To celebrate the publication of the second instalment of the Oksa Pollock series this week, I am pleased to welcome the authors onto the blog to talk about how they work together to write each book. The authors have included some fabulous photographs of their home town and their working spaces.
The Forest of Lost Souls the second instalment in the series publishes in hardback next week on 27th February. The first book in the series The Last Hope publishes in paperback on 27th also.
Cendrine Wolf: Our writing duo is based on one simple principle: it doesn’t matter who does what, it’s only the end result that counts!
Anne Plichota: To be more precise, to start with we work out the plot, the plan and the profiles of each character together. We each bring our own ideas to the table, based on our own feelings and imagination. We talk about each scene (a lot!), and we discuss what happens, step by step, and in as much detail as possible. Then I write down the outcome of this first brainstorming session. I start telling the story and I pass it on to Cendrine, who brings new bits in. I write in black and Cendrine writes in red, and that’s how we review each version, which we gradually improve and add to until we both agree with everything. Then, when the text is entirely black, we move on. It’s a bit like the work of an artist with layers of paint, one on top of the other.
CW: And one last thing: when one of us has an idea which the other one had not thought of initially, we talk about it. We sometimes have to argue, defend our points of view, challenge and convince each other – it’s a proper debate! This also forces us to look closer and question what we have written, which we would not do if we wrote alone (and the overall outcome makes much more sense!).
AP: Writing is a passion for me but it’s also my job. And, as with every job, you need to be disciplined and methodical. I try to stick to set working times, just as I did when I went out to work, even though writing is a little different – it takes a lot of concentration and mental preparation.
I usually write on average for 5 hours a day, and I have a set routine. In the morning, I write at my desk, next to my strangely shaped plants, with my iPod docking station on one side and a bottle of sparkling water on the other. I have a coffee at 9am, a cup of tea at 10am with some chocolate (four pieces, no more!). In the afternoon, I migrate to the living room to sit on a small sofa, with my feet on the coffee table and a computer on my lap. I keep the iPod remote control in hand (I always write with music), and have tea, coffee and all-you-can-drink Pepsi Max (masses of it). I always work with dimmed lights and in a warm room. Fascinating details, don’t you think?
CW: Inspiration comes from everything around us, constant and intense, in a never-ending flow. Looking and listening to everything around you, imagination, dreams and nightmares, fantasies – everything contributes to creativity. But lots of ideas also come from everyday life and real-world experience, which we spice up with fantasy and adventures. As for where I write, I’m at my desk, on my chair in the worst possible posture. I need music and a can of coke and then all is well.
Thank you ladies for sharing details of how you write.
As you can see the covers for the books are gorgeous and will be available this week to buy.
To find out more about the authors and the books: