Tempting Brits, Dual POV, and Getting Dragged From the Mud
Karen Stivali and I have been critique partners for just under two years. Our co-authored erotic romance, Long-Distance Lovers, will be out in February from Ellora’s Cave. Karen and I talked about co-writing since we first began working together, but we didn’t find time until we were both in the throws of the submission process with our first full-length novels.
Other writers and friends have asked how we handled the mechanics of co-authoring. We started with good old-fashioned brainstorming (via instant message, that’s the non-old-fashioned part). We both like complex characters, so the starting point was Tim and Jenna. After that, it was a matter of getting to know them and their back-stories, how they would meet, what their difficulties would be, and how they would fall in love.
We knew we wanted Tim to be a musician and we had to make him British as we both have a preoccupation with Brits. Tim’s physical attributes came quickly—we both had the same type in mind. His personality embodies much of what Karen and I adore about British men. There’s no denying a sensitive bloke with a quick wit and an enthusiastic sex drive. It’s very appealing.
Jenna, our heroine, came together in an uncanny way, both of us drawn to eerily similar traits for her, on our own. Jenna’s very strong, but there’s a real vulnerability to her because of her past. That’s part of what Tim is attracted to, but that also becomes a stumbling block when things fall apart.
In terms of the writing, we went with dual POV. Karen S wrote Tim’s parts and I wrote Jenna’s. We alternated as we went—she would write one scene, I would write the next scene and so on. When one of us came up with a new plot point, we inserted it into a shared master plan to keep track of where the story was going.
One of the best things about co-authoring is having the chance to bounce ideas off someone who not only knows the story as well as you do, but also has as much emotionally invested in it. When you get stuck, there’s that other person there to drag you out of the mud.
Blurb for Long-Distance Lovers:
British musician Tim Wentworth trades his London flat for an apartment in NYC so he can record with a promising American band, but when he arrives in Manhattan he learns that the gig has been canceled. With no job and a two month stay in the States he wonders if the whole trip has been a waste of time, until he meets the charming and talented jewelry designer, Jenna Bradford.
Unlike the groupies who throw themselves at Tim after shows, Jenna couldn’t be less impressed by his music credentials. Bad experiences have caused her to have a strict “no musicians” policy. When Tim rescues Jenna from the advances of an obnoxious drunk they strike up a friendship that in spite of her rules, turns into a passionate affair full of intense and unexpected emotions. As they try to find a way to prolong their time together, a family tragedy forces Tim to return to England. Jenna and Tim must each decide how far they’re willing to go to see if their whirlwind romance can lead to a lifetime of love.
You can learn more about Karen Stivali at http://karenstivali.com
You can learn more about Karen Booth at http://karenbooth.net
Karen S and Karen B also maintain a site at http://thekarens.com