Sunday, January 1, 2012

January Theme: Collaborating on Goddess Girls (Writing Firsts)

Writing is a solitary endeavor, yet authors are always collaborating with others in the creation of every book. Crit groups, illustrators, designers, and editors play an important role. But how about writing with a partner?

In 2005, I asked Suzanne Williams if she'd like to try writing a tween chapter book series with me. Seemed like a good plan. She already had several easy reader and younger chapter book series in publication, and so did I. We both like to write humor and we have good work habits. 

Artemis the Loyal, book #7 of the series we chose to write--Goddess Girls--is now on bookstore shelves, and our contract with Aladdin paperbacks has been extended to 12 books. We're writing numbers 9 and 10 right now, and the writing is just as much fun for me as the first book was.

Still, looking back, I realize that we've been lucky. Many things could have gone wrong on the way to publication. Our egos could have gotten in the way; one of us might not have pulled our weight in the writing endeavor; the topic we chose might not have caught on with readers; or our writing styles might not have meshed. It could have been a disaster. For instance, we didn't really know how we would distribute the work. Would one of us write book 1 and the other write book 2? We figured we'd sweat those details later, if the books were picked up by a publisher.

I had tried writing picture books with several friends over the years, but it hadn't worked out. Our writing styles, working styles, and/or ideas just never meshed for some reason. Goddess Girls was the first time that I'd tried writing a series of longer books with a partner. Maybe the longer format is just a better fit for a partnership. More importantly, I think I found the right partner. I totally lucked out. In fact, we're writing another series together that will debut in summer 2012.

As we head into the new year, I wish you all the best of luck in your working partnerships, writing or otherwise! xox

~ Joan Holub


  1. I love the idea of writers collaborating on the same project, and am in awe of all you two have accomplished. Congrats!

  2. Thanks, Holly. As Joan said, we really lucked out that we're so compatible. Writing with Joan is a joy.