Tuesday, February 5, 2013


These handsome guys are four of my five grandsons. They were visiting on the w/e. Left to right is Westyn, Riley, Ryan and Aidan. Missing in action is Damian. Hope to have them all together soon.

 I've tried everything. I’m up to date with my filing. Well, sort of. Laundry’s done. I know what we’re having for supper. I've answered all my email and sent off some pictures to family. I’m doing my best to stay off face book so I have closed it for today. I've read all the blogs I follow and forwarded pertinent articles to Liz. What I’m finding out is that there’s a theme here.

I am definitely not alone when it comes to procrastination. I have written on the subject before and I blame ... the weather, my family, my friends, my desks a mess .I can’t possibly write when it’s like this. So I spend the next hour cleaning and filing. Last week I was without my computer for two days. TWO DAYS! Can you imagine the withdrawal I had? My husband, who does not use the computer sarcastically said, ‘Never heard of pen and paper’?
But the biggest tragedy was forgetting to save my contact list. So that gave me something else to do instead of writing I actually spoke to some real live people to ask them their email address. So if I’ve not contacted you yet please send me your address to pblance@cogeco.ca .

A question Liz and I are often asked is; ‘How do you work together to write a mystery/crime novel?’
We've been writing together for over five years as Jamie Tremain and we've tried every arrangement to make it work.  It did not take us long to find our roles as Liz is a whiz at the computer stuff (she would never have lost her contacts) and I do research and work on query letters and editing. The writing of course is in the rewriting and revisions. Our books are character not plot driven. We prefer the characters to lead us through the story line.

 So who creates a character? We both do and yes, we have our favourites but we have to agree on the final version of the character. If in the course of a storyline that character gets nasty or nice (out of character) we thrash it out until we have an agreement.We try and meet at least once a month face to face and that’s when we brainstorm and do major revisions. Everything else is done be email, I Google where we chat and work our way through a scene
Do you agree on each other’s writing style? Mostly. When we are editing or revising its great to have a fresh pair of eyes. It’s seldom we say.. ‘No, I want to keep that’ but it does happen. We pick up on the others spelling, grammar or overuse or words.

Is writing not a lonely pursuit? The actual writing can be but when you co-author it’s great to have a partner I can ask a question in the middle of a scene. Some scenes are written by one person and some chapters also but we both have to agree to the direction its going.
Most of all we have a great deal of fun and we’re looking forward to sharing our baby with the world.

I’ve been researching others that collaborate. A friend from the Ottawa area, Mary Jane Maffini, the prolific writer of  three mystery series has ventured into a co-authorship with her daughter Victoria Maffini who is a short story writer. The first in the series is
 ‘The Christie Curse’ by Victoria Abbott . Check it out.

There are a few others and one of the most successful duos in the thriller field is Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. I was given their latest for Christmas called ‘Two Graves’ and was about to read when I noticed  the blurb inside said I’d be better to read the first two. Back to the book store; never have a problem with that and now I’m started ‘Fever Dream’. Preston and Child are the authors of twenty novels and each writes in their own name as well. I’ll let you know what I think of them soon.

Talk soon,

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