The Pink Heart Society's FinDaBoo is nearly over...is your book nearly written? If not, PHS columnist Samantha Hunter is here with a different approach to getting the book written...writing with friends.
When I wrote my first Blaze, it was with a good friend, Cara Summers, who encouraged me to try writing that book and helped me through it, and I have all the belief in the world that her guidance was a big reason I sold Virtually Perfect so quickly.
However, in the years since then, I've found that I mostly write alone -- critique partners have come and gone, some incompatible for various reasons, most of us just too busy or working on different schedules. It's often too difficult to mesh your schedule and your needs with someone else's. So when I got together with three of my writing buddies to work on a new mini-series for Blaze earlier this summer, I wasn't sure how it would work out. When you get used to working on your own, it's always a question mark what it will be like to work with a group.
The mini-series, which is yet to be named, will be released in 2009, four books, one each month Sept - Dec (as far as we know -- these things are always changeable, of course), one from me, and then one each from Karen Foley, Tawny Weber, and Lisa Renee Jones. Our editor wanted books about a costume shop -- that's the springboard she gave us -- and we came up with 4 different takes on women who order sexy costumes from an online store and their costumes land them in some pretty interesting -- and erotic -- situations. Fun, huh? :)
Getting a new idea for a book is always exciting, but this time the fun was magnified by sharing all the different ways we could bend this premise, and we came up with some pretty cool stuff, if I don't say so myself. I think it was even more creative because we were all banging ideas around. Hearing their ideas triggered mine, and back and forth, and we all came up with books on the premise that hook together, and yet which all are still very individual to who we are as writers -- it was really neat how it worked out.
It became quickly apparent that we are all chatty and we share a lot of our ideas about the series, shared all of our synopses, and so forth. The books are connected by a common character we created who has her own story in addition to the main hero-heroine. So, we are co-writing a subplot that stretches across all four books. This could be a disaster if you clash with the people you work with, but instead, we all threw in ideas, and where there were gaps or questions, someone always had the right idea to make it perfect -- it's wonderful -- it worked out so easily. The pains that one writer normally goes through, trying to solve a plotting or character problem suddenly has four brains approaching it.
We'll be writing the books individually, but sharing what we have, and making sure they all fit. I know there's a good support system in place, people I can talk to if I have a glitch, someone who can look at a scene, or just listen to some whining. All in all, this group-writing thing is wonderful. I've heard varying reports, and I guess it could be less than wonderful if you aren't with the right group, but I'm fortunate enough that my first collaborative project is with these creative, talented women.
We're all on Love is an Exploding Cigar of course, and so we'll all be promoting the books together, and it really is a truly collaborative, group experience, from start to finish. While all books are special, I know this mini-series book will alway be special to me because it will remind me of this unique experience of writing with friends. Hopefully we'll be back here at Pink to talk about it again when the books come out, and it will be cool to look back and see what adventures will happen in the meantime....
Make sure to keep an eye out for Sam's next release, Talking in Your Sleep hits stores this December. In the meantime, be sure to check out Sam's website and blog, Love is an Exploding Cigar.