What would you like to tell readers about yourselves?
* After 18 years of marriage, Brian and Juliet Freyermuth decided to try something crazy; write a book together.
* Brian’s writing is not limited to print. For twenty years he wrote and designed games such as Fallout, Star Trek: Starfleet Academy, Epic Mickey 2 and Lichdom: Battlemage.
* Juliet’s love for writing began with a fourth grade assignment. She has been writing ever since. Her writing took a new direction when she enrolled in journalism and met amazing people. Whether it is an article about anthropology or a hero’s journey in a magical world, she hopes to inspire readers to new possibilities.
* When Brian and Juliet aren’t writing, they enjoy reading, watching shows like ‘Persons of Interest’ and going on road trips with their son, Kyle.
What are you going to tell us about today?
* We're going to tell about how we write together and our story Mind of the Beast.
* “You write novels together? My wife and I could never do that. We’d kill each other.” We hear this often. For us it made sense. We’ve been partners in every aspect of our lives since we were seniors in high school.
* When we decided to have Juliet rewrite Mind of the Beast instead of just editing, it seemed like a logical step. It was the best decision we ever made. Not only was Mind of the Beast a better book, but we learned a lot about each other. We’ve learned a few lessons along the way.
Lesson 1: Each of you has your own skills.
* Brian is a game designer. He’s written story and dialog for games like Fallout, Star Trek: Starfleet Academy and Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two. He’s amazing at dialog writing because of it. In addition, writing multiple story branches in games helps him see plot holes before they become a problem.
* The profile articles Juliet wrote for her journalism classes helps her create multidimensional characters with strengths, weaknesses and quirks. She uses her visual memory to replay scenes from movies to write descriptions for action scenes. She watched the last fight scene in Avengers for inspiration for the fight scene in Sal’s apartment in Mind of the Beast, paying close attention to the walls when someone was thrown against them.
Lesson 2: Have a plan of who does what before you start.
* We tried writing the story at the same time. While it may work for others, it didn’t for us. Here’s what we do.
*** Step 1: Plan out characters and the story together. We use the index cards of Scrivener to outline the scenes.
*** Step 2: One of us writes at a time. Brian wrote the first version of the rough draft of Mind of the Beast and is writing Book 3. When he’s done, Juliet rewrites it, adding notes in MS Word if she makes major changes.
*** Step 3: Take turns going back and forth until both of us agree with the story. One major rule we have is that the book isn’t done until we both agree. We edited the mall scene in Mind of the Beast over a dozen times until Brian thought it was right. Don’t ever get married to your writing and let the other person know what you feel strongly about.
*** Step 4: Read each chapter out loud together, discussing possible changes. There was a scene in Mind of the Beast that changed three times because we kept finding holes in the description.
*** Step 5: When you think your book is perfect, hire editors experienced in your genre. We like to give potential editors the same sample so we can see who we agree with best.
Lesson 3: Eavesdroppers might mistake you for psychopaths or a couple of mental patients.
* We talk a lot about our book. Once we noticed a lady giving us a strange look at a deli we frequent. After a few perplexing moments, we realized that we had been discussing whether or not Sal’s body in Mind of the Beast would be easily identifiable after he was shot and a pack of animals mauled him. We’re more mindful of where we are when we brainstorm and have business cards readily available in case the police are accidentally called.
Lesson 4: Taking the dog for a walk together inspires us.
* While Layla does her sniff-a-thon during her walk, we brainstorm ideas to either unblock us or start a new project. Exercise and socialization combined really gets the juices flowing.
Lesson 5: Realize it’s a process and there are going to be disagreements.
* There were a lot of growing pains in the writing adventure and a few arguments. But if you have a strong foundation, the arguments won’t be any different than the ones you had before, just more surreal sometimes. Juliet’s favorite argument was whether or not Thelma’s clothes would be bloodied at the morgue. Imagine the points she would have to make to convince Brian that her Thelma’s clothes would get stained.
* We know that it’s a learning process. As we continue on this journey of ours, there will be more things to tweak about the process, more disagreements and more humorous tales to tell. But as we’ve shown with Mind of the Beast, if you can set aside your ego, your collaboration can be much greater than anything you could’ve done alone.
A look into the story
* Besides, with Thelma by his side, what could go wrong? She’s got that, umm … cute pink backpack of Voodoo magic. Of course it hurts that she manages to look good even when she accidentally conjures and gets possessed by a drunk loa. No, it won’t be at all distracting to have her along.
* Since no good deed goes unpunished, a crazy man with starry eyes jumps out of the shadows at the victim’s apartment and pummels them. Their attacker doesn’t just beat them up but also infects them with some bad mojo that’s killing Thelma and making Nick angry … angrier.
* If the trail to the suspect—the Green Man—is any indication, they’ll be killed before the poison finishes the job. The old gods are more dangerous than helpful. The Watchers—even the one who seems to have a brain—are always a hazard. And what’s with the all the minions? Who has minions anymore? Not to mention the rapid progression of the infection that quickly upgrades Nick’s condition to ‘blind-rage-filled.’
* Why couldn’t Felix have just asked Nick to help him move?
* It was my turn. I punched him from the side and sent him flying into the desk across the room. Sounds of the monitor shattering and wood splintering filled the air as I rushed toward him.
* Another sound of gunfire rang out but didn’t stop him from getting to his feet. He barreled toward me like a freight train. The gunshots slowed him considerably, but it didn’t stop him. Pain radiated through my chest as his fist made contact, sending me into the wall between the two rooms. A crack traveled up the wall to the ceiling, and plaster rained down around us.
* More shots sounded as I got back to my feet. Two more holes opened in the man’s shirt. He was almost to Thelma when I grabbed him from behind. I used all my enhanced strength to lift him and toss him toward the kitchen. His body flew through the open door, smashing the wood of the frame in the process.
* On the counter was the third gnome, his hands covering his speak-no-evil lips. I grabbed it and swung for the man’s head. It contacted with a sick thunk, and blood splashed across the gnome’s face. The bastard wouldn’t go down! I snarled and swung again, but this time he grabbed my wrist in midair and twisted it before tossing me to the ground.
~ Buy ~
Demon Dance (Sundancer, Book 1): Amazon | Mind of the Beast (Sundancer, Book 2): Amazon
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Thank you for joining us here today, Brian & Juliet Freyermuth! It was a pleasure getting to know you and your story.
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