We love writing, and we particularly love writing together as a team. This Frequently Asked Questions section is a place where you can ask us about our characters, about our world-building, and about the collaborative process that lets two minds work as one on a creative endeavor like REFUGE.
How does a collaboration work? Is it difficult to coordinate your writing?
Collaboration styles vary, depending on the individuals. Some divvy up the writing by assigning specific characters or scenes or chapters. In some partnerships, the writing is split 50-50. In others, one collaborator might do the majority of the writing, with the other partner mostly providing input on an area of expertise. We are an equal partnership with regard to story production, and are both highly involved in planning out the story, as well. We have very similar writing styles, which makes it much easier to produce a smooth, cohesive novel. Often, when we look back at a particular scene, we can’t even remember which of us wrote it initially.
What is it like to create a world from scratch? Is it hard?
We suspect that most good creations follow a similar pattern: an exciting idea occurs to you, one that you find it easy to expand upon, and the idea gains breadth and richness as it grows. In our case, the Vennans were at the heart of our initial ‘what if’ scenario. That race of characters inspired a culture unique to them, along with a core story about their survival. Once we had that much, their world grew from there. We’re both a little astonished by the amount of world-building we’ve done – so much so that our characters and races seem very real to us. We work diligently to make the logic behind each race and character believable and consistent, while still spinning an entertaining story. It’s never seemed hard to us, since we get such a creative kick out of the process!
What are your favorite genres to read? Are they different for each of you?
Both of us read in multiple genres, including non-fiction, science, biographies, women’s fiction, and, of course, science fiction and fantasy. We find the cross-pollination of genres a fertile source for inspiration. We both love character-rich storytelling, so we have a pretty big overlap on our personal Venn diagrams. We met and bonded over our love for Zenna Henderson’s ‘The People’ books, and we’ve never looked back.