Thursday, December 1, 2011

THE ART OF COLLABERATION

Someone once asked if my husband and I ever thought of collaborating on a book.


“Are you kidding?” I gasped. Visions of screaming, scratching and foot stomping charged through my mind—and that’s only the cat’s reaction. Think of my reaction while my husband furrows his eyebrows, purses his lips and starts crossing out my carefully crafted paragraphs with his number two pencil.


Nope. Vonnie doesn’t run with scissors, nor does she collaborate when writing.


Calvin writes in a more literary style with beautiful imagery. He throws in a dash of the supernatural. He adores an ending that hangs out there, blowing in the wind for the reader to decide what really happened. I like my endings tied into a neat bow, dripping with happiness.


So when the Roses of Prose, another blog on which I contribute, decided to write a progressive story for the holiday season, my mouth kinda went dry. Me collaborate on a story with thirteen other writers? Just the thought made my teeth itch.


As it turned out, a few couldn’t contribute. One was moving, another taking care of an ailing mother and two knee-deep in edits. That left ten of us.


Frankly, it didn’t take long for me to realize ten women can’t all agree on anything. Granted all nine of the other writers are sweet, intelligent, creative women. Yet we all have our ways of thinking through things.

There were so many details to decide. Like what was the premise of our story? Character names? Back story? Time frame? Was this a Christmas story or a politically correct holiday story? Would the bedroom door be closed or open? Well, you get the picture. The emails with "what-if" questions were adding up in my mailbox like ants on a piece of dropped cake.


The project turned out to be a growing experience for me. I learned to pick my battles and mostly to keep my big mouth shut—or my fingers off the send button, as it were.


One lady wrote the first chapter and posted it to our group’s files. The next lady in line took over, adding her own flair in the second chapter, and so on. I ended up writing four chapters to make up for those unable to participate. And wouldn’t you JUST know it, every time it was my turn to take over, the heroine and hero were headed to the bedroom. I think it was a conspiracy.


We’re offering it in December as a FREE read. Thirty chapters (1200-1400 words each) of romance. Why not stop by The Roses of Prose every day this month and read the next installment of A HOLIDAY TO REMEMBER?


Book Blurb: Candy Wright didn’t become a high-powered Manhattan business executive by letting men walk all over her. She watched her mother work herself to death to give her daughter a better life and is determined to make her proud. If that means not risking her heart, not letting any man get too close, then so be it.

Mitch Johnson lives a simple life in rural Georgia. Holding his secrets close. Hiding from the life he left behind. The last thing he wants—or needs—is a woman to remind him of his past.


When the two are thrown together in a freak snowstorm, sparks fly. Mitch is everything she’s worked to escape. Candy is a reminder of his painful past. But the attraction between them won’t be denied. Will love thaw their frozen hearts, or will secrets tear them apart? One thing is certain; it will be a holiday to remember…

11 comments:

morgan said...

Vonnie,
The books sounds wonderful. I am going to download it. You and Calvin could write together how you met.I would love to read that story!

Vonnie Davis said...

Thanks, Morgan. I hope you enjoy A HOLIDAY TO REMEMBER.

Calvin taught English for 40 years to high school students in inner-city Baltimore. He was the kind of teacher who jumped up on his desk and delivered Shakespeare soliliquies. No one slept in his class. He's got a deep, theatrical voice.

As for writing the story of how we met...two old fogies hooking up on match dot com. What a hoot! **grins**

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Sounds to me that you have the patience of a saint, Vonnie. I am glad you were able to get it finished and everyone is still alive. :)

I'd read it if I could, but we are shying away from Christmas this year. It's just something emotionally we can't do right now.

Hugs to you and your writer husband. I hope you have a great holiday.

Josie said...

Vonnie,
I've thought about writing a book with my sister. She's smart and funny and come to think of it---maybe I'll let her write it and I'll just read it. :)

Mona Risk said...

Vonnie, you're amazing. Writing with 10 other women. Did you pull each others' hair? Nope, you're on email. So you must have become BFF, if you've survived the experience.

Beth Trissel said...

Vonnie, I am totally wowed. And I love your sense of humor too.

Vonnie Davis said...

I just crawled out of my writing cave. How many of you are frantically trying to finish one project because one or two other stories are clammering in your addled brain to be written. Don't you hate that??? The walls of my brain are tired from these stories bouncing around. Sorry, needed to vent for a moment. Thanks to all of you for stopping by.

Paisley, emotional healing takes time and happens on a different time frame for everyone. Do what you can and hug your loved ones tight.

Josie, I love a story sweetened with humor. Write, girl, write!

Mona, I'm proud of our story and how well our writing styles meshed from chapter to chapter. There were a few ladies who held it all together. The kudos go to them.

Beth, thanks for stopping by. Hope you read the installments even though it's a contemporary romance.

Louise Behiel said...

what a wonderful project. I will download for reading over the holidays. I can't imagine each person writing a chapter - that's brave for sure.

Vonnie Davis said...

Louise, I gave up trying to read everyone's chapters until it was my turn to write one. Because whatever I planned to have happen wouldn't work with the twists and turns previous writers inserted. One couldn't plan ahead, so I'd put the story out of my mind until it was my turn again and then I'd read all the chapters written since my last offering.

Rolynn Anderson said...

Hmm, book by committee. Veeeeery interesting! I think you are a brave woman, indeed. If you got to write four of the chapters, you took the 'head of the conference table' position on this project, girl. Thanks for offering the book free!

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Vonnie, You've provoked my interest and I'll have to stop by for a read. I'm curious--how long did the process take?