Co-Writing for Newbie Authors: Insight into Co-writing with Evernight Authors Eileen Griffin and Nikka Michaels
Q: When did you know that you wanted to become a writer?
Eileen: I’ve always loved reading and writing poetry, but it wasn’t until I was out of college that I really dreamed about being a writer. However, I never entertained the thought of being a writer seriously because I was too shy to share any of my writing with people and I always thought that career was for other people, not me. Then I met Nikka Michaels. She literally pushed me into putting my words out there for people to read instead of keeping them locked away on my computer.
Nikka: When I was younger I spent a lot of time in libraries after school while waiting for my parents to pick me up. I used to lose myself in other worlds and imagine I was another character. When I got older I worked in libraries in high school and college and I always dreamed of being able to write stories I could get lost in. Like Eileen I didn’t think that writing was a career that I could attempt, but with her partnership we’re doing it together.
Q: What was the first piece you remember writing?
Eileen: I had an awesome teacher in second grade who had us (her students) draw a picture at the top of our pages, then write a story underneath the illustration. I remember writing a great story about going to the museum (all of it was completely made up) and another one about my cat. The best part about these stories was that she would post them in her classroom for everyone to read and enjoy, then send them home for our families to enjoy. She told us it was her way of “publishing” our writing. I still have some of them preserved in a memory album to this day.
Nikka: I honestly don’t remember. But I do remember wanting to rewrite some of the endings to the books I read.
Q: Did you ever imagine when the first time you met your co-writer you’d be where you are today writing and publishing together?
Eileen: Actually, the first time I met Nikka, we discussed our love of books so it seems wholly appropriate that we’re now writing partners. However, getting to plot, discuss, brainstorm and write every day with Nik has been so much more than I ever expected. It’s the best thing to happen to me in a long, long time.
Nikka: Nope. But best idea ever, gotta say. In the history of ideas, behind the invention of the wheel and fire. Maybe. Possibly. No, seriously. We’re both book lovers so that was what brought us together. And I second that, writing with Eileen makes the writing experience so much more fun.
Q: For those who don’t understand writing with a partner, how would you explain your writing partnership to them?
Eileen: I can see how people who are used to writing alone would find it odd or weird to write with a partner. To be honest? I love it. We bounce so many ideas off of each other that our SL usually becomes so much more than we originally envisioned it. I also think that writing with someone takes a lot of compromise. There are people who need to be in complete control over their characters and SL. Nik and I happily share joint custody over all of that and discuss every idea or SL change we have. It’s all about give and take. We each have our own OCD about writing, but we work well together and our ideas make our stories and characters stronger.
Nikka: We bounce ideas off each other and flail, then I ramble on in brainstorming. Then we switch. Then Eileen organizes everything and makes it pretty and sensible. Then rinse and repeat. Writing with a partner might not be the best choice for everyone but for us personally, it seems to work as we both have something to bring to the table.
Q: What has been the most challenging aspect of writing with a partner? What has been the best part?
Eileen: The most challenging part of having a writing partner? Time zones, dinner times and google docs deciding to play nasty and kick one of us out when we’re both working or plotting a scene at the same time. Nik and I discuss every chapter and character we write, so finding the time to be online together can be a challenge sometimes. There have been times when one of us can’t be online when the other is writing and we’ve been frustrated by the need to ask questions but not wanting to stop the creative flow of writing. We work around it the best we can, but time zones and schedules are definitely the most challenging for me. The best part about having a writing partner? I have an absolute blast writing with Nik. She makes me laugh on an hourly basis. Nothing we begin turns out the way we originally think it will. Short works turn into novellas. Novellas turn into novels. She makes me want to do more and write more. To actually get paid for all of that is priceless.
Nikka: The most challenging part: Everything Eileen said. Time zones, dinner time, and technology usually are the only things that keep us from writing together. The best part: It sounds so blasé to say writing with Eileen is fun, but the word really describes it. She’s funny and smart and we work as a good team to get the words out. Plus writing with her makes the sometimes lonely solo process of writing so much more interactive. You’re not stuck at your computer pounding the keys by yourself. You’re writing with someone else and you get to see new ways of looking at ideas or advancing the plot or someone telling you hey, that idea sucks when it’s needed or a thumbs up when it’s good.
