Friday, May 10, 2013

Yours, Mine, and Ours…How Two Authors Combine Their Talents to Create one Unique Series by Guest Bloggers Jennifer AlLee & Lisa Karon Richardson

It’s happened more than once. I tell someone that I’m breaking into historicals, and how I excited I am to be
co-authoring the Charm & Deceit series with my good friend Lisa Richardson. The next thing that happens is usually a look of surprise, then a question something like this: “You’re co-writing? How do you make that work?”

I’ll let you in on a little secret: At the beginning, we had a similar question. How the heck are we going to do this thing?

One approach we discussed was that we each write all the scenes in a specific character’s point of view. But it was clunky and impractical, so we discarded that idea. In the end, we decided to alternate chapters. We start out by brainstorming the idea and working up a synopsis with the general idea of where the story will go. Then Lisa starts us out with chapter one, because she’s a historical genius and she grounds us in the right time and place. Her first chapter really sets the tone for the rest of the book. When she’s done, she sends it to me. I read over her chapter, make notes, and then write chapter two. Then I send it to her, she reads over my notes on her chapter, makes notes on my chapter, then writes chapter three. And so on and so forth until one of us gets to write THE END on the last page.

Lisa Karon Richardson
Of course, there are pros and cons with anything, and co-authoring is no exception. One difficult thing is letting go of preconceived notions. When you write the way we do, there’s tons of room for deviation over a 300 page book. When one of us finishes a chapter, she generally has an idea of where the story will go next. But sometimes, when the manuscript comes back, it's somewhere else entirely--like a different county, not even the next town over! It's wonderful for the reader and the book overall in terms of keeping the story from being too predictable, but it can be jarring during the writing process. It takes a bit of thought to pick up the story thread from there and keep moving forward.

On the pro side, it great to be able to brainstorm together and throw ideas around. Where one of us is weak, the other is strong, and vice versa. But one the best things about co-writing is that it demands accountability. When you write with another author, you know that she’s depending on you to do your part in a timely fashion.

If anyone out there is pondering a writing partnership, remember that communication is crucial! Because Lisa and I were best friends before we became co-authors, the most important thing to us was that we could work together and not kill our friendship. We’d already been critiquing each other’s work, so we knew we could give and receive constructive criticism without a problem. But when you co-write a book, there are times when you each see things a different way. At those times, you have to be able to discuss how it best serves the story without digging in your heels and taking it personally.

So… how is that co-authoring thing working out for us? Fantastic! Thank you for asking. We’ve completed the first two books in the Charm and Deceit series. Diamond in the Rough is available now. Book 2, Vanishing Act is scheduled to release September 2013, and we’re thrilled with the way the story turned out. A Pinkerton Agent and a fake medium join forces to find President Lincoln's kidnapped son. There's adventure and romance and skullduggery galore! Next on our plate is the yet-to-be-titled Book 3, which takes us to New York City where an up-and-coming opera singer and a doctor of the mind join forces to solve a murder case that’s been cold for several years.

*  *  *

Diamond in the Rough (Charm & Deceit, book 1)
Grant Diamond is a professional gambler on the run from his past. When he comes across a wagon wreck, the chance to escape his pursuers is too good a gamble to pass up, and he assumes the identity of the dead wagon driver. His plan takes an unexpected turn when local heiress Lily Rose mistakes him for the missionary she had asked to come work with the Wiyot Indians. Seeing Eureka as a promising place to lay low, Grant plays along. Before he knows it, he's bluffing his way through sermons and building an Indian school. But with a Pinkerton on his trail and a rancher rousing fresh hatred against the Indians, Grant fears the new life he's built may soon crumple like a house of cards.

*  *  *

About the Authors
Veteran authors Jennifer AlLee and Lisa Karon Richardson have combined their considerable skills to create the action-packed historical romance series, Charm & Deceit, for Whitaker House.

