One of the questions we always get is “How on earth do you write novels together? Writing is such a personal thing – Isn’t it hard to write with another person?”
Eileen: Writing is often a solitary activity. As a writer, you get lost in your words, scenes and characters, interacting with them far more often than you do with actual real life people. As magical as it is to create something from nothing, writing can also be a terribly lonely profession. For us, co-writing solves that problem. Even when we work on solo pieces, we’re often online together, chatting and helping each other work through the plots of our WIPs. When we do write together, we’re often times each drawn to one particular character who we feel a connection with. Each of us will “adopt” that character and take over most of the writing for scenes from that character’s POV. However, even though we usually alternate working on the WIP based on which character drives the scene, we also help each other out if the scene is a particularly hard one.
Nikka: An example of this came up while we were writing In The Raw. The scene followed a painful scene between Jamie and his father, which resulted in a fight between Ethan and Jamie. Even though the scene was from Ethan’s POV, one that I usually write, I kept getting writer’s block every time I tried to work on the scene. We knew we had to make Ethan’s remarks and attitude cruel to Jamie, and it killed me to write it. Eileen took over for a few days, cranked out some hateful dialogue, and we moved past it. Could we have still written a similar scene solo? Of course. But having a partner to help write it, to help move past it and get the words out, was priceless.
Eileen: The same applies to scenes that seem effortless for Nikka to write. I love cooking and watching cooking shows, but the art of translating the techniques and nuances to the page is hard for me. On the other hand, Nikka takes a scene, blocks it out in her head and runs with it. The result is amazing. So usually, regardless of whose POV the scene is from, we never try to bully our way through a scene. We each have strengths in our writing and together, we just work.
Co-writing isn’t for everyone, though. We’re both profoundly grateful we found each other because for us, co-writing is natural and seamless. It’s something we try not to take for granted because we have too many WIPs that we want to write…together.
In the Raw by Eileen Griffin and Nikka Michaels
James Lassiter has had a crush on fellow culinary student Ethan Martin for three years, but has never had the guts to make a move. Putting himself out there is hard, especially when under the thumb–and wallet–of his overbearing parents. Now that bad boy chef Ethan–who is always vying with Jamie for best in class–is struggling with the pastry course, Jamie suddenly has a reason to reach out.
Ethan doesn’t mean to be an ass–okay, so mostly he does–but even though he’s secretly hot for Jamie, he sure as hell doesn’t want help with pastry. Ever since his dad walked out, Ethan has been the one to hold things together and he’s done fine on his own. Except that he can’t get his cake to rise.
Jamie could be the answer to what Ethan’s been missing his whole life–someone to depend on. But with the two competing for the same scholarship, things suddenly get too hot to handle. And if Jamie finds the strength to go for what he wants, he isn’t about to settle for what he needs.
Read an excerpt of In the Raw HERE.
EILEEN GRIFFIN BIO:
Eileen Griffin lives in the southwest, but loves to travel and has spent many summers crossing Europe with nothing but a backpack on her back. She enjoys TexMex, lives for good wine, and has a certain penchant for purple unicorns. She loves reading all genres of books, but her current obsession is writing M/M romance.
NIKKA MICHAELS BIO:
Nikka Michaels lives in the Pacific Northwest where she spends her time cooking up romantic tales to satisfy her craving for HEAs with heat. A voracious reader, novice knitter and music lover she’s been known to multitask without breaking a sweat. She loves to read and write M/M romance but believes everyone deserves a love story.
Stay tuned for the continuation of Jamie and Ethan’s story: In the Fire coming from Carina Press November 3.