Thursday, March 19, 2015

Team Writing: Guest Post by Author Regan Black

People ask Debra and I all the time how co-writing romantic suspense novels works for us. First, you have to know Deb is an idea factory. She comes up with a scenario and creates a brief outline and then we talk and brainstorm until we have a story concept with characters we both love. And then we talk it out some more.

As we dig into the writing process, phones and text messaging become the lifeline. From the brainstorming, to the inevitable “What did you mean here?”, to the final edits, we do it all by phone. Or text.

We still laugh about the day I was stuck on a backstory point with a hero and she said, “Oh! Maybe his parents were in the circus. That would give him…” My answer was something along the lines of a profound “Hmm. I’ll think about it.”

And I did. Despite my resistance to the idea, it was actually workable. It might be our inside joke, but it’s probably a safe bet that circus parents will eventually show up in one of our books.

Of course there was the flurry of text messages when we realized I had set the story set in one place, and she had a chase and love scene set on the other side of the state. Neither of us had noticed it in the outline. We laughed a long time about the potential sexual tension on that drive.

What makes co-writing work so well for us? I believe it’s comes down to communication and appreciation for each other’s strengths. Sharing a similar sense of humor doesn’t hurt. Add in mutual trust and you’ve got the essential elements to our partnership.

The Hunk Next Door (Harlequin Intrigue Nov/2014) was our first release, kicking off The Specialists: Heroes Next Door series. The second story, Heart of a Hero hit the shelves on February 1st. To Honor and To Protect will be out June 1, 2015.

Because we were on a roll, Deb and I launched the Dangerous Protectors romantic suspense trilogy with Against The Wall (Dec/2014) Too Far Gone (Jan/2015) and Nothing To Lose (Feb/2015).

Of course we continue to work on our individual titles, but with every new story idea Deb and I get more excited to share our co-written books with readers. Team writing has been a joyful, energizing experience for both of us and I can hardly wait to dive into the adventures our next phone call will create.

Live the adventure!

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