The Writing Sparrow Episode 21 | How to Co-Write a Novel with Olivia Wildenstein and Katie Hayoz

This week I talked to Olivia Wildenstein and Katie Hayoz, both authors in their own right who have now written their newest novel, Of Wicked Blood, together. In this week’s episode we chatted about what’s involved and how to co-write a novel successfully.

To find out more about Oliviacheck out her websitefind her or Twitter, or follow her on InstagramTo find out more about Katiecheck out her websitefind her or Twitter, or follow her on Instagram.

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Sarina Langer: 0:08

Hello, and welcome to the Writing Sparrow podcast. Im Sarina Langer, and this podcast is all about writing, publishing and marketing your book. You can find transcripts on my website at sarinalanger.com. Lets get started! Welcome back friends and sparrows to Episode 21. It’s the first of February 2021, and this is this podcast’s first double interview. I’m talking to Olivia Wildenstein and Katie Hayoz today about co writing their book Of Wicked Blood, which is out tomorrow, February the second. I hope this doesn’t jinx it, but happy early release day, ladies, and welcome to my podcast.Olivia Wildenstein: 0:50

Thank you. Excited to be here.Katie Hayoz: 0:53

Thank you.Sarina Langer: 0:53

I’m really excited to have you here because it’s the first time that I’ve done one of these with two guests. And I’m a little bit worried about how my transcription service is going to cope with having three female speakers at the same time.Olivia Wildenstein: 1:08

She can she can do Slate’s voice or a very deep voice.Sarina Langer: 1:14

Yeah, it might help, I don’t know. We’ll see. So you’ve both written and published books alone before, is that right?Olivia Wildenstein: 1:23

Yes.Sarina Langer: 1:24

Okay, so what made you decide then to write this one together? Did you decide first that you wanted to co write a book and then went from there? Or did one of you have the idea for this book and then pitched it to the other one?Olivia Wildenstein: 1:36

No, we decided that we wanted to write a book together.Katie Hayoz: 1:39

Yeah.Olivia Wildenstein: 1:40

We had no idea what about but we knew it was going to be paranormal. And then we started to brainstorming ideas. And all of them fell through and we ended up with Of Wicked Blood.Katie Hayoz: 1:54

We had, I mean, we would meet, we would meet for coffee and just be like, okay, let’s brainstorm what could we, you know, what can we write about? And we have, you know, I have notebook pages and pages full of like, Oh, we can do this. Or we can do that, we can do this, this, this, that? And I don’t, like, when I think about it, I have no idea how we ended up with a complete novel.Olivia Wildenstein: 2:17

We had the characters.Katie Hayoz: 2:24

But, no, we had–Olivia Wildenstein: 2:26

We had the characters. From the beginning, we always have the characters. We just had them doing something totally different in like our first idea.Katie Hayoz: 2:33

Yeah. Originally, we wanted it to be some sort of game.Olivia Wildenstein: 2:37

Game show treasure hunt.Katie Hayoz: 2:39

Yeah.Olivia Wildenstein: 2:39

So…Sarina Langer: 2:40

It’s changed quite a lot from there.Katie Hayoz: 2:43

Yes, it has.Sarina Langer: 2:46

Have you changed the characters at all or have they always kind of stayed through the whole process as you had them to begin with?Olivia Wildenstein: 2:53

So Cadence, Slate, and Rainier were there from the beginning.Katie Hayoz: 2:57

Yeah.Olivia Wildenstein: 2:58

Those three.Katie Hayoz: 2:58

And they didn’t change.Olivia Wildenstein: 3:00

And they really did not change. Like he was really supposed to be the street urchin. She was supposed to be the daddy’s girl goody two shoes, and he was supposed to be the questionable loving father.Katie Hayoz: 3:13

Yes.Sarina Langer: 3:14

And I know that’s exactly what we get in the book. And I think that dynamic between the three is so exciting and fun to read about as well, because they’re all very different. And there’s a lot of sarcasm in your book, which I enjoyed very much.Olivia Wildenstein: 3:28

