Working with a co-author (and who is Kitty Cox?)
And that last bit is why we can write together. I can honestly tell her, “No one talks like that, chica. Your dialogue is stiff and false feeling.” Conversely, she picks apart my writing until I want to cuss a blue streak at her. She makes sure I have a reason for every single action my characters take. It’s not enough to just put them in a situation, Kitty wants to know why Mack didn’t just ask Ryan to take her to the hospital. She wants to make sure I’ve prepared the readers for this by keeping her personality consistent. She highlights every place her eyes glaze over when reading, then tells me to rip it out.
Kitty helps with every book I’ve put out, just like I help with every one she creates. Granted, I kinda have a lead on her in the production area, and maybe having a full-time job gives her a bit less time to catch up, but she’s still writing. When the idea for the Eternal Combat series came up, it was meant to be. I’m a gamer. She raises horses. We both work for an internet company, so have a decent amount of technical knowledge – including the bad things that happen on the world wide web.
She writes well. It’s like a darker version of the way I do. I have a love affair with the idea of hope. She has a penchant for making the reality into something powerful. Put those together, and we ended up with a book about some of the strongest women I’ve ever imagined. They’re super hero strong, without losing their femininity or becoming cheap placeholders for characters that could feel real.
And then we moved into the rest of the series, and wow. I always thought that writing with someone else would be a headache. Sure, I expected the long debates over how to get from point A to point B in the book. I never thought they’d be so much fun!
Since we’ve been pushing to get Flawed finished, Kitty has finally come to accept that she’s more than just a ghost writer. She’s good at this. She enjoys it. That means there’s no reason her name shouldn’t be on the covers and she shouldn’t get equal billing for the hours she puts in. The minute she agreed to it, I swapped covers and adjusted everything! (That’s the best part about digital books, changes can be made quickly.)
It also makes the final edits a lot easier. The pair of us sit down and go through the comments our editor left. Some we laugh off. Many we debate. Is this fragment indicative of the character’s mental state? Are we trying to make the reader feel something with the choppy flow through this section, or were we being lazy? How does ripping out that line alter things later in the book? Does THIS line have any reason to be here? What’s it driving in the story? Does the sex scene have a purpose besides titillation?
Oh. Right. And Flawed is almost done. Maybe after this series is out, we’ll have to start on something else, because working with a co-author is a lot better than I could have imagined.