Playing around with wor(l)ds

“Really, it’s not hard to search the net for the biggest murder mystery Rockridge had ever witnessed. Rockridge is a small bedroom community of overpriced, turn-of-the-last-century period homes hugging the hills between Oakland and Berkeley. This case had been the town’s first real haunting since the Sundering and had been sensational enough to get noticed around the world.”– Val Ferrel, Oracle in Doubt

We should point out that Rockridge is actually a lovely place. It’s a subdivision in the Oakland Hills a bit northeast of Oakland city center with a lovely view of San Francisco.

Upper Rockridge

As far as we know, there aren’t any terribly haunted houses in Rockridge, and if there are, we are not basing our Becker House on any of them. We just liked a certain type of house that had certain types of features which might be attractive to a ghost. The Queen Anne architecture of the Flavel House in Astoria, Oregon, certainly appealed to both of us.

Flavel House Oregon
Flavel House, Astoria, OR (Credit: Michael D Martin @Flicker)

This house is not actually in Rockridge. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be. Because we’re setting our world just left of reality, it’s not accurate. You couldn’t draw a map and follow it anywhere. San Francisco and the Golden Gate bridge fell when the psychic war set off the big earthquake and the Pacific made a new coast. The world we imagined doesn’t actually show up in book one, Oracle in Doubt, but the entire planet has been shifted.

That’s half the fun of writing–we can tweak our world just so and tell a fun adventure in a familiar but not-quite-real place.

Lights, camera, action!

What happens when two writers co-write a book? Well, if it’s a former New Yorker and a Bay Area transplant with French-Canadian roots, there are plenty of wild gestures (and some crap-tastically poor acting) as we attempt to block our scenes.

We try our best to visualize what our characters are doing. So there’s a lot of eye-scrunching, shrugging, loud sighs (soft sighs), turning, twisting, and sometimes stalking across the room. We’ve thrown our hands in the air because we definitely care…

One of these days, one of us is going to lose an eye.

It really helps but we’ve tried to keep it down to a dull roar. In the meantime, we’re ready for our close-up, Mr. DeMille….

Ready for our closeup, Mr. DeMille

The Dynamic Duo Strikes Again (sort-of)


K. J. Garnet is the pseudonym of writing partners, Kelly and Jenni. This is our first blog post. This is also a typical conversation.

J: What are we going to do for our title? How about “the dynamic duo strikes again!” (*waves hand in sweeping flourish*)

K: The Dynamic Duo Writes Again?

J: The Dynamic Duo Writes Again? Strikes?

K: Eh…

J: Maybe it needs to be in a different tense?

K: This entire thing should be our first post into the insight of our writing minds partnership, may god have mercy on their souls. Our poor readers.

J: It would show what it’s like to write as a team…

K: Or what not to do when writing as a team…

J: No one is going to be interested in this, we need to be more entertaining.

K: (*tap dances*)

J: No, I don’t think that’s going to do it. You don’t really know how to tap dance, do you?

K: (mutters) Shut up. Oh wait, was that my outside voice?

J: We share a brain cell, so I hear everything you think anyway. No use hiding it.

K: I feel sorry for you and get better soon.

J: Is it long enough yet, do we have enough content?

K: Yes, it’ll do. We have to get going on plotting book 3.

(after viewing the post) K: We should put in the top of this post a little explanation showing that we’re two writers and what it’s like on any typical day we’re not actually working.

J: (*starts to write at top of post before being stopped by K, who thought she meant a little italicized epigraph-type thing. J continues to add it to the body of the post because this is what it’s like in the real world. And then italicized it.*)