We love our sarcasm. That is for sure.Sarina Langer: 3:31

Well, that’s really come through.Katie Hayoz: 3:36

We’re trying to make each other laugh too. I think when we’re, you know, writing our chapters, I’m thinking, Okay, I’ll do this, you know, I’ll write this line and see, see if Olivia reacts to this or something. And you know, sometimes she’d be like, aah, send me a text going, Oh my God, I’m dying. Or same thing when she writes something, and I send her a text and be like, aah, this is so hilarious.Sarina Langer: 4:00

I loved seeing some- Sorry.Olivia Wildenstein: 4:03

No, no, no, no. I was just saying it was comedy, comedy little show. It was, it was fun. It just made everything fun.Sarina Langer: 4:11

It was really fun to read about as well. I was, I think I was reading most of it while I was still physically going into work when that was still a thing. And uhm, and I was just reading it on my lunch breaks and it was honestly so funny. I was laughing so much. But um, so, how did you approach who wrote what? So I know that you have two different points of views in the book, so it takes turns you know, one chapter will be told from Slate’s perspective, and then the next one is Cadence. Did you split it that way so that one of you wrote one character and then the other one writes the other character or how did you divide that? And this question is also seconded by @gambit190 on Twitter.Katie Hayoz: 4:57

We did do it that way. We actually wrote, what we did was I took Slate and Olivia took Cadence. So I wrote Slate’s chapters and Olivia wrote Cadence’ss chapters. However, we didn’t just leave it like that. So for example, I would write Slate’s chapter and then I would send it to Olivia. And Olivia would go over it and edit it and do some rearranging or add things or take things away. Then she would finish that, then write her Cadence chapter, send it to me. And I’d go through it, although not quite as much cuz Olivia, Olivia is really, really good at the editing and I’m a little lazy when it comes to that. So um, yeah, so she’d sent it to me, I looked through Cadence’s chapter and we would do it that way. So we, you know, whereas yes, I wrote Slate’s chapter and chapters, and she wrote Cadence’s chapters. At the same time, we both had a lot to say about each other’s chapters and a lot of input. You know, some of the lines are hers, some of the lines are mine, it’s kind of hard to know.Olivia Wildenstein: 6:12

Even, even we don’t really know anymore who wrote what sometimes like, here’s some, which is great, ecause this is, I think, how we anaged to blend our styles ogether. So that’s almost eamless. I mean, I don’t know f you could tell as a reader hat it was written by two eople.Sarina Langer: 6:30

Not at all. I mean, I have, I’ve read maybe a small handful of books that have been written by two authors though yours is definitely the most recent one. But at the time when I read the other one, I didn’t think about it, because that was years ago. But um, to me, it just read like one really well put together book by one voice, you know, it didn’t feel like oh yeah, this is clearly where one author has stopped working and the other one has started. It was, it was all very smooth, as you said, I definitely couldn’t tell either.Olivia Wildenstein: 7:00

That’s great. That means we did our job pretty well.Sarina Langer: 7:03

You know, I’d say you definitely did. It must have taken a while to write it that way. I mean, if one of you wrote one chapter, then sent it on, and then the other one would go over it, and then add her chapter. How long did that take to write the whole book that way?Katie Hayoz: 7:19

Nine months.Olivia Wildenstein: 7:21

Nine months, but in our defence, because I mean, we could have done it faster, but because of this pandemic, it’s, I, it was at the beginning of the pendamic. Well, no, we started in December of last year.Katie Hayoz: 7:33

Yeah.Olivia Wildenstein: 7:35

So last year, 2019. So two years ago.Katie Hayoz: 7:39

Wow.Olivia Wildenstein: 7:40

Yeah. And we really got it going, but the problem is, you got February, when everything kind of shut down hit, you didn’t know where you were, in, I mean, just even in your life. And so it, you know, it just took us longer to get chapters to each other. Also, at the same time, we’re both always writing another book of ours of our own. So you have, you know, the, this organisation, that’s a little… This is why it took us so long to write it. Second book should be faster.Katie Hayoz: 8:14

