The past few years have been incredibly busy for us. Busy in a good way, but busy nonetheless and 2015 is shaping up to be just as hectic. Downton Tabby, our seventh book in the Pampered Pets Mystery series, will be out in June. In celebration, our fabulous publisher, Bell Bridge Books, has been busy sharing news about the new book with a pre-order on Amazon and a special cover reveal event at Goodreads.
Readers, who discover there are two of us, are often curious about how we ended up writing the series together, so here’s our backstory and a little info about our process for writing together.
We had belonged to the same critique group for several years and had been writing and submitting fiction separately. We’d both received very “good” rejections from publishers and agents, but had not sold. Then we had an opportunity to have a conversation with a NY agent at a RWA conference. Her advice on high-concept hooks was brilliant and we brainstormed some ideas. Because the idea of setting a mystery in the world of people and their pets was something we came up with together, we decided to team up on the series. Shortly after that, we had the opportunity to pitch the series to Bell Bridge Books. And, as they say, the rest is history…
There are a variety of collaboration methods used by fiction writers. Some of the most popular are:
Division of Talents: One writer outlines and plots the story. The other does all the writing. One or both may polish the completed story.
Chapter by Chapter: The two writers plot the story together and then the two authors alternate writing chapters.
Sentence by Sentence, Word by Word: Everything is plotted together and written together.
We’ve taken a somewhat unique approach to co-writing in that we take turns writing the individual books. The odd-numbered books feature Caro, a psychologist turned pet therapist, and are written by Mary Lee. The even-numbered books star Mel, a pet boutique owner, and are written by Anita. We share the Laguna Beach setting and some quirky secondary characters such as lively senior, Betty Foxx, who our readers have come to love. We work together on the outline for the series and the individual books and we frequently work across the table from one another either at ML’s dining room table or at Starbucks, but each of us writes a full book.
We started down this path for a number of reasons and have been truly blessed by the opportunity to work together on a series that we continue to enjoy writing.
Thank-you so much, June, for inviting us to stop by!
Sparkle Abbey is the pseudonym of mystery authors Mary Lee Woods and Anita Carter. They’ve chosen to use Sparkle Abbey as their pen name on this series because they liked the idea of combining the names of their two rescue pets – Sparkle (ML’s cat) and Abbey (Anita’s dog). The authors co-write the bestselling Pampered Pets Mystery Series which focuses on the wacky world of precious pedigrees, pampered pooches, and secrets in posh Laguna Beach, California. The main characters and amateur sleuths are Texas cousins, Carolina Lamont, a pet therapist, and Melinda Langston, a pet boutique owner. Midwest Book Review calls the series “A sassy and fun mystery!”
The first books in the series, Desperate Housedogs, Get Fluffy, Kitty Kitty Bang Bang, Yip/Tuck, Fifty Shades of Greyhound, and The Girl with the Dachshund Tattoo have received rave reviews. The next installment is: Downton Tabby.
The authors love to hear from readers so stop by their website www.sparkleabbey.com or visit them on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/sparkleabbey to check out all their latest news.