Columbia Fiction Foundry Speaker – Greer Hendricks



so without further ado let me introduce Greer Hendricks our guests for cambia fictional boundaries distinguished speaker series Greer has been very generous with her time to Columbia where she received her master's in journalism and we have had the pleasure of following her career she moved from 20 years as editor at vice president of Simon & Schuster just starting her own company atria books before writing the wife between us and Ansari yes she doesn't know I did not start atria books was inefficient outside inches okay okay okay I just don't want anyone to think I took my boss like a boss so that was that time and she starts in her writing her debut novel the right between us co-written with Sarah pékerman and the wife between us which was her very first novel spent twenty six weeks combined on the New York Times bestseller list in all the forums and at last count is sold into 36 countries it was auctioned for billed by Steven Spielberg's Amblin pick partners with VR and Sarah contracted Titan Street family and so today we are here to discuss it by the way a lot of past interviews are on YouTube and there's a lot of cats and information so you can look that up today we're here to discuss her new best dollar an anonymous girl which she also co-wrote with Sarah Pakenham and anonymous girl debuted at number one on the New York Times bestseller list where it's been a mainstay in the top five for two months and Counting it's been cold every minute here it can sign at the app so that would be that's really nice okay so is there anything else you want to say by way of introduction I shouldn't jump to the questions I just want to say thank you all thank you all for coming in this is my first time being here and I really back left thank you it's really is really is generous of you I can't imagine what one of the questions that we're gonna leach a little bit later is how to make time to be here today and what are you up to what are you up to you know look at stuff so first let's just start a little bit back in the beginning because you and Sarah have a really interesting story about how you came to know one another and write books together and I wonder if you can tell us a little bit about this yeah so I love this story it's like our origin story right never gonna leave you to it as an origin story and if she were here we've got like it's like it's literally like the one Harry Met Sally kind of version of it yeah but but yes so like like tiny said I was a book editor for 20 years at Simon and Schuster and one day I've submitted a debut novel by Sara Pekerman and I loved it but I wasn't alone there were a lot of other editors who were interested as well and so her agent took her around to meet the interested editors and Sara and I immediately hit it off and I persevered my character book and so we went on to work on seven books together during my time at Simon & Schuster and everything gears was interesting we discovered me the number of uncanny similarities so the book the exact same age we both hit second psychology in journalism we both with the clip field hockey in high school we're both terrible cooks we both have brothers were really close to who are both named Robert so we got really close and then when I decided to leave corporate publishing and the faculty mind I wanted to write but I really wasn't telling many people because that's a baby you guys aren't right I bring them here most people hear what I write it's a really scary thing to say it's salat you yeah might not succeed but I did at saronite saying such an anthem I confessed the secret to her and she said and this is where you were like we should write a book together and I'll ask why does she want to write a book with me that she's written seven books on her own and she said I think we could do something really magical together yeah so I think you're going it's not more about coke yeah yeah but I can go through like you know you know they know more about the process like what happened after that or yeah well one of the things you talked about having striking you similar similar narrative instincts and approaches to storytelling and so I wondered if you could talk a little bit more about that in what ways you'd say you have similar instincts and approaches of what ways they might different have a kind of complement each other so what was interesting that what we are trying to decide what to write if you looked at Sarah's pass books they were all like quote unquote about women's fiction and that's primarily what I edited that Winer I had the mini dairies and authors who proposed was what is women's fiction I don't know it's a yeah i think they slap on for like commercial limitations and people know what their I mean it just means that those and then by a woman it's subject I think it's a way to market you know I love that answer because here's something who's been 20 in the publishing industry and it give us a supermax are really helpful because because it's very confusing to those of us on outside and what that means like sort of the rocket story but it's sort of like well don't worry to change that okay I don't know okay what she broke that's what I edited but when we went to try to decide what we wanted to write we both went to our bookshelf so key component here is that Sarah lives in Washington DC so when I'm hearing the nun we both went to our bookshelves Jamie to our favorite books down off like from the last few years off our bookshelves and we both laid them out on our tables and there was a lot of overlap and what we notice is that listen folks were psychological nature with strong female protagonist how many come in then okay okay okay if you like SJ Watson's great we don't write this down and then Watson's how win it that something go to sleep was it how good sleep I'm liking we don't we do this through you'll find that you'll find actually Watson it's really really good we had a lot of Leah Moriarty we had Jean Penna portlets you should have known we had a gone girl and girl the training and even if we didn't have the exact same boots there were there were themes that that that appeared so that so that is we are similar and then I have to do some sort of an order but basically like we when we decided to write we kind of early on decided we wanted to write every line together so most collaborators they'll alternate chapters for and they'll each take on a character but we knew we wanted to do this together but the question then was well how are we going to do this exactly and so we had our first writing big section section section Sarah came up to New York art we holed up in this like