Today on the FlipSide, I’m featuring a guest post by Crystal Connor, author of In the Foothills of Mt. Empyreal by Connor Titus. Now this is an interesting little tidbit about Crystal—she writes as Connor Titus but so does her writing partner Lori Titus. I understand their books are different and not necessarily written in concert with one another, so let’s get to know a little about the author…
Crystal Y. Connor grew up telling spooky little campfire-style stories at slumber parties. Living on a steady literary diet of Stephen King, Robin Cook, Dean R. Koontz and healthy doses of cinema masterpieces such as The Birds, Friday the 13th, Hellraiser, The Outer Limits and The Twilight Zone it surprises no one that she ended up writing a horror novel!
Crystal now living in Seattle has been writing poetry and short stories specializing in the Urban Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Horror since before Jr. high School. The Darkness, her début novel and book I in The Spectrum Trilogy has been selected as a two time Award-Winning Finalist in the 2011International Book Awards in the fiction categories of Cross Genre Fiction and Multicultural Fiction.
So without further ado, let’s hear from Crystal…
This project was super fun. I love writing as it is, but this was the most fun I’ve had so far when writing a book. We never did the research on ‘how to co-write a book’ and I think going in blind that was one of the best decisions we made when we agreed to work together. I didn’t even start reading articles/blogs about co-authoring a book until we were nearly done. I’m glad that I didn’t too because I read horror story, after horror story about people whose not only business relationships were ruined but friendships were ended behind a book plot, who’s name would be first, or cover art. I think if I had read those articles before I agreed to co-write a book I might not have been so excited to co-write one.
When we first started writing together the idea in mind was to co-write just one book like everyone else. But because we didn’t do any research 1st we just winged it, Lori gave me a few writing prompts and I wrote the first few paragraphs. After that we were just reaction writing, like round robin, we didn’t have an outline, we didn’t have a plot idea, we didn’t even have a title. We just started writing.
Every time I Lori sent what she added it just ratcheted up the excitement because I didn’t know what she was going to write and it made me more excited to add to it. And I know it was the same for Lori because we were updating our status updates and no one knew what we were talking about it. It was so much fun.
But about a 3rd of the way into it we realized that we both had two ideas about where we wanted this book to go. I really didn’t want to give up one idea for the other because I thought they were both really, really good ideas but the problem was we could not have both plots with all the different characters and subplots in the same book.
So basically our project came to a fork in the road and we had put in too much time and effort to stop. So I suggested that we split up and Lori was supper excited about it. Neither of us has seen anything like this done before, two author’s co-writing two stand alone books about the same plot. And one thing we wanted to be sure of was that a person didn’t have to read both books to know what was going on but more than that we didn’t want someone who did read them both feel like they were reading the same story twice. So once we agreed to go our separate ways, we stopped sharing plot ideas, we stopped helping each other and for a while we didn’t even talk to each other about what was going on with our books because we didn’t want to influence each other’s work.
Knowing that there was another person writing about the very same thing was incredibly suspenseful and exciting because we didn’t know what was going on. We didn’t even see each other’s covers until you guys did at the cover reveal. And at the time of this post we haven’t read each other’s books because we agreed to wait until they are both edited. It’s been insane to read the reviews and try to guess what’s going on but so far the reviewers have been really good about not including spoilers. I feel like a little kid 3 days before Xmas.
Maybe it’s a fluke but I had a blast working with Lori Titus co-writing not one but two books. I hope you guys have as much fun reading the books as we did writing them. And I hope that we will be able to entertain you with the stories we write from years to come.
Thank you Crystal! Now let’s look a little deeper into In the Foothills of Mt. Empyreal…
The Order of The Learned.
The Order of The Writs.
The Order of The Cloth.
In the foothills of Mt. Empyreal the most powerful forces in the world are drawn into combat.
And the fate of all the world hangs in the balance.
And there’s a giveaway!!
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
One lucky winner will win signed print copy of BOTH books, T-shirt of each book, Signed print copy of The Darkness: Book 1 of the Spectrum Trilogy by Crystal Connor, Signed print copy of Hunting in Closed Spaces: Vol 1 of the Marradith Ryder Series by Lori Titus (INT)
Giveaway is International.