But this week my favorite blogger, Anne R. Allen, has posted an article about-authoring books by Melodie Campbell, and, since I wrote one like that myself not so long ago, I’m inspired to respond to it.
The first bit of advice Melodie gives is to find someone whose style is simiar to yours. Right? No, wrong.
I met my co-author in a writing class and quickly realized we had different writing styles. I write fast–I called it “down and dirty”–and Carole writes slowly, using lots of adjectives, similes and metaphors. It occurred to me we should combine our styles, and when I telephoned Carole, it turned out she felt the same way about me.
So, since we lived in the same town, we got together and brain-stormed our first book. That gave us an outline for a romance novel, and we were off. Since our styles were so different, we took advantage of that. I wrote the first chapter, “down and dirty,” and gave it to Carole. She added all those great words, plus similes and metaphors, all the stuff I coudn’t do. We not only finished that book, we wrote two more together, one a straight mystery and the other a romantic-suspense.
Then tragedy came calling. Carole bought a new computer (different from mine) and my husband retired, so we moved 500 miles away. We decided that, since Carole still worked and I didn’t, that I would send our books to agents and editors, and Carole would send me postage-money from time to time. And I sold our first book, SOUTHERN STAR, to Avalon Books, a well-known romance publisher. That came nineteen years after we first wrote it. Lesson: never give up.
But the publisher, who had already paid us a nice advance, went out of business, and guess who bought them? Amazon! So, SOUTHERN STAR is now a Montlake Romance and they sell copies for us reglarly.
Carole and I kept in touch, slightly, but eventually, we found ourselves able to write together again, so we did. We polished our remaining books and sold another one, the straight mystery, EYEWITNESS, which came out this past October from Coffeetown Press. Our third one is keeping some editor’s desk warm right now, but they can’t win. They’re destined to buy it (says I).
So, even with two completely different styles, we forged a writing bond. We haven’t written any more books together, but Carole left her job and writes books, both romance and romantic-suspense, and I’ve learned to use words, even similes and metaphors, much better. Carole has sold three more of her books, and I’ve sold fourteen of mine.
But, one thing Melodie said in her article is definitely true. Trust between partners is very important, and Carole and I definitely have that down pat. When we do get together, even our husbands get along.