Today we have a guest blog from an author I really enjoy reading: Rhiannon Frater, along with co-author Kody Boye. I love many of the book Rhiannon Frater has written (especially her Pretty As She Dies series) but to tell you the truth, this was my first Kody Boye book. But that’s the great thing about collaborations. You get to discover new authors as you read something from an author you know you already like.
I was lucky enough to have a few questions answered by the authors about what it was like to write a book together. And you’re lucky enough to get to chance to win not one, but two giveaways! Make sure to check that out at the bottom of the post!
What were the best and worst things about being co-writers?
Rhiannon: The best part was that I wasn’t alone in the process. If I got stuck I could discuss my problem with Kody. Having him in the mix meant that I wasn’t alone in the decision-making process and I really valued his input. A lot of times he helped me work through a particular plot tangle. I believe I did the same for him.
Our worst moment was one disagreement we had over a plot point. I was worried we hadn’t stressed on particular aspect of the story enough, while he felt strongly we had. In the end I realized he was right and stopped angsting.
I believe firmly that our pre-existing friendship was what enabled us to work well together. I can’t imagine having written a book with someone I just knew via the internet.
Kody: The best thing for me was being able to plot with Rhiannon face-to-face. Worldbuilding is hard enough on one’s own. If there are multiple people, one can offer an idea, another can flesh it out, another revise, etc. Same with characters. It made the process of creating a world so much easier because there wasn’t hesitation or need to try and remember something. If we had an idea somewhere, I could just say it and she could help build on it.
The worst for me (and I can’t speak for Rhiannon) was being unable to work straight through. I’m a bulldozer when it comes to writing and tend to just plow straight through, so the urge to jump ahead to my part was immense. I couldn’t do that though, because if my character had come into play in one of Rhiannon’s scenes, I would have to alter my scene – drastically at that.
Rhiannon: I definitely agree it was hard to wait for Kody to write his scene so I could continue on. But at the same time I really enjoyed reading his stuff and building off his creativity.
Were there times when you were at each other’s throat or was it a true collaboration where everything fell into place?
Rhiannon: We really worked off each other’s ideas very well. There were moments where one of us would have an idea, propose it, and it would ignite a lot of fun discussion about the story and characters. Since we alternated writing POVs (I wrote for Christy, Kody for Adam), it felt very much like we were building on top of each others work. In every way it was a true collaboration.
Kody: It didn’t feel forced either. We weren’t having to try and guess what the other character was about while writing in the early parts. If Rhiannon had a question about Adam, she could ask, and vice versa. I always feel a bit cheated when I read a collaboratively-written work and I can’t tell who wrote what (which is usually the cause of both writers writing the same characters.) In our case, we stuck with the two point-of-views and didn’t extend beyond them.
And (I think this is the most important question), would you do it again?
Rhiannon: Yes, I would. I had a lot of fun writing the novel with Kody. I hope THE MIDNIGHT SPELL has the sort of sales that indicate a desire for a sequel. We have an idea for a 2nd book, but we’ll really need to see how our audience responds to this first novel. We’re aware of the fact we broke a lot of YA rules. Either people will love the book for that reason, or hate it. I have my fingers crossed that they’ll love it.
Kody: Most YA isn’t my cup of tea. The genre has become so inundated with the whole boy meets girl/they fall in love/he’s a monster who wants to kill her/they live happily ever after. Works like The Hunger Games and even Harry Potter are standouts due to their refusal to bow to the tropes of the genre. That saying, I would gladly collaborate with Rhiannon again. I feel the world The Midnight Spell takes place in is just the tip of an iceberg that hasn’t yet been revealed. Whether or not it’ll happen depends on its success. This isn’t the ordinary YA book, but I think that’s what makes it special.
Thanks for visiting us Rhiannon and Kody!
Here’s more information about the co-authors and where to find them.
Rhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of the As the World Dies trilogy (The First Days, Fighting to Survive, Siege,) and the author of three other books: the vampire novels Pretty When She Dies and The Tale of the Vampire Bride and the young-adult zombie novel The Living Dead Boy and the Zombie Hunters. Inspired to independently produce her work from the urging of her fans, she published The First Days in late 2008 and quickly gathered a cult following. She won the Dead Letter Award back-to-back for both The First Days and Fighting to Survive, the former of which the Harrisburg Book Examiner called ‘one of the best zombie books of the decade.’ Rhiannon is currently represented by Hannah Gordon of the Foundry + Literary Media agency. You may contact her by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kody Boye was born and raised in Southeastern Idaho. Since his initial publication in the Yellow Mama Webzine in 2007, he has gone on to sell nearly three-dozen stories to various markets. He is the author of the short story collection Amorous Things, the novella The Diary of Dakota Hammell, the zombie novel Sunrise and the dark fantasy novel Blood. His fiction has been described as ‘Surreal, beautiful and harrowing’ (Fantastic Horror,) while he himself has been heralded as a writer beyond his years(Bitten by Books.) He currently lives and writes in the Austin, Texas area.
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More about THE MIDNIGHT SPELL:
Adam and Christy have been best friends since kindergarten. Always the perpetual outsiders in their small town in Texas, they’ve always had to deal with nasty comments from their classmates. Adam is called “gay” while Christy is called “witch.”
On both counts the bullies are right.
Their junior year in high school seems destined to be the same old same old until Christy decides to cast a love spell for Adam at the midnight hour. The next day an alluring and mysterious new boy enrolls at school and sets hearts a flutter, including Adam’s. Meanwhile, Christy’s mad crush on the handsome Ian seems to be going nowhere fast. Struggling to capture the heart of Ian while trying to come into her full witch powers is tough enough, but when a great evil arrives in town that threatens everything they hold dear, she realizes that finding a boyfriend is the least of her and Adam’s worries.
Soon Adam, Christy, their potential love interests, and their good friends Drifter and Olivia, will have to battle a force of darkness that has killed in their town before and will again.
Giveaway #1: One (1) lucky reader will get an eBook copy of THE MIDNIGHT SPELL
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Giveaway #2: One (1) tour-wide winner will get a paperback copy of THE MIDNIGHT SPELL, a Midnight Spell candle and bookmarks.
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