hotel room when we wrote like 15 manic phases and we thought they were so common world on fire oh I'm sorry I love a place but we had come up with a lightning bolt that you so how many of you have read my first blog okay well there's a big there's a big twist at the end of part one right anyone who's read it knows that that was so that was the impetus for that job so we had a great idea but you know what a great idea is actually I just slowed down on that like how did you guys come up with an idea together do that just kind of brainstorming that batting it back and forth and then it sort of congealed yeah I mean basically we like it we were both really interested in psychology and so the basis of all our books are its art art is that like psychological nature but it was like this I give perception in memory and we were thinking a lot about characters so again like how many of you guys watched the affair and although that okay so that idea where you've got the season 1 episode 1 where you have Noah he goes into that kappa restaurant and he sees Alison and in his view she said look this short skirt she's really flirting and then the second if you flip perspectives and Alison and she's in a lot of stress I was just sort of friendly it's not like right like we're all here we're all going to take away our own interpretations or you can have a memory up with your sister we're like oh I remember exactly have like no no that's not what happened that did not know that's a fascinating concept so let me show it and for anybody read read the book those we turned it on our head we did this in a very different way that honestly I was like this is genius I could say she was like one team so I needed my like that so so you're super excited by that by that idea but then we had to build a whole book around it cause it really is that's great for it wasn't I so we write this 15 pages that were so I we found them they are so embarrassingly bad so on they say oh you're like but you have revise revise and like no hearing that Nanuk statement like you're not gonna come in a lot of very like I'll come back but anyway wrote this 15 pages they were terrible but did you realize what to do guys like it like I know how I look at my first jobs I know they're gonna be terrible I don't need someone to tell me you know we needed them to we use Sarah's agent and maybe we wrote maybe maybe 25 pages and she not good so what exactly is that she still had all these shamans really like we were really missing the mark and quite because she had no idea very honest I just I'm telling you guys that's like I know probably most writers are like it would not be as you know it's fabulous nice and thank you for that but also what strikes me is you're saying this is the first 25 pages that's not a lot so basically you the first 25 pages you give them to to her agent and on the basis of that she is able to say like I think this is really helpful on the basis of that first story but they just I need to know what this one is about yes that's really helpful information yeah the fact is Connor yes I see so I think she didn't really want to dissuade us but she didn't wanna give us like a little bit of reality or not and that was Sarah was also still under contract with Simon & Schuster to write more books and I knew we needed to know I needed a day job because like you know I need to pay the bills so we were also a little bit of frenzy because we kind of wanted to just know if there was anything you know we had if there was something to this so we wrote wrote wrote more and gradually we started to kind of figure out what we were doing partially because our agent who is not an editor put us in touch with the freelance editor Benet Amir who I gave her Nia and Vinay I found this able to explain to us like you have this there was so much that was working but how to kind of keep the same we need to slow kind of slow the pace down to draw out the dramatic tension because we were trying to write a psychological thriller but it wasn't really feeling like it's been hard to go through life it does the main problem and she taught us how to do that now we know how to do that and she'd say here's a scene slow this down it was really she was very could just go in so what them so much the ideas but just kind of scene by scene so that was really help so so let me again backtrack a little bit on that so so you come together you come up with new concept yet you know did you at what point did you plot out a stroll on you know really solid outline a lot okay so let me just go back to one thing which is that because she's in PCM New York and we did want to write everyone together my daughter who at the time was 13 was like so Oman there's this thing called Google Maps and Google Docs so that is what enables us to write everyone together so for any anyone who doesn't know I mean basically Sarah's in DC I'm in New York we're looking at the same yeah we're looking at our computer screens what we're seeing the exact same you know the same words and you can go in and you can edit and highlight and suggest a motive and I talked over the computers i I've read this and had and I I'm having I have a really hard time conceptualizing just logistics oh okay so you got the document you're both talking you look at the send donkey but someone has to actually touch she does more of the type thing oh it takes her eyes but she is a much faster taper and and says she the majority except she's thinking but also he it's just weird is I will also just start typing stuff cause you know it's a weird to them literally yesterday mean victim of yesterday or they separate forever you're trying to work with the street and at the same time she said 56 street I said fifty cents of any Street Clint why we go to pick this up then we both were looking for a type of food to serve a restaurant we both said Asian fusion what was it Earth Day the third thing I forgot what it was better some phrase we were like we're really in our weird twin do us but wait that's great I guess oh oh it isn't that I won't ask okay then I want to jump ahead to the comparison between the shoot books a little bit judge is also jumping around with my gosh because I think it's relevant okay outlining we meet sue we root part one I think we kind of tried to outline part one of these and I'm not gonna stop for just one thing for those of you who might so is this can we can be assuming that did you follow the same process for the second book so you're telling us about this first book yeah yeah but like technically we're supposed to show I won't okay soso digit in terms of the process did you do followed or do the other than something from