Lisa & Laura Roecker, whose first YA novel, LIAR SOCIETY (Sourcebooks Fire) lands on shelves in March 2011. Don't forget to leave a comment here between now and Sunday for a chance to win LiLa's LIAR SOCIETY Surprise Prize!
SWK: Thanks for stopping by to chat about your joint writing adventures. Let's begin at the beginning. What made you decide to co-write LIAR SOCIETY?
LiLa: After writing our first failed manuscript, we discovered how much we loved to write together. Instead of attempting to fix all that was broken with the first one, we developed an entirely new idea. This idea eventually became LIAR SOCIETY (after being re-written a ridiculous number of times).
SWK: What is your process for writing together?
LiLa: We outline and develop characters/setting before we begin. At some point, we get bored hashing out the details and Lisa begins the first chapter. She always starts first because Laura is never fully on board with an idea until after she sees a first chapter. Laura then edits Lisa's work and writes the second chapter, sends back to Lisa who edits her work and writes the third. We continue on this way until the book is complete--or completely unrecognizable, whatever comes first!
SWK: Do you think writing as a team affected working with your editor?
LiLa: I'm not sure it had much of an impact aside from finishing things a bit quicker than we would have if we were only one person. All communication is handled together--we don't email or talk separately. Phone conversations are tricky and sometimes annoying. We have to conference in with our editor and there's a lot of talking over other people which is always fun.
SWK: What was the best, worst, scariest or funniest moment in the co-writing process?
LiLa: The best is beginning a new manuscript, when you're in that honeymoon stage. It's new and fresh and exciting...Scariest moments come when you've made a change to the outline, you love it and you're waiting to hear back from your partner to see if the change flies. We laugh a whole lot while writing. We make fun of ourselves, our writing and each other. We try not to take ourselves too seriously--we've made this mistake in the past with really embarrassing results.
SWK: Is there one particular aspect of the story or the writing process that you feel was better because you wrote as a team?
LiLa: Writer's block isn't as extreme when you're writing with a partner... It's nice when you get stuck to know that there is someone waiting to get you out of the hole that you've managed to dig yourself into.
SWK: What advice might you give to other writers considering a joint writing project?
LiLa: Edit, edit, edit. It is through our countless edits where we are able to create a unified voice. And communicate a whole lot...It is, after all, our manuscropt, so if something doesn't work for one of us, it doesn't work for both of us.
SWK: Okay, now for the game show questions! Lisa-You're planning a suprise party for Laura. What's the restaurant (or type of cuisine)? Who's the famous author you'll invite to wow her?
LISA: Hmm...it's kind of a toss up between pizza and Mexican. I think I'll go with Mexican so Laura can enjoy lots of Corona Lights. As for the famous author I think I'd have to say Jandy Nelson or Lauren Oliver. Laura adored THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE and BEFORE I FALL, so I have no doubt she'd be stuttering into her Corona if one of them showed up.
LAURA: Jessica Simpson all the way. Kidding, kidding. No one should be forced to wear a jumpsuit to their launch party. I think I'd choose Tim Gunn to dress Lisa. He is so freaking picky and has impeccable taste. Hopefully he'd feel bad for me in my worn-to-five-weddings dress and take pity. I'm thinking the color would be kelly green. With pearls, of course.
Thanks for stopping by, Lisa and Laura!
Have a comment about co-writing? Would you wear pearls to a pizza party?
ENTER to receive a surprise Countdown-to-LIAR-SOCIETY Give-away by leaving a comment at this post. Contest open to all ages-USA addresses only. Ends at 11:59 PM Pacific time on August 29. One winner will be randomly chosen and announced here on September 1.