February 15, 2013

Beautiful Co-Writing: Authors Working Together

One of the first questions most people ask me about Depression Cookies is how it was writing a book with my mom. What I find more intriguing is the idea of writing a book with another author, not related. 

Mom and I have a lifetime (my lifetime anyway) of figuring out our relationship and knowing what does and doesn't work for us. Plus, she's the one who fostered in me a love of reading and writing.

I have found many authors I've clicked with over the years. Could I write a book with them? I'm not sure. I'm not opposed to the idea, but I think it could be an interesting journey, to say the least.

So when I discovered Beautiful Creatures was written by two friends, Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, I was intrigued. Even more so when I read this from the back cover of the book: "Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl came up with the concept for Beautiful Creatures, their debut novel, over lunch."

Note: I think my writer friends and I need to have lunch WAY more often.

Then, in the Acknowledgments section, it mentioned that they wrote the rough draft (the book comes in at 563 pages) in three months. Wow! Three months and co-authored.

In an interview on the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, found here, the authors addressed writing together. 

An excerpt:

Q: As co-authors of The Caster Chronicles, can you tell us what it is like to write with another person? Is there a team process involved?

A: Kami: Our writing process is unique to say the least, and often makes other authors cringe when we describe it. We discuss the plot at length and create an outline together. Then we each work on separate chapters. When we finish, we trade, and hack away at each other’s writing--deleting, adding, and changing. We pass the same chapters back so many times that most sentences have a few words of Margaret’s and a few of mine.

Mom and I traded chapters, so we each had our own voice. I can't imagine sending chapters back and forth and each having pieces of the story, even pieces of a sentence.

Can you imagine writing a novel this way?

My daughter, soon 13, read Beautiful Creatures over Christmas. When we found out there would be a movie, I promised her I would read it. I am 100 pages away from finishing, and we are seeing it tonight. 

So far, I really love it. Look for a review next week on Mom in Love with Fiction (of the book and movie). Although I'm sure I'll mention it on this blog as well.

Two initial thoughts...

Cover: I'm not in love with it. It just seems they could have done a bit more. Too understated for my tastes. Thoughts?

Praise: "Give this to fans of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight or HBO's True Blood series." SLJ -- They could do better for their huge back cover quote. Actually they did, just lower down on the back cover and smaller. "A hauntingly delicious dark fantasy," Cassandra Clare AND "A lush Southern gothic," Holly Black. Both quotes more accurately represent the novel, so it's a shame one of them wasn't featured. Plus, there isn't a vampire in this novel, so why evoke Twilight?

And for fun, the trailer...


Tammy Theriault said...

Julie andrews did that, so why not? :-)

Julie Glover said...

I like the cover, but it doesn't tell me anything about the book. I heard the movie isn't great, and the book is better. I hope you let us know what you think of the film!

Mel Kinnel (@TizMellyMel) said...

Let us know how the movie is!

Jo Michaels said...

I went to see this on Saturday. Good movie, but I bet the book is much better (as usual). I have a billion ideas floating around with a chapter written or copious notes. I wonder how they do the royalty payments...


If that part proved easy, I'd be willing to co-author a book or two (or three). Great post! WRITE ON!

Tia Bach said...

I did write a post yesterday about the movie... long story short: I was disappointed in how much they changed it, particularly the main guy character (Ethan). He seemed so much stronger and attractive in the book. The movie had him being too weak for me.

But it wasn't bad.