the rest process that you change to the second time so the first things we sold it to a publisher on based on part one and an outline for two and three we had only way to stop that okay so you make you sold the first block on yeah baby said anybody I know it wasn't complete that was just unusual I'm not that was because she had written seven books I was an editor and the big twist isn't easing up in those if you ever write and there's a being to it's at the end of part one and it was so sweet that if we ended on that twist and then we wrote an outline for two and three I thought was going to be pretty so well and again I needed to know if I needed a job like I had to know what was going on so do you do notice a across it so we first what we do do that Google Docs Google hangout and go to each other cities although now meeting in Philly and we like to get giant boost its and try to outline and whiteboard like so that chain doesn't so no that's both at all that was both oh we try to outline but there's something almost weird lease there if it's about our process because I feel like things per plate are subconscious that we don't know are going to be taught to us so that they're going to it's going to be meaningful later on I just have to tell you that that way you just said I wish I could write that down but I have it recorded okay that's a really super helpful thing okay okay there's only this question about how much do you do really plotted out ahead of time and everyone knows that things have often they change a lot but it's kind of remarkable for me to hear that based on the fact that this is a very tightly plotted book this is how loose they are loosely structured yeah so so are you did you did you have kind of bullet points you wanted to hit it like marks want to hit or was it really that it evolved as you went along I feel like it was there were bullet points that they were loosed for Wow okay so not what I was low on I mean it you know I'm also I'm kind of told you I'm still in the Frozen Four which has been a disaster a complete disaster that that it's been so tough that and I feel like we did we tried to do a three the way we did one in two and it didn't work so I so I like to say I would wish I could say you all can you explains me it will always work but it it doesn't the battle to make sure it's actual right like many children are parts of them they do my job so book three is my really trouble child at the moment or no and by the way the characters last names some of the characters are more babies Jesus more don't worry oh that's so interesting john-boy I mean I wanted her on the first book you know but you guys have this you know so why do you let me dig into that what's different what she ain't okay for a few things first of all we are in Disney promoting two other books so that our sacred time we only work from 9:00 to 4:00 has been it's because it's not safe anymore because we are doing you know in Turkey so we're touring her in Crete or so we don't have as much time at this chapter that's number one number two I'm just pausing every noun that yeah okay because I just like broke the rest of us just to hear you say that it's hard when you when when things are talking what are you writing schedule is choppy yeah you're not just telling us it's hard okay so maybe like my jobs on parenting and we're trying to fit right in so no she's very comedy we're going to hear that eternal well the other piece of advice is that you do have to have well I'm a very structured so you have to have that time you have to put it all up in your calendar or it's not going to happen there you go do the laundry it will you know answer emails you go for on whatever it is that your venture askance right and so one of the things that has helped me and even if you don't have a writing partner it has some sort of accountability maybe there's a friend where you say to that friend I I'm gonna be writing from you know 10 there was nothing to well whatever it is absolutely so for us we have that accountability because we get on the phone and you can't be doing your laundry or checking Instagram or doing other things what is we're literally on meeting I can even tell if she's like I can help she's getting tired like you can just tell so that I would say is it's just really important to have that structure but our time was we didn't have as much structure we I am we came up with an idea when we started to do how much I feel like most of our the 200 books are kind of a simple premise that then got twisty totally and I think we kind of kinetic backward so he started to try to call it too many twists and turns and it made you complicated okay and I think that's very helpful to and the other what happened and this could happen to anybody is that we actually read it off that would seem remarkably similar to the book we were writing even the name singing character's name and it is there so many weird scenarios and frankly that book he felt like I didn't work and it was sort of a warning sign to us about where we were going we had written about a third of our book and really okay I think we're gonna be run into the same problems and and we knew we were having problems because it just wasn't coming as easily and so we had to take a big step back and replant the book and we need trigger it good for you bringing a bit being able to recognize that they got it you've been best about oh yeah and you also it actually honestly had the pressure of so much success which can be pressure you know I mean there's expectations you know being I mean I always say the quiz if I have this failure complete freedom but you know you don't have that yeah so it's like to have to have media coverage usually people think unity is the honesty you're bringing to this conversation yeah that intent honesty to be able to say hello maybe this isn't working and step aside and end and it come out it differently that's you know that's a lot yeah well and that's again having somebody also you know even if you know the writing part of maybe someone else can read your work and just give you validation like we both know this was it wasn't there was a problem and it's hard it was really hard there's a lot of page because I actually felt sort of sick time adding some kinds of like so many pages that we just I know and it is a lot of pressure we will publish a book that we don't feel really good about this we we had a lot to live up to from the first book and you're so proud of a second many people said it was better than the person so no but the third and then Sarah the other day she said what if it's just a b-plus can you send for me plus book and I was like oh it just you