Posted at Aug 26, 2014 1:12 pm
Today we’re sharing a bit about our writing process as part of a special blog tour.
We were tagged by the talented Kay Kendall. You can see her answers to the writing process blog tour here: Kay Kendall
We’ll answer the questions and then tag someone else. Sound like fun?
So, here they are:
1. What are you working on?
THE GIRL WITH THE DACHSUND TATTOO is going through the editing process at our publisher, Bell Bridge Books, and will be released later this year. It’s a Mel book and we’ve had a lot of fun with it and learned a lot of fascinating information about Dachshunds.
KITTY CONFIDENTIAL is in progress and we’re having a blast with it. Look for it to come out in 2015.
2) How does our work differ from others of its genre?
Our cozy mysteries fall into the sub-genre of humorous mysteries, and into the sub-genre of mysteries with animals. In our books, the pets are sidekicks. They don’t solve the mysteries. However, the pet theme is more than a minor part of our books because our amateur sleuths, Caro and Melinda, work with pets. Caro is a pet therapist and Mel is a pet boutique owner. Pets are important to them and play a big role in the mystery plot.
We have a unique twist in that the two protagonists, who are cousins, alternate as the lead character in the books. In other words, in the odd-numbered books Caro is the POV character, and in the even-numbered books Mel is the lead. The books share setting, secondary characters, and the cousins make appearances in each other’s books. Granted right now the two aren’t speaking to each other so they aren’t often on the same page. (Pun intended.) You see, there’s this little problem with a brooch that their Grandma Tillie left to her “favorite granddaughter.” Well, you can see the problem there, can’t you?
3) Why do I write what I do?
We’ve both love to write about family, relationships, and what makes people do what they do. What motivates them? How to they react under stress? What makes them tick? Oh, and we love puzzles and dead bodies.
4) How does my writing process work?
Our collaboration is also unique in that we write every other book. Mary Lee writes the Caro books and Anita writes the Mel books. Because of this our writing process is a bit different than it would be if we worked alone or if we had a more traditional co-writing arrangement.
We’re both plotters but we’re hybrid plotters. Never heard that term before? It may be that we just made it up. What it means to us is that we plot out the story in advance. (This is very important for us because the books stand alone, but the series must be tightly woven together.) However, while we plot the story before we begin writing, we’re both very character-driven writers so if what we’ve planned doesn’t work once we’re in the midst of writing the story, we may make some changes. That’s what we mean by hybrid plotters.
The first step after planning out the storyline is a rough draft. We both find our first drafts are mostly dialogue. (What’s more interesting than people talking, right?) Then we go back in and add additional details, make sure the plot-points line-up, and tweak the things that need tweaking. Finally, once more through to look for any problems and then the story is off to our publisher.