Monday, June 9, 2014

An Interview with the Write Away Team: An Adventure in Collaboration

Special Bulletin!!! Jenny and Kerrie have added a bonus to their interview. They are giving away one signed copy of Write Away to the U.S. or Canada resident who leaves a comment on this post by noon Mountain Time Wednesday, June 11th. After the deadline, I will use to select a winner from the comment list and post the winner's name on the blog. Kerrie and Jennie will sign a copy of the book and arrange to mail it to that lucky reader.

Kerrie Flanagan and Jenny Sundstedt are the co-authors of Write Away: A Year of Musings and Motivations for Writers. Kerrie is the Director of Northern Colorado Writers, an accomplished freelancer, and an avid fly-fisher. Jenny is a member of Northern Colorado Writers and a loyal NCW Conference minion whose novel is inching toward publication. Aside from sharing the occasional bottle of wine, Write Away is their first collaboration.

Pat, thank you so much for hosting us today. We considered asking you to interview us for this post, but you’re so busy with your books and your cat and social media and the occasional nap that we decided to do it ourselves.

How did the idea for the book come about?

Kerrie: For years I had rolled around the idea to rework and compile some of my favorite writing-related essays and blog posts. But I knew the book needed something more. Something to spice it up. That is when I contacted Jenny, a very spicy redhead.

Jenny: I was walking in the woods, mulling over life’s important questions (such as why laundry ads don’t use the term ‘ring around the collar’ anymore) when all the little critters began to gather around me, Snow White-style… Wait, that was the time I hallucinated after eating expired mayonnaise. Oh, right, Kerrie called me and invited me to coffee to discuss her ideas for the book. Mine was most certainly decaf, which shows how much spice I really bring to the table.

Have you co-authored before? What was best/worst about the process?

Kerrie: I co-authored a column with another writer (which we are now turning into a book). The best part of the process was working with Jenny. The worst part of the process was working with Jenny. Just kidding. Jenny is awesome and an easy person to work with. Plus, she loves (and can quote) quirky movies.

Jenny: “It’s all ball bearings nowadays.”

Kerrie: Did you eat more mayonnaise?

Jenny: No, it’s a line from Fletch.

Kerrie: Maybe you should just answer the question.

Jenny: I have never co-authored. The best part was tossing out ideas to Kerrie and having her make them better. (Usually better. The other times, I pretended I didn’t get her emails.) The worst part was that she kept imposing something called “deadlines” on me. I’m not exactly sure what purpose they serve, but the very word chills me to my bones.

How does your style differ from your co-author's?

Kerrie: Jenny loves to wear fashionable scarves in the winter and… Oh, you mean writing style. Well, hands down, Jenny is way funnier than I am. Her writing makes me laugh all the time.

Jenny: Kerrie can finish a project, send it off, and eagerly start another. I engage in too much hand-wringing and obsessing over minutiae (such as how to spell minutiae; so many vowels!). This is why I still have manuscripts that predate the internet hanging around in my basement. Glaring at me.

What did you learn from this experience?

Jenny: Kerrie is a great mentor, and I learned a lot about the process of independent/small press publishing. I also learned how gratifying it is to finally see my name on the cover of a book. (As an added bonus, I think Kerrie may even know how to spell it now.)

Kerrie: Jenny is right, I did finally learn how to spell her name. It’s all those “D’s.” If it were up to me, I would change her last name to Sunset. It’s easier to remember.

Jenny: Dibs on the name Jenny Sunset if I ever write a romance.

Who will appreciate this book?

Kerrie: I guess the real question is who won’t appreciate this book? Maybe dairy farmers. Their schedules are quite demanding. The cows can’t wait, you know.

Jenny: Right. And sherpas have enough to carry.

Kerrie: Quantum physicists are busy keeping track of all those teeny tiny particles.

Jenny: Anyone training for American Ninja Warriors probably doesn’t have much free time. But definitely everyone else, especially anyone who reads and/or writes.

Describe your writing life in ten words or less.

Jenny: Fulfilling and frustrating, constant and sporadic, ever-evolving, fueled by chocolate.

Kerrie: Writing is both the joy and bane of my life.


Kerrie and Jenny, I thank you so much for crafting your own interview! Write Away is an excellent combination of planning tool and motivational essays. I highly recommend it to writers at all levels. Scroll down (or go here) to read my review of Write Away.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Congratulations on the book and writing it together. And anyone who can quote Fletch is awesome in my book.

Dorte Hummelshøj Jakobsen said...


What a great idea to do a do-it-yourselves interview; I really like that.

Kerrie said...

Thanks Alex.

Dorte, the DIY interview was fun (especially with a great writing partner like Jenny).

Kelly said...

You ladies are hilarious! Can't wait to read your book and see what treasures your collaboration has created :)

Jenny said...

Thanks, Kelly. Kerrie inspires me. I think she got two copies of the ambition gene :-)

Dean K Miller said...

Who needs Oprah, Ellen, or Springer with an interview like this?

Thank goodness I'm not a dairy farmer or American Ninja Warrior in training (like Alex C.!) so I can get a copy and read this.

Arlee Bird said...

Is this book in the humor genre? If not, a funny book should be your next project. Nice meeting you, Jenny and Kerrie. Best wishes on the success of this collaboration. Sounds like you all have a good time together.

Tossing It Out

Rebecca Douglass said...

You two are a hoot! I clearly need this book, if only to make me laugh when I get grumpy (which my family will tell you is most of the time).

Jenny said...

Dean, I like to think no one needs Springer for any reason :-)

Thanks so much, Lee. We do have fun together.

Rebecca, thanks for stopping by, and I'm glad you got a laugh!

Anonymous said...

Hilarious interview, ladies! I can't wait to get a SIGNED copy!