know and you feel I mean it's interesting that you said that user had a similar concept with both books that they started with context of interesting and so do you feel that that's formulas it has a bad sound to it but do you feel you kind of have a form that works that you want to stick with or maybe you feel you've done that if you want to try something different I think we're nimble we've always said we we might not ready the next book might not be a second that doesn't know what we're doing kiss so it probably will be but but if that's not what we're feeling we knew we will always write things that are psychological cuz I'm just what we're drawn to but I'm going to be you know we're not wedded to anything except would say to me know like actually this is kind of corny but I am so even though when she got when Sarah asked me if we might write together I might call a psych me or wait 12 hours she loves that so she's like she was this to my husband John didn't clear make you wait too many members and but then for the celebration of our first book I had these necklaces made this is a circle forever friendship and I had the colors of our book the first book and then I added a charming name so we would say there's room for many more okay okay that's that's that's that's nothing and in terms of in terms of the moans girl it is like very psychologically driven how much research did you have to do I know you've had the battle isn't already maker but still I don't think we're giving any too much away if we talk about just the beginning of the book anyhow this that it's those of you how many of you remember at it oh oh good well this really yeah they got going yeah yeah both my books so we're so begins when it went on but Jessica powers is a young girl who signs up for a psychology study it conducted by the mysterious doctor field shields shields thank you and and it use a woman so things greatly kind of and I guess you know what I probably lifted that from in here where they do not say in the book copy sweet look complicated that's not very much and I what started out as a simple survey becomes something far more this various so this is such an interesting and example of it is so grounded in so much that's real but other things aren't very realistic and like and that's a really happy yeah it's interesting how you you straddle dose that mind in that balance and I wondered if you thought about that have been involved how many what you do yeah yeah so we always say that we'd like to like break these like relatable character it's like Justin stuff seems like pretty believable paradoxically I know we put them in these situations that this kind of kind of big happen not really yeah but but any basically yeah just signs up for this she sneaks into survey on morality and ethics and yes there's irony there right by this mysterious dr. shields and dr. shields starts she goes into this empty and writing classroom and these questions began to creep across my computer screen you don't have to have effort someone you love would you ever would you shoot punishments to cry crime like weird questions and then dr. shields pretty soon assets Jessica to take this morality questions to the next level and Justice Taney's real-life morality experiments so so there are we love doing the research on the psychology like we do sprinkle real-life psychology experiments in there that inform what dr. shields is asking he's asking yes and that was really fun to do that research that's probably the only so how would you just Google psychology experiments yeah is doing that mom you've got generative to and yes and you ideas yeah and then trying to find psychology experiments that it means that we're looking okay so we might have Bob yeah so like you know perception or whatever the thing was and then try to try to fit I know that as a journalist that wants to write real house I love doing that yeah that's that was super fun for me and then I mean we also both of us have been in therapy in that so you know we have experience with you know seeing therapists sort about your dynamic of like being really intrigued by your therapist like that's it and wondering are they you know is your psychologist or psychologist psychiatrist intrigued by you well I've had therapy bitch be fine yeah and they deliberately I don't they're gonna ask us about that tell everybody I wrote that dr. shields sections in the second yeah yeah we're just that we already deliver I let me just soso enough for that video so so it is alternating points of view that we're just this first person yeah and dr. shields is in second person which is a such a mean you know that's unusual to sit that's unusual short of Mary anyways so I'm really curious what you're thinking hold it works really work we wanted to beat her and one of our goals was Somerville sense immediacy for the reader to feel like they were almost that they were being forced to answer this questions alongside Jess so and I hope that as the readers you do know that way don't you start dances questions do I believe there's no choice but the Karem I've done this and I did not and so to have that second person that also just added to that immediacy and in this is a here's I guess another tip we did right the section is each section in the first person the second person and third person booth Jess and we wrote these we both sections of the integration perspective to see which one works best oh that again I mean I guess I just doesn't like lagging yeah I mind because that's a lot of work yeah you know that's a lot of work to really take the time and commit to that from it what I'm hearing here is a lot of discipline and a lot a lot of doing work like you know what I'm hearing again again is sure you have a TA to do this you can adapt it at the end of day but does it work gonna show up into the work and that's that that's like and you've got to find the best of the best way like a wooden what was going to close to me the right way to tell this story yeah we did that work and that's a part of the nerve now – we really were struggling at window with a view and time ago and we've also been sort of going back and forth about and doing a lot of reading like we are we rewrite the firm or it is something any other firm because that we thought might help us with the third book for various reasons like just going back and rereading like skinny kings I'm rating or meeting with you know this plot structure book that we language ones you like I think it might just pretty cool plot and structure actually do you know though it's called I think so and sometimes it just coming even though you hear we should she's frightened about do now ten