Starting the Second Book

Writing a series has been eye-opening in many ways, but the biggest surprise is how fast the second and third books go. Well, went. This is just our second series, so stay tuned.

The thing I’m realizing now, as we start Very Nice Funerals, is how this has shifted the romance plot for me. Writing stand-alone, the lovers meet, work out a relationship, and commit. That worked for me until I did the Liz/Vince series and realized that the interesting stuff happens after the okay-let’s-do-this ending. Now they’re together. The hard stuff starts. I had a great time with that in the Liz/Vince books, showing how they tentatively got in deeper with each other, trying to navigate their issues and their needs. It was so much more interesting that my standard romance plot (although I really do not know how I’d arc that further in a second Liz/Vince series, so I’m still cogitating on that.)

But the Rose/Max relationship is even more off the wall than Liz and Vince. Continue reading

State of the Collaboration: Two in One Manuscript

So as you may know, Bob Mayer and I are collaborating on another series. Some people ask, “How do you do that?” (Other people ask, “WHY do you do that?” but I’m ignoring them for now.) Basically we swap the manuscripts back and forth, agreeing on who has the master, the other person often writing scenes off the master that can be inserted later. Then we start the second book, so we have two books going at once, going back to the first book to retcon characters and information. It’s all very organized and we never get confused.

Yeah, okay, I lied. Here’s what happened when we were swapping Rocky Start and Very Nice Funerals back and forth: Continue reading

Rocky Start, Chapter Three: Rose

Chapter 3

Momentum from the missed swing to the nuts kept me moving and I staggered a little, but I could see Junior sprawled out in the street now, courtesy of the new guy who turned to look at me with no expression at all: Middle-aged, dark-hair with grey at the temples, tall, weather-beaten, tired-looking and gaunt as all hell, dressed in dusty black, a man who looked like he’d traveled far and hadn’t enjoyed it and hadn’t eaten much on the way. And he had a dog with him that looked like a big black wolf.
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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.

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We Have a Truck Draft

And the first draft of Rest in Pink is done.

I know, we’re amazed, too. It still needs work, but we have a truck draft (a draft that’s complete and good enough to publish if we get by a truck). Bob wants to rewrite a scene and write a new one for the end, but he nailed the action ending, something I am not good at so he is a GAM as far as I’m concerned.

And I’ve finished two books so far this summer. I know, WE’ve finished two books, Bob and I, but it’s been so long since I got to the end of a book, let alone thought, “YES! That’s how this should end,” that I am positively giddy. There was a whole list of niggles to take care of, but I knocked a lot of them out last night:



Chris Blake

Five Button Jeans



Sex scene (for the three beat)

Running up that hill: Umbrella for Anemone

Anemone puts the money in her account.

And now we move on to One in Vermillion, which I still want to call Yellow Brick Roadkill, but Bob does not. Sigh. This is collaboration.