JENNIFER ALLEE believes the most important thing a woman can do is discover her identity in God – a theme that carries throughout her stories. Her novels include THE PASTOR’S WIFE (Abingdon Press, 2/10), THE MOTHER ROAD (AP, 4/12), A WILD GOOSE CHASE CHRISTMAS (AP, 12/12), and the upcoming PARTING GIFTS (AP, 9/14) and VINNIE’S DINER (AP, 4/15). Her novella, Comfort and Joy, is part of Barbour’s MISTLETOE MEMORIES anthology (9/12). Finally, she’s thrilled to be the co-author of a three book historical romance series with the talented Lisa Karon Richardson. DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH is the first book of the Charm & Deceit series (Whitaker House, 5/13). To find out more, visit

Influenced by books like The Secret Garden and The Little Princess, LISA KARON RICHARDSON’S early stories were heavy on boarding schools and creepy houses. Now, even though she’s (mostly) grown-up she still loves a healthy dash of adventure in any story she creates, even her real-life story. She’s been a missionary to the Seychelles and Gabon and now that she and her husband are back in America, they are tackling a brand new adventure, starting a daughter-work church in a new city. Her published works include “Impressed by Love,” in the Colonial Courtships anthology. The Magistrate’s Folly was published by Heartsong Presents in February of 2013. Diamond in the Rough, (May, 2013) was co-authored with Jennifer AlLee, and is the first in the Charm and Deceit, series from Whitaker House. Finally she has another novella coming out September, 2013 from Barbour entitled “Midnight Clear,” part of the Mistletoe Memories collection. To learn more, visit


Tina Radcliffe said...


What a cool premise this book is!!!

I'm excited to read it.

Virginia Carmichael Munoz said...

Beautiful cover!

I would so love to co-write a book some day with my oldest daughter. She has the BEST plot ideas!!

Debra E. Marvin said...

Hey, I know those two!

I'm pretty excited about this book because here's two awesome writers, putting their skills and cleverness (I can't think of a better word). It's like a Reese's PB cup...or thowe cookie/brownie combos...or pumpkin pie cheesecake...

or I need to go eat and check in later.
Awesome characters and plot, ladies! I'm not surprised at all it sold and that you two have had the ability to write so well together.

Debra E. Marvin said...

So, which one of you surprises the other more with the story line when it's your turn to write the next chapter?

Jenny Blake said...

That would be interesting writing the book chapter by chapter.

Debby Giusti said...

I'm always amazed by the process of writing a story together. Thanks for sharing how you two make it work.

The coffee's hot and strong. Thanks, Helen. I'm sure you were up early getting the pot ready for us.

I brought pecan coffee cake and fresh fruit for breakfast. Grits are available upon request for all Southern Belles and Gents.

Debby Giusti said...

Waving to Ausjenny!

What are your sightseeing plans today?

Debby Giusti said...

BTW, read yesterday's Craftie Ladies of Romance blog. Ausjenny will spend three hours in the Denver airport on Sunday, May 19. Anyone live nearby? I know she'd love to visit with Seekervillagers during her layover.

Piper Huguley said...

Hi ladies!

Your series sounds great! Did you have any difficulties with the publishers because of the 'deceit' part? I though Christian publishers didn't like lies in stories.

I will help myself to some of Debby's pecan coffeecake and grits while I wait. But I really want some of that weird combo stuff, like the pumpkin pie cheesecake. I am not pleased at my critique mentor Debra Marvin for mentioning it... it will be nearly six months before I can get my hands on some!

Jenny Blake said...

Debby My friend is working this moning so her daughter and I plan to go to the Chattanooga zoo. This afternoon a 20 trip to Alabama to say I visited Alabama! Not sure what else we won't make it to the battlefield up Lookout mountain. not enough time. (am currently doing the washing as I am almost out of clothes).
As Debby said I have 3 hours from around 10ish to 1 ish on Sunday the 19th. for a layover before meeting some ladies in Spokane.
Will be in Seattle on the Tuesday and then Port Orchard (with a day in Canada)

Jenny Blake said...

ps blogged about my trip at
oh and I now have a cell phone for america which I doubt I will use all the credit on.

Mary Connealy said...


A little off topic but I once spend a morning and afternoon with Lisa Richardson and had such a great time. I went to church with her and had lunch, just a great day for an author stranded in Ohio. I had stuff to do the other days but that Sunday, Lisa was a great port in a storm.

Mary Connealy said...

