State of the Collaboration: Rocky Start

Just to keep you all in the loop, Bob and I decided to delay starting the next collaboration until after Christmas because we have so much individual work to do. So I wrote a scene just to get my character on the page last week, not really starting the book, and he wrote a scene to get his guy, and then I did another scene so we’d have the meet, and now I’m pretty sure that when we look back to when this one started, we can use Nov. 1. Working title is Rocky Start, although I am still fond of Rose and the Guy Walking the Appalachian Trail with His Dog.

We’re also building the character list. Well, I’m building the character lists–names, roles, placeholder pictures, etc.–which annoys Bob:

47 thoughts on “State of the Collaboration: Rocky Start

  1. You two are going to ruin my Book Budget. I’m soo looking forward to finagling my budget. Please get them published quickly then I can ask for Easter, holiday birthday 🎁 present 🎁 and it will save MY budget. Caveat I’m not buying or requesting a Zombie book (sorry Bob)

  2. You guys are a riot. Hope you enjoy working together as much as we enjoy watching you work together. Not sure that’s possible because we really enjoy watching you. Umm. I’ll stop now because I’m starting to sound slightly creepy. 😆

  3. What with getting 3 books out into the world on both your plates, another book on your plate and hella lotta other work for Bob (best sellers, reviews, survival guides, etc) – then holidays and every day lives – I think the rest of the year is spoken for.

    I’m just awed that you are getting any kind of start on the next book.

    Awed but happy for you 2 writers and all us readers.

  4. I wonder if that’s why I name so much stuff. I’m trying to keep them all alive. Look at all my hydroponic gardens: Harvey, Harvey Too, Seble, Teresa, Phredd, Ethyl, Lucy, Sheba, Grit Katemcy, Pontotoc, Fredonia, Black Bart, Castor, Pollux, Lowell, and Jenny of New Jarsey.

    1. It’s like the old west (Go West Young Man) when you went out to get free land to farm, except hydroponically and in your apartment

        1. Gary. OT. I am getting ready to plant garlic and found an article on hydroponic garlic growing. I did not read it because I am planting mine outside in a raised bed. Have you tried it? Or do you not use garlic? I mention it because RIGHT NOW is the time to buy and plant garlic in outside zones 7 and 8. So now is the time nurseries carry it. You have to go to a regular plant nursery but it is worth it. There are a huge number of different types of garlic that are available. The ones in the grocery store are general one-size-fits-all garlic and sometimes leave an acrid taste when cooked. There are ones that are really hot, there are ones that are mild, and there are ones that are very sweet and flavorful after cooking.

          I thought given your culinary bent (hot and spicy) this might interest you.

          1. I usually buy hardneck garlic at the farmer’s market and forget the name as soon as I get home. Only remembering that last year I bought some variety from the garlic lady’s stall that was the best flavored roast garlic I ever had. This is my first year to grow it myself and I played it safe and went for milder (I hope) varieties. My choices were “German”, “Chesnok red” and “Inchelium red”. I have limited space since I will want to plant other stuff in my raised bed and I don’t think you harvest until June. I should have read Gin’s garlic farm mysteries before I started. Also I choked up when I saw it was $32/lb to buy the bulbs. But 4 bulbs had @48 cloves and if the all live and produce that is about three times the amount of garlic I use. Unless I make a lot of 40 clove chicken. 🧄

          2. I use a lot of garlic, but I don’t grow my own. I have a couple of 2-pound jars of Nature’s Own Mince Garlic and a bulb from Spice World. They don’t label them as to garlic variety. Sometimes you just gotta use fresh garlic – sometimes you can live with minced or even garlic powder.

  5. Thank you for sharing these posts, Jenny, and for working so hard. I’m not feeling very well this afternoon (just a tummy ache, nothing serious), and a good belly laugh really helped!

    1. We just got it back from the betas (thank god for betas) and the agent is reading it now.If she thinks it’s ready–unanimous opinion is that the start is too slow–then it goes to editors. If somebody buys them, in about a year. If nobody bites, we self-publish, and then it depends on Bob and Mollie. I know nothing about self-publishing.

      Publishing is sloooooow.

