Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Writer Collaborations. Writer Friends, Who Needs Them?


One of the surprising and best things about my career is the relationships I’ve made in the writing trenches. Mostly, as an introverted writer, I hang out in a writing cave. Alone. (I’m really good on my own.) But without many exceptions, I’ve loved working with and rubbing shoulders with other writers.

My first collaboration began in 2013 with the first publication of the Authors of Main Street Christmas box set. That box set totally rocked the charts. Since then, we’ve published a box set every year, but none of them blew out of the box the way the first one did. For a variety of reasons, I’m sure. Timing, marketing, competition. The interesting thing is that even though I’ve worked with the Authors of Main Street for eight years, I haven’t actually met any of them face to face, but when a member of our group died, I cried. You can read about the (remarkable) performance of our first box set here:

This past year, I participated in the creation of a romance series featuring fifty-somethings with my writers’ group, OC Fictionaires. I first joined Fictionaires in 2010. I love and admire these people. I’m not exactly sure who first came up with the idea of creating the Better Late Romance series, but after the conversation turned from what-if to let’s do this, we met at a restaurant to hammer out the details. All of our characters live in our fictional Orange County coastal town Rancho Allegro. All of the stories involve an earthquake and, as I mentioned earlier, feature older couples. We agreed on a heat level (PG-13), Mike drew up a map, and we even all signed a contract. We’re each responsible for the marketing and publishing of our own books, but we have links to each other’s books in our own. Beth, whose book comes out soon, created a website:

Not to long ago, I co-wrote a book with Greta Boris. It came about on a morning walk when we were talking about books with multiple points of view characters. Greta was complaining about a book she’d read where the author would tell the exact same scene from two different characters’ points of view. I told her about how once I’d hosted a gathering at my house and had spent the evening in a snit (for a lot of very reasonable reasons). The next morning, a woman called me and said the evening changed her life. She’d been so moved by the speaker and music she’d decided to give her marriage another chance. (She’s still married, by the way.) It amazed me that I could have attended the exact same event (not only attended but held it in my home) and have a wildly different experience. Greta said, you have to write that story. I said no, I already have too many other, better ideas. Greta said, if you don’t write it, I will. We compromised and wrote it together. You can read Greta’s side of the story here:

There’s an old African proverb that says, If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. As introverted writers, sometimes we need to be pried out of our caves. People need people. Even writers.



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