Even more off topic, Lisa, I've got a niece moving to Columbus OH in July. Her husband is going to a specialist dental school there.
I wondered if I could connect her to you. She's an RN and will be going to work but she knows absolutely NO ONE.

Mary Connealy said...

I wonder if this could work for me?

I once jumped into a fun exercise on the ACFW forums where we were writing a.......??? Round robin story maybe? And anyone who wanted could add to the story. So I read through what they had and added my chapter and .... if my memory serves me.... THEY THROUGH MY ADDITION OUT BECAUSE IT TOOK THE STORY IN TOO WEIRD A DIRECTION.

I believe PAM HILLMAN made that call. Pammy? Do you remember this? Just because I had the long missing husband turn up alive. I thought it was a great way to go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jackie said...

Welcome to Seekerville Jennifer and Lisa!

Thanks for sharing your story.

I've brainstormed a couple of novella ideas with friends and we had a great time.

Jenny, you're in a beautiful part of our country. I hope you have a great trip, and I'm heading to your blog now.

I hope you all have a great day!

Jan Drexler said...

Let me get this straight. They threw out Mary Connealy's contribution to the round robin because it went in too weird a direction? You were just ramping up the tension, right?

Debra E. Marvin said...

Sorry Piper!

Lisa's going to have a lot of catching up today when she gets home from work.

I hope to be getting my copy of Diamond in the Rough soon. Over at the Inkwell, we've teased Jen and Lisa about what the heroine is holding...

Jan Drexler said...

Jennifer and Lisa, your method must be working! I love the cover for Diamond in the Rough, and the premise, too.

You must have a great relationship to be able to work like this together and still stay friends :)

Jan Drexler said...

Jenny, it sounds like you're having a fabulous trip!

Marianne Barkman said...

Hope your trip continues to be awesome, Jenny! Love the idea of each author writing a chapter. It sounds great. I was going to ask you, Mary for the title of that round robin novel, but if they threw out your chapter, we won't go there!

Donna said...

Writing with someone else sounds like a blast. I'm not sure I could be that flexible though.

Mary brought someone to life instead of killing them off. No one would have expected that!!

Donna said...

Jenny, if you find yourself at the Memphis, TN airport let me know. I can take you to see Graceland.
I live 15 mins away and have never been but people come from all over the world to tour it.

Missy Tippens said...

I think writing together would be a blast! Thanks so much for sharing with us today Jennifer and Lisa!

Missy Tippens said...

BTW, I think it would be fun to co-write with one author doing the hero and one doing the heroine. And just let it unfold, kind of like living the romance. :)

Missy Tippens said...

Jenny, I'm glad your trip is going well!

Bridgett Henson said...

I'm too selfish to allow anyone else to play in my sandbox. :)

But the book sounds very intriguing.

Mary, shame on you for bringing people back from the dead. You know readers love it when you shoot someone. lol

Jennifer AlLee said...

Good morning all! I'm on the West coast, so I always get a late start on these things!

Deb, in this book, I think I surprised Lisa more. I had an idea for a twist that kinda took the book in a new direction, and just wrote it. Poor Lisa! It all worked out in the end, but now, I try to talk to her about the twist first.

Jennifer AlLee said...

Pardon me... I'm heading straight for Debby's pecan coffee cake!

Jennifer AlLee said...

That is a GREAT question, Piper. You know, it all depends on the publisher. The fact that our hero has a jaded past and lies his way through a good part of the book was really never an issue. And the funny thing is, our publisher, Whitaker House, came up with the series title "Charm & Deceit." Cool how that stuff works out, huh?

Jennifer AlLee said...

Oh Deb, thanks for mentioning that! When Lisa and I first got our cover, we thought it was beautiful, but at first glance, we both had funny thoughts about what the heroine was holding. Go ahead... look at it really fast... what is it?

I'm going to be away from the 'puter for a bit, but I'll come back. Save me some goodies!

Debby Giusti said...

LOL, Jennifer.
At first glance, it looks like a skunk to me. Surely not!

So...what is she holding?

Debby Giusti said...

Mary, I graduated from Ohio State in Columbus.

