Today we have two guest bloggers with us, husband and wife duo Matt Carter and F.J. Titchenell. I hope you enjoy getting to know more about their debut novel Splinters, first book in The Prospero Chronicles from Jolly Fish Press. Splinters mixes mystery, humor, and science fiction in a way that will leave readers desperate for more. Enjoy the guest post from Matt Carter below on writing together with his wife.
One of the questions we’ve gotten most when we tell people we write together is, “How does that work for you?” The answer? “It’s easy.”
They look at us a lot like I imagine you’re looking at the screen right now, like we’re crazy and full of it and just making up the “it’s easy” parts because we don’t want to let you into the sordid life and minds of a couple of married authors. And all right, maybe there is some of that too, but not much, not by a long shot. If there was, we’d either be in some kind of counseling at this point or vowing never to write together again, and since there’s no counseling in our future and plans for many a joint novel ahead, well, I think you can get a fair idea of how functional we are as a team.
So how do we do it? How do we pull off the ever elusive joint writing team that has caused many a friendship and marriage to self-destruct?
Short Answer: Communication
Long Answer: We talk everything out before we ever actually do anything
Whenever we jump into a project together, we make sure we’ve got a solid outline together and an even more solid understanding of who does what so we’re not stepping on each others toes. Before jumping into Splinters, we spent a long time discussing everything from the characters to the universe as a whole that our story takes place in before we ever set down anything to an outline or any serious words to a page. We knew she would handle the Mina chapters and I would handle the Ben chapters, and we went at the story from there. Of course, some overlap is only natural when we’re writing things at the same time that happen more or less at the same time in the book, but we would always find a way to smooth that out during the editing process. Between the two of us, we would average two chapters a weekend, one for Ben and one for Mina, we’d exchange them, and we’d edit them into something readable.
Another key was that we keep a pretty fair idea in place of who is best at what and complimenting each others strengths accordingly. Fiona is brilliant at writing characters and emotion, I’m an idea machine. I can tell you exactly how to fit every character and element into a story and into the coolest scenes possible, she can bring them to life and make them feel like they should. She can write brilliant, heart-rending drama, I can put it in a time and place for maximum heart-rendage and make it colorful. A healthy understanding of our strengths and weaknesses and knowing that the other person can not only compliment us, but improve our work (as Fi has done for me oh-so-many times) keeps us both sane and functional.
And does love count as a contributing factor? Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. It certainly doesn’t hurt, though I’m guessing that varies on a pair by pair basis since I’ve heard of plenty a romantic duo who couldn’t stand working with each other.
Writing with a partner isn’t something that should be taken lightly. A lot of times it might seem fun, or smart, to write with someone else, but there are a lot of ways it can go downhill very fast. If, however, you really know the person, and know that you can trust them not just as a person but as a fellow writer, writing as a team can be a very fulfilling and awesome experience.
Seeing your book getting finished twice as fast is just a really, really nice bonus.
Splinters is available on September 23rd, 2014 from Amazon and B&N in paperback and eBook format.
Genre: YA Horror/Ghost Stories
Description: Under ordinary circumstances, Ben and Mina would never have had reason to speak to each other; he’s an easy-going people person with a healthy skepticism about the paranormal, and she’s a dangerously obsessive monster-hunter with a crippling fear of betrayal. But the small town of Prospero, California, has no ordinary circumstances to offer. In order to uncover a plot set by the seemingly innocent but definitely shape-shifting monsters-that-look-like-friends-family-and-neighbors, the two stark opposites must both find ways to put aside their differences and learn to trust each other.
About the Authors: F.J.R TITCHENELL and MATT CARTER met and fell in love in a musical theatre class at Pasadena City College and have been inseparable ever since. Though they have both dreamed of being writers from a very young age, they both truly hit their stride after they met, bouncing ideas off of one another, forcing each other to strive to be better writers, and mingling Matt’s lifelong love of monsters with Fiona’s equally disturbing inability to let go of high school. They were married in 2011 in a ceremony that involved kilts, Star Wars music, and a cake topped by figurines of them fighting a zombified wedding party. Titchenell and Carter live in San Gabriel, California.
GIVEAWAY: Click on this link to win a signed copy of Splinters a Rafflecopter giveaway.