About a year ago my good friend, Jolene Perry and I were chatting about collaborations. Jo writes them all the time with a lot of different people. In passing (while we were both lamenting about how busy we were) we said(and I’m paraphrasing here to make us sound awesome… ;) ):
We’d definitely write spec fic together I think
Something sorta scary and other-worldly?
Yes, but still character driven.
Like reality… but twisted…
Not long after I found all these pictures as I was feeding my addiction (stock photography) and was like, this is super cool… THIS is the type of thing Jo and I would write together… so I plopped them all into photoshop put some horrible font on them that said something about fate, titled the image THINGS I SHOULD NOT BE THINKING ABOUT and sent it to her.
An hour later I had Chapter One in my inbox…
We wrote Fated in 10-14 days. It was super fun and neither one of us really thought about it, or expected much to come from it. Just a fun exercise in creativity with a friend.
That project is on the back burner right now.
Beacause, what happens when two people write a HUGE and INTENSE high concept book in ten days with no outline and or intensive world-building?
Plot holes… that’s what…
What we did learn from this book is that we make good writing partners… We value the same things when it comes to storytelling. We have similar styles. We have similar tastes in characters and topics. Most of the time we talk overtop of each other in high pitched excited voices about where we both believe the story should go.
We don’t always agree on details but we both see structure in the same way and we push each other to really understand what we’re doing. What the goal is. World-building is hard, and it makes it a little easier when there is another person to immediately say “That doesn’t make sense.” or “Is that really needed or do you just think it sounds cool?” or “OMG I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE it!”
Both of us are flexible with ideas, we trust each other to write/edit each others chapters, we push back when we don’t agree, and we always always always make sure that the it stays fun! That’s not to say it’s EASY… It’s not easy, but it is fun!
A few months after we wrote our first book I get an email saying “Help! I LOVE this story, but it’s wrong. Something’s wrong. Her voice is wrong.”
I read the book thinking that I’d give her some notes on what I thought, and how I saw the story progessing. Terek was amazing. I could tell that Jolene really knew him. His character, his goals, his personality, his little ticks, like tapping his earlobe when he thinks… that was ALL there. It was true, however, that his counterpart in the story was lacking voice. Her voice really was not as strong as it could be, but I still loved her. The idea of her formed in my head like the magical being she is.
Well, I didn’t expect my girl be so loud, and I knew I’d miss her… so when Jolene asked if I’d just WRITE Rupashi of course I said YES!
Enough love-festing here and get to the NEWS!
We aren’t the only ones who think this story is sort of neat…
Rachel Stout of the DYSTEL & GODERICH LITERARY AGENCY is taking on our collaboration that we’ve decided to release under the pseudonym AJ BROOKS! I’m super pumped that our magical genie story will at least get a chance in the big world of publishing.
I’m also pumped to say that the agency has signed me on as well, so I can officially say ‘Repped by’ and feel like a badass… ;)
There’s still a long road ahead and zero certainty but the little team of people we’re building around this name makes me very happy and hopeful indeed!