Is that the dent school your niece's hubby is attending?

Great school. Fun city.

Debby Giusti said...

"Going to Graceland..."

I did a drive-by once. The place was closing--it was late in the day. Only made it to the museum and his plane.

I wasn't an Elvis fan, but when I visited Memphis, I got caught up in Elvis Mania.

Memphis is an interesting city. Went to a number of Duel on the Delta Conferences there. The last one was held at the Peabody...with the ducks that swim in ponds in the hotel lobby.

They live on the roof, and there's a huge production each day as they're escorted out of the elevator and into the lobby.

Oh, Jenny, wish you could meet up with Donna! Now wouldn't that be fun. Next trip, maybe!

Melanie Pike said...

Neat idea! Not sure I could pull it off with a writing partner, but if she (he?) was better at plotting, it might work!

In fact, I would love to write with my DH! He has some ideas that I wish he would put on paper.

I think we should get Mary Connealy and Ruthy to co-write a book. *slinking away to avoid things being thrown (unless, of course, they are books, in which case--throw them at me!)*

About 3 years ago, our son and d-i-law and I tried starting a writing group at the library in the town in which they lived. It ended up being just the 3 of us. One of the days we each wrote a sentence, then passed it around for a while so we could each add a sentence. Because Jeremy and I love Snoopy and all his goofy writing attempts, all 3 "stories" were take-offs on "It was a dark and stormy night. Suddenly a shot rang out. The maid screamed." I still have the papers. And the thought of it still makes me smile.

Anita Mae Draper said...

Wah hoo, Lisa and Jen!

If anyone has seen these two at ACFW conferences, it was probably together. It doesn't matter where they are, they've got their heads together and they're giggling and hiding their mouths behind their hands so we don't learn their plotting beforehand.

At least I think they're plotting about their books when they do that...

Their laughing is so infectious, I laugh along just because. :D

Lisa Karon Richardson said...

Great Googly moogly! I'm definitely late to the party today! Lots of good questions already! Thanks first to the Seekers for having us. We love hanging out with you all!

Piper I think Jen already spoke to your question about the issue of deceit, but since it tied so closely to theme and the action, it worked for Whitaker.

And like Jen said, they actually changed the name of the series from what we had proposed. I was a little surprised by what they came up with too!

Susanne Dietze said...

Good morning! I'm so excited for Lisa and Jen. They are sensational writers in their own rights, and together they're on fire. Celebrating with them today!

As for what the heroine is holding on the cover... When I first saw the gorgeous cover, the jpg was small, and I thought the heroine was holding a small black dog. Mea culpa!

Thanks for hosting these gals today, Seekerville! Waving hi to Debby!

Elaine Manders said...

Jennifer and Lisa, pulling off a collaboration must be incredibly difficult, fun but difficult. I've only read two two-author books, one by Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller and the other by Janette Oke and T. Davis Bunn. Didn't like either nearly as much as their single author books. I think it's because the author's voice is muddled in collaborations. I'd love to read your book to see how you did it.

Digging for Pearls said...

Welcome. I love the premise for your book. It looks to be a fantastic read. Congratulations.

Jodie Wolfe

pol said...

As a reader I love to read books written by more then one author. I will be looking for this series. Nice to meet ya Jennifer and Lisa. I wish you much success together...
Paula O

Lisa Karon Richardson said...

Jen usually surprises me more. Although I turned the tables on her last week. We're in the process of writing book 3 and I suggested a major change to the plot.


Luckily she's being a good sport about it. And we are early in the process, so we have plenty of time to decide.

Lisa Karon Richardson said...

I had a wonderful time with Mary when she visited. She was great to spend time with!

Mary I'll e-mail you later, but absolutely get your niece in touch with me. I'd love to get to know her and help her get her bearings!

Anita Mae Draper said...

A few years back I participated in a Round Robin short story over on the eHarlequin Community site. It was led by a mainstream historical author who directed us on the setting (medieval Scotland), set us loose, then tied all the threads together in the final scene.

I was chosen to write the 7th scene out of 10 and each scene was 1000 words. Although we could read the story online, we didn't know what the writer before us had written until it was published. And then we had one week to write our own scene.

