Waving hello to Rebecca and readers. Sitting down in plush cyber chairs and drinking hug mugs of hot chocolate.
A: We are ready to go.
Z: Go where?
A: Just answer the questions.
Z: But that means we are not going anywhere.
Z: (Stares at each other a moment totally dumbfounded) Errr, let's go.
A: That is what I said
And they do...go and answer the questions that is.
1. How many books have you written and does the process change with each new book?
We have written and had published 62 novels/novellas and approximately 230 short stories over various genres. Additionally, we have 7 novels in various forms of draft and have another 280 short stories waiting to be polished.
Z: Thanks for making me add these up. Now, I realize I have no other life.
A: We are the little engine that could. No wonder I’m so tired.
Z: It seems like a lot but as I reflect back and because we have been able to work full time at it and share much of the duties to create, it happened so easily.
A: Tell the truth, it’s because we are as old as dirt.
Z: And sometimes as dirty as dirt.
A: Speak for yourself. (Wipes the drizzle of a jelly donut off her chin)
Z: So to answer the question, does the process change, it needs to be answered in two ways. No, it does not. Yes, it does. I’m not fence straddling here. There are fundamental processes we need to go through to create any work, such as develop the idea, create an outline, character development and determine the genre/audience. But when writing a piece such as romance, we must immerse ourselves into the components that make it such. This would be typical for any of the genres produced. A romantic hero is certainly different than a contemporary hero. One bigger than life, and the other the result of the character created within the context of the story. (Looks to Ang) Do you have anything to add?
A: One of the advantages and complications of sharing intellectual properties is having to share the depth of the stories and characters. This requires a lot of prepping dialogue, so that we can approach it as one writer. If not the conflict becomes apparent if parties are of conflicting directions. This requires a strong, tight outline with equally tight characters that have been fleshed out before we discover their adventures. However, the one thing we do not share are the jelly donuts. They are mine! (Gives Zi a warning look)
2. How many sub genres do you write and does the process change with each sub genre?
A: Reflecting on this question, we have probably written in at least seven different genres.
Z: I’ll trade you this Frosty for a donut.
A: No deal.
Z: Fine! The trick of writing in various genres is to first feel the universes within each. One of the tricks we do is, we will retrieve ten to fifty images that reflect the mindset of that universe. That could include geography, the look of a character, outfitting, sights or buildings. We tape them to the walls of our office. We will also talk and communicate with each other as if we are in those worlds, thus it helps create the patter of our dialogue. (Eyes up the huge donut box) You sure you won’t take two Frostys for a donut?
A: What do you think? (Closes the box’s lid) To add to my esteem but ravenous partner’s thoughts, we go to great distances to get into the minds of the characters. Separating who we are as people and what we intellectualize about the characters. I as a mother have to think like a telepathic okapi, and I’m neither telepathic nor an okapi, therefore, I have to feel within the world of their existence. I can’t project myself. I must project the character. I can’t feel what it’s like to fly since I never have without a plane. And I have never been in a life threatening conflict, but I must write as if I am. So, it becomes extraordinarily important to relinquish myself to the identity of the character I am creating. If we can’t do that, we fail that character and our story and mostly the reader.
Z: Therefore, every day we write, we are Water Mitty, dreaming and living vicariously. (Rises, looks back with righteous indignation) I have chocolate cake in the refrigerator, anyhow. I’m getting it.
A: I’ll trade you a donut for a piece of cake.
3. How long have you been writing and has your process changed over time?
Z: We both started seriously writing in our twenties, found some success in our thirties but became prolific in our fifties.
A: Can you believe it has been over ten years since we have been writing together?
Z: Yes I can I can count the scars on my ego.
Z: (Ignores her) As partners we learned short cuts to creating ideas. We have lamestorm sessions where we each present an idea and determine if it is lame or worthy of further creation.
A: Our basic process hasn’t changed, but has been refined. I don’t turn red-faced trying to get my point across. The vein in his brow no longer throbs blue. We have learned to discuss in a way that makes it about the story, the reader and not about our self-esteem.
Z: The Golden Fleece we Jasons have retrieved is that we have made a pact to agree to agree. This means we force ourselves to compromise for the betterment of the story and the reader, not our own egos.
A: Having had the privilege to work with various editors we have learned to become more efficient and effective by anticipating what their needs are. We have as a partnership created defined roles and responsibilities. Someone may be the lead on a project and the other is the strong editorial force. Someone may be the ideas guru while the other punches up the color of the universe. Then on final read, we switch roles. Thus, hopefully enriching our gift.
Z & A: Thank you for the opportunity to present our thoughts. We have enjoyed expounding.
A: (Looks at Zi after putting down her cake fork and plate) Is it time for lunch?
Company: : Angelica Hart and Zi † Vixen Bright and Zachary Zane : KILLER DOLLS ~ SNAKE DANCE ~ CHASING YESTERDAY ~CHRISTMAS EVE...VIL www.champagnebooks.com : STEEL EMBRACE ~BO: OK NOOKIE www.carnalpassions.com : The Sin-Sin in Cinderella Series