This week at the AuthorIsland Tiki Hut , we welcome award-winning authors Desiree Holt and Cerise DeLand who stop by to talk with us about co-authoring. Together they just kicked off the Nemesis Series, a new series for Ellora's Cave's Breathless line of erotic romantic suspense, with their first book together UNTIL THE DAWN.
Meet Desiree Holt: All her life, Desiree dreamed of faraway places and unbelievably sexy men. From baseball players to rock musicians to television personalities she met them all and each one enriched her life. Now tucked away in the Texas Hill Country, she shares her fantasies with her readers. In her satin robe, with her scented candle burning and a chilled glass of wine at hand, she lets her mind run wild — and hopes you’ll take the journey with her. When she’s not writing, she reads and indulges in her other passion — watching football.
VISIT DESIREE HOLT'S WEBSITE
Meet Cerise DeLand: What’s a gal to do if she hails from D.C., lives now deep in the heart of Texas, travels often everywhere, and adores Paris, Florence, London, Tokyo and all points east and west? Ah. She becomes an author who can write about those romantic places. And if your sweet tooth craves spies, pirates, body guards and gutsy women of today and yesteryears of medieval and Regency England, then she is the author you crave for smoldering erotic encounters and delicious love affairs!
Her name? Cerise DeLand. What’s more is that Cerise is the award-winning author of 18 print novels of mystery, mainstream and romance with St. Martin’s Press, Pocket Books and Kensington. Her books have been on every book club list you can name, including Featured Selections of The Mystery Guild, Doubleday and Rhapsody. And when she isn’t dreaming up fiction? Cerise also writes non-fiction. Busy lady. Happy writer.
VISIT CERISE DELAND'S WEBSITE
Co-authoring…the spice in the stew
Cerise Deland and Desiree Holt
Authors of Until the Dawn, Nemesis: Book One
So you’re doing really well as a solo author. Great. Most of the authors out there are right there with you. But did you ever think about sticking your toe in deeper water? Finding the ticket to enhancing your ‘voice’? Bringing a new dimension to your writing? Exchange ideas? Give your work a fresh voice? Put the ‘fun’ back in writing? Then maybe co-authoring is for you. It offers continued interaction with another writer outside a critique group, and the interaction helps keep you sane, happy and creative.
Co-authoring is different than collaborating. In collaboration two or more authors get together to create a series, each one writing an entire title. In co-authoring, you are writing simultaneously. In some instances this means alternate chapters, in some alternate POVs. You have to find out what works for you. What your best method of working together is. This means brainstorming plots, refining characters, finding the common ground on which to build the story. And as you do this, the best method of co-authoring emerges.
How do you decide the point in your career to try this? For everyone it’s different. Maybe you’re stuck in a genre rut and want to try something new. Maybe you’ve become too plot-oriented and want to hook up with someone who’s more character-oriented. Maybe you want to try a new genre altogether but doing it alone is scary and intimidating. And maybe you’re having coffee, or wine, or a long cyberchat with another writer with whom you’ve developed a great relationship. And then suddenly out pops an idea and you both say, “Let’s write a book together.”
The first thing to consider is whether your styles blend. Have you read each other’s work? Do you know how the other person writes? For example: if a writer tends to write dark but you have a light and fun style could you work together? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe the style could complement each other and create a fresh new voice for both of you. That’s definitely something to hash out.
Another point to consider is how you write. Are you a plotter or a pantser? Do your characters talk to you when you’re writing and sometimes send the story in another direction? If it happens to one of you and not the other, then you have to discussing detail if the two methods can blend without disrupting the story. Following a timeline is another point to discuss. How much time a day you each spend writing and will you both keep to the schedule you collaboratively set for yourselves.
And finally, can you each accept the other’s critiques without blowing a gasket. Writing is probably the single profession where having a thick skin gives you the best advantage. You may be in love with every word you write but not everyone else will be. And you will not grow as a writer—or work effectively with another one—if you are not willing to be a sponge and soak up every bit of logical criticism. And then between you, you take what works and toss the rest.
We consider ourselves very fortunate. We blend our styles, work easily and well together, love the same kind of stories and the same kind of characters. This series, Nemesis, of which Until the Dawn is the first book, is iour first co-authoring venture but you can bets it won’t be our last.
WIN - Leave Desiree and/or Cerise a comment or question this week at the AuthorIsland Tiki Hut and your name goes in the hat for a copy of their first book together UNTIL THE DAWN. Please leave your email address so we can contact you if you are this week's winner - Good Luck!