Writing Together – How does it work?

By Joyce and Jim Lavene, Authors of Dead Girl Blues

Author Photo- Joyce & JimJoyce – Actually we get asked this question a lot.

Jim – Like almost every time we walk out of the house. Even the mail carrier asked last week when he was delivering new books


Joyce – How do we write together? The question is usually asked with a wry face and a shake of the head.

Jim – And why would you want to? Don’t forget that.

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Joyce – Many people say they wouldn’t even consider working with their spouse.

Jim “My wife would have my head if we sat down to do anything together”- is a normal response.


Joyce – I think we work well together because we’ve been doing it for years – way before we started writing together.

Jim – We owned and ran a small office supply company in Charlotte, NC for 15 years as our kids were growing up.


Joyce – But when our last daughter was in high school, we looked around and thought the famous
Peggy Lee lines from the song: “Is that all there is?”

Jim – We have both always loved to read but I was a late bloomer when it came to writing.


Joyce – I’d been writing since I was nine – poetry – and since I was 14 – novels.

Jim – Intimidating.


Joyce – But we decided one day that we were going to give it a try – writing together. The problem was – how to do it?

Jim – We looked up all the authors who wrote together that we could find – there weren’t many, and when we found them, their ideas didn’t work for us.


Joyce – So we decided to try something different – we’re all about different!

Jim – We started telling each other the story across the computer monitors until we had a rough draft with input from each of us.


Joyce – It was really wild at first,but we streamlined the process until it worked.

Jim –We always start with a synopsis on a yellow legal pad where we talk about the story and take notes.


Joyce – Then we start telling the story from the notes.

Jim – Kind of like this:


Joyce: “She walked out into the street and looked in the van for paper.”

Jim – She can’t do that – the van isn’t there.


Joyce – Okay. “She found a scrap of paper in her pocket and started writing notes on it.

Jim- “The paper was an old gas receipt that had faded but it worked for what she wanted.” – That’s got it.


Joyce – And that’s the way it goes. The story starts, and we tell it as one of us types.

Jim – Then we have the rough draft and work on revision by reading the story aloud, making corrections as we go.


Joyce – Once we finish two bouts of that, we send the story to the editor. We start talking to a cover artist.

Jim – Don’t forget promotion. That’s a big part of our day.


Joyce – That too. Jim keeps up with the website, puts manuscripts together, creates formats and other things that I don’t understand – and don’t want to.

Jim – Joyce spends more time on Facebook than me and Tweets a lot. She writes blogs and sets up chats.


Joyce –We do other aspects of promotion together, including conferences and library events.

Jim – And that’s how we do it. Other people do it differently, but this is how it works for us.


Joyce – And how we wrote Dead Girl Blues, the second book in the Taxi for the Dead Paranormal Mysteries.

Jim – See how she sneaks those things in? You hardly even noticed, did you?


Review of Dead Girl Blues

By Joyce and Jim Lavene / Reviewed by Felita Daniels  /  265 Pages

I will share with you that I don’t watch The Walking Dead. I didn’t see the movie “Z” in the theaters with Brad Pitt either.  This book does have zombies (and other not-so-ordinary folk). But you don’t have to be a zombie fanatic to really enjoy this book.

Did you ever read any Eric Garcia books (Anonymous Rex) or early Anita Blake – Vampire Hunter series by Laurell Hamilton? This book reminds me of these. There’s a whole culture running parallel to us regular humans. Someone needed to solve a crime, but they need to be clued into the existence of these ‘others’ and their unique motives.

In Dead Girl Blues, Skye was a cop before she died. She’s been dropped into this other side of the mirror and is figuring things out as she goes. As a reader we discover this world without the authors using pages of instructions. We are learning along with Skye. I liked that.

Before either of us could pee our pants, one of Abe’s tough guys knocked at the door and barged inside. “People are starting to ask questions about the dead magician in the alley, Abe. No one else has seen him, but they keep walking out there. What do you want us to do?”

O K A Y, so do you want to know about the dead guy in the alley? I did. Normal people call the cops. Obviously, this is not your normal detective story. If you like cozies with a little bit of twisted reality – this should satisfy your need.

Purchase this book at Amazon: Dead Girl Blues (Taxi for the Dead Book 2)

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About the Authors

Joyce and Jim Lavene write award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as themselves, J.J. Cook, and Ellie Grant. They have written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon, and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family.

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Amazon Author Page

Follow the tour and find out more about these authors and their books…

Tour Banner Dead Girl Blues


Tour Participants

April 6 – Back Porchervations – Review

April 7 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review, Guest Post

April 8 – MysteriesEtc – Review*

April 9 – fundinmental – Review*

April 9 – readalot – Review *

April 10 – Babs Book Bistro – Review, Guest Post*

April 11 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review*

April 12 – LibriAmoriMiei – Review

April 13 – Tea and A Book – Review, Interview

April 14 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review, Guest Post*

April 15 – fuonlyknew – Review*

April 15 – Lilac Reviews – Review, Guest Post

April 16 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post

April 17 – Community Bookstop – Review*

April 18 – A Chick Who Reads – Review*

April 19 – Brooke Blogs – Review*

April 19 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Review, Interview


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