BP: We would like to welcome Ms Lorelie Brown one half of the writing duo known as Katie Porter. Their first book Double Down releases on the 31st. Don’t forget to check back for our review of Double Down and their new author spotlight tomorrow. It is one thing to take on a project of any type by yourself but it is something else when you involve another person not just as an adviser but as an equal part of the entire process. We were curious about how that all works so we asked if we could get a post on working with a co-writer. Enjoy learning some of their secrets…
When I started writing Double Down and the other “Vegas Top Guns” books with Carrie Lofty, I discovered working with a co-writer is a little like having a long distance relationship. Sure, you can do it all by yourself—and I have, a couple times, publishing historical romances solo—and it’s probably ten times better if you can do it in person, but it’s also a hell of a great time when it works. And co-writing is also like a long distance relationship in that technology helps a freaking ton.
I’ve written half a dozen books by myself. Not a lot compared to some authors, I know, but fairly respectable. Every one has been a labor of love. Sometimes emphasis is more on labor than love, particularly when it comes to different parts of the process. Me, I hate doing fine line edits on my own books. It’s a skill I’ve had to work on very carefully and with a lot of added attention.
It just so happens that Carrie is freaking excellent at line edits. She can rearrange three words in one sentence and elevate the entire thing to a whole new level. With her, it’s not just a skill, it’s both an art and an obsession.
What I am pretty good at is seeing the overall romantic arc of a story. Where the characters need to amp up their romanticism or the bits that make a reader actually believe a couple can continue once there’s bills and every day life to contend with.
And both Carrie and I write really rocking sex, though for different reasons.
So putting our processes together to write Double Down and the other Katie Porter books was practically a piece of cake. Heck, it was as wonderful as pie inside of cake. (It’s a thing. Really. Look it up, and be prepared to gain five pounds just from looking at the recipe.)
That we were writing the Katie Porter books long-distance added a few more quirks, but it still wasn’t too bad. One word: the internet. Eek, that’s two words. Well. You know what I mean.
Google Docs became our friend. Our workspace. Our office, practically! We have dozens and dozens of shared documents on Google—at least three for each of the seven books we’ve written together. What’s difficult is organizing those files. I have folders—or “collections” as Google Docs calls them—but my list always seems to default to a big long list of everything I’ve got out there. When I work on my computer, I work from a very clean default. Everything is folders inside of folders and my desktop is spic and span. Working from Google Docs has meant some adjustment on that front!
The funny part of the whole “Vegas Top Guns” series is that brainstorming hasn’t really changed at all. Even when Carrie and I worked as critique partners on our solo books, they almost always started with an IM session where the one writing the book started with their core ideas. Actually, that should be current tense—I have Wayward One coming out in February and Carrie has Starlight out now, and both started with IM sessions.
But the really fun part of working with a partner is that the ideas never really seem to stop or even slow down. Carrie and I text regularly and one minute we’ll be making squinchy faces over the stupid thing our kid just did and the next minute someone will text, “Hey, have you thought about Canes and Chains lately? I think we need a scene where Remy orders Daniel to his knees.”
See what I mean? I adore technology!