bucks that you think that you this one's a second nature that's another just reminds you like what's the engine went like what are the things if something's not working you know trained to identify wetback with a piece of muscle yeah I love the way you're talking about this sort of very interactive process with the process yes and along the line of you know clock structure and the craft elements did you because the patient seems so perfect and I haven't thought of it myself yeah which is really like that's the working me as an aspiring writer really needs to do is I take a book like this the work so well you know in terms of bouquets apply structure and actually muck pot myself to see and I'm curious if you ever did that and it like did you sad idea like the three three scenes from every scene lot structure I don't know if they don't know what that is that's not what we do do is will we will go through it like very clear about how many pages a certain chapter is because just to make sure the patient's Mike Jess's chapters tended to be longer than dr. shields but like you can't have a chapter that's you know four chapters from two pages to just make a kind of a boil sure um we also are the way we work is we talk it up and talk about a chapter and so that's why I want to start to write I think that twin language comes into talking so much about the chapter before we even start just write in and we are very conscious of how we're going to get into the chapter and how we're gonna end the chapter oh that's really important for us and you know that kind of ahead of time yes waiter what's our angle what's our end goal for the end of this chapter so each chapter has its own yes and then and then in terms of the overall are ya did you so which option you had a billion and any genomica parts as well we are we get where do we think part one is going to that's that is that the butters right that was thank you yeah I know that is so we have a sense of the beginning of what the part one's gonna be a pro you do write three parts there's a two or three times oh yeah yeah you decide you wanted to did that based on this clock struck two rogue or just eternal I think that's based on Sarah because Sarah different yeah I mean that it is sort of and it's the first and there's a sort of standard by it sort of it's very standard but look how many people don't actually do it right that's right missing areas if you were to do that if that was hot is conscious but I don't know why it makes you but yes absolutely search houses I think about a whole goal we're starting that like anybody how are we gonna ever get to you know it's really daunting you can't just think about it like sort of it by then and did you find because I also find that it seems that in the beginning and then at the end you're running out of words like you haven't commented over it words oh you need to long yeah but you but it sounds like you have the structure built in so you that would really limit you you're not like so we didn't that I don't think we've struggled with that okay all right I want to get time for the orange ideas then there's this a lot of talk about but job okay thank you watching a lot of this perhaps text oh okay well I guess I do want to leave some time to talking about optioning a book for fill so you've got the way between us is modular film and I think Don's world here my dear Vincent sleeper to be my it was optioned to be a TV series by USA and then I mean when you talk about not having times right because we're promoting we are so we got running the screen yeah and that connection is yes so we already we're not in the TV show I don't know what are you executive editor executive producer whatever that means that is brilliant Google everything Google's our best friend our aim will be like if it never gets made or names would be like you know that and right that's pretty very good we wanted as much collaboration as possible like we aren't we'd love for them to you know turn to us for our okay so this has been option so they have not yet this one in purchase what is it well no it was literally actually just it was Christmas option by e1 entertainment which they are like packager and they found a husband away fraidy to you who loved her book and they those were my for any team went and pitched it to you know like netflix or showtime so they USA and so USA went to look at the most important and so that's what that literally just happened like month ago so but it does look at my pleasure it's quite big things for consumerism well it also they can be and then the the the the movie was a little different because that week when we sold the book to publishers and that was very exciting a lot of publishers wanted to buy the way for Tina's it leaked to Hollywood I don't have what does that mean like so when it leaks so so I mean just sort of getting some integrating that so you you're okay so the agent the end agent the agent sold upstairs are once and and so that point it's been bought yes and and and it hasn't yet come out so there's a period of time between when the book has been bought the management involvement has not come out and it sounds like a lot happened in that time well for us a lot it's been finished writing the book but for anybody even if you've finished your book it still takes it can take about here at per book to publish button your he's like feeling out whether there was all of this buzz that happens yeah so it was almost like so it could debut how about a book for example did you honor me because publisher is amazing and they everything possible I mean they and then we gave them a lot I mean they gave them a great book and the book had itself and it sold to film so they were able to like capitalize on that but they first they got out about what it was was done they started to get all their sales reps to really read it really early on and then they brought us into their office and Sara and I they just want too much people in and Sara and I spoke and I think then they realize sorry you think under me you should see so actually really great so they saw us together and we were it's different it's a different way to it's like a different way to tell sorry like people really were interested in the way we did do that so they're like oh we could get them in front of people right so they put send us out on this pre tour and before we even finished oh my god yeah yeah yeah yeah that was so we spoke to film people and they were really interest because they then wanted and quit on parts 2 & 3 they were young and they were giving their suggestions on rights to it three women HealthWatch so just remember has there was enough is what it actually