There are plenty of challenges in a friendship, but co-authoring a book with a friend takes this relationship to an entirely different level. Today I have the privilege of interviewing Karen Lange, who is co-authoring a historical fiction novel with her friend, Susan J. Reinhardt.
Maria: Thanks for joining me, Karen! Before we talk about your novel, tell us a bit about yourself.
Karen: I am a follower of Christ, wife, and mother. My husband and I are blessed with two sons, a daughter, a daughter in law, and a very cute 4-year-old grandson. In addition to writing with Susan, I blog, do freelance work, and teach online writing classes.
Maria: You stay busy! How did you and Susan decide to co-author a book?
Karen: We were discussing a particular genre one day. I jokingly suggested that we should write a book about it together. Shortly after, Susan asked me if I wanted to give it a try. And the rest, as they say, is history! This is not something I would consider doing with just anyone. Susan and I have a good relationship and work well together. We 'get' each other's sense of humor, encourage one another, and compromise well.
Maria: Sounds like the perfect combination. Tell us about the writing process. How did you decide who would write each scene?
Karen: Susan has more experience than I do, having several novels under her belt already. She started things by writing the first chapter, and handed it off to me. I wrote chapter two, then sent it to her, and so on. We discuss and agree on basic plot and character information, and then let the ideas flow. For instance, a scene in one of Susan's chapters had me laughing out loud; it was a clever twist and a way to handle a prickly character. It's an exciting process, you never know what one of us will toss the other's way. I enjoy giving Susan mini cliffhangers. I think she likes doing the same thing to me.
Maria: As you continue writing your book and plan for publication, what would you say is the most important thing you've learned from this experience?
Karen: It is important to trust the Lord and persevere, always moving forward. It also helps if you play well with others.
Maria: Well put! Any future writing goals?
Karen: I'd like to see this book through to publication. I also have several nonfiction books I'd like to write.
Maria: Share some lessons you've learned on your journey as a writer.
Karen: The writer's life is not all sunshine and roses, but it is very rewarding. Rejection is part of the process. It stings, but ultimately it takes us where we are destined to go. I believe that God has called me to write, and I continue to trust Him to order my steps.
Maria: Important things to remember. What final words of wisdom would you like to leave with our readers?
Karen: Keep writing! If you feel called to write, commit yourself to writing consistently, whether it is every day, once a week, or whatever. Polish your skills and continue to learn. Always. Be open to feedback; input from others is an important part of the writing process. Thank you for hosting us here at Life Lessons, Maria. It's been a pleasure!
Maria: You're absolutely welcome, Karen! And the pleasure has been all mine! I wish you and Susan the best as you complete your novel, and I look forward to reading it when it's published!