      1. How on earth could they not get bought?? Surely publishers are not that dumb ( I’ll stop calling them Shirley)

        1. All three. For betas, I just sent the first one because I figured if any of you wanted the rest, you’d say so. Nothing like dropping three books on somebody doing you a favor.

          Agents are not doing you a favor, they need something to sell.

          (Is this your way of telling me we shouldn’t have sent the next two?)

  6. I’m impressed that you want to keep working together without much of a break in between. You really are a great team, and Bob was right way back when.

  7. Just saying, while you’re writing character lists, Allanah is an excellent name for a fictional murder victim. Or a fictional dog.

    1. I will keep that in mind.
      I try not to name characters after people I know because that can cause them some grief, but if you’re giving me permission, then I might go for it.

      1. You could ask for a roll call of Arghers who wouldn’t mind having their names used. I’ve heard of authors who actually do that for charity auctions and it always sounded fun. 🙂

        1. The problem is, most of my characters are whack jobs, so not sure how much of an honor it is.

          Two of the characters in the Liz books are named after Cherries because I started the first book so long ago and they were a huge help to me back then (Jill and Molly). Knowing them as well as I do, I’m fairly sure Jill won’t mind being a bartender and Molly will be good with being the heroine’s best friend with a secret.

      2. Authors at Baen Books occasionally ask for names to either redshirt (Dommed to die) or be Tuckerized. I have volunteered my name several times, and thus been immortalized in such works as The Alexander Inheritance by Flint, Goodlett, and Huff.

        There’s a fan named Joe Buckley who has been redshirted repeatedly by David Weber, John Ringo, Flint, Goodlett, Huff, Dave Freer, and many others. It’s a meme. Ryk Spoor went against the grain by letting a Joe Buckley live. I will happily lend my name to any book you or Bob write, If you need a murder victim, keep me in mind. 🙂

    1. Oh, so good.
      Actually living near each other would probably be okay. I rarely go out and he’s always on his bike. It was appearing in public together with all that pressure. Neither one of us is good at large gatherings.

  8. I just wrote Bob and said, “We can kill anybody except Rose, Max, Poppy, and the dogs.”

    This is what collaborating with him has reduced me to.

    ETA: I also just added a cat and told him he couldn’t kill that, either. I haven’t changed THAT much.

    1. You may use “Jinx” as the name for a cat, if you like. A cat is where I got it from in the first place.

      1. Way back in the beginning with Don’t Look Down, Bob posted a scene where the bad guy shot a cat, and the screams that came back from the Cherry Bombs were deafening. So he changed it to a wild boar. I think he knows better now,

  9. Hah!

    Murderbot: Target 1, Target 2, Target 3, ….
    Mensah: please don’t call them Targets?
    Murderbot: Potential Target 1, Potential Target 2, except once they start shooting at us, all bets are off.

    Has Bob read Murderbot? It seems like a thing he’d appreciate.

    1. I keep telling him to. Don’t know whether he’s done it or not. He’s swamped right now, so now is not the time to suggest it.

    2. I just received the second Murderbot book, and can’t wait to read it. I love that exchange you quoted!

  10. I reckon Rebecca would be a great name for a whack job character. It sounds like a totally serious name; the contrast would be fun.

  11. Permission to use “Thea” if you have a character of creepy elegance. My other name, “Tedy,” is usable but *too* cutesy. Only my husband uses it. And old friends who hung/hang around me. And current friends who hang around my husband. Okay, half the world. I’m useless holding the line.

    1. A character of creepy elegance? Have you READ me? Elegance is not a hallmark of my characters. I write what I know.

      1. A couple of the heroes’ moms could be sort of creepy elegant. I’m thinking of Welcome to Temptation and Maybe This Time. I can’t quite figure out Agnes’s mom. All I remember was that Agnes learned to make martinis for her mom. I think. Oh, yes, and Cal’s mom.

        I guess it depends on your definition of “elegant.” Does creepy elegant mean that her name is Natasha? Thea doesn’t sound creepy elegant to me because a college friend named Thea was tall, slender, Black, lesbian, full of pep, and totally out of my league in terms of number/breadth of friends and activities. She lived in one of the (5) quad dorms which I associated with obsessively active, garrulous people.

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