Writing blog posts about the behind the scenes details in books is actually more difficult when you have a co-writer. Do you talk about the individual scenes you did? Who wrote which character? Or the struggles one faced getting a character just right when in the end all the characters belong to both?
In this past post , I talked about how we divvied up characters in the beginning.
This was the general plan. But we sometimes write the other’s characters in specific scenes. For instance, there’s a scene in SHATTER where some of our guys go into a dangerous situation and Snow and Lucas are stuck in a car. That scene was Jocelynn’s responsibility and I LOVE what she did with Snow and Hollis in it!. We actually plotted that over the phone and laughed our asses off over Hollis’s reaction when he climbs into Lucas’s car. She laid that scene out wonderfully! And though Lucas is her character, I’ve written him in several scenes. Hell, I threw in a love scene between Lucas and Andrei in SHIVER. Well…she actually wrote most of the scene—I just surprised her by throwing in a hand job. LOL. She kept it.
If you’re a member of our FB reader’s group, you know that we get a little “mine” action going on sometimes. For instance, Jocelynn, has claimed Andrei as hers, but she does let me put him in some sexy scenes occasionally. I wrote a couple for the upcoming short stories, though a lot of that wonderful sexiness between Lucas and Andrei came from her lovely brain. I wrote more of Snow and Jude’s love story in SHATTER, but she came in with a lot of fantastic scenes.
Because we both add scenes and because we both do full revisions, by the time we finish a book, it feels like it belongs to both of us.
We will pepper lines into the other’s work, flesh out settings, rearrange sentences, and more. We switch out scenes that the other had planned to write. You’d think two writers with the usual writer’s egos would have trouble with this. Sure, occasionally we do. I’m positive she wanted to brain me after I kept picking apart a specific scene in SHIVER. And I nearly cut a couple of good scenes in SHATTER because I was too close to the story-had read it sooo many times by that point–and worried they were overkill and she was adamant they belonged. She was right.
It feels like—and I hope it seems this way for our readers—that the combination of our different strengths are coming together pretty nicely. That together, we push and pull and write and revise and argue and laugh…and out comes Unbreakable Bonds.
SHATTER has been out a month now and I’m still kind of stunned over the response. You guys will probably laugh, but I curled up in a ball of terror when that book went out to reviewers. I’m normally a bundle of nerves with every book release, but this book meant so much to me. I had followed online conversations about SHIVER and saw a few expectations where Snow was concerned and worried that readers wouldn’t get the real Snow.
But most did.
In fact you guys got him so much—loved him and Jude so much—that this has flat out been the best book release I’ve experienced. (I would say we, but I can’t speak for Jocelynn. LOL. She did happen to hit the NYT’s list with her work before and I can’t imagine how that feels. 😉 )
There is something magical about characters who come to life like Lucas, Snow, Rowe and Ian. If you were to listen to a phone conversation between Jocelynn and me when we’re plotting, you’d think we were discussing real people. Thing is… to us?
Thank you so much to all of you helping to spread the word with ratings, reviews, mentions and more. This is an independent project we took on together and its success lies with word of mouth. So we appreciate you more than you know.
SHIVER and SHATTER are both available now and UNBREAKABLE STORIES: LUCAS is releasing later this month. It’s a collection of five short stories and a novelette set between SHIVER and SHATTER. It came in around 32,000 words so we’re calling it a lazy afternoon read of fluffy sex and fun. It features mostly Lucas and Andrei, but all our guys make an appearance. It’s up for pre-order now.