Tuesday, 31 July 2012


A while back, my friend Lee Owens and I wrote a book together. It's called RIPPED APART. We were both going through some stuff so it wound up coming out in the story. Talk about living vicariously through our characters.  But anyways, this blog is about co-authoring.

Co-authoring is not for everyone. If you're selfish, not flexible and just mean--it's definitely not for you. You have to be willing to do what my drama teacher drilled into my head all through University--you have to be willing to say YES to almost everything your partner comes up with.  Just say YES and see where it goes. If you are willing to say yes, you'd be so surprise at the beautiful things you can come up with!

It's hard enough writing by yourself, so why would anyone in their right mind write with someone else? I mean damn, we can barely get along as is. But there is something magnificiently breath-taking about  having the use of two brains for one wonderful product! When I wrote with John Simpson, it was amazing! It was a waiting game, sitting on the edge of my seat, biting my nails to see what was coming next! It's a genuine reaction because you don't know! It's the mystery of it all.

Lee Owens was amazing as well. We would spend hours at Tim Hortons with our labtops and extra batteries, notepads and pens and just wrote. I think we put someone's kids through college with the amount of ice-caps and muffins we bought.

They are so many things you have to worry about with co-authoring. For me, I find you have to worry about people flaking. That's happened to me on so many occassions I've lost count.  Find people you TRUST not to flake. At the end of the day if they flake, there isn't much you can do. You can't use the story unless you have a signed contract that says if one person flake the other can use the whole story. Other than tht you basically have to go through and discard all the bits from the other person and lord knows no one has that kind of time and for me the patience.  You then have to worry about contracts and agreeing on edits and agreeing on covers...Hence why you can't be hard, unflinching and mean. This is not just YOUR work--its the work of all the authors involved.

It's not all cake and coffee....if you're not allergic to coffee.

With technology today, you can write a book with someone from anywhere in the world. With google docs, and MSN Skydrive and a whole slew of other programs. You can have access to your file at anytime together! The beauty of google docs is you can be in there at the same time, chatting and seeing what's written!

Pick your writing partner carefully:

  1. Pick someone you trust. There's nothing worse than a wishy-washy person who starts out writing, it starts getting good then the person disappears. Do NOT find your writing partner on kijiji or craigslist--it's not worth the aggravation.
  2. Make sure you both have access to the file at all times so it's backed up. Google Docs is amazing for writing together but it sucks for formatting. I would suggest just use google doc as a back up and send each other word files back and forth.
  3. Before you start writing, set out the rules and stand by them.  No incest, no grose-icks. Decide between genres then sweet/sensual/erotic/bdsm. There's nothing worse than writing and you want to go scald-your-skin-hot and your partner wants to go behind-closed-door-loveys. Then what do you do?
  4. Do not restrict story ideas.  Say YES to everything (within reason). Be open.
  5. Check in with each other from time to time. Phone calls, facebook, emails, skype, msn, yahoo messenger...take time to talk to each other.
  6. Edits---oh the dreaded E word. First round of edits, USE TRACK CHANGES ALL THE TIME! It sucks having someone edit and you have NO clue what they did. Edit your sections first, the bits that you wrote. Then go through an ensure everything flows and there are no spelling errors. Do not edit your partner's bits at the first round. You cannot read your partner's mind and know what is supposed to be there.
Here's one co authored piece I got done and it was amazing!

One act of violence, is enough to shatter a love that should have lasted a life time.

One act of violence sends Colby Master's life spiralling out of control and sends his lover Leo Giofranco from his life. It took a year of healing to give Colby some time to come to his senses but is he too late? Has he hurt Leo too much to be forgiven? Wiill Colby be able to make amends or has Leo moved on?

This is on Amazon!

I hope this helps you...

Remmy Duchene


  1. Remmy, it is not easy to co-author. It is two people who need to sync together on a story. Fantastic pointers on this great topic.

  2. Its hard. I've tried and have it explode in my face--horribly. Are you co-authoring now?

    1. yeah I am...One writing partner is in the US and one is settling in Japan lol. But it can crash and burn--you're right.

  3. This is perfect! I've had an author express interest in co-authoring with me, as we have in the past and been very successful, but it was in a much more informal setting. Writing a book intended for publishing would definitely be a different caliber. We said yes, took what the other had and ran with it, and we loved it.

    I hadn't considered edits, cover art, or differences in taste, however. Good reminders!

    1. I hope it helps you Delena. These are things I learned the hard way while trying to co-authoring with some people who have their sphincter so tight its impossible to get anything done. But give it your best shot. Never close off yourself.

  4. Awesome post...I'm co-authoring now with Seth on one of my Lethal books and it's been a lesson for me to be sure. What you say is so true. Trust and willing to say yes. And knowing that IF what he may write for one of my characters isn't my character I know I can fix it and move on. Since this is my first experience as far as writing with someone on a series I have been doing, it's been a little harder on me to let my characters go enough for Seth to write them. This is where that trust factor comes in and the willingness to say...YES....Great post!!

    1. Writing the same character is always a big deal. I never like doing that because my character should react to what your character has done/been doing/will do-. That is why I say co-author isn't for everyone lol