The Process of Co-Writing ‘Losing Brave’

A FaceTime brainstorming chat.

“How did you two write together when you don’t live near one another?”

It’s a great question that we get asked all the time so I thought I’d dive into a bit of the behind-the-scenes for how Bailee and I co-wrote the book.

I suppose that we were lucky in that neither one of us had co-written a novel before so we didn’t really know if there was a “right” way to do it. We had to just wing it, and wing it we did!

The first step of any writing project is brainstorming concepts, characters, story lines and even scenes. Bailee and I were able to do a lot of that over the phone or via FaceTime. We would also text each other when we had an idea out of the blue and since Bailee works a lot of odd hours on set, my phone would go off at all hours of the day and night but I loved every second of it.

Bailee and I were blessed to have a few opportunities to spend time together face to face. First, we met back in Nantucket when Annabelle Hooper and the Ghosts of Nantucket was featured in the Nantucket Film Festival. We made the most of our few days together and brainstormed scenes, created characters and laid out a lot of great content that eventually found it’s way into the novel.

Stefne, Bailee and Patti in Nantucket for the Nantucket Film Festival

I also traveled to Toronto in December of 2016 and spent ten days with her while she was working on “Good Witch”.  When she wasn’t on set, we were in her trailer working on the story. Once we were home for the night, we’d order takeout, sit down and work some more.

In case you’re wondering – Toronto is freezing in December!

For the most part it involved a lot of e-mailing pages back and forth and giving and receiving input. Luckily, we were so much on the same page with what we wanted the story to be, there weren’t many disagreements. Or if one of us had an idea that we loved but just didn’t fit – we found another way to work it in. Or – we saved it. You never know, it might work for a different project. 🙂

The collaboration process was not only fun, but I think it was a learning opportunity for both us. We learned a lot about ourselves and about how to work as a team, fight for what you want and compromise. All great life lessons.

If you have a question that you would like answered, head over to my “Contact” page and fill out the form! I’d love to answer your questions – and maybe get Bailee to help!

 

Pre-order your copy of Losing Brave today and receive it on your doorstep release day!

Why Bailee Madison and I Wrote ‘Losing Brave’ Together

Our daily drive to the Annabelle Hooper set with Bailee, Patti (B’s mom), Stefne, Mavrick and Dawn (Mav’s mom)

One of the questions that Bailee and I are asked most often is how we came to a place of writing a novel together. So, I thought I’d take a moment to share the story with you.

Bailee and I started a friendship several years ago. She was reading a novel that I’d written and liked it enough to reach out to me on Twitter.  After a brief conversation over Twitter DM’s, we spoke for a few hours on the phone that evening and really hit it off. We had very similar ideas when it came to the types of projects we wanted to create and vowed to stay in contact. I even traveled to Florida to spend a few days with Bailee and her mother, Patti to discuss project ideas.

Bailee and Stefne first meet- March 2014

When the time came for Annabelle Hooper and the Ghosts of Nantucket to go into pre-production, as one of the producers for the project, Bailee suggested that they bring me on board to rewrite/age up the script. Excited for the chance to work on my first film project and to work alongside Bailee, I jumped at the opportunity. In a matter of only a few short months I’d reworked the script and was on my way to Nantucket for the shoot.

A typical morning drive to the Annabelle Hooper set with Bailee and Patti.

Although it was hectic and our time together was mostly in the car on the way to the next location or home for the night, Bailee and I continually talked about creating other projects together. During one of those chats, I floated the idea of co-writing a novel together and shared a general story idea that had been rolling through my mind for several years.

Bailee and Stefne in Toronto – 2016

Luckily, Bailee loved the idea and the starting story concepts for Losing Brave were born. Once we returned back to our very different “normal” lives, we continued the process and eventually Blink YA signed on to publish the story.

Bailee and I believe that everything happens for a reason and God brings people into your life for a purpose. Our friendship and love of story are proof that we were brought together for a reason and one of those reasons was to tell the story of Payton Brave.

We can’t wait for you to read it!

Pre-order your copy of Losing Brave today and receive it on your doorstep release day!

Losing Brave – The Audio Book

Ready to record!

Do you have any idea what goes in to creating an audio book version of a novel?

Yeah, neither did we!

We have been so blessed throughout this entire Losing Brave journey and one of those blessings was the opportunity for Bailee to read for the audio book. It is rare for authors to read for their own audio versions but we couldn’t pass it up.

Although it was a long and grueling process, Bailee knocked it out of the park! On three separate days, and for eight hours each day, Bailee sat in a sound booth and read from the manuscript. I watched via live feed from my home in Oklahoma.

The process is incredibly intentional in the way it was done. Bailee had to read at a rate that was slow enough to be easily understood, but fast enough so as not to allow the story to drag. Each time there was an error, the producer would back the audio up by two seconds and Bailee would jump back in at the right time.

Bailee in the audio recording booth

It was wonderful to have the opportunity to hear the story read back to me, but even Bailee was able to enjoy the story as she so carefully read the manuscript. When you’re writing and editing a novel, you get so wrapped up in the details that you lose sight of the project as a whole. While Bailee and I have loved every step of the process and our love for the story never waived, it was a beautiful thing to read it as a whole and fall in love with it all over again.

Even after all of those long hours, and a sore throat on Bailee’s part, we walked away more in love with the story than ever and anxious for it to be out. As soon as we finished we wanted to get to work on a movie script and even considered writing a prequel – just so we wouldn’t have to say goodbye to the characters that we love so much.

We fully believe that reading the novel will be a great experience, and hearing it will only make the story come to life even more!

Pre-order your copy of Losing Brave today and receive it on your doorstep release day! You can also pre-order the audio version.

So You Want To Write Compelling Characters? Watch This!

If you’re anything like me you’ve spent countless numbers of hours trolling Pinterest and Googling resources for inspiration for your characters and tips on character development. Your goal: compelling characters that come to life.

[fancy_box id=2 linked_cu=8124][content_upgrade id=8124]Enroll in my FREE 6 Day Story Prep Immersion for both fiction and screenplay writers. Let’s get your story off on the right foot.[/content_upgrade][/fancy_box]

Compelling Character Videos Tuesdays

Starting today and until I run out of victims friends, I will post an interview with a new person each month. The interviews will be broken up in to three or four sessions and run every Tuesday.

Download the Compelling Character Worksheet (link in the yellow box above), watch, listen and take notes. I compel you to view the videos as many times as you want because each time you watch them you will pick up something new.

[fancy_box id=1]Be sure to download the FREE Creating Compelling Characters Worksheet so that you can work on it as you watch this video – and for future characters.[/fancy_box]

Private Eyes, Are Watching You

For fun, during our interview, my private investigator friend, Kathy, actually tailed someone to see how long we could follow him and if he would ever notice. It was so much fun! Kathy does it all the time as part of her job, but I don’t and I was scared out of my mind!

Even if you don’t ever plan on writing a character who is a Private Investigator, you will still benefit from watching Kathy and practicing to create a character based on her. (Kathy is with Lighthouse Investigations) We’ll be back next week for part two.

#Write On

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The key to creating compelling and memorable characters is practice. In my Tuesday video series, I interview interesting people so that you can practice character research and brainstorming. AND I include a FREE Creating Compelling Characters Worksheet.