the characters and the stories as we have into writing them. Thank you for your excitement, your excellent fan art, and your multiple years of dedication.
Elyssa: I wish I could sign all of your yearbooks and tell you all to HAGS.
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Rachel S: Whether you"ve been playing since the beginning or just recently came to find HSS, Berry High will always be here to welcome you home.
Thanks for reading everyone. The HSS series truly hit home for us all... We can"t thank you enough for your ongoing love, and support for one of our all time classic Choices stories. Our hearts go out to all of you!