State of the Collaboration

One of things I always do when writing alone and that’s even more crucial when collaborating is google for pictures. It’s not enough to know that the Blue house is a big blue house, I need a picture of it with floorplans. It’s not enough to know that Vince gets Anemone to help him find a ring Liz will like (Liz is not a jewelry person), I need to find a picture with a price ($2500). It’s not enough that there’s an abandoned factory that’s the setting for a lot of action, I need pictures.

Bob sighs and says, “This stuff can look like anything we want.” No. I need pictures. Such as:

The Blue House:
(Yes, I know it’s white in this picture, but trust me, it’s blue in the book)

Liz’s ring:
(that’s a spoiler, she gets it at the end of the third book)

The factory
(They have since torn this down in real life which makes me sad, it was a great building.)

See that cupola on top? I love that cupola, so I wrote a scene there. And then this happened:


A good collaborator is one who figures out a way to save a cupola in a building we burned in the last book.

44 thoughts on “State of the Collaboration

  1. Well, I hate to say it, but if you are insisting that Bob accept your need for pictures of things, it sounds like you might have to accept Bob’s need for zombies.

    It’s not that he’s talking about CREATING any — he just seems to like to write about them. And you have to admit that their dance moves can be quite amusing, right?

      1. Just slip in that they’re watching a zombie movie and then get interrupted to go to a crime scene or something. Problem solved!

        1. Somewhere in this fictional town is a teenager heading to a costume party dressed as a zombie. I’m sure of it.

  2. I think Pinterest was founded by someone with the same idea. Only you like collages, rather than digital. Bob should put his zombies in his alternate reality short story, set in this world, but with zombies. That way we can get a nice straight forward mystery/romance/action and we can also read a story at a keypoint, with zombies trapped on a boat with a flaming river set alight by arrows and you don’t have to slot it in the trilogy cause it’s alternate reality.

  3. I guess this is why you write all three books first before you publish one and have to live with the consequences.

    1. Yes, that’s working out well for us. We’ve already gone back several times, including bringing one character back to life.

  4. Zombie Lust sounds like a good title for your fifth book. You know, the one that comes after Yellow Brick Roadkill.

    1. But it needs a color in the title! Like Zombies of the Purple Stage (which could go in many directions!)

  5. Reading these comments I don’t think Bob is the only one with a lust for zombies!

    I don’t like zombies because – gore – yuck! But the alternate reailty short story from Bob sounds like a good idea. I could make an exception for that.

    I love Woody Harrelson so I made an exception for Zombieland & I don’t regret it even though my kids lied to me. “You just have to close your eyes through the first 15 minutes mom. There’s no gore after that.”

    Liars. Can you believe I raised liars?

    1. I don’t like zombies either; in fact, if a book/movie/show has zombies in it, I will totally bypass it(them).

  6. You’re all approaching this from the wrong angle, including you, Jenny.

    Bob wants Zombies. Trade him no zombies in this trilogy, or quadrology if it extends to four books, for collaboration with Haunting Alice You want Haunting Alice to be written. We want Haunting Alice to be written. Haunting Alice is a supernatural romance thriller. Boston Ulrich can be a zombie! Lots and lots of zombies in Archer house.

    Or maybe they’re infesting the Goodnight Gallery? We haven’t met Nadine’s latest fiancé. Maybe he has a thing for brainy women?

    1. There are no zombies in Haunting Alice. I’m having enough trouble selling editors on ghosts and demons.

  7. I should probably mention that at one point, I said, “NO ZOMBIES!” in all caps to make my point, and Bob said, “Great title.”

          1. That just doesn’t seem right. I’m pretty sure a sample survey of everyone here would say otherwise.

          2. I should think Dogs and Goddesses, Maybe This Time, The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes, Wild Ride, and Bet Me are the perfect counters to that assessment!

            What? Bet Me doesn’t belong in that list? Oh, please! It so totally does. It’s a fairy tale, complete with a fairy godmother, a handsome prince, Min drops her slipper at the park, and it is all guided by The Spirit of Elvis.

          3. Well I’ve read Classic Crusie, action-adventure Crusie, Crusie with demons and roller coasters, Crusie with Romance, forgers and ghosts. So supernatural Crusie sign me up. Just NO ALIENS

          4. That’s ridiculous “not supernatural Crusie.” I read very little supernatural. Wild Ride was fun. Maybe This Time was a study in the craft of writing. To this day I remember the storyline, the scenes, dialogue, etc. and I’ve read it once. Obviously they are highly mistaken.

  8. Now we know. Book three has an unhappy ending.
    It is clearly inconsiderate to buy a ring for someone that is not a jewelry person.

    1. Yeah, but if she dies, and then gets revived again, especially by someone who likes jewelry, it’s, like, totally possible. She might love jewelry (or brains) then, right?

  9. You do realize that for the universe to remain in balance, there must of necessity be someone out there writing the following fanfic:

    – Anyone But You… and Zombies
    – Maybe This Time… with Zombies
    – Faking It… with Zombies

    I mean, if even Jane Austen is not immune, then you’re doomed, woman. Doomed.

      1. Yes, but I never read it because I don’t want to inadvertently steal anybody’s stuff. I’ve heard it’s wonderful. I know there’s one where Nadine and Ethan end up together which is nice. They don’t in my story world, but I think it’s great somebody stepped up and closed that one off.

    1. Fanfic. I’m picturing zombie Stephen Garvey still running for council in Temptation and zombie Zane saying, “Brains… brains… brains and my wife, Clea don’t belong in the same sentence… brains….”

  10. I love having visuals to anchor what I’m writing about. My first contemporary was set in the 1980s. Actually started writing it in the 1990s (when it didn’t feel like ‘history’ and also when ‘research’ meant ‘get your ass to the library and look at printed material’) but didn’t get to the point of publishing till around 2014. By that time I had the internet! Yay internet! which let me compile a visual library to fill in all the things I’d only been able to guess at before. (Or draw from memory, but my personal experiences didn’t include everything my characters did or everywhere they went.)

    Most of those things weren’t major plot points, but some of them were. In my experience trying to write a scene without fully imagining its physical setting, even if that setting is barely described on-page, is like trying to write a character without imagining their physical attributes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.