Why Having a Writing Partner Kinda Rocks.
What can I say? Writing is hard. Everyone who has ever tried to write that “Next Big Hit” knows this. Words are an imperfect medium; they don’t always flow from your fingertips to perfectly render your story onto the blank pages you’ve set out to conquer.
You can stare at a computer screen blankly for ages, hoping for inspiration to strike. Or, you can do what we did, and team up! Two heads are better than one, they always say. We’re inclined to think that “they”-whoever they are-are absolutely right.
B and I joined forces because we have a lot of the same ideas. If I propose a scenario, she builds on it. We spit ideas back and forth like freestyle rappers slam rhymes, making planning out a story incredibly fluid. Working alone, you don’t really have that. It’s much more difficult to plan out ideas with no outside input--sometimes it feels damn near impossible.
That’s where I think a lot of writers get stuck, hung up on a tangent of their story that doesn’t necessarily even work! Having someone to read over your writing and tell you their honest opinion about what works and doesn’t work really helps boost productivity. Some of our best stories have come out of impromptu ideas jams and straight up back and forth joking. Our writing process marches right along because of that. We give one another immediate feedback, even if we sometimes don’t want it!
One bonus about being siblings is that we can get away with a lot of stuff that normal collaborators can’t with each other. We can flat-out reject one another’s ideas, often suggesting something better or bicker and worry at tangents until they work for both of us. We’ve known each other all of our lives, so we aren’t too worried about offending one another.
I think our being siblings does give us a distinct advantage over other collaborators--we come from the same background, so we share a cultural identity. We watch a lot of the same films, television shows and read a lot of the same books and comics. Though our tastes do vary, we approach ideas from the same place, with a different perspective.
As such, our strengths and weaknesses complement each other. Becky can dissect a story down to its bones in a matter of minutes while I’m better at the technical stuff; editing, fiddly little details and word choice.
Apart, we wouldn’t get very far. Together, we’re a little bit unstoppable. And I’m not going to lie, it’s really great to have someone always there who believes in your story every bit as much as you do. That’s the kind of support most people only dream of having, and we’re lucky enough to have that in each other!
The first book in the trilogy
Guardian, Thief, Human
By S.B. Rogers
It’s been almost a year since Abby Shepard’s once-perfect life crumbled into little more than a nightmare. Dumped, bullied and abused, the seventeen-year-old has all but given up hope. Little does she know that her father died protecting a family secret; a secret that has the forces of good and evil battling to claim the power lurking just beneath her skin.
The sound of the hard soles of his tall leather boots striking the exquisite black marble floor reverberated through the hall. His steps were measured and confident, never faltering in their rhythm as he strode onto the raised platform, seven sets of eyes following his every movement. He turned, sinking gracefully onto his throne.
The moment his body made contact with the cold black and silver chair, the throne room came to life. The formerly dark, high-ceilinged hall was bathed in the warm glow of firelight from both the sconces on the wall and the marble oil wells that ran the length of the room. The flickering fire cast Lucifer’s face in a sinister light, alternately black shadow and red-orange glow.
He cast his eyes downwards on his council, his Seven Generals. “Well? Why was I summoned, Draven? I was in the midst of something rather...fun.” he smirked “let’s not keep her waiting, hmm?”
Draven nodded, stepping forward. He bowed his head as he addressed his master. “My lord, if I may?” He stopped at the bottom step of the platform and swept himself into a deep, kneeling bow. His long, thick mane of black hair fell forward, revealing the angry diagonal scar that marred the length of his heavily muscled back. The scar was white and puckered in places, the lightness of it contrasting with his otherwise caramel coloured skin.
Lucifer grimaced. He knew that scar, was there when the flaming sword had bitten deep into his second in command’s flesh and thrown him aside. The wars had not been easy on Draven; his skin, Lucifer knew, was crisscrossed with those white scars recording each of his wounds. The wounds from battles that had placed him higher and higher in his lord’s favour until he became Hell’s most decorated General, the Leader of the Seven, presiding over Hell’s armies; second only to Lucifer himself.
“My lord, I apologize if I have overstepped my bounds by summoning you here. I have gathered the council before you because we feel that we have found a solution to our… most pressing dilemma.”
Lucifer beckoned him forward wordlessly. Draven stood and moved up the steps to stand on Lucifer’s right side, towering over him. His height and muscular frame made him seem even more menacing than the King of Hell, but it was clear to all who the master was. “Our plan merely awaits your approval, my lord.” Draven said, staring straight ahead.
Lucifer leaned forward, a hint of a smile tugging at his lips. Trust Draven to come up with a plan, he thought satisfactorily. “Elaborate.”
“We will find the girl and bring her to you.” A beautiful woman with curly blonde hair said excitedly.
“And exactly how do you intend to do this, General Astarte?” Lucifer drawled.