The other Round Robin I participated in is published on the Inkwell Inspirations website. Five of us wrote that one, but it was all done ahead of time so no stressful rush to create and compose in 7 days. Much nicer.

Lisa Karon Richardson said...

Anita Mae, you know we only actually see each other usually once a year when we're at ACFW, so we have to maximize the time! But we're not exclusive. You can plot and giggle with us anytime!

Lisa Karon Richardson said...

Elaine, I can see how it could be jarring or muddled when there is a partnership. We tried to compensate for that in some measure by the way we did it; the continuous critiques and layering that we did throughout. I think what resulted was a distinct voice, neither Jen's, nor mine, but ours. Ultimately it will be the readers who decide whether it works for them. I'd love to get your feedback if you get a chance to read it!

Lisa Karon Richardson said...

Missy, when we first got going one of the ways of managing the writing that we considered was each taking a main character. Pros would be the strong individual voice that would develop for that character and kind of the ownership for them. But when it came down to it, it was just a little too unwieldy, or at least, we weren't clever enough to make it practical for us. It would have meant passing the mss back and forth every time a scene ended and the opportunities for more communication breakdowns. I do think it would be a unique way to do the writing and could potentially be a lot of fun!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I was working this morning and couldn't get over here before now, but I'm going to shout a huge, ol' Seekerville welcome to the ladies!!!

And I'm not ashamed to grab some virtual pecan cake from Debby...

And I find the whole idea of co-authoring anything fascinating. Will it be smooth? Will each chapter transition properly? Will it sound back and forth?

So I can't wait to read this and figure all that out because that's the hard part of working together, coming up with seamless work. They say that two quilters can always be identified on a quilt, no matter how proficient because they hold tighter... and their stitches go in at a different angle. Maybe length. So girls, this is just an amazingly fun idea!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I'm rolling on the floor laughing that Mary got tossed on her ear by an ACFW group....

And is now a bestselling author. Honey, they just didn't catch SHEER GENIUS when they saw it because (silly you!!!) you were different.

What were you thinking???? I kinda love that you killed the guy off.


Ruth Logan Herne said...

Missy, I was thinking the other day that dividing things up H/H with two writers could work very well...

I love that idea.

Lisa Karon Richardson said...


I thought the premise was so cool when Jen originally told me about her idea. I was SO glad when she asked if I'd want to write it with her! Better believe I was on it like white on rice!

Missy Tippens said...

Lisa, that's a good point about having to pass it back and forth after every scene! Or maybe you could do it in a google document and just say ready, set, go! :)

Ruthy, let's do it then! Do you want the hero or heroine? :)

Melanie Dickerson said...

Hi, Jen and Lisa!!! Your book looks amazing! Congrats on your gorgeous new release!!! I've always been curious how people write together. I will know who to get advice from if I ever do collaborate like this. :-)

I wish you both the BEST! God bless! And isn't Seekerville fun???

Debby Giusti said...

Waving back to Susie! How are you, girlfriend?

Will you be at RWA this summer? Hope so!

Didn't I see your name in a finalist list recently? Congrats!

Gina Welborn said...

I can't wait to read these stories!!!

Thanks, Jen and Lisa, for sharing how your co-writing process works.

Debby Giusti said...

Okay, girls, is the Seeker co-authored book going to be written by Mary and Ruthy or Missy and Ruthy?

Also, Lisa and Jennifer, what is the heroine holding?

Do tell! Pretty please!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi LISA and JENNIFER, Welcome to Seekerville. Thanks for sharing your insights on writing together. I bet it is a lot of fun. I love to critique with someone. You really get close. So imagine this works in the same way.

Have a fun day.

Sandra Leesmith said...

MARY that is funny that they threw you off the ACFW story. Us Seekers have always marched to our own drum haven't we? Its paid off though.

I'm bringing some snack trays. Veggie snacks with ranch dip. The cherry tomatoes are so sweet and off my brother's vines. Also some sliced fruit and some trays of CHOCOLATE. I scurried over to Sees and grabbed some boxes.

Anita Mae Draper said...