it was really helpful then we read verses as if this isn't the ending I thought I know I wouldn't go so quick witness they gave you some key points which was about like characters having agency they just being in a different language and it's actually helpful as our books are very I think they're pretty cinematic and visual and that's okay you can see how they would be adapted so though they're their input was was actually it was actually helped along they're very smart yeah well in a fast quick but to the book sold and then they try to find writers to adapt the way 50s and they really couldn't find anyone who they can figure out the tape on it and so and Halle Berry out who's had producer on it ask Sarah night and meet with her but Sarah may have been on tour and we were the people literally we met Holly in New York we fly into LaGuardia we were pulling out like crumpled stained dresses like we're going to meet like the head of Anne Boleyn and we're like in a bathroom stall getting dressed like okay and we go we meet Holly and she was so great and real and she said I want to be with you guys because I'm wondering you guys would want to take a stab at joining to write the screenplay and so and this Sarah gloves as part of Sarah with Sarah of course just like yes and I was like so we thought about it and then we have written we wrote a first draft which okay so what yeah so you know she's been talking and you sort of cavalier say to us are we win our first I got to have a screenplay it was spare time but used to like write screenplays for structure it and that's a formula to really definitely point on you really have to mean there's no you know it's pretty much all dialogue you bet it's just silly rope down to 120 pages so that we really did have to plot out you took like our favorite scenes look we didn't they want something totally different so I can't say we're very successful about that we didn't they actually asked us to do it now date I think it should be something different which is awesome I mean I just know I can say that people who work in industry it's all collaborative and it goes to all its writing by committee yeah quite different it's yeah yeah but it's you were like we're just like it's like just something creative and it's just like that some you know just that was the screen was just pure it was actually refine and it's taking and it was takings and then just trade you like country sugar and figure out how to make it work so it's just kind of you tapping into different part of our grain so okay I have two more questions that because I do this and I'm very impressed by how many new things you take basically going outside the comfort zone over and over over over again yeah and so my question is are you basically like an anxious person or not okay same company for 20 years risk averse to the answer because we're jumped off a cliff together Wow what's the worst thing could happen is that it wouldn't work this is what she's great like by just trying to they don't like to scream but parents with differences in things so like why not write a book together what else was I doing I know so much better they do I like hard to have someone by your side when you're struggling and you can just turn to someone else and say you know oh my god I no idea what we're going to do and there's some of the paperwork with humor in figurative that's something well that is a truly beautiful story and I know it really is I mean it's it really kind of magical you know I know and I yeah yeah and also it's like we were going through like both of us fear but I did some really great things like personally and like we just want it it's like we've just really [Laughter] yeah okay so in terms just one last question cut out about about the non-religion it's it and I don't know I'm gonna let you answer this however you'd like it might I don't want it to be a spoiler yeah but we do now that we've revealed that there are two and one of them is Joshua's young ya know kind of young but put a really interesting is a and and and the you know the person with power yeah it is a woman so that's kind of you know you're not taking it the typical you know female encounter dynamic but it is happening to be to Allah yeah and and this exploration of power dynamics which we know between people of different sector or different you know different to different status it's fascinating if you take that and you really get explore it in interesting ways and was that something you did consciously or did that just I just wondered well we knew we wanted so in our first book it's like it's giving us winch to wait which way and just say that it's a relationship it's a husband-and-wife dynamic that we're so it was you know opposite sex power play and so we want we just wanted to do so many different which is why we had had two women yeah but actually we can you ask me about the meat sheep heart I have a different think okay yes I don't know if I could talk about that yeah yeah I just it was just it was so much about the power dynamic it was about I think the vulnerability and like what what gets you to release your secrets to some of it what is ingest but it's a learning tempered she feels like someone is listening to her for the first money and everybody wants to me and she's called these secrets so closely together suppose it's personal like Nestle them you know I defer but obviously she's in there yeah you know that's and the thing that came to me is just the way you were talking about that I just have this awareness to it you know it is kind of cool that you wrote that you didn't write this when you were 22 yeah oh they don't have them you have some of your life experience yeah you know being in a marriage until Trent you have being in the workforce you have all this richness of life yeah that really comes I think that really filters through which is really kind of cool and inspiring to I think is there anything you haven't touched on that you'd like to talk about before we let up but if I love answering okay okay so the person when we City is being visited and suppose to be the person responsible for brightly Jai and put sense into the big ones and my jokes like I guess by that clip nice ones and Sarah buys it she wants it like flutter to the graphics at the top your game to the post-its um but so we take them and and this is this is us what our similarities and differences yeah so one thing first of all I am where I live all starts more instinctive which you may have gathered from all this but she also she is like Carrie Mathison in homeland or like the whiteboards are like the post-its are like all over it looks like you know it's just and I like