I’m thrilled to bring you a peek into the world of some amazing fantasy authors. Today, we find out more about cooperative writing with Joe King, co-author of The Echoes of the Ascended series with Mark Gelineau. Read on for more!
Writing Together: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly of Having a Co-Author
Mark and I have been friends now for over 25 years. We have played every game there is to play together, been to countless trips, movies, conventions. Been there for each other through every triumph and failure. Mark was even the officiant of my wedding! And we are about as diametrically different people as you could imagine.
We both have very different tastes in what we like. Mark likes things exotic and new, niche and forgotten. He roots for the underdog. I like the classics. The fundamentals. Proven winners.
Someone once explained the difference between American and French fine cuisine like this: Americans love to experiment and create new exciting combinations, new flavors. They are the inventors. The French take an old classic, like beef stew, change as little as possible, and make it the best damn beef stew ever.
Mark is American. I’m French.
You’d think this would make it extremely difficult for us to get anything done, but we think it’s necessary. It adds extra layers of depth and detail to our writing. We make sure multiple perspectives and experiences are behind each writing decision, whether it be about a character, the story, or even a line of prose.
The key to this is that we’ve learned to make sure only one of us in charge at any given time. The person in charge does whatever needs to be done, and then the other party acts as an alpha reader or editor. We discuss it. Then we switch hats.
And we do this until we’re both too close to our writing to make any kind of reasonable decision, and we pass it on to our editors, betas, and any others who we think can help us make our story better.
The more we’ve written and published, the more we are convinced writing has never been a solitary effort. The best product comes when engaging a team whose shared purpose is to tell the best story possible. Our team starts with the two of us, but we have been extremely fortunate to work with some exceptionally talented editors, friends, and fellow writers.
We don’t always agree, of course, but after 25 years, we’re figured out how to make it work. Basically, I’m right, and he’s wrong.
And then we switch hats.
Visit GelineauandKing.com for more!
About the authors:
The defining moments in Mark Gelineau’s early life really trace back to two events. One was the discovery of an old cardboard box that had belonged to his grandfather. Inside that box was a collection of comic books, resplendent in their four color glory. Even though he had never met his grandfather, finding that box passed on a love of thrilling stories and daring adventure from one generation to another.
The second event was when his mother took him a to showing of Star Wars. For the entire duration of the movie, Mark sat with his mouth open and his small hands gripping the armrests. The better to pretend to fly the spaceships you see.
Since those early days, Mark has loved the stories of the imagination, the stories that transport a person from the world they know into new realities, distant domains, and realms of wonder. Even more than the stories themselves though, Mark discovered the sheer joy of sharing those stories. Taking them out of the cardboard box and into the hands of friends and family. This drove Mark first to education, where he could talk about the amazing stories out there in the world, and then eventually to writing, where he could try and write some of those stories for himself.
Gelineau and King is the extension of that joy. A place where Mark and his partner, Joe King, can take the stories they create out of the box and put them out there in the world.
Mark is loved and, more importantly, tolerated by his amazing wife and young son. And when Mark is not writing or teaching, he is secretly adding comics and paperbacks to a certain cardboard box waiting in his son’s closet.
You can email Mark Gelineau directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After a brief career in software, for a while, he pretty much gave up on the idea of building anything. Five years later, the woman who would become his wife, rode in on a white horse and changed his life forever. Another five years, and two beautiful daughters later, Joe is building new unimaginable things.
Joe believes in the power of stories, dreams, family, friendship, and getting your ass kicked every once in a while.
More than anything, he wants to tell a good story, and, for him, Gelineau & King is the constant reminder that it’s never too late to start building the things you love.
Joe King can be reached via email at email@example.com.