Sarah and I left our house in the care of a friend and are on vacation in Tarpon Springs, Florida until January 5. The trouble with writers on vacation is that there isn't really a vacation from writing. Ideas crop up when they crop up. Our Sisters in Crime chapter is putting together an anthology of stories about the bourbon industry in Kentucky. After each of us had finished a story on our own, the group suggested we try writing together. Now here we are discussing setting a novel in Florida that involves the characters we came up with for our short story.
No, the characters are not vampires. What we write is very different. For us to write together, she had to step back in time and do an historical mystery. The characters fit with my historical mystery writing, but were far enough removed from the time I usually set stories in to be comfortable for her to contribute equally to the research. The story was discussed for some time before we came up with writing a short story involving a couple of World War I nurses. She had a great aunt who was a World War I nurse, and we drew from her experiences in France to develop the idea. It worked so well that we are planning to visit the North Carolina archives, where here great-aunt's papers are kept, to do more research on what it was like to be a nurse at that time.
Does this mean either of us are giving up the characters we write?
No. Each of us will continue to work on the novels we have in progress. We each have short story ideas, on of which is an idea we may work together on.
Fortunately we work with the same publisher. We are hoping that when the book we are planning together is finished, Pill Hill Press will consider publishing it. If not, we will look for someone who is interested.
What matters is that ideas come from all sorts of places. Vacation or not, we are writers. Our minds are always asking: what if this happened. and this person got involved because...