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Thursday, July 4, 2013


A Write Mess. Are two heads really better than one? Or have we created a two-headed monster?
It’s one of the commonest questions we are asked. What is it like to write as a duo? How did that happen and how do we make it work? Are two heads really better than one? Or have we created a two-headed monster? We thought we’d lift the lid on some of the ups and downs of writing together.

We are delighted to be guest blogging on Fate Books today. Sincere thanks to Y. Correa for hosting us and for all her efforts with the Self-Published Indie Authors Support Group

So, how was this monster born?
We met online a number of years ago, in the shady world that is twitter roleplay, where fans play the characters from their favourite books. So, before either of us ever got into writing novels, the concept of plotting and writing stories together wasn’t exactly an alien concept. Transitioning from roleplay to writing original fiction has been a learning curve for us, but we’re having enormous fun doing it.

The mechanics of writing together.
We live in different countries and in each other’s smartphones. When it comes to writing and editing, Google docs is our lifeline. It’s an interface where we can edit a document simultaneously and both save our changes. There’s also the chat window to discuss what we’re doing in real time. We each tend to own certain characters  and write their point of view around the dialogue. Writing with another person watching can be pretty intimidating, though, and we do write separately as well, when the other character isn’t in the scene.
The pros and cons
Having a writing partner has lots of advantages. Writing is a lonely occupation. It can feel like you’re in a vacuum, especially for Indie authors. Talking to a friend and plotting together is a lot more fun and creative than having conversations with yourself. Writer’s block hasn’t been an issue. You will never find yourself staring at a blank page, and when it comes to proof-reading, an extra pair of eyes is invaluable.
Making it work involves a good deal of compromise, and trust, and at times, the kind of brutal honesty that could strain the strongest friendship. We’ve both had to adapt our writing styles to create a story that flows, while using those styles to define specific characters’ voices.
Yes, you have to split any profits and praise, but then again, a critical review shared is a heartbreak halved.

As Stephen King said: “Writing is a lonely job. Having someone who believes in you makes a lot of difference. They don't have to makes speeches. Just believing is usually enough.”

So tell us, if you are an Indie author, how do you offset the loneliness of writing and keep yourself from writing in a vacuum? Do you keep fellow writer buddies? Do you discuss or share your work in writer’s forums? We’d love to hear your story.

About the two-headed monster
We are Jess Raven and Paula Black, co-authors of The Becoming series, an adult (i.e. sexy) paranormal romance set in Dublin, Ireland. It features alpha male characters, wolf shifters and an unusual take on Irish mythology. Jess lives in Manchester, England, and Paula hails from Dublin.

The Becoming Series.
Book one, Becoming Red is $0.99 right now on AMAZON and SMASHWORDS  or $9.99 in paperback from CREATESPACE

Book two, Becoming Bad released on July 2nd, and is $2.99 from AMAZON and SMASHWORDS or $9.99 in paperback from CREATESPACE

The blurb for Becoming Red.
‘You got me back. You always said you would.’
Ash DeMorgan, graduate, orphan, ice maiden, has long since consigned the fairytale nightmares of a troubled childhood to the realm of fantastical childish imagination.
Now, lured back to Dublin, the scene of her tragic past, Ash encounters a city pulsing under the dangerous sexual influence of a new street drug the locals call Rave. Nothing is as it seems. Ash is about to discover that her nightmares are real, ancient Irish myths are larger than life and roaming the streets of the medieval city, and she has become the prey in their erotic hunt. A step back into her past is about to become a high adrenaline race for survival.
Connal Savage, outcast, assassin, and living, breathing hunk of ancient mythology, has lived a thousand years servicing a debt of revenge. Dead inside. Until he encounters his boss’s granddaughter, an infuriating woman who threatens to lead him to hell with all his good intentions, who manages to chip away at the hard encrusted defences of a lifetime spent at war and burrow herself deep into a part of him that hasn’t breathed for centuries. He is about to discover that when it comes down to the wire, when you’re bargaining with the Grim Reaper for the life of the one you love, you will do anything...


Review of "Becoming Red", by me (Y. Correa)

“Becoming Red”, by Raven and Black - the first in a series.

This a story full of intrigue, passion, certain elements of tenderness, drama, love and steamy hot sex, intertwined with the element of the ever coveted Werewolves. If these are things that interest you in a story I highly recommend it.
However, in my own opinion (and this is JUST MY opinion-one person), though a potentially enjoyable read-for me, I felt that the story was a bit difficult to follow. It took my a while to understand what was going on. About 5 chapters to be exact. However, once I got to that point, the image began to clear up in regards to the story line.
Though very well written, I also felt that it was a bit too wordy. I prefer stories that are more word depictive-straight and to the point. Once again, this is just my opinion.
I've no doubt that Raven and Black are incredibly talented Writers and grammatically and editorially speaking the story was practically immaculate. More than that, for readers that prefer mystery, stirred into a adrenaline rush of emotion, along with the paranormal effect: this book if definitely for you.
“Becoming Red” takes the reader on a roller-coaster ride of an enormous degree with Ash and Connal leading the way.
“Becoming Red” get 3.5 stars from me. ☼☼☼♥
That translates into: An enjoyable read, just not necessarily my cup of tea-but pleasing nonetheless. YOU (dear reader) may just LOVE it!