on your own like straightening out the be fine during something I can't concentrate like this but she says she sees a pattern she sees like it helps her that's yes is helpful for the messy people in my life yeah I would like you yeah yeah yeah but she is really closer so that's what we try to do like art being plotted sometimes you just can't see things on a computer screen that you can see when it's you know like when it's out on these paper right so it helps us to be able to just kind of bring some other ideas or just try to plot so it depends on what we're not super systematic about when we see each other because like with the kids and touring it's not always at the beginning of a part or this and they would be first in our first book we were able to coordinate that more of an answer catch catch yeah but that's petitions when you just said that you can't always see here's from you know and I know for many people here maybe we just grew up on the computer screen but they now know that neurologically there's actually a training hands connection to it hands right it's like they actually connect it creates these connections you know I mean that the physicality of actually standing up I mean I you know I'm sure there's stuff going on physiologically with that I was actually really making connection absolutely and sometimes when we were like kind of lost we'll like there's sometimes a lot to keep track of in our book and I don't like have to we will literally write write it let's not just will either retype things on the computer or a little bit early handwrite it like it's cheese to Sage and it's this like you know okay I'm just I mean so in terms of all of the watchman's here that everything comes together so beautifully did you have that somehow mapped or even even like after the fact look are that you have very memory to steal chat rings no no not at all don't we joke that we have one brain but takes both of our brains to keep track of everything else that we do we sit there and half set especially again with white two would be like this this make sense assist analysis but we're working away but then we'll go it so we've worked together for once a night to you know pour on a good day but we both go in early in the morning I mean I was up at 7:00 three this morning editing pages like we're all in suggesting mode and then she'll go in and accept or reject you know and we work at weird hours to go in and add more just make notes and we're constantly sending each other there's a podcast you should listen to on five times as fast could you guys said can we can we just throw our trying to get into it but are not very good at movie outline here I mean it's a lot like in here politics podcast I listen to how I built this which is all like entrepreneurial like startups I'm the saw to happier in Hollywood which is about these to show runners and their collaboration which fascinating I listen to just the Happiness Project wrenches ribbon oh yeah that's great I answered your first book yeah and then I listened to all distance to see really listen so plan that you know how do you stay on well so so for the first book we didn't have a deadline in a way because we part one and totally felt like I was ready to be submitted and then we did have a doubt the deadline for parts two and three but we gave ourselves plenty of time because the publisher didn't want to publish it for nearly until we just had a lot of time I was a long time so we know know so we'd finished yeah I guess it's a lot but we had finished we sold the book on May 25th we hadn't sold January to finish parts 2 & 3 so you do the minors okay seven long until it felt like fine I'm gonna happen I'm oh yeah actually have a whole day right yeah good all day and we also had we in theory had a quad about yeah that was fun that's huge yeah then because the first book event so well they wanted the second book to come out the same in January so we had like a year and and even it's this book just we struggled for a while trying to figure out what it was going to be but once we did it came quite quickly okay now book three which was like sort of do like in two weeks I mean we literally went in uh kidding when I say wait like 30 pages so we're about so we're we have mourned through those pages that were not Anita's and we have to thought about it but we're under really under the gun so I actually literally fell sixth okay but like I mean I'm here episodes where I look at Marilyn Robinson won my favor and yes who's ready for some whole life yeah okay absolutely yeah so you're you're under inject like what is that what exactly is that pressure I mean I know it is it a momentum it is the momentum thing is that real so like if it took like burn honest will then we're the green storming is everything from like knife or gun blood I mean certainly sex objects we're like we're like sexy you remember like just throwing all these like just crazy ideas are kind of just student consciousness and then and I will say Sarah with Swiss people puts down I was in DC and with oh he's in a frantic friend's need to get worked on and get to make the train back to take them down so I thought was going to be on like a you know whatever do not put in might open it might be like act like here's a like here's actual uh neck to it might be it just depends on where we are in this process just remember preformed brainstorming trying to tap into different like you know sort of like different creative juices so again it was a lot more systematic with art wallet english with the first book then now we're just we don't have that luxury like we have to get together let me do this like rainy Finch's partner with another person meaning we might right there yeah we'll know I mean I felt everything everything is easier when you have for me having a partner but again I don't and that's for everyone I think some people with each or each other they would just be like you know I don't think it you mean this way for us if we disagree on something if one of us isn't good is working pretty both or it's not working that so yeah we know that something it's not wearing analyst and then we just talk and talk and talk and talk about it so there's nothing that we can argue our points we might say let's put kind of a pin in this one and maybe come back to it but so that's that's really helpful but in terms of revising I think we we love being edited I mean it have an outside perspective we have with both books for the first two books we had an outside editor who read it before army and gave it to our editor because that's a nether you there's just a limited capacity of writer it's also you always want to give her things