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Previously we talked about Mormon Mishaps and Mischief. Nicole Giles wrote that book together with Cindy L. Beck. I thought it would be fun to visit about collaborating on a book together.

Margaret:  How did you become co-authors?

Cindy: We met at a writing conference but neither of us actually remembers being introduced, so it must not have been a momentous meeting. We really came to know each other on line in a writer’s group that was sponsored by LDStorymakers. And that just proves how valuable it is to belong to writers’ groups.

Nicole: Cindy and I met at a writer’s conference several years ago. After that, we started swapping short stories and articles for critique, and things just blossomed from there. We learned we worked well together, and decided to try coauthoring a book

Margaret: Wow. So this weekend’s Storymakers Conference will be like a happy reunion/anniversary for both of you I suppose. How did you collaborate? You live in the same state, but not the same town.

Cindy: Email. Scads and scads of email. It worked pretty well, too, thus proving that if Nichole moved to Mars, we could still collaborate. I don’t know why she’d want to move to Mars, but all the same …

Nicole: Almost everything we’ve done together has been online. There have been a few in person meetings (and now lots of signings) but this whole book was done through the beauty of the internet.

Margaret:  Wow. So this weekend’s conference will be like a happy reunion/anniversary for both of you I suppose.  Have you written other books solo? How does that experience compare with this effort?

Cindy: Well, I’d like to take credit for writing the Bible, but that would make me about 2,000 years old, give or take a century or two, and I’m already gray enough having been around only 50+ years. I actually have a brilliantly written novel in my files, but unfortunately, none of the 54,000 publishers I sent it to could see the brilliance in it. And I’m working on a suspense novel that I’d love to get finished this year and start submitting. In the meantime, I’ve had numerous articles and non-fiction stories published in magazines and anthologies such as Chicken Soup for the Soul and Cup of Comfort. And I write a humor column for the Sanpete Messenger. I actually enjoy writing with a coauthor, and Nichole has tremendous abilities and talents. We work well together.

Margaret: How did you divide the tasks of Writing, Researching, editing?

Cindy: I’ll be serious on this one for a change. Nichole and I have very similar ideas and as I said before, we work well together. People in the know (whoever they are) suggest that coauthors write up a contract that includes division of labor. We never did that. Mostly because we didn’t know we should. But even more than that, we never needed to do it because we were both committed to not only writing the book but to making it—pardon me for borrowing a slogan from the Army—the best that it could be. And we felt we needed to be considerate of each other and share the work evenly. We just divided it up by talents, abilities, and time available, and went for it!

Nicole: In working with a coauthor, I’ve had to work with another person’s schedule, and also split certain responsibilities between us. We broke down everything that needed to be done, and basically each picked the things we knew how to do the best. Everything else we divvied up and learned. Mostly, though, I really enjoyed the whole team-work thing.

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Margaret: I invited Donna Hatch back today as she is one of my favorite authors and has a new book out: The Guise of a Gentleman.  Donna, I absolutely loved the first book of your Rogue Heart Series, The Stranger She Married with oh-so-dashing Cole Amesbury. Which Amesbury brother Does Guise of a Gentleman focus on?

Donna: Jared Amesbury is the daring and impulsive hero. Each book is a stand-alone book, about a different brother of the Amesbury family, and the family members wander in and out of each other’s books.

Margaret: Great.  I really like when I can start in the middle of a series and still understand the plot and characters. Yet when the characters are compelling I always want to catch another glimpse of their lives. I’m glad to know I can find that in your Rogue Heart Series. Can you tell us about writing Guise of a Gentleman. Did it take more research than usual for your regency romances?

Donna: I did extensive research for my newest Regency Romance Novel, The Guise of a Gentleman and discovered that pirates were first and foremost sailors. They had a hard life and faced many dangers. They also preyed upon any ship that had the misfortune of crossing their path. Then, they’d go to a nearby port and waste their money. They also often ransacked the town, tortured the men, and ravished the women. And they were notorious slave traders. Not very glamorous, is it?

In my novel, I created a fictional problem of having a lot of out of work sailors and captains of privateering ships now that the Napoleonic War was over. So some turned to piracy and created a pirate ring led by a peer of the realm. In my novel, the hero has to become a pirate in order to infiltrate the ring and expose the leader. After studying real life pirates like Black Beard, Calico Jack, and others, I decided pirates make better villains than heroes. They were for the most part, ruthless and unconscionable. Yet, I still cheered for Jack Sparrow and Will Turner.

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