First off I’d like to thank Lucy for hosting us today. No, seriously. She’s met me (Mina) and didn’t run away screaming, so she’s either as nuts as I am or has a backbone of steel… Okay, anyway. Today my partner in crime, BJ (yes, she’s used to the sniggers 😉 ), and I are here to talk about co-authoring. At least, we’ll try to, but we tend to go off on tangents, so you have been warned!
Right co-authoring. We get asked questions about this a lot. How do you write with someone else? How do you get your ideas? How’s it actually work? People do seem fascinated by the fact that we write together (of course, we both write solo as well).
Mina: Writing with someone else can be either a joy or an absolute nightmare. For it to work you have to a) actually like the other person, b) your writing styles have to mesh well and c) you have to make time to spend together writing.
None of the above are a problem for myself and BJ. We’re best friends so the amount of time we spend chatting is…well, most of the evening, any evening you care to mention. For me that is. BJ, bless her, is up at all times because we’re in different timezones.
BJ: (waves hi ya to Lucy) Thanks for letting us stop by. Different time zones? Hell, we’re on completely different continents. She’s in Europe and I’m in North America. I’ve got the time differences between the UK where Mina is and where I am in the northwest region of the US memorized. I’ve been accused of being a cyborg in the past for my ability to go without sleep to be able to write at all times of day or night. If we lived near each other, we’d be cranking out books left and right. As it is, we’re limited to a few hours at night on her side of the pond. Weekends work well, except for family, rugby and other unforeseen things that come up.
Writing with Mina is an absolute joy. For us, coming up with ideas isn’t a problem at all. Our problem is getting ambushed by rabid plot bunnies that drown us in ideas so much that we have trouble keeping up with them. The bunnies plant the ideas and then the characters take over. Then the characters don’t shut up. Insanity and all sorts of mayhem breaks loose once the characters are ‘telling’ us what to write. Well, they certainly tell me what to write. You’ve heard that authors are a bit crazy, right?
Mina and I are eerily alike, so we mesh well as friends and as writers.
Mina: The writing styles thing is a little more tricky. When you’re writing joint POV can be a real pain. When BJ and I write we each take a character and write for that character. It’s a throwback because we’re both text-based Star Trek RPGers. The writing style there is very different, and there’s lots of head hopping that would make any editor scream and run for the hills. We have to be aware of that as well as being sympathetic to the others writing style. My style tends to change with what I’m writing, and recently I’ve begun to move into darker paranormal thriller type stuff, so I have to be careful that my side isn’t too harsh for the story.
BJ: I have no style, lol. Just kidding, I’m not aware of having a set style. I think it depends on what I’m writing, content-wise. I know that when I write with Mina, I tend to pick up on some of her style or certain ways to word things. My normal humor (which can be twisted) gets twisted even more. I think we pick up things from each other. I’ve picked up even more British slang since knowing Mina. I don’t think she’s picked up any from me…but I have converted her to liking several of the actors that I like for use as current and future characters. Don’t ask us who they are…we’ll have to kill you. State secrets and all that you know. Just kidding.
We write our part, then copy and paste it into the ever temperamental Skype instant messenger so that we can go back and forth with the writing. The amount we write for each chapter changes depending on what we’re writing in the story. Dialogue, we go back and forth, almost like a normal conversation. Of course, we end up laughing a lot over the funny things and squirming at the steamy parts.
Mina: Making time to write…
Well, between our conversations about certain male actors, discussing our legion of plot bunnies and certain shows *cough*supernatural*cough*, we have to be fairly strict when we’re writing otherwise we can happily waste an evening chatting when we should be getting wordcount down. I’m a slave driver so I’m sure BJ would love to run and hide when we start a book *evil grin*
BJ: Hee, hee, hee! Don’t get us started on certain male actors. We’re both very visual when it comes to “casting” our heroes. If they don’t make our hearts and other…ahem…things…react, then they don’t make the cut. Eyes, lips, hair, body…is he lickable? Would he seem like someone that would be divine to spend hours nibbling on…
Oops, we were supposed to be talking about making time to write…Mina has an evil day job that prevents her from writing full time at the moment (though you can’t tell she’s not doing it full time if you look at how many books she’s written), so I work around her schedule. It’s not a big deal for me. I actually like getting up when everyone else is sleeping so work that I can write with her on the weekends…and I don’t run and hide. *sticks out tongue* It’s more like I’m waiting on pins and needles for when she can jump online and we can get to work.
(Back to Mina) So yeah, that’s us. Feed us cake, chocolate and coffee (me) or Coca-cola (BJ) and we’re happily cranking out stories. So, since we ramble and we’re bad at remembering stuff (and I say ‘so’ too much)…is there anything you guys wanna know? Feel free to question (but spare the bright Iight cause I squeak a bit 😉 )
Fresh out of a disciplinary that almost ruined her career and landed her in jail, Summer King is out for a much needed night on the town…or bar district in her local space station. It seems this King girl can’t stay out of trouble though, causing a bar brawl within minutes of her arrival.
Roz Taren is a mercenary, leader of the Wildcats, and a man who knows what he wants. Right now, that’s the pretty girl in the purple dress. Rescuing her from the unwanted attentions of a bunch of drunks lands her right in his bed for the hottest weeked he’s ever experienced.
Then she’s recalled and Roz discovers his little firebird is a fleet pilot aka insane crazy with a side of total fruitloop. Fleet pilots live fast, die young and leave legends behind. When he recieves word her ship is lost with all hands, Roz must bury her along with his heart.
Only this firebird isn’t your garden variety. This bird is a Phoenix…one out to tame a Wildcat.
Mina Carter was born and raised in Middle Earth (otherwise known as the Midlands, England). After a slew of careers ranging from logistics to land-surveying she can now be found in the wilds of Leicestershire with her husband and young daughter…the true boss of the family.
Suffering the curse of eternal curiosity Mina never tires of learning new skills which has led to Aromatherapy, Corsetry, Chain-maille making, Welding, Canoeing, Shooting, and pole-dancing to name but a few. A veteran Star Trek RPGer, she’s run both games and groups of games but now finds her home in Bravo Fleet, one of the internet’s oldest Star Trek simm groups.
She juggles being a mum, working full time and writing, tossing another ball in the air with her cover artwork. For Mina, writing time is the wee hours of the morning before anyone wakes up and starts making demands, or any spare minute that can be begged, bought or conned.
Her first stories were penned at age 11, when she used a stationery set meant for Christmas thank you letters to write stories instead. More recently, she wrote for her own amusement and to save on outrageous monthly book bills. Now she’s totally addicted and needs her daily writing fix or heads roll!
BJ Barnes – A fiery-tempered stay at home mom by day, Bethany J. Barnes is really a superhero in disguise. Equally at home creating fantastical worlds and the men and women who inhabit them or driving armed across county to collect a hot male (her gorgeous horse, Tristan), she’ll happily wrestle rattlesnakes, rescue baby owls or perform strenuous casting tests for male leads in her stories. An active RPGer, B.J. is equally happy writing hot paranormal or steamy sci-fi and is the mainstay of many online games. An accomplished photographer, B.J.’s specialties are concert and equine photography. She’s dabbled in wedding photography, but has no patience for Bridezillas.
PS – She’s been known to shoot a bumble bee hovering in midair. Not a lady to be messed with!
COMMENT TO WIN! The authors will be giving away a $10 Amazon gift certificate to one randomly drawn commenter, so don’t forget to comment on this post, and the others in the tour to increase your chances of winning!