Lisa Janine Cloud – When it comes to the actual writing, how does that work? Do you each pick a character and write his chapters or what?
VL: I love these questions about processes. I find it fascinating how each author/team of author’s craft their books! It seems that each writer/duo goes about creating novels in slightly different ways. RJ and I are lucky in that our processes are extremely similar which makes things so much easier.
RJ: Yeah, mostly I write it all, and V does the headings… and sometimes the page numbers. I let her do them, but no one tell her that Word does it automatically, it will disappoint her
VL: Well someone is feeling sassy today I see…
RJ: All kidding aside, I have written with a couple of co-authors and every team is different. With Vicki we spend a while to start really getting into the heads of our characters. To do this we actually write the blurb from notes, and take a character each. We have an understanding of back character, and you’ll see all of our chatting forming the final blurb where we condense the concept of the story and the character himself.
VL: We also go by feel a great deal. By that I mean we’ll connect with one character a little more and then that’s the character we write. Sometimes it’s right off, that connection, and other times we have to feel our way to that connection. It’s kind of like meeting a person for the first time in real life. Some folks you hit it off with right away and others you have to get to know better before a bond develops.
RJ: Agreed. Like we felt Ten and Jared immediately, that was an instant thing with us, but I know, and I can’t remember which book it was, but the character only fully coalesced when I’d written three or so of his chapters. Then it’s a matter of going back and seeding that understanding in anything you’ve already written.
VL: Yeah, Ten and Jared were pretty much defined right out of the gate. That was probably why we ripped through that book as quickly as we did. Some of the others we had to tinker with a bit and feel out. A lot of it, I think, depends on how strong that characters voice is in my head. Ten’s is always strong, as is Stan’s and Trent’s. Adler’s as well. Ben was a little harder for me to pin down but he came along as did Gatlin.
RJ: Then we will start the book, and yes, we take a chapter each, and the chapters alternate between each character (apart from in Changing Lines when Jared got all up in our faces and demanded two chaps in a row!). So say, Vicki will write chapter 1, then I will do 2, she will do 3, and so on. Each chapter is informed by what happened in the previous chapter, and there is *much talking* after each chapter as to motivation, story direction, the whole *what happens next* thing.
VL: So much talking happens. But it’s all important even if there are some giggles and joshing thrown in since each character is so much a part of the author writing it, we want to make sure when we write the other leading man we have it right and truly the only person who will know that is the character’s creator. So we do a lot of, “Does this sound like Layton?” or “Would Ten say this?” back and forth.
RJ: And then we deliberately end our chapters on them going into the bedroom so the other author has to write the sex… oh wait… that’s just me.
VL: #SmuttyVicki. She knows I don’t mind all that much even if I do sputter and make like I do. *wink* So, I hope that answers your question, Lisa. Thanks for such a great one! *Squishy hugs* Vix
RJ: Yep, thanks Lisa, hugs and kisses, RJ XXX