It was with great anticipation and trepidation that I opened up my copy of ‘It’s A Wrap’, the final instalment in the ‘Waiting for Callback‘ series by Perdita and Honor Cargill. I have so much love for these wonderful books and I felt really emotional that it’s coming to an end, but would it have the ending that I desperately crave? Well I can confirm that it totally satisfied my desire, it is in fact sheer perfection. Smart, clever and oh so funny it is a total joy from start to finish, I just loved being back in Elektra’s world again. Perdita and Honor’s strength is that they are genuinely funny writers who provide a witty social commentary that is brilliantly entertaining and leaves you desperate for more. I’m so sad to see this series come to an end but they have ended it in a very fitting and honest way that feels just right for Elektra and I just adored it. Today it’s my stop on the ‘It’s A Wrap,’ blog tour and I have a special guest post from Perdita and Honor on collaboration,
3 Tips for Collaborating…without killing your collaborator – Perdita & Honor Cargill
We like writing together otherwise we’d have stopped – we’re family, we couldn’t risk it. We’ve been lucky – it’s been a joy to be able to share everything (well, it’s been a joy to share the good bits, it’s been a relief to share the not so good bits!).
Nobody, however many names end up on the book cover, can get a book out all on their own. but we all get help – editors, agents, teams of people to make our work better.
How do you share the task of getting the story down in the first instance? There are some great collaborators out there in teen (shout to the wonderful Corr sisters, Lucy Ivison and Tom Ellen and we’re excited to read Floored with some of the best names in YA) and we all do it differently but here’s what works best for us:
Listen to each other. A collaboration where one person is driving every decision isn’t going to be much fun… And the whole point of collaborating is to draw on two or more stores of creativity, leave space for that to happen. We also leave physical space – we don’t work sitting side by side because then we actually would kill each other… Comparing our first author photos with our second (two years later, more SPACE) makes us laugh.
Play to your strengths. An equal collaboration doesn’t mean you need to do the same thing. We both work on all the chapters (other collaborators, for example, work with different voices) writing over each other’s work until we barely know who first wrote a particular scene but we have different strengths. Honor loves writing dialogue but is dyslexic (there’s probably a connection there). Our books are dialogue heavy. She does more of the original writing but less at later stages of editing (and she skips proof stage altogether…).
Criticism is brilliant – if it’s done constructively. We couldn’t collaborate without criticising each other’s work but equally we couldn’t collaborate without respecting each other’s work. This has been and always will be key to making it work.
Thank you to Perdita and Honor for this fantastic guest post and to Simon and Schuster for inviting me to take part in the blog tour. ‘Casting Queen,’ ‘Take Two,’ and ‘It’s A Wrap,’ are available to buy now online and if you order through The Big Green Bookshop you can get a signed copy and have a chance to win a fabulous prize.