Jen - I know I'm welcome to join and giggle with you, and I do! I'm just sayin' you look so great together when you do it because I know it's something good. :)

And I also know what the heroine is holding because I've seen a preview close-up of the book cover... I just don't know why Lisa and Jen aren't saying so you won't hear it from me. Nope. No way. :D

Pam Hillman said...

Diamond in the Rough sounds like a great read. Love that blurb!

Welcome to Seekerville, Jennifer and Lisa!

Pam Hillman said...

Mary, I remember! lol I think we had this woman (she was the heroine, okay?) stranded in the middle of the desert (one writer had her in New Mexico, one in Arizona, one in the Sahara, I think) in a broken down wagon, and these rough men (outlaws, got it?) show up this guy rescues her (the HERO, for Pete's sake!!!), and then one of our writers (I think that was MARY) let one of the outlaws shoot him dead.

The story kinda...uh...died off after that.

Pam Hillman said...

Well, Jan, if we would have known what Mary can do with a DEAD HERO back then, we might have been willing to have another go at it, but he was DEAD, DEAD, DEAD, and it just kinda traumatized us all until we couldn't bring ourselves to continue.

We didn't know that dead is relative where Mary's concerned or we would have given her a chance to redeem the story.

Mary Connealy said...

Darn Right I could have redeemed it, Pammy.

Although that is NOTHING like I remember it so maybe this is something completely different. I tend to fictionalize all my memories, so the past is far more interesting than it really was.

Mary Connealy said...


Clari Dees said...

I'm really likin' this whole Seekers co-authoring books concept. I got a mental picture of A Julie Lessman spine-tingling kiss interrupted by a Mary Connealy shoot out. It made me laugh out loud, and I think it's totally doable.

(Of course, Mary and Julie may have a slightly different opinion. hee, hee)

Jennifer AlLee said...

Oh, Anita, the things we plot out when nobody's listening... bwahahaha!

Jennifer AlLee said...

Elaine, you mentioned the blending of the author voices. That's definitely something we paid attention to. So far, readers who know both of us have said they couldn't tell which one of us wrote which parts. Heck, even I'm not sure now! I'd love to hear what you think if you're able to read the book :)

Jennifer AlLee said...

About that plot twist for book 3... it's a good one! And like Lisa said, we're working it out now, not in the middle of the book. That always simplifies things!

Jennifer AlLee said...

And now, for the big reveal... our heroine is holding... a black feathered fan! When you hold the book in your hand, it's obviously a fan. But we've had people think it was a cat, a dog, a fur muff, and one particularly creative man thought she was holding a black turkey. "Guess what Lily's holding" could be the party game of the future!

Julie Lessman said...

JENN AND LISA ... WELCOME TO SEEKERVILLE!! And I'm with Tina -- what a cool premise, both for this blog and for the book you wrote together.

I am in AWE of you both working in tandem like you do because I am not sure I could do that. Our fiction-writing class in college was assigned the task of writing a book together, kind of "round robin" like Mary talked about, only it was round robin with groups, not individuals, and I absolutely HATED it. Of course, I got in with some weird types who liked murder and mayhem, so the whole thing was WAY too weird for me and what the heck -- no romance??? I made up my mind that collaboration in writing was not for me.

But it CERTAINLY works wonderfully with both of you because YES, I FINALLY had a chance to read Diamond in the Rough LONG after your initial endorsement due date (I am SO sorry about the timing on that!!), and I realllly enjoyed it, both the premise and the style of writing, which was seamless.

I guess my questions would be:

1.) Does writing a book together go faster than writing one separately?

2.) How long do you give each other per chapter?

3.) What do you do while the other is "writing" on the book -- write on you own book, perhaps??

I do agree the brainstorming would be a FABULOUS PLUS in a situation like this, and can't help but think it would make the process go a lot more quickly.

SUPER CONGRATS on finishing two books in this series and looking forward to #2.


Debra E. Marvin said...

yes, Susie Dietz is a semi-finalist in historical fiction this year!

Ruth Logan Herne said...


That would be a hoot, wouldn't it???

I'll take the heroine.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Lisa, I love this whole concept and I love even more that you guys worked it well!

