Monday, November 12, 2012

Guest Post and Giveaway with Allison Dobell

United By Books is pleased to let Allison Dobell take over the blog today

 How to write a book with someone else

When other writers find out I wrote Alice's Wonderland with a co-author, I'm often asked what it's like writing alongside someone else. Is it more difficult than writing alone? Does it make the process easier? Is it more fun? Do we argue much? Would I recommend it to other authors?

To be honest, I never know quite how to answer these questions, because every co-authoring relationship is different. I worry that if I tell someone what our writing relationship is like, they will then believe this will translate into something similar if they decide to co-author. Personally, I love writing with a co-author, but only with my particular co-author. I can easily see how things might just go pear-shaped if either of us had decided to write a book with someone else.

So, why are we a good match? For a start, we're strangely similar in many ways. We're both Allisons, which is kind of odd (well, until you start to realize there are a whole lot of Allisons in the writing world. There's just something about the name Allison and writing, it seems…). Our birthdays are one day apart. We have the same star sign. We write fast. We have a scarily similar voice, to the point where we sometimes can't remember who wrote what when we look over a finished manuscript. We both have a background in journalism (only difference is the other Allison was, and still is, actually good at it!). We have two children of the same ages.

Since writing with a co-author, I find I gobble up any and all interviews where someone else is doing the same thing. And then I worry that we're not doing it right when we don't operate in the same way! Other co-authoring relationships seem much more structured than ours, with very definite lines drawn about who writes what and when.

As for us, we operate more on a, 'Here, I've written the next chapter and now need to go and drink much wine to recover. Chapter attached!', and, 'Holy cow, I'm moving house/having an operation/having a baby/dealing with sick kids this week.Hold the fort!' sort of way. Which works for us. Very well, actually! It all seems to balance out in the end and I can't remember any point where I've felt I'm taking on more than my fair share. I just hope the other Allison feels the same way!

So, still thinking about co-authoring? I guess my main tip is to look for someone likeminded who writes in a similar way, with a similar voice to you. Good luck with your hunt! Oh, and one last tip: you might want to be a little flexible on the matching name thing. Especially if you're called Esmeralda.

Allison Dobell is the pseudonym of two Australian writers – both Allisons (Dobell, get it? Double? Huh? Huh?! They’re nothing if not hilarious). Find out more at (link: Allison Dobell’s first novel, Alice’s Wonderland, is out now. (link
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jamie orsargos said...

I love your blog and I follow it all the time:) thank you so much for all of your time a dedication

Chrisbails said...

Great blog and great post. I love finding new authors. I love to read and always looking for someone new to check out. The book sounds great. I am a big fan of Alice and Wonderland, so definately interested in books that are takes off the original. Thanks for the giveaway.
christinebails at yahoo dot com

BookEnd 2 BookEnd said...

Great post! The books sounds wonderful! Thanks for the giveaway!

Lindsay said...

I don't know if I could write with another author. I tend to not have a schedule but it's more when the mood strikes me.
Love the sound of your book

erin said...

Thanks for the great post and congrats to Allison on the new release!

Olga Sergejeva said...

Beautiful book cover.
Thanks for the giveaway.

Carrie said...

I never could imagine writing with a co-author. Very interesting

Karen Arrowood said...

So of my favorite authors are actual co-writes, a la Lincoln & Child and Jefferson & Bass. I think it is great that you can do this, but I think I would find it impossible. I would love the opportunity to read your book!

Na said...

I like the insight on co-authoring. It definitely helps to find someone with a similar style and voice. It can also help with finding ideas.

Mary Preston said...

I found myself smiling as I read down the post. I'm glad the co-writing works for you.