Four books, six authors, a panel title (It Takes Two) that made everyone think of Strictly and Lucy Ivison in the chair – of course we had fun at YA Shot. And we were proud that Waiting for Callback was keeping company with Lobsters and Never Evers (Ellen & Ivison) and The Witch’s Kiss (E & K Corr). They are all brilliant books and if you haven’t read them already you should!
(Our chair person was a Hufflepuff and she was fab)
(A lot of laughter…)
So here’s the summary if you weren’t there (make a diary note and come next year):
- Lucy opened the panel with the observation that each of us must like our writing partner and yes! We all plainly did and couldn’t write together if we didn’t. At the risk of sounding twee, loving respect was at the heart of all our writing collaborations.
- Fun – we all had a lot of it and the laughter helped not just with the creative side of writing but with shouldering together any author stresses (we all owned up to them…)
- But there is no Disney perfection to a writing partnership and there doesn’t need to be. It’s OK if you’re working with someone to need space (Hon and I started off writing in different rooms, then she moved to writing in cafes, now we write in different cities) or to be irritated by the fact that you need to share control (the Corr sister collaboration has weathered some tricky moments over brutal and disputed decisions to slay characters) or that one of the partnership is weaker at grammar (Hon, Lucy…) or insists on stressing time and place in every chapter (we’re looking at you Tom)….
- All of us spoke about the need for honesty – if you’re going to have a healthy collaboration you need to be able to criticize without fear. We all fiercely edited our co-writer’s work (and in that process, by being a first reader as well as writer probably saved our publishers some pain).
- There is no right or wrong way to collaborate. Tom and Lucy write in separate voices (which happen to work brilliantly together), Katherine and Elizabeth and Hon and I don’t. You find what works for you.
p.s. we didn’t just talk about writing…
* 100% of collaborating authors (OK on our panel) prefer GBBO to Strictly
* Hon is more than a little bit in love with Selasi…
p.p.s. It was very nice of YAShot (if unintentional) to call the panel something so very close to the title of our book 2, title… http://www.maximumpop.co.uk/waiting-for-callback-2-title-reveal/