Jun 28, 2013

Two Heads are Better Than One

I'm very excited because my new release is just about to hit the shops! Even more excited because the story came from a collaboration between myself and fellow lovecat Sue MacKay!

Around this time last year our editors approached us and asked if we would be interested in writing a duet- two linked stories with an overarching theme. Having been critique partners, conference roommates and good friends for years we jumped at the chance! So after a few long-distance phone calls and some in-conference brainstorming an idea or two were born, run by the editors, tweaked and then...we were off! It was so exciting to see our ideas shape and take form.

The overarching theme of the duet is about twin brothers who have a grudge- they work in the same hospital but barely speak to each other and compete for everything- including women. The first book, The Gift of A Child, belongs to Sue and charts Mitchell's story introducing ties that start to bind the brothers again. The second, How To Resist A Heartbreaker, is my book and - I hope- gives the brothers the satisfactory and fitting end the deserve.

The adage two heads are better than one was so fitting here- it was lovely to be able to bounce ideas off someone who 'gets' you. To write for the same company and the same line is brilliant, but to write two halves of the same story was special. After years of supporting each other it's such a thrill to see our names on the same cover!

Writing a book as part of a series was a new experience for me- I usually beaver away on my own, living in my thoughts and with the voices in my head. This time I had to rethink that process and wonder how my story fitted with Sue's, whether the boys would behave in a certain way, what their collective experiences were etc. It was a challenging exercise, but so rewarding.

What about you- are you more a 'go it alone' kind of person, or do you like to collaborate when it comes to work/tasks etc?


  1. These stories sound fabulous, Louisa! I can hear how much fun the two of you had coming up with the story idea and then writing them. :-)

    This is timely for me as my July release is Book 1 in the Bellaroo Creek series written with Barbara Hannay and Soraya Lane. I really enjoyed the process and had a blast writing the book. Working with other writers is such a privilege.

    At heart I'm probably more of a 'go it alone' person, but collaborating is wonderful too and keeps me fresh. :-)

  2. Hey, Louisa, you know me, a go-it-alone type who, when it turns to custard,wishes she wasn't. But writing this duet with you was an extension of how we've worked together in the past, only this time coming up with two stories that enhanced each other. I love the stories and thoroughly enjoyed the process that got them into print. It was fun.

  3. Hi Louisa,

    I vary. There are books of mine where I just need to focus on my own vision and others where I'm eager for input, like with my current one, working out exactly how the black moment would be came more easily after chatting with writing mates. I love plot storming, but preferably with people who know and love the style of book I'm writing - someone who 'gets' the feel of it. It can be such a treat. Your linked books sound terrific.

  4. Hi Michelle! How exciting too that your book is also part of a series! Like you, I'm normally a 'go it alone' person- and usually a pantser too, but I really had to sort out my process when I was writing with Sue because we both needed to know how the books ended and a whole lot of other things in between! Great fun, and definitely kept me on my toes!

  5. Hey Sue, I still have to pinch myself when I see both of our names on the same book!!! We've come a long way girlfriend! xx

  6. Hi Annie! Isn't plot storming (LOVE that name) fun?! Sometimes it's really great just to have someone else's input- it can 'flick a switch' inside your head and see things from a different perspective. Great!

  7. Hi Louisa - cant wait to read these!

    I've done both types of writing and think they both have their pros and cons. But its the absolute FUN you can't beat when collaboration is involved. I remember doing the recent KISS continuity and having an hysterical conversation with Kimberly Lang and Aimee Carson about how I'd used the word "jonesing" wrong! Dont think I've ever laughed that hard :-)

  8. Hi Louisa

    I do love the sound of these books :) I am not a writer and I think I usually am a go it alone person but there are times when I need help with things and gladly take it

    Congrats on the series I look forward to reading them both (need more time to read LOL)

    Have Fun

  9. How lovely that you had the opportunity to write a book with your friend and critique buddy, Louisa. These stories sound fantastic.

    I've only written alone so don't know what it would be like to write with someone else. Reckon it could be great fun though!!

  10. Hi Louise!

    This two in one is next on my list. I had planned to start reading this afternoon, but now it seems I have to read the first book then the second! Wow! Awesome!

    Congratulations on the release!

  11. Hi Amy! Sounds like you had a ball working out your KISS continuity- that is one series I am hanging out to read! (I have no idea what 'jonesing' means- so you got me there!)

  12. Hi Helen, thanks for popping by! Yeah, I'm usually a go it alone person, but I'm learning to ask for help when I need it! LOL!

  13. Hi Jennifer- if you get the chance it is great fun knocking out the plots and having someone else to bounce ideas off... and, as Amy says, there's lots of fun involved too!

  14. Hi Nas! It probably works better if you read them one after the other, although they are designed as stand alone books too- hope you enjoy them!

  15. I love duets. I will be watching for the Maitland twin's stories in July.