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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tuesday Spotlight: Joyce and Jim Lavene

Team writing
One of the first things that readers ask us, no matter where we go, is what it’s like writing with another person. Many people can’t imagine working with a husband or wife at all. Writers are solitary people by nature. That seems to make it sound even worse.

We worked together for 15 years running an office supply business in Charlotte, NC. When our children started growing up, we decided to take the plunge and try our hands at writing. We didn’t know if it was possible to make one voice out of two, but we wanted to try. Finding that singular voice is the hardest thing two writers working together can undertake.

We tried short stories at first to see how it would work. It didn’t. We set our sights on novels but found we had the same problem. It wasn’t until we were sitting around a campfire with our kids, doing a round robin type story, that we realized this could work for us. We started writing a long synopsis so we both know what we’re thinking, and then we sit down together at the computer.

We tell each other the story, back and forth, across our linked monitors, until we come up with a rough draft. That is our discovery process, our storytelling that is then revised and revised until we have the finished product It’s exciting and fun working with someone you love and trust, someone you know has great ideas and the best interests of the book at heart. And of course there is always the extra benefit of being able to have someone to talk to when you’re sitting in a mall hundreds of miles from home with no friendly faces in sight. Team writing is the best!

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