Q: In Chasing Matt, who did you identify with more? Chase or Matt? Why?
Eileen: I definitely identify more with Chase. I’m more reserved and quiet, unless I’m with people I know and feel comfortable around. And I’m definitely more of a homebody type like Chase. Although, I do have a thing for hotties in glasses, so Matt and I do share that one trait.
Nikka: I identify more with Chase, I think. I’m the same as Eileen, more reserved and quiet unless I know someone, then look out. Plus I happen to be a fan of hot nurses, like Chase is so we share that.
Chasing Matt, the debut Evernight novel by Eileen Griffin and Nikka Michaels was released on August 20th and has been a bestseller on All Romance Ebooks, Amazon and Bookstrand.com.
Chase Williams is a gorgeous but painfully shy web designer whose long term boyfriend dumped him for being such a “nice” guy. Instead of meeting his buddies at the local bar for a drink he helps his elderly neighbor with a DIY project. When a wobbly step ladder leads to a banged up wrist and a trip to the ER Chase is convinced it’s the worst night ever. Then he meets his handsome nurse.
Matt Owens is the boy next door who loves working in the busy ER. He’s more than ready to clock out from his double shift until he meets his patient in Bed 4. Matt’s bedside manner is charming enough to make Chase consider throwing caution to the wind and going after what he wants for a change. But will Matt’s attraction to Chase be enough to make him to break his rule about never dating patients?
All Romance Ebooks:
Nurse Matt Owens paused and held my eyes for a minute before leaning over to type some notes on the computer. My skin flushed when he looked away. I liked the feeling of his eyes on me. I only wished he did it with personal interest instead of the clinical way he evaluated my injury.
I shifted on the stretcher as he gently manipulated my wrist, his hands steady and warm through the gloves. The pain was mostly manageable, until he held onto my forearm with one hand, and flexed my hand backward with the other. I jumped and yelped, unable to hide how much even that small movement hurt.
His eyes were sympathetic, but his hands remained firmly on my arm, steadying me. “Sorry. Bad news? There’s a lot of swelling, and the skin is already turning a nice shade of purple.”
He looked back down at my wrist, and manipulated my fingers and wrist again. When he held my hand still and slowly moved his thumb in circles over the top of my wrist, my breath hitched. The pain of the injury mixed with a deeper pleasure that shot straight to my cock. I quickly shifted my good arm to cover my lap.
“Pain?” Matt’s concerned eyes met mine as he moved his thumb, gently rubbing the swollen skin between my thumb and pointer finger.
“Pressure points can help alleviate pain sometimes, but right now you’re too swollen to receive any real benefit. This pressure point is called the Valley of Harmony, but I’m sensing this is less than harmonic for you.”
I thought I saw the smallest hint of a smirk on his lips, but I couldn’t be sure since his face was still tilted down toward my arm. I cursed at myself for getting turned on by a nurse’s clinical exam.
“I’ve just called for a tech from Radiology to escort you down for your scans. Do you have any questions?”
I laughed under my breath. Did I have any questions? A whole litany of questions came to my mind ranging from where the hell was the exit so I can finally go home to what’s your phone number.
After I settled on the new stretcher, the tech wheeled me down the hallway towards Radiology. All I thought about was whether Matt would be there when I got back from the tests. If he was, and I hadn’t killed anyone from the pain taking over my whole body, maybe I’d actually work up the courage to strike up a conversation that had nothing to do with sludgy coffee, sucky fluorescent lighting, or beautiful ER lobbies, and get to know more about Nurse Owens. Maybe I’d embrace the new Chase Williams like Brett wanted me to and actually go after what I wanted for the first time in my life.
Nikka Michaels lives in the often rainy Pacific Northwest where she spends her time cooking, laughing and crafting romantic tales to satisfy her craving for HEAs.
Eileen Griffin loves to travel and has spent many summers crossing Europe with nothing but a backpack. She enjoys TexMex, good wine and losing herself in a great book.