Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Partners in Crime: Mary Reed and Eric Mayer

Continuing the Partner in Crime series here on Mystery Fanfare, today I welcome Mary Reed and Eric Mayer as Guest Bloggers. They chose to blog about writing together in a very unique way. Enjoy!

Mary Reed and Eric Mayer met, married, and began a life of fictional mayhem when their first short mystery story appeared in 1993. After publishing several stories in historical mystery anthologies and Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, their first novel about John, Lord Chamberlain to Justinian I, appeared in l999. There followed Two For Joy, Three For A Letter, Four For A Boy, Five For Silver, Six For Gold, and Seven For A Secret, some of which won awards. In June 2003 the American Library Association's Booklist Magazine named the novels as one of its four Best Little Known Series. Eight For Eternity will appear in April 2010.

From Mary Reed & Eric Mayer:

To present information in a different way it is written (more or less) in rhyme and describes our work method. This may be summed up as the outline is tossed back and forth, individual chapters or scenes written by A or B are constructed, anything A or B feel strongly about where B or A do not is kept in the plot, each chapter or scene being polished by the other author, and sometimes polished again as needed.

BLOG FOR PARTNERS IN CRIME  with apologies to Messrs Gilbert & Sullivan

We're co-authors of ratiocinative fiction
Inventing plots full of character friction
Scattering clues for the villain's conviction
Co-writers of mysteries!

We begin by inventing a devious plot line
Some elements are his and some are mine
Our method is to mix them and then refine
This foundation of mysteries!

We've long since agreed its champion will decide
If something stays in the plot that the other derides
When working together there's no room for pride
In co-writers of mysteries!

One will draft a scene or a chapter and then
The other polishes it once, and if need be again,
Savagely wielding the editorial pen
On the draft of the mystery!

Research is necessary before we start to write
Toiling at the task through the hours of the night
At least midnight oil sheds a pretty sort of light!
On writers of mysteries!

Some collaborative authors' language singes
We advise colleagues fit strong door hinges
Since a slamming exit often impinges
On the writing of mysteries!

Our individual writings differ in ways distinct
But the blended text reveals no obvious links
Though Mary tends to ramble while Eric's more succinct
Just as well for the mysteries!

We're scriveners who, when the manuscript's done,
Send it to the press and say "Wasn't that fun?"
And then start on researching for another one
A co-authored mystery!!


Spy Scribbler said...

I've always been curious about your process! That's awesome. That's really neat.

Clever and fun way to communicate it, LOL! :-)

Priscilla said...

What a delightful way of presenting the process of joint authoring! And I have never seen a seam in your work either which speaks volumes (excuse pun)on the skill. Always admired those who could do a joint effort and now I realize there is another benefit: it's more fun to argue plot points with another! Sometimes agruing with self gets a bit scary....