When The Book Pushers first heard about the Royal House of Shadows Series and how the four author would be writing within the same world we were blown away. Of course we had to read the books and find out all we could about the series!!
Then we took it a step further and emailed Gena, Jill, Jessica and Nalini to see if they would be willing to share their thoughts on what it was like to work on a project like this. Here is what they had to say!
I’ve been a fan of Jill Monroe, Jessica Andersen and Nalini Singh since their first books were published. When the opportunity to work with these amazingly talented ladies presented itself, I jumped all over it.
Writing the first book in a multi author series was a new experience for me. Oh, I’d plotted a fictional world with other (amazing) authors before. PC Cast and I built the world of the Myteria novellas from the ground up, along with MaryJanice Davidson and Susan Grant (I work with the best ladies, don’t I?). But the Royal House of Shadows project had to encompass not only the world the characters lived in, but also a central defining moment that each of our main characters could experience differently, while at the same time allowing for four different fairy tale elements to be woven into the seams (without ripping everything apart for the other authors).
We stayed in contact throughout the entire process, emailing back and forth, shaping and honing our ideas and our characters to stay true to our own ideas, as well as each other’s. And let me tell you, these ladies are generous, kind, and brilliant as hell.
Did I mention I had a blast? I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything!
I had so much fun working with Gena Showalter, Jessica Andersen and Nalini Sighn on Royal House of Shadows. For me, writing is usually a very solitary business – just me alone with my notebook. But with this series, I had the unique opportunity to bounce ideas off other writers, feed off their excitement, and basically have a blast. This summer, we all met over lunch (several of us for the first time in person) along with our editor, Tara Gavin, and it was like we’d been friends forever.
Now for the nuts and bolts of how it all worked. Once were were all on board for Royal House, we simply threw out ideas for several days. One of those ideas was rewriting some of our favorite fariytales, and that just seemed to click for us all. The next step was choosing which tale we wanted, and which sibling. I was excited to be writing the only sister. Being an only girl myself to two older brothers, I have some stories to tell! We created a word document that acted as our blueprint, each of us adding information to help the others. BUT there were some mad dashing of e-mails to make sure we weren’t messing up each other’s stories.
I hope readers enjoy the stories as much I did writing them. I can’t wait to read the other three books myself!
What was it like working with Gena, Nalini and Jill? In a word … AWESOME!
I knew Gena going into the project (from a bus tour a couple of years back that was highlighted by in-depth discussions of girls’ night at Canadian strip clubs … but I digress), but ‘met’ Nalini and Jill for the first time when we started emailing ideas for the Royal House of Shadows books. Well, you know how sometimes people just click? It was like that for the four of us, and we started bouncing ideas back and forth so fast it was like an email ping-pong game!
For me, one of the best parts was how we created a world and a story premise that gave each of us the chance to write what we wanted, while still being part of the whole. Vampires, dark seducers, lords of the underworld, tormented princesses, sorcerers, werewolves, monsters … we got to take the stories and run with them, meaning that each installment has its own unique voice and different twist on the fairy tales we used as a jumping-off point. For me, it was taking Little Red Riding Hood and making the wolf into the hero … and it’s been a blast to see what each of the other mega-talented authors has done with her story!
Working with Gena, Jill and Jessica, was a fun experience, as well as an intriguing challenge writing-wise. Each of us has our own distinct writing style and voice, and for the series to work, we had to maintain that individuality, while tying the four books together in a storyline readers would enjoy following from book to book.
We brainstormed the series concept via e-mail, some of the e-mails being exchanged so fast, it was as if we were in the same room, hashing out all the aspects. Once we had the basic structure, we went away and worked on our individual stories – but we continued to keep each other updated if we felt any part of our story would impact on the overall storyline, or on one of the other three books, or if we thought of something we felt the other authors would find useful in their stories.
There are certain points where the stories intersect, so for example, you might experience the same event from two different perspectives – in that situation, we had to ensure the two different viewpoints, while they might be utterly different (i.e. the viewpoint of an adult character vs that of a child, or that of someone on the outside vs someone on the inside), still worked together to create the same complete scene.
I love the final result, with each of the stories set in a different part of the same overall “world”. Not only did this approach allow us freedom within our own stories, it gives readers four unique parts of the RHOS universe to explore.