Heather Doherty and I go waaaay back, longer than either one of us wants to admit. We worked for the same law firm together when we were barely out of high school. (Okay, she was barely out of high school; I’m a little longer in the tooth.) Then we parted ways, had our families, learned to write. Eventually, Heather moved with her young family back to Fredericton and we reconnected. We frequently got together to talk shop, and on several occasions, Heather mentioned this idea she had for a band of young people who were called upon by a mysterious Guardian to defend a hotspot where demonic forces gathered in the Chthonic – the underworld – were trying to break through. Each time she mentioned it, she added a little more detail. Meanwhile, I’d been researching the YA market. About the third time Heather raised her Gatekeepers idea, lightning finally struck. “Omigod, we should totally write this together!” Heather was probably thinking, “Dude, that’s what I’ve been telling you.” But she’s used to that. She’s always three steps ahead of me.

Okay, it’s true. I usually am a few (dozen – cough,cough) steps ahead of you. But where would we be if you weren’t coming along right behind me, making it all just sing?

But seriously, once we agreed to collaborate, it was just a case of figuring out how to work together. The research, the plotting, the division of labour, the writing, the polishing – it’s all different when you’re working with a partner. Suddenly it's not just you to whom you're responsible. Gives staying up late to get that chapter done a whole new meaning. Happily, it goes twice as fast!

On this project, which has a large cast of characters, we wound up dividing the POVs. I’m Janna, Galen and Maxim, and Norah is Darren and Claire. We shared the task of writing the Guardian and the chief Demon. But since then, we’ve written other books with a single POV where, once we’ve plotted it out, I do all the fast and loose first drafting and Norah does the second draft of the same material.

Ballpoint Pen Image: www.freeimages.co.uk


WILSON: Whatever works for a given project. That's our motto!

right. But regardless of how we arrive at that first draft and the subsequent polish, when we're both satisfied with a chapter, we sign off, add it to our growing WIP and squee over our new word count.

So, here we are a couple of years later with four different projects finished (two are stand alone books, and two are Book 1 in their respective series, one a 6 book series and the other a 3 book series). They’re all in the hands of our fabulous agent now, making the submission rounds. We’ve started a fifth book, and have easily five more stories in the idea bank, thanks to Heather’s wondrous, one-of-a-kind brain. We are now officially a well-oiled YA writing machine!

I wish we were machines. It would make this whole waiting thing so much easier! We both feel it; we are on the very freakin’ eve of a sale. No, a cluster of sales! We’re planning on it.

Yep. Planning on it. Which is why we’re launching this website/blog thingie. So you can agonize with us while we wait and celebrate with us when the calls start coming. And since working full time and writing YA novels like demons doesn't keep us busy enough (ha!), we'll be writing about life, reviewing books, movies and TV shows, and generally posting about stuff we love.

Feel free to leave us a comment to commiserate. Or to tell us we had our heads up our butts with that last review. Whatever! We`re happy to hear from you.

Norah Wilson and Heather Doherty
AKA Wilson Doherty

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