Monday, July 27, 2015

The Power of Collaboration by Iris and Roy Johansen, Authors of The Naked Eye + Giveaway! (US/Can only)

The Naked Eye (Kendra Michaels #3)
Iris Johansen and Roy Johansen

How can you catch a killer when everyone thinks he's dead?

Kendra Michaels was instrumental in bringing serial killer Eric Colby to justice. And yet, despite his apparent execution at San Quentin, Kendra is convinced that Colby is still alive. The problem is that she can't prove it. Even her razor-sharp powers of observation—developed to an amazing capacity during the twenty years she spent blind and now in constant demand by law enforcement agencies—have gotten her nowhere.

But then a reporter who very publicly humiliated Kendra is murdered. Visiting the crime scene in search of anything that might link the brutal homicide to Colby, Kendra instead finds evidence that points to her. Finally Colby's master plan becomes clear to her: he is framing Kendra for murder.

Suspicions mount and Kendra is thrust into deadly pursuit to clear her name and catch the killer no one believes exists anymore. A killer who is always nearby, watching, waiting to make his next move, even as everyone believes him to be dead. A killer whose trail of destruction is invisible to the naked eye, despite the carnage he leaves in his wake. It will take everything Kendra has to find and stop Colby—and save her own life one more time.

How This Mother-and-Son Writing Duo Works So Well

It started as a way to challenge ourselves.

We had each been working for over twenty years in our respective writing careers and we thought it would be fun to work together on a book. Neither of us had ever written with a partner before, so it seemed exciting to shake things up and try a totally new way of writing. We wrote our first thriller, Silent Thunder, in complete secrecy, without telling agents or editors what we were attempting. We had no idea how this experiment would turn out, and we wanted the option of burning the manuscript if we didn’t like the result.

Fortunately, we didn’t have to burn the manuscript; a lot of readers enjoyed our experiment.

We introduced formerly-blind FBI consultant Kendra Michaels in our fourth collaboration, Close Your Eyes, and were blown away by the enthusiastic reader response. Kendra returned in Sight Unseen, and is back again in The Naked Eye, our current release. St. Martin’s Press recently contracted us for three more Kendra books to appear in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

We’ve been thrilled with the success of our collaborations, but have been just as happy with the creative jolt we get from this different way of working. It’s been a new frontier for both of us, and we’ve discovered a few reasons why our writing partnership works so well:
  1. We’re both writing with someone we respect. We’re big fans of each other’s work, which is important since we’re entrusting each other with characters and plot elements we’ve created. We’re always excited to see what new twist the other has come up with.
  2. We get on the same page (literally) before we begin writing. We spend a lot of time talking about the story and characters before a single word is put down. It saves us a lot of time later if we each have a firm grip on the personalities, plotlines and tone of the book we’re writing.
  3. We put our egos in deep freeze. However easygoing some writers may appear, we tend to be extremely proud and defensive when our work is on the line. It needs to be all about what’s best for the book, and there simply isn’t time for wounded pride when something can be improved. Which leads us to...
  4. We confront disagreements head-on. When we first started writing together, we tended to dance around issues in an attempt to avoid hurting each other’s feelings. If something is bothering one of us, it’s simpler to just bring it up and work together to find a solution. In The Naked Eye, we had a few disagreements along the way, but we eventually found solutions that made us both happy. The result? A better book.
  5. We take advantage of our extra set of eyes. The importance of a good editor cannot be overstated, and a good collaborator can be like having an editor on hand every step of the way. We edit each others' pages as we move through the process, giving us a fresh perspective on our work. If something needs clarification or amplification, there’s a good chance that we will point it out to the other or, more commonly, fire up the computer and just take care of it on the spot.
Most writers we know continue to evolve throughout their careers, and it’s something we each hope to do. In our case, the collaborative process has been crucial to our growth as writers. It’s been incredibly exciting for us and, we hope, our readers too.

Find the Authors


Books à la Mode is giving away one print copy of the first book in the series, Close Your Eyes—yay!!

To enter, all you have to do is tell me:
If you could collaborate on a novel with any one person from your life—friend, family member, or acquaintance—who would you choose and why?
Please make your comment MEANINGFUL. Comments solely consisting of stock responses or irrelevant fluff like "Thanks for the giveaway!" will not be considered for entry. Iris, Roy, and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the tour publicist and publisher—a huge thank you to TLC Book Tours and St. Martin's Press!
Giveaway ends August 10th at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US and Canada readers only—sorry, everyone else! Please check my sidebar for the list of currently running giveaways that are open worldwide. There are plenty to choose from!
Void where prohibited.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their winnings will be forfeited.
Although I do randomly select winners, I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤
Good luck!