|Awesome Asheley and I at BEA. LOVE her!*
The first thing I learned is that not all co-authors write books the same way. This isn't really a surprise, because individual authors write very differently as well. However, there are still similarities to co-writing, like the fact that alternating chapters seems to be the most common way to co-write a book. As in one author writes one chapter, then the second author writes the second, then the first author writes the third etc. etc.
Specific authors I met:
1) I saw David Levitham at the Teen Author Carnival on Wednesday evening. Levitham has co-written a lot of books with various authors, his most recent being Invisibility with Andrea Cremer. Levitham said that he and his other writer usually don't plot ahead as they write, so when he gets his co-author's next chapter, he doesn't know where the story is headed.
I've honestly never read a Levitham co-authored book, so I cannot comment on how well this works, except that he's still finding co-writers and selling books. But it always makes me nervous when authors don't plot their stories in advance, even more when it's coming from the mind of two different people. I need to read one of his books to find out, though. Anyone have an opinion on this?
2) Suzanne Young and Cat Patrick, authors of Just Like Fate, were also at the Teen Author Carnival. When asked about how they unite their different voices when writing a book together, Young and Patrick said that they edited each others chapters so much that it became hard for them to tell what each other had written. Their book also has two alternate realities, so each could choose a reality (and a guy) to focus on.
Although I really liked Suzanne Young and Cat Patrick, I'm not a huge fan of alternate reality stories, possibly for the same reason I don't like love triangles. But I do have a copy of this one and plan to give it a try.
3) I met Emma McLaughlin at the Atria party at Simon and Schuster Thursday evening. She and her co-author Nicola Kraus have written 8 books together, including The Nanny Diaries. I read it ages ago when it first came out, though I had no idea it was co-written (I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to those details pre-blogging). McLaughlin said that she and Kraus have been writing together so long that it's almost like a marriage, and they are very familiar with each other's styles. They also completely outline their stories, and because of that and the fact that they know each other so well, it doesn't matter who writes which chapter.
Their upcoming book is The First Affair, about a relationship between an intern and the President (but it's not a retelling of the Clinton affair). I'm a little nervous about this topic, but do have a copy and will be reading it soon.
4) Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner are authors of the upcoming These Broken Stars. Out of all the books on this list, I'm the most EXCITED about reading this one, especially because it's the first in "a series of timeless, standalone love stories that span galaxies - and are linked by their shared worlds and one mysterious enemy." Yes! I love companion series. A new couple in each book and no middle book syndrome, or unnecessary drama to keep the tension high between the couple.
For These Broken Stars, Kaufman and Spooner wrote alternating chapters and split them by each character's voice. One wrote the male character one the female. Amie, who wrote the male POV said that she wrote Tarver as the kind of guy that Megan would like, and Megan said she wrote Lilac to be like herself, so that she could enjoy Tarver herself. They mentioned this at their signing, and were incredibly sweet - also it's possible that I switched who wrote what. (I apologize if so!)
I haven't read a lot of co-written books, and I couldn't even think of one that I've read in the past year. But that is going to change this year.
Talk to me!
Do you remember the co-authored books you've read? If so, what has your experience been like?
Can you even tell the difference between a book written by one person or two?
If you could co-author a book with one person, who would it be? Or, who would you pair up to co-write your perfect book?
*This picture doesn't have anything to do with this post, except that Asheley was one of the people that I was MOST excited to meet at BEA and I think she's pretty spectacular. Maybe you'll be seeing a book published by us one day? HAHA. Probably not.