Now, imagine what it was like for the two of us for the last few months as we wrote this book… discovering all the characters, deciding what settings to best showcase their stories, determining the side stories and surprises we could build into the tale! Teamwork, teamwork, every day… and quite honestly, it’s been delightful! Such a fun journey!
It’s been an amazing experience co-writing a full length novel with someone. As writers, we have our own vision and styles. Editors tell us what to change. Publishers insist on certain things happening. Marketers make their own conclusions when promoting the books. But two writers have to agree on almost every aspect of the story. Our minds need to be in synchronicity, and when they aren’t, the book is in risk of losing its shine. Lucky for me, my co-writer is phenomenal in so many aspects. I’ve learned so very much from him! Probably more than anything else — I’ve learned some stellar organizational skills and how to execute a proper plot and character outline!
Truthfully, there wasn’t a moment where we didn’t have the same ideas or paths. On a few occasions, we talked through options and decided together. Our approach was thorough and unique. One would write a chunk, and then the other would go in and improve that section sentence by sentence and add-on/alter anything that it needed before writing forward into the next bit. There isn’t a page in the whole book that hasn’t been brushed by us each. We edited one another’s work, and we added to the outline, suggesting ideas to the other person but never really stating what had to happen. We relied on each other’s creativity and imagination. So… now that you’re probably dying to know, it’s time to reveal who my co-author is…
……. DRUM ROLL……
JAMES J. CUDNEY (or Jay, as most of us know him!!!)
If for some shocking reason, you haven’t read one of his books, one of my reviews on his books or don’t follow his blog, here are a few important pieces of information:
A NOTE FROM JAMES
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My clever book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are six books: Academic Curveball, Broken Heart Attack, Flower Power Trip, Mistaken Identity Crisis, Haunted House Ghost, and Frozen Stiff Drink. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. I also launch new features all the time, including Tips & Advice, Spotlights & Alerts, Book Bucket Lists, and the 365 Daily Challenge.
Jay can be found at:
So… now you probably want to know a little more about the book, right? We’re going to do a big reveal this summer on our timeline, next steps, overview, etc. Today, we will reveal our tentative title, a brief summary, and a super short excerpt to give you a small taste of our story. No more than a lick, okay?!
Weathered Old Souls
Abigail has always struggled with strange voices appearing inside her head. From the relentless tyranny a woman faces on an antebellum plantation, to the unknown prison camps in America during World War II, our heroine discovers the past in a way that forever changes her future. There are moments from the past that serve as guiding posts for the country’s growth, but they also mark the transitions for Abigail’s own personal history. Her best friend, Margaret, partners with Abigail to discover the identity of these voices while focusing on her passion and quest to become a United States senator. Through it all, a serial killer torments the country, romance blossoms between some of the people they meet during the journey, and secrets long-thought buried come to light in devastating ways. With the twisting of elements, numerical alignments, and the trauma of spiritual entanglements, no one will be the same… and just a few might not even be around anymore.
SUPER SHORT EXCERPT:
One morning as winter should’ve been transitioning into spring, an eight-year-old Abigail awakens with a piercing scream. She bolts upright, and snails herself to the edge of her bed, placing a heavy hand on her chest to help steady herself and catch her breath. Her body twinges as though she’s fallen down a flight of stairs or been slammed by a double-decker trolley. The agony starts in the muscles behind her shoulder blade. From there it feels like a rocket exploded, escaping through her chest, leaving only traces of burning gases to snake their way through the rest of her fragile body.
The bedroom is dark and frigid because the pipes broke the previous day and her father was too busy sleeping off a hangover to call a contractor to fix them. Oliver has no mechanical knowledge or experience with home repair, but he tells Abigail that the Stauntons will address the issue since their heating system had also experienced problems with the winter storms that year. It’s been an unpredictable season, much more so than the usual winter in South Carolina. Some days Abigail has been able to play outside all afternoon, hardly catching a chill. Others she wakes to a beautifully ominous layer of frost, clinging to every blade of yellow grass as if its very life depends on it.
A thin glint of light pushes through the crack between the bottom of the broken shade and the splintered windowsill. Abigail watches as the sparkly dust settles on the foot of her bed and shines brightly. It reminds her of the quartz necklace dangling on the neck of the woman in her scary dream. It was gorgeous and made the woman feel safe and comforted as it has in every dream it’s made an appearance. Abigail’s told Margaret about the necklace many times, wishing she could hop out of bed today and do it again that morning. It’s only been two months since she saw Margaret, but missing her is more than just a faint feeling. It’s nearly soul crushing. She aches for Margaret’s companionship, like any other child would her own sibling who’s grown up and gone on without her.
In her nightmare, she was stuck inside the body of an old lady running through a field, sweat pouring from her head down the curves of her hollowed and withdrawn cheeks. It was pitch black, and there were trees all around her, the wind shaking the branches such that they whispered secret directions in an unknown language. They resembled monsters with claw-like arms and vicious teeth ready to bite her flailing limbs. Someone had been chasing her, but Abigail never saw the figure’s face. At eight years old, all she knows is that it was horrific and made her fear something awful was destined to happen.
Now for a PRIZE!!!
We promised a few swag items for anyone who guessed properly (Coming Soon, Can you Solve The Mystery) We also threw in a few names of those who just tossed out a couple of ideas. Today, we’re thrilled to share the winners:
Laura Beth with Hotshot Headlines will be sent a signed copy of Sketch, by Yours Truely!!!
Brigid with Watching The Daisies will be sent a signed copy of her choice of one of James J. Cudney’s books!!
Next month, we will share a more detailed book summary and the timeline for publication. Stay tuned for tons more details in this thrilling new project, Jay and I can’t wait to share! Thanks for all your support.