Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Blog tour: The Royal We authors Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan talk about writing together

Today I'm very excited to be part of the blog tour for The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan of Go Fug Yourself fame! I've recently read quite a few novels written by more than one author, including Tiny Pretty Things and How to Be Bad, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who's been wondering how co-writing actually works. The lovely ladies behind The Royal We share their experience in today's blog tour guest post.


The Royal We -- our new book about an American who falls in love with a prince who’ll inherit the British throne -- is the third novel we’ve co-written. And anytime two author names appear on a book jacket, it inspires loads of logistical questions: “Do you sit in the same room and watch each other type?” “Does one of you do the dialogue, and the other write the descriptions?” “How often do you want to kill each other?” (The answers are, respectively, no, no, and hardly ever.) We completely understand why it’s tough imagining one literary baby coming from two people -- while that may be how human babies are made, writing has a reputation for being more of a solo undertaking. However, we’d argue that not only is it possible to write together, but it’s our favorite way.

1) Four hands are better than two. We start with a detailed outline and trade the manuscript back and forth, editing each other’s work before adding the next section of the story. This means only one of us has custody of the book at a time, and the other gets a prescribed mental break, which prevents the dreaded burnout. And you know that last-day-of-vacation feeling, where dread creeps in about the work you left stagnant on your desk? This system obliterates that. We can walk away knowing the project is perking along in trusted hands.

2) We’re a team. No matter how much they love you, the people who are invested in your success -- your spouse, your friends -- may not have the bandwidth for yet another conversation about what your main character would sing at karaoke. So it’s comforting having one person who is exactly as invested in this book as you are, and who doesn’t need you to re-explain the plot six times whenever you need advice.

3) We push each other. The first thing they teach you in improv comedy class is to react to your scene partner with, “Yes, and...” so that the scene always moves forward. (Ergo, if they pretend to hand you a human bone, you don’t say, “That’s not a bone, it’s a Dairy Milk.”) In writing, sometimes this turns into “Yes, or...” but the idea is the same: Two people building on each other’s ideas can take things much farther than you’d have gotten on your own.

4) You’ve got backup. By necessity, whatever we’re working on gets read multiple times by us both, meaning we catch more typos and errors than we would on our own. With each proofreading pass, we’re surprised by what we missed and the other person found.

5) It’s fun. Getting the newest pages from each other is like a sneak peek at your new favorite book by your old favorite author. And there’s no greater thrill than that. J.K. Rowling, are you sure you don’t want to get in on this? Because we’re available.



Blurb: Rebecca Porter was never one for fairy tales. Her twin sister, Lacey, has always been the romantic who fantasized about glamour and royalty, fame and fortune. Yet it's Bex who seeks adventure at Oxford and finds herself living down the hall from Prince Nicholas, Britain's future king. And when Bex can't resist falling for Nick, it propels her into a world she did not expect to inhabit.

Dating Nick immerses Bex in ritzy society, dazzling ski trips, and dinners at Kensington Palace with him and his charming, troublesome brother, Freddie. But the relationship also comes with unimaginable baggage: hysterical tabloids, Nick's far more suitable ex-girlfriends, and a royal family whose private life is far more tragic than anyone on the outside knows. The pressures are almost too much to bear, as Bex struggles to reconcile the man she loves with the monarch he's fated to become.

Now, on the eve of the wedding of the century, Bex is faced with whether everything she's sacrificed for love–her career, her home, her family, maybe even herself – will have been for nothing.


You can purchase your copy of The Royal We from Waterstones, Amazon.co.uk or your own preferred retailer.

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