Welcome to our new blog series, FAQ, where we’ll get authors to share their most frequently asked question while sharing an excerpt from their books AND where we will offer a discount on that book so you can check it out for yourself!
Since this is my blog, I figured I would go first. My name’s Justine Alley Dowsett and the most frequently asked question that I get, especially when it comes to my Mirror World series is: How do you co-write with your sister?
For Murandy and I, working as a team seems like second nature, but I can see how unusual our writing partnership appears from the outside. When most people think of writing, they think of it as a solitary undertaking, but it really doesn’t have to be. Look at screenwriters, for example. Lots of writing is done in teams and having a team, helps you brainstorm. Two heads are better than one, as they say.
For Murandy and I, we approach our writing like actors would approach an improvised scene. We set up the scene, we establish our characters, and then we sit down and write back and forth until the scene is done, bouncing not just the dialogue back and forth, but also the actions and thoughts of the characters.
In case that’s still not 100% clear to you, picture it this way. I, as the narrator, set the scene. Murandy as the protagonist writes what she’s doing, thinking, feeling, or saying, and then I respond to her as the other characters in the scene, or as the world at large. Then it goes back to her and she decides how to respond to me, and so on and so forth.
What I like telling people when they ask about our co-writing is that the dialogue is sounds really realistic because it really is two sisters arguing behind the scenes.
Murandy and I have written several books together, including our lighter romantic comedies, Unintended and Uncharted, and also our dark fantasy romance series; which starts with Mirror’s Hope and ends with Mirror’s Despair, which comes out next year.
Here’s an excerpt from Mirror’s Hope:
“Look, I don’t have all day so I need you to keep up with me here,” the fair- skinned woman told a bewildered Tendro in a no-nonsense tone of voice, rounding on him and pushing her long white blonde hair out of the way. She looked him in the eye, making sure he was paying strict attention to what she had to say. “Do you know who the Creator is?”
“Uhh..” Tendro Seynor struggled to get his bearings, feeling confused by the lush grass all around him and the pleasant birdsong that filled the air. He got to his feet slowly, looking around at the non-descript rolling hills and the obscuring mists that limited his range of vision.
We could be anywhere…The thought came to him. Only I know that moments ago we were indoors and not here… wherever this is.
“Really?” The reedy woman demanded incredulously, staring him down, even though he was, in fact, the taller of the two of them. “Do I have to start at the beginning?” She took a deep and exasperated breath, widening her already large blue eyes at him in an expression that stated bluntly how uneducated she thought he was. “The Creator created the world and the Destroyer sought to unmake it…”
“I know who the Creator is…” Tendro told her, putting a stop to her history lesson at the same time as he took in the details of the robes she was wearing. White, with silver scrollwork on the hem and sleeves, the clothes marked the woman as a full Mage, maybe even a teacher of majik. Tendro amended his tone to show the proper amount of respect for this stranger. “At least, I know as much as any of us do. After creating the world, the Destroyer punished the Creator by sealing her away in a prison outside of time and only the ‘Avatar of the Light’ can free her and restore balance to the world.”
The woman nodded like this was more along the lines of what she’d been expecting to hear and impatiently put her hands on her hips, accentuating through her robes how thin she really was.
“All right, what are you waiting for, then? Get to it.”
If you want to pick up Mirror’s Hope, you can get the ebook FOR FREE from our online store with the code: COWRITE which is valid until 05/05/2019 so go take advantage of that now!
Justine Alley Dowsett is the author of ten novels and counting, and one of the founders of Mirror World Publishing. Her books, which she often co-writes with her sister, Murandy Damodred, range from young adult science fiction to dark fantasy/romance. She earned a BA in Drama from the University of Windsor, honed her skills as an entrepreneur by tackling video game production, and now she dedicates her time to writing, publishing, and occasionally role-playing with her friends.