Thursday, February 13, 2014

A Conversation with Lindsay Currie and Trisha Leaver, Co-Authors of CREED

Lindsay Currie
Trisha Leaver

Hi Lindsay! Thanks so much for agreeing to stop by the blog for a chat. I've seen pictures of your dog, Sam, on the web so I already know we're going to do fine together. Big dog people solidarity! Anyway, you have a novel coming out in the fall from Flux, titled CREED. The blurb on your blog sounds amazing - deserted town, but not really because it's populated by a creepy cult. But beyond wanting to read it NOW, I'm intrigued that you co-authored it. Can you tell us about the process of working with another writer in the creative process?

Hi, and thank you for having me! So glad to know you’re a dog person, too. And yes, Sam think’s he’s a huge part of the publishing world because he sits at my feet while I’m writing! I don’t know, perhaps he’s got a future as the mascot for young adult literature:) Here he is, with his most academic face on…

Anyway, back on topic! CREED is a psychological horror that I co-authored with Trisha Leaver. We’ve actually been writing together for for a few years now, and loving it. We started out as CP’s and eventually discovered that when we put our two brains together, we come up with some insanely twisted stuff. 

In terms of sharing the creative process - it’s a blast! Believe it or not, CREED actually originated from a dream Trisha had. She then called me, relayed the more sinister aspects (the distant wail of a storm siren in an abandoned farming town), we brainstormed and then set out to write a story around those few chilling details. Fortunately for us, it ended up coming together into a manuscript that we loved. With our amazing agents Kathleen Rushall and Kevan Lyon pitching the book, we were lucky enough to end up with editor Brian Farrey on the project! 

 While I don’t think co-authoring is for everyone, its certainly been fun for us and we look forward to writing more together. In my opinion, the key isn’t just having a similar writing style, but a similar vision for each individual project as well. Well, that and the fact that we enjoy sharing the process. That helps:)

Fascinating. I think that would be loads of fun. And now Trisha has joined the conversation, too! Hi Trisha! So more about this, because I think co-authoring though done, is not done a lot. David Levithan is someone who comes to mind as a regular co-author type. What's a typical writing week look like for the two of you, do you plot or pants? How often do you go back and forth? Do you Skype and write? In general - how in the heck do you two do the co-author thing? 

Ah, good questions! To be honest, neither of us are really plotters. We honestly prefer to start with an idea and let it flow from there. Generally, we allow the story to go in the direction that feels right - even if this means making major plot or character changes along the way. Since we pass the MS back and forth (sometimes mid-chapter), you’d be amazed at how many new threads develop or how many plot bunnies take on a life of their own. Trisha is really the amazing idea generator between the two of us and sometimes her thoughts take us in entirely new directions than we planned to go in. 

As for how much we Skype/talk - A LOT. I think our books come together in the end because of the amount of brainstorming we do and that’s pretty much all by phone.

So how does the actual writing work? Do you do multiple POV's and split those up? Is one of you the dialogue writer and another the prose writer? Or is it truly like an exquisite corpse story, but with purpose? However you do it, I imagine it's a whole ton of fun to write a novel with someone else. It seems like it would subtract any pressure that might be there.

The logistics of how we write are actually a lot more simple than people think. We don’t write multiple POV’s, and don’t split up anything really. I think a key is that we both write what we’re comfortable with. If I’m writing a scene and I honestly feel like Trisha is going to be able to create more authentic dialogue or something along those lines, I’ll toss the half-written scene at her and let her have a go at it. When it comes down to it, it’s not about who can write the majority of the book . . . It’s about creating the best book it can be, regardless of which one of us is writing the various scenes. Fortunately, Trisha and I have similar writing styles so it’s impossible to detect shifts in writer throughout the MS. Our writing method is pretty informal and yes, really fun! 

So, I know CREED is a creepy sort of tale, but was there one scene that stood out because it was so much fun for y'all to write?

Trisha: Hmm…how to answer this without giving too much away?  I wouldn’t so say a specific scene as I would a character.  Mike is the younger brother of our mc’s love interest. He is sarcastic by nature and quick with a crude yet completely spot on answer.  He was a hoot to write, probably because I, myself, have a sarcastic streak.

Lindsay:  YES! I’d have to say that our opening scenes were very memorable for me in terms of writing CREED because they set the tone.  It’s a dark, foreboding feeling that really sticks to your bones, and refuses to go away throughout the entire MS. Just think broken down car, nothing but farmland for miles, darkness approaching, and the distant wail of a storm siren. 

With each answer I want this book more. Alright, so we've talked co-authoring, let's talk individual projects. Are you each interested in writing solo as well? (I immediately think of Sheila E and her solo albums apart from Prince) Anything on the horizon? More co-authored projects? Are you branding yourself in unique ways for different types of projects? 

Yes, we both author solo projects! For more information on those, please visit our separate websites at and  Regarding co-authored work, we do have a second book coming out from Flux in 2015 - tentatively titled HARDWIRED. We’ll share details on that book as soon as we can:)  In addition, we’ve just completed a YA historical fiction horror based in the late 1800’s.  

When it comes to branding, I think our taste pretty much dictates the brand we’re creating as opposed to the other way around. When we write together, typically our manuscripts fall along a darker line and are psychological in nature. In other words, read our books with the LIGHTS ON!

Got it! Lights on. And people, go check out those links! And put Creed on your TBR list!

It's been wonderful hanging out with the two of you but it's time for my final questions. Please tell us, the next 3 books on your TBR piles, the liquid currently in your cups, and what's playing on repeat! 

Lindsay: Aw, thank you for having us! It’s been awesome. Next 3 books in my TBR pile are: THESE BROKEN STARS, FANGIRL and DEFY. Can’t wait to read all 3! The liquid currently in my cup is coffee, with French vanilla creamer and there’s nothing on repeat! I don’t like writing with music. Crazy, right? 

Trisha: Finally a question I can answer without too much thought J  top of my TBR pile is SING SWEET NIGHTINGALE by Erica Cameron, THE IMPOSSIBLE KNIFE OF MEMORY by Laurie Hale Anderson, and FALLOUT by Ellen Hopkins.  As for what is in my cup….Joseph Carr Cabernet. And what I have on repeat today, and this changes regularly, but today it is SAY SOMETHING by A Great Big World.

Be sure and stop in next week when I'll be chatting with Mary Crockett, co-author of Dream Boy!

1 comment:

  1. Very cool interview! I've always been fascinated by co-authoring a book--it sounds like a blast, and you two have only added to that. (Hmm, makes me wonder who I could connive into trying something with me ;) Also, Sam looks like a total cutie!


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