in this great shape as possible and also we have beta readers so like right like a lot of smart friends and I would give them the book too and they weren't really making major changes but but some of it was because we do so many twists and turns sometimes we lose perspective on business make any sense has the pace to slow is it ready guessed it or are we going too quickly and they don't understand what's happened and so we rely on the kind of just smart readers it gave us a sense of that as well it's harmony of living the book your desires – they just got together with their leaders and frost you know where my workshops importantly really good we've all yeah and people think about some people get really more nuanced then you know find something for sure but there's something and then you just ignore something sometimes things don't feel right soon I think we started to answer this I think what a lot of people like about writing it's unlike your day job you're not necessarily writing people did you feel light at times because we were writing were you writing for each other at times to do my name's renamer how did you decide together who were ready for what type of audience I feel so it that's why it's I think just been really fun and that's I would say to anybody would you pick a topic you really are gonna have to live with this for a very long time and then you're going to talk about it over and over again so just be really passionate about whatever it is that you you know that you're that you're choosing so I don't think it's a really good fate that specific audience we just want to talk I think about not very evening so other people if I like it other people are you might like it too what was interesting to when you gave the list of books we both kind of like said the nursery loves her writing you know I've had this sensibility yeah so we would sort of actually go like I know at one point I decided I was lost of Danielle Steele and I and which is not what I know and I tried to write things almost can all right yeah that's right I don't know yeah I agree I agree yeah it's sort simultaneous so or example white penis we knew that we wanted the character to be like this young woman who is about to get married and she was gonna be like wait that's good controlling limbs and one of the first images that we ever thought of or that character that was the husband she's long that taking her hair and saying so beautiful don't ever cut it and like taking a lock of it and that was one of the first images for that character so it helped inform her physically but also sense of responsibility we talked about everything I mean I can tell you what dr. shields eats for breakfast I'm tell you how much she weighs we love talking we talk about what our characters wear will literally walk down the street and be like that's something the Jets would wear that's something that's like we had it like so much I started reading and staring out a book like that it's nothing like she looks just like Nellie so though I think as we both love psychology and we we obsessive part of our main arcanine character I feel like is that you couldn't smell the main character you kept trying to make or something they frankly we couldn't really relate to and that's powerful relate we struggle because we're struggling for voices we just couldn't figure out exactly who she was it's a really good question really interesting yeah our veteran came to our agents so some agents really do a lot of editing and our agent is brilliant wonderful but she's not she just knew that it wasn't working so she put us in touch with with Binet was very IBC's a very good scene ever that's how agent or with agents are you ready pitch to those are no I just not not interested now so it's a little like I never I never really had to do that because I just go on not into Sarah's agent but I think if you fiction in singular especially if you've written the whole thing although usually an agent isn't going to want to see the whole thing they'll probably just ask to see the synopsis then they might ask for three chapters and they might ask for more and then I think it really depends I can really depend I think some stuff just gets kind of you know not really quickly it's um I think it's tucked away and it depends on the agents and their our process and it depends on if you have any connection to the agent so I think area the same thing with we selling to Edgar's I think if you have an agent who's really well-known and they really picture of a lot of hype your book could get read you know in 24 hours and then not your book could be put I mean speaking as an editor sometimes if I had the agent the author and I had 27 you know other things to mean it looks at it it could sit on that book so a nutshell for a long time so and I think it's just from you know you know that's changed too it's great that people can meet pops event digitally now so you can submit ya ports more people but the downside of that is it used to be you would always get response and actually now agents now believe they say they don't even respond cannot intercept so you know that let's talk to you because it can be it's a difference one that could be six months you know or three months or whatever it is they'll say but if they say if they don't necessarily even send the form response you don't know how long the waiting you know those things it's kind of but no but you can final this I mean they'll they don't have that information on their submission website and if you're spreading trying to find an agent my best advice is to look in the acknowledgement sections of books that you that are similar to yours and that you really like and then write to them and you know there's more specific of it's the obvious that just if you can't splatter them be specific I love this author of yours you know I think my book is like this person's because XYZ I mean don't oversell yourself cuz like nobody's you know it's not yeah I'm sure Stephanie kick rocks and is the agent for you know killing clinically or like this for the next Bond girl she's gonna be like garbage do I but if you can find you know another you know some smaller comparison and it's just do your homework yeah so do you think I mean how important it is and you learn editor how important with cops huge people editors agents everybody wants to know it's what how to catch up and make it as easy for any information that it as possible with that said you do look like you just can't compare yourself to some of these huge blocks when I Paris honor the right exact I just there's money laughs all right but you know so

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