WRITING-IN-TANDEM MONDAY: Chatting with GODDESS GIRLS co-authors Suzanne Williams & Joan Holub
Cute swag, huh?
Co-authors Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams are celebrating the upcoming release of Aphrodite the Beauty, the third in their delightful middle-grade Goddess Girls series. And they've stopped by today to share some insights about writing-in-tandem. Don't forget to leave a comment at this post between now and Sunday to be entered to win a fabulous Aphrodite the Beauty Swag Bag (including an autographed book).
SWK: Welcome, Joan and Suzanne. I can't wait to learn about your co-writing process. Let's begin with the question of inspiration. What made you decide to co-write Goddess Girls?
SUZANNE: Joan has always been interested in mythology, and thought a “school-based” series starring tween goddessgirls and godboys would be fun to do. Luckily, she also wanted to try writing a series with another writer and asked me if I’d be interested. Naturally, I said YES!
SWK: What was your process for writing together?
JOAN: We weren’t sure how we were going to collaborate in the beginning! Some writing teams trade off chapters, but that seemed too unwieldy for us.
SUZANNE: So, since we were initially contracted to write four books, we each did rough drafts for two, then traded the stories back and forth for several more drafts...We also made many long phone calls.
SWK: How do you think writing as a team affected working with your editor?
SUZANNE: We’re pretty careful to c.c. each other when replying to our editor, and she makes sure all her emails go to both of us, too...It’s a little extra trouble for her to have to send two copies of copy edits and galleys, but Joan and I usually compile our final changes onto one copy to make things somewhat easier for her.
JOAN: We take it as a vote of confidence in our writing partnership that our publisher, Aladdin, has recently asked us to write two more books for the series.
SWK: What are the best, worst, scariest or funniest moment in the co-writing process?
SUZANNE: I can’t honestly think of any “worst” moments. The best moments for me are when I’m struggling with some aspect of a story...then Joan supplies just the right “fix” or a suggestion that solves the problem.
JOAN: Those little moments Suzanne describes when she likes something I wrote or I especially like something she wrote...We have not had anything close to an argument, and I think that’s because we both do our work on time and try not to let the each other down.
SWK: Is there one particular aspect of the story, or of the writing process, that you feel was better because you wrote as a team?
JOAN: I send my work to friends or other authors for crit from time to time, but it’s different with a co-author. When Suzanne reads a draft I wrote, she doesn’t just suggest that I write something a different way. She writes the change herself. We both “write into” each other’s work... Our goal is a great book, so whatever it takes is fine with us!
SWK: What advice might you give to other writers considering a joint writing project?
SUZANNE & JOAN: Choose the right writing partner!
SWK: Now for the game show questions! Suzanne-You're planning the perfect getaway vacation for Joan. What's the destination and the perfect surprise to tuck into her suitcase?
SUZANNE: The destination for our perfect getaway would have to be Greece, particularly those lovely islands I’ve seen pictures of and heard so much about...The surprise? Hmm. I think matching gold double-G goddessgirl necklaces (like the ones our goddessgirls are wearing on the covers of our books) would be fantastic!
SWK: Now, Joan-You can invite any two authors, living or dead, to Suzanne's house for tea. Who's on the guest list and what favorite Suzanne-snacks are on the silver serving tray?
JOAN: I love this, Stasia! I’d invite Fancy Nancy author Jane O’Connor and Rick Riordan, author of Hyperion’s Percy Jackson series, which also involves Greco-Roman gods, goddesses, and mythical monsters. Jane published my first book at Grosset & Dunlap and she is a smart, funny person I rarely get to see. We could have ‘fancy’ tea, with some of the talking Oracle-O fortune cookies served in Mount Olympus Academy cafeteria. And it would be fascinating to talk gods and goddesses with Rick.
Thanks so much for stopping by today, Joan & Suzanne!
ENTER THE GODDESS GIRLS SWAG BAG giveaway by leaving a comment (about the series, co-writing, or even explaining why you're a goddess!) at this post. USA addresses only. Ends at 11:59 PM Pacific time on August 15. One winner will be randomly chosen and announced here on August 18.