We blogged previously about what made us decide to collaborate. There was a workshop at Birmingham Writers Group where we explored some collaborative writing techniques, and talked about examples of famous writers who had made it work. I had wanted to try it for years, after reading the experiences of Terry Prachett and Neil Gaiman on Good Omens, and also Ben Elton and Richard Curtis on Blackadder. They made it sound like so much fun.
What had put it in my mind more recently was reading Draculas, by Joe Konrath, F Paul Wilson, Blake Crouch and Jeff Strand. Four authors collaborating! They published bonus material with the ebook which contained the emails that they sent back and forth, describing the process. They used Dropbox, which Iain and I have found to be invaluable. Their approach was slightly different to ours, but the theme that came singing out of the exchanges was the motivation and the enjoyment.
F Paul Wilson has also recently described the process in an interesting article for Byte online magazine
F Paul Wilson is currently collaborating with Sarah Pinborough. This is especially interesting as they are located on opposite sides of the Atlantic. I am keen to see what the results are, as I like them both very much as writers. @sarahpinborough is also well known as a bit of a madam on Twitter – do follow her.
The moment that I realised that Iain was a potential writing partner was when Birmingham Writers Group had one of its Anonymous Manuscript sessions. The idea behind these sessions is that writers will submit pieces for review without their names. The names are revealed after discussion of the pieces at a meeting. People (being what they are) sometimes try to guess who the author is, based on the voice that comes across. On this particular occasion, Iain and I had both submitted a piece. Iain’s was called Blalk and mine was called Woden’s Week, and our chief guesser got us the wrong way round. I looked at Blalk and I could imagine having written it. I looked at Woden’s Week and I could imagine Iain having written it. That was why, later in the year, I asked the question…
Image of F Paul Wilson taken from http://www.repairmanjack.com/