Astarte squared her shoulders and spoke. “We will send a small taskforce, one that will travel unnoticed and seek her out.”
Lucifer considered this, turned his head to glance up at Draven. “And who do you have in mind, Head General?”
Draven kept looking ahead stoically. “We have all agreed that Mammon would be best for the task.”
Lucifer’s eyebrows rose involuntarily in surprise. “Your son?”
“Yes, he’s very good at…harvesting the truth. And he holds substantial sway throughout the planet.”
“Well, if you trust him, all of you, then I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to let him try.” Lucifer gestured offhandedly “Send him in.”
The huge wooden double doors at the end of the hall swung open, pulled from the outside by unseen hands. A tall figure swathed in a flowing black cloak stepped forward, entering the chamber. A scuffling noise, out of sync with his movements came from somewhere behind him. The doors began to close behind him and he glanced between them and the throne. Draven addressed his unspoken question “Your dogs must stay outside.”
Mammon dipped his head, turned and said a few quiet words, gestured with his hands a few times. The scuffling behind the doors ceased, with the exception of a few soft rustlings, and the doors were closed. He approached the throne, his face hidden by the deep hood of the cloak. Mammon bowed deeply, removing his hood when he straightened and stared expressionlessly into Lucifer’s eyes. Lucifer stared back, taking in the young man before him. He was the opposite of his father in almost every way, he thought with some amusement. Fair-haired, feminine featured and very, very pale; he certainly took after his mother, and though he had his father’s height he had a willowy, nearly delicate frame. Those eyes that bored into his so fearlessly were hardly coloured at all; they held the faintest trace of grey in the iris, adding to his ghostly appearance.
This could be interesting, Lucifer thought. “You feel that you are ready for this task?” He asked Mammon, who opened his mouth to reply. Lucifer held up a hand to stop him. “Before you answer, understand this: failure is not an option. The girl is a game changer, and she must not be harmed.” He hardened his gaze. “Neither mentally nor physically.”
Mammon nodded once “I understand, my lord.” He said, his voice smooth and emotionless. “I will complete this mission with the utmost delicacy.”
Lucifer dismissed him with a nod “You’d better. Now leave, Hunter. You may all leave.” Draven made to move forward, to leave with the rest of the council, but was halted by Lucifer’s hand on his forearm. “Stay for a moment.” He commanded in a low voice. He waited until the rest had departed and they were alone in the grand hall. “Are you sure he is ready?” Lucifer demanded, watching his subordinate’s square-jawed face for any sign of irresoluteness.
Draven’s mouth twisted slightly in discomfort as his eyes met Lucifer’s. “His methods may be brutal, even for a demon, but…his success rate is unparalleled. He will not fail.”
“Very well. I trust you to brief him with all of the necessary details; I expect nothing less than complete success. I will not be pleased, should he fail.” Lucifer stood, turned and walked towards the hidden door in the wall behind the platform.
He had opened it when he stopped, looking over his shoulder at Draven. “Oh, and one more thing. He can kill the archangels themselves if he finds it necessary, I don’t care, but…If one hair on the head of that girl is harmed, when I’m through with him, your son will wish that he had never existed.”
About the Author:
S.B. Rodgers is a pen name that stands for Sara & Becky Rodgers. Becky argued extensively that in the name of humour, the letters should be listed alphabetically, but lost out to her arch nemesis common sense. Sara and Becky met at the young ages of twenty-two months and zero days, thrust into each other’s lives by fate and situations beyond either of their control. They are sisters, frenemies and most importantly co-authors. It’s theorised that they were identical twin in a past life…not really but it’d be pretty cool. Their parents taught them that a person’s imagination is a precious gift and stories should be cherished. As a team the siblings bring very different skills to the table, each one’s strength perfectly complimenting the others weakness. They try not to take themselves very seriously and strive to look for the humour in life. Their partnership is one of extreme love and respect for each other, both as family and literary artists.
Sara is the younger of the two. She lives with one cat, five dolls and her potato head man collection in an orange room. Regrettably she is not Spiderman or Batman, but she is a card holding Pokémon master and that’s good enough for now. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She collects graphic novels and manga as well as all things written by the fantastic Neil Gaiman. When she is not reading or writing she is needle felting and posting her work on her popu-lish tumblr account: The Land of Fluff and Needles.
Becky is the classic girly-girl. Her blond hair and pink nails served as the perfect camouflage during school years were teachers undoubtedly took her day dreaming for air-headedness. To the contrary, she spent that time drifting in and out of imaginary worlds filled with fantastical creatures and memorable characters. Today she divides her time between working with animals as a certified pet stylist and typing away at new manuscripts. Among other things she describes herself as a Gleek, sci-fi nerd, smustle expert extraordinaire and above all she just “wants to believe.” She lives with her two German Shepherds-Abby and Odin-and is driven by delusions of grandeur.
You tube: http://youtu.be/DBMOkpw1vtI