(Now, quietly, honey, are youse still friends? Because I love these gals and writin' with 'em might ruin a great thing... you can whisper. No one will know...) :)

If I write with Mary do I get to shoot people? Because I'd be okay with that.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

There are positives and negatives with dead heroes...

1. They're dead. (This is perspective, of course, some heroes can be kept alive if generous with time, affection and money...)

2. They're's always another hero 'round the bend in the old West. (Cassie Dawson, Montana Rose, why those boys was fightin' over her!


I think this book will be a great study of craft, girls.

And SUSIE!!!! Congrats to you!!!!! SUHWEEET!!!

Susanne Dietze said...

Someone thought Lily was holding a turkey? That takes the prize, Jen and Lisa.

Thanks for the Genesis congrats, Seeker friends!

And Debra Marvin is a semi-finalist, too. Wahoo!

Waving back to Debby and Sandra. Loved hanging with you all at RWA last year. I'll miss you this year but I pray you all have a fabulous time.

Debby Giusti said...

A feathered fan!

Okay. I get it. But not on first glance, as Lisa...or was it Jennifer...asked us to do.

Thanks, ladies, for being with us today. We'll come screaming to you for advice when Mary and Ruthy and Missy start writing as a threesome. HELP! :)

Debby Giusti said...

Congrats to Susie and Deb! Whoot!

Vince said...

Hi Jennifer and Lisa:

I think the ideal H/h POV authors (I’m old school) is for the H to have a Y chromosome and the h to have two X chromosomes.

My question about collaboration is how do you build a foundation, foreshadow events, and make sure anticipatory events get resolved? Isn’t there a potential problem with loose ends? (For example: I get the reader all excited about the coming prom and in the next chapter my co-author cancels the prom!)

I think Ruth has the best idea. Instead of collaborating with Mary, she just cuts to the chase and puts Mary in her books. No fuss. No muss.

To wit: (I hope it’s witty)

Direct from Ruth Logan Herne’s new book, “The Lawman’s Second Chance”:

“I’m free for an hour at twelve-thirty.”

“I’ll meet yu at Connealy Park, just below the shaky bridge.”

“You’re coming unarmed, right.”

See! Just mention the name, ‘Connealy’ and everyone thinks someone is going to get shot!

And ‘shaky bridge’? Nice image. Connealy Park is about to fall apart. It couldn't be a nice new park.

CAVEAT: If you keep this up, someone just might create a character called Haimie Herne!!!


P.S. Lisa, are you a fan of Jan Karon? I’m a big fan.

Jennifer AlLee said...

Hey Julie! So glad you enjoyed it. To answer your questions:

1) I don't know that the book goes faster with two of us writing it, but the writing is more consistent. For example, since I know Lisa is waiting for it, I can't procrastinate for a week!

2) Our schedules with these books has been pretty tight, so we averaged three to four days for each chapter.

3) When one person is writing, the other works on all the other stuff that needs to get done... marketing, research, and working on our solo projects. There's always something to do!

Jennifer AlLee said...

Debby, when Mary, Ruthy and Missy all start writing together, feel free to give us a shout out. Not that we'll have any answers, but we're sure going to want to hear stories ;)

And a big THANK YOU to all the Seekers for inviting us to hang out today. It's always a great time here!

Jennifer AlLee said...

Howdy, Vince! Good questions. Before we start writing, we work out the general skeleton of the story, which helps our foundation. If we get to a point where something doesn't make sense, then we talk and work it out. Also, the way we do this, we're constantly editing. This really ties up those loose ends, as well as creating one cohesive voice.

I like what you did there... just the mention of "Connealy" and you set the tone of the whole book!

Lisa Karon Richardson said...

Hi Vince,

I've read some of Jan Karon and like her, but the Karon in my name isn't a tribute. It's my legit middle name!

Chill N said...

Stopping by very late to say how much I enjoyed the post. I laughed when I read how the story can change when you receive the next chapter from the other writer. Years ago, some writer friends and I did what we called a "chain story." One wrote a paragraph, sent it to the next who wrote a paragraph ... sometimes I didn't even recognize the story when it got back to me for my next paragraph :-) Glad the co-writing is working for both of you. All the best with your writing!

Nancy C