Have you ever wondered how two people work together to write one book? Me too! Writing is such an internal process that I wanted to hear from a pair who had collaborated together–and survived to tell the tale.
I don’t hide the fact that werewolf books just aren’t my thing, but Camilla and Bonita have gone a very different way with the theme, so if you’re a fan of the genre, you might want to check it out. Pssst–as of this posting, the book is free on Amazon. Link at the bottom of this post.
I’ll leave it to them to explain how their story came about, and how they created it together. (Pretty well, apparently, because the only bloodshed is within the story itself. Sounds like a successful collaboration to me!)
Camilla: The Werewolf Whisperer concept came to me while working with the on-set dog trainer during my short film Dog Breath. I bounced the idea off Bonita.
Bonita: She had me at the title.
Camilla: Initially, we thought it would be a web series. Sort of a Shaun of the Dead meets Supernatural with a little Thelma and Louise thrown in.
Bonita: But our characters aren’t driving over any cliffs.
Camilla: That summer, we had a blast writing the first season. We came up with the through line and then divided up the episodes. We’d get back together, go over what we’d written and then come up with the next “assignment.” We talked a lot about the characters and about where the story was heading.
Bonita: Yeah, we talked ourselves into a giant world. We intended on shooting it, but when we came up with a budget we realized our imaginations had exceeded our means.
Camilla: By then, we were both committed.
Bonita: Seriously, we should have been committed. Or maybe just Camilla because it was her bright idea to turn our web series into a novel. And not just a novel, but a novel series.
Camilla: A huge task. But the process of writing the web series had taught us two things: how to work together and where we like to get lunch.
Bonita: Not necessarily in that order. A girl’s gotta eat.
Camilla: The web series also served as a strong, detailed outline. And the book’s structure grew from there. The story follows two main characters, Lucy and Xochitl, in a past and a present timeline.
Bonita: We divvied up the work according to who writes which character.
Camilla: It worked out that I would write the first draft of the Lucy chapters and Bonita the Xochi ones.
Bonita: Then we’d get together, eat and read the chapters to each other out loud. Which is terrifying and exciting at the same time. Because you want the other person to like your work.
Camilla: It’s gold when you can make your writing partner laugh — or cry…We don’t always agree on everything, but we always work it out pretty quick.
Bonita: You have to check your ego at the door. Easier said than done.
Camilla: And if something’s just not gelling, the person with the best argument wins.
Bonita: And neither one of us is a pushover. So the argument better be damn good.
Camilla: But I think we’re both pretty reasonable.
Bonita: So then, as the old adage goes, writing is re-writing. So, we re-write and re-write and re-write again.
Camilla: I’d say there isn’t a sentence in the book that doesn’t have both of our fingerprints on it…We both come from a theater background. In fact, we did plays together in college. And doing a play is all about teamwork. All about putting the project ahead of yourself.
Bonita: Same goes for film and television, where I’ve placed most of my focus.
Camilla: Working with a writing partner keeps me accountable. The story is our story, ours together. I can’t just give up or be lazy because I have made a commitment to someone else, someone I trust and respect, someone who is counting on me. And I don’t want to give up because I am immensely curious about what we’ll come up with next.
Bonita: I love to work in collaboration with other artists, whether it’s acting, filmmaking, theater or writing. Lucky for me, Camilla and I have all of those experiences in common.
Camilla: And now we’re in the thick of writing book two — The Alpha & Omega.
Bonita: And boy, has our writing process evolved…Now let’s go eat.
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