We Talk Co-Writing

When we tell people we co-write, they’re often curious.

“How do you do that?”

This is usually expressed with faint skepticism, as if this couldn’t be, you know, fun.

But it can be with the right approach. Here’s what we’ve worked out over 2 books:

#1: No matter how similar your tastes, both bring something different to the table.

J grew up in the ‘burbs but spent most of her adult life in the big city. She brings urban skepticism to character development. K grew up so far out in the country that she should take over the Grizzly Adams title. Neighbors have to be trusted because there are only two and no one wants a 10-mile hike to the grocery store for milk.

If you don’t think this shaped some interesting arguments about character development, you’d be wrong.

We talk about 50% reader input on everything, and this applies to writing as well.

cowriting

#2: Accept how your co-writer writes. Trust us ~ it’s not like you.

One of our biggest breakthroughs came from recognizing how different we approach our writing.  J is about the Big Picture (how all the little bits add up to one cohesive whole). K is about the Feelings (the emotions that drive the characters and grab the readers by the lapels). It took some time to see where the other was coming from when outlining the story.

J’s still not comfortable with K going off on just any scene that pops into her head, and K still feels like a deer in the headlights when J asks what the scene conveys in relation to the overarching story, but it’s getting easier all the time.

#3: No matter the differences, the goal is the same: write a fun-to-read story.

Neither of us are perfect writers. We like the same books for different reasons; we like different books for contrasting reasons. But we both agree that we want to write entertaining stories that are fun, exciting, and page turners, so we agree to disagree and then get down to solving the problem whether it be technical issues like structure, character voice, or emotional depth, because no problem is unfixable.

Onward and upwards!

Oracle Characters: Val Ferrel

Val is the oracle, a psychic medium connected to a gate separating the living world from the afterlife. She’s balancing a new life in the Bay Area after suffering a career-ending incident as a consultant to the Boston police department, but it’s not all wine and roses.

Val Ferrel

This uncredited photo inspired our Val (really, if you’re her, please let us know so we can credit), we gave her lots of flaws and strong opinions.

Now that you’re the oracle, what’s the most challenging aspect of your job?

(She tips her head to the side and gives us a little bit of a side-eye.) Is this a trick question? Continue reading “Oracle Characters: Val Ferrel”

What happens when you write a review?

If you’re an e-book reader, chances are you’re seen at least one request by the author for a review. Why? Why do indie writers, like ourselves, make such a big deal about it? Let’s break it down…

Online Reviews

Picture Amazon as a huge bookstore

As of March 2016, there are almost $4.4 million e-books on Amazon. 120,000 e-books debuted in the last 30 days.

The most popular books (bestsellers) with hundreds of starred reviews are seen first. Imagine them sitting in the window or on a table right by the door. It’s nice and bright and you know that the books here are selling like hotcakes to super satisfied customers and fans. (There’s discussion about positive and negative reviews, but we’re focusing on the positive for now.)

Continue reading “What happens when you write a review?”

Book 2 Release – Oracle in Trouble

Oracle in Trouble FINAL

Following the events of book 1, Val Ferrel uncovers a decades-old conspiracy that threatens to undermine the delicate truce between psychics and non-psychics.

Val Ferrel, the first oracle since the Sundering, feels like a total failure. Unable to siphon energy through the gate and control her own unstable powers, she returns to what she does best—finding the dead.

The case of a missing high-profile psychic executive seems tailored made for her. Wanting to shield Val from the threat he’s envisioned, the precognitive Agency director Daniel Norris insists she stay close to the gate.

Ignoring Daniel’s warning, Val enlists the aid of security head Philippe Toussaint and discovers a growing number of missing people that include members of powerful psychic Families. Val’s insistence on digging further gets dangerously close to uncovering a secret others have killed to keep. With the murderers closing in, Val struggles to master her oracle powers, deal with her celebrity status, and placate her meddling stage mother.

~*~

Oracle in Trouble, book 2 in the Val Ferrel series, is available for $2.99 (ebook) or Free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers.