Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Collaberation of Writing

If book jackets were truthful, every one would show more than one name as the author. It takes a village to write a novel.

Do you read the acknowledgements? That's where all of the villagers, or "assistant writers" are named. I read them every time.

The actual writing of a novel is lonely. Just me and my keyboard. It's satisfying to see lists of real people who've encouraged, provided information, or otherwise worked as a team to provide support for authors.

There are writers who don't have critique partners and never have, but I'm pretty sure they all have at least one reader at some point.

I'm fortunate to have two fabulous cps. Kelly Irvin is a former journalist and current PR person with her first novel coming out through Five Star in January. Susan Lohrer is a top-notch editor who has worked with several award winning authors. Anything worthwhile that I produce, those two women will have had input on.

Then there are readers and agents and publishers.

Award-winning author Colleen Coble gets downright giddy when she anticipates receiving her edits. She fully understands the "it takes a village" concept and embraces it with enthusiasm.

Then there are all of those resources used for research. Those people are invaluable in putting a book together.

See the number growing? It isn't just the one name on the cover.

And don't forget the family who has to deal with dust bunnies and either frozen pizza or slow cooker meals, and the friends who feel a bit abandoned from time to time.

Maybe the primary author's name is the only one that shows because they don't make book jackets large enough.

CR: Strangle a Loaf of Italian Bread by Denise Dietz. I had LASIK yesterday or I may have finished it. Instead, I finished listening to Just One Look by Harlan Coben.

It's all better with friends.


  1. You know I am especially dependent on my village, since they are the ones who tell me--kindly, with respect in their tones--that nope, no PFD this time either.

    I have been chomping at the bit to put their names down in an acknowledgements section. Sometimes I am so hungry to do this, that I compose it during insomniac bouts when I am wondering just when this will happen.

  2. I'm sure they break the lack of PFD news with love. Villagers are like that.

    I started keeping a list of people I want to be sure and thank, only I've lost track of it. At the rate I'm going, just pull out a phone book. That should work.

    Are all writers blind optimists? I suppose they must be.