Hi and welcome to our blog tour for In His Majesty’s Service! We’re Elizabeth Silver and Jenny Urban and we’re so excited to share the next few days with you. Join us as we talk about our writing process, our book, and how we’ve managed not to kill each other after a decade and a half of friendship. And don’t forget to enter for one of two prizes: a swag pack including a t-shirt, a bag, and a $5 Riptide gift card among other goodies; and an all new Kindle Fire 7!
Co-Authoring and Communicating
By Elizabeth Silver and Jenny Urban
We’ve been asked before what it’s like to co-write a book. More specifically at times, we’re asked about our process for putting together a good story.
Well. We can’t definitively say what it’s like to co-write a book. I suspect it’s as different for each team as it is for solo authors. There are as many ways to write as there are personalities, and then when you try to mesh two personalities at the same time as you’re trying to write? That’s not even considering the fact that writing can be intensely personal. It’s bound to be different for everyone.
So while we can’t tell anyone “what it’s like to co-write a book”, we can talk about what it’s like for us to co-write a book. What our process is, how we work through bad moods and writer’s block on either side, and how we stay friends at the other end. <g>
To begin with, we’ve learned through some pretty painful trial and error that we won’t get anywhere useful if we’re not communicating. Not just when we start a story (because, let’s be honest, In His Majesty’s Service had to be more than just smut in space before we could begin to figure out the story). But also throughout the process, because we’d have stalled out half a dozen times without our open and honest dialogue.
We need to be able to say look, I’ve had a shitty day and really just need to veg just as much as we need to say I have no idea where you’re going with this and I think it’s screwing with the story. And part of being able to say either of those is knowing the other one won’t take it too personally. We’re not kidding when we say we’re besties — otherwise, after fifteen years, we’d definitely have killed each other by now.
We’ve both said the first, but I think the second has been more Liz to Jenny than the other way around. That’s what happens when a Plotter hooks up with a Pantser. <g> But seriously, just like any other relationship, communication is what makes it work. We don’t just talk about the story or plot or characters, either – we pretty much talk about anything and everything whether we’re writing something or not.
As far as the writing itself, it can be difficult in a physical sense. We live nearly on opposite sides of the country, in different time zones, and work different hours at the Evil Day Jobs. Sometimes Jenny’s so wiped at the end of the day that she literally falls asleep in her chair between one word and the next, and Liz deals with some seriously cranky people who can wipe her out emotionally. We have to give way to our real lives sometimes.
When we can sit down and write, though, it can honestly be magic. We use Google Docs so we can write simultaneously, edit ourselves and each other in real time. We are also in chat in Skype at the same time, so the sounding board and discussion goes on behind the scenes, so to speak.
After we finish the story itself, it’s time for edits and refining, but it’s essentially the same process – Google Docs, Skype, and a lot of conversation. Then Liz formats the document for submission and we send it off and bite our nails until we hear back.
Sometimes there’s more nail-biting than others. Usually it involves us texting about how the publisher in question clearly needs to recognize our amazing brilliance faster.
When our brilliance is recognized, then we have edits. Neither one of us are really keen on being told our literary children have funny noses, so to speak, but we power through edits just like we power through the writing: together.
There are days when one or the other of us feels less with it and the other one picks up the slack, sure. And there are days when we both contemplate chucking it all. But for us, the process of working together is a real partnership. We both put the same amount of blood, sweat, and tears, into everything we create. Is that too sappy?
Eh. Screw it. It’s true.
About In His Majesty’s Service
Everyone in the Drion Collective knows that finding your match—the one person in existence with the same soul mark as yours—is the best thing that could ever happen. But the last thing Lord Anders Hawthorne is thinking about when he boards a ship to Drion for the king’s funeral is finding his soul mate.
Captain Zachary O’Connell has the perfect life—his ship, the stars, and no emotional entanglements. When heat sparks between him and Lord Hawthorne, Zach gleefully dives into a no-strings arrangement. He doesn’t expect it to last beyond arrival at Drion, any more than he expects trouble along the way.
Trouble quickly finds them, however, and it soon becomes clear that Lord Hawthorne is not only not who he says he is, but also that he’s the target of a deadly plot. With danger all around them, Zach and Anders must work together to save the Collective. Meanwhile, Zach must come to grips with losing everything he always thought he wanted, to have the one thing he never dreamed he needed.
Now available from
About Elizabeth Silver
Elizabeth Silver is a writer, a tarot reader, a Level Two Cat Lady, and an internet junkie. Her day job is terribly dull, her hobbies oddly specific and quirky, and her husband the most patient person a writer could ask for.
A New Jersey native, Liz is a proud nerd and an awkward human being. She likes to think it makes her endearing. When not writing, Liz can be found collecting tarot cards, chasing Pokemon, fighting her way out of YouTube spirals, and/or performing online searches that will probably land her on a government list somewhere someday.
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About Jenny Urban
Jenny Urban lives not too far from Las Vegas—but not too close—with two cats named after fictional wizards. She has been writing with coauthor Elizabeth Silver for nearly fifteen years, with their first book published in 2010.
When not writing or at the evil day job, she loves to sing, play the piano, read, and watch monster-hunting brothers on TV.
Connect with Jenny:
To celebrate the release of In His Majesty’s Service, one lucky winner will receive a Kindle Fire 7, and a second lucky winner will win a swag pack including a bag, a t-shirt, a $5 Riptide gift card and a collection of paper goodies!
Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on September 16, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!