Plus, plus, we started off, we started off and we were getting momentum, and then you know, then there were the the holidays in December. And it’s like, okay, you know, we all we both have kids and families, and you know, everybody’s home. And there we go, like two, three weeks, where things are kind of coming to a halt, you start getting, getting going, and then, then there’s the February vacation because the kids here have, you know, February vacation as well. And thenOlivia Wildenstein: 8:40

And then there was spring break.Katie Hayoz: 8:41

And then there was a pandemic.Olivia Wildenstein: 8:43

Quarantine with your family. I mean…Katie Hayoz: 8:45

Oh, yeah, it was fun. But it was, I mean, so we, we didn’t pressure ourselves, which is why it took us nine months for the first one. However, the second one, we decided not to pressure ourselves and we put a pre order date that’s very late. How, but we intend to have it done way, way, way, way, way before the pre order date. So we’re hoping to get it done a lot quicker.Olivia Wildenstein: 9:14

Just by this summer. We’re hoping to get book two by the summer, so.Sarina Langer: 9:18

Okay, so you must already be writing it.Olivia Wildenstein: 9:21

Oh, yeah, we’re halfway through.Katie Hayoz: 9:23

Yeah.Sarina Langer: 9:23

Oh, great. I look forward to that. So I think you mentioned that you’d meet up in, like in cafes and collaborate a little bit that way. And, you know, in the back of your book, you can also see some of the text messages that you’ve exchanged with each other. So how exactly did you approach the collaboration because when I plan a book, I tend to have notebooks for, you know, for, for every work in progress, but um, I imagine that’s a lot harder to do when there’s two of you, because you can’t just share one notebook, I’m guessing.Olivia Wildenstein: 9:55

So Katie has her notebooks, she can show it to you. She has, erm, I’m not a paper person. So I do, we have a Google form that we share in which we try to put all the information and then update the information although we’re not-Katie Hayoz: 10:09

We’re not very good about that. One thing I do haveSarina Langer: 10:09

Very true. to say is I think Olivia and I kind of got lucky in the sense that we both are really laid back about the way we work. You know, this is not my, I’ve don three collaborations in the pas year. And they were on al different projects. And this, o course, a novel is the most wor , it takes the most concentrati n, it takes, you have to if… eah, I mean, as you know, wh t, you know, as a writer how mu h work writing a novel is. And ecause Olivia and I, we’re… I on’t know, we’re not precious. IKatie Hayoz: 10:46

We’re not precious and we also are kind of don’t know how else to say it You know, you can’t be precious about your work when you have so ebody else going over it and sa ing, disorganised when it comes toOlivia Wildenstein: 11:03

She says to the most OCD person in the world.Katie Hayoz: 11:07

We’re organised, we have like a general plotline. But both of us are at the heart of it pantsers, I think.Olivia Wildenstein: 11:14

Yeah.We’re happy to see where it takes us. Because I think that’s, you know, when, when readers are so surprised by like a plot twist, usually, it’s because the authors are pretty surprised themselves about the plot twist. And I love doing that with Katie, just because we got all these like fun plot twists. I mean, when we exchanged messages, we had a bunch more, and then we’d look at them in the morning with the light of day, and we’re like, No, actually, that’s probably not a good idea, but it seemed like a really good idea.Katie Hayoz: 11:43

At one in the morning, after three gin and tonics.Olivia Wildenstein: 11:48

But yeah, like Katie was saying, we just, we went with the flow. And we let the characters kind of guide the thing. I mean, we did have the general plotline, we knew the structure of it. And now even for Book Two is kind of the same. Like we know where we’re going to end up, we know what we want to happen in the first third and like the second third,Katie Hayoz: 12:09

Although for, I think the second book is easier, and erm… in the sense, because we already have everything established, we have the world established, we have the characters established, we know what the final final goal needs to be. And whereas when we were trying to figure out, you know, Of Wicked Blood, there were times where we’d meet, and we’d be like talking for two hours over coffee, and we’d be like, we’re so close, we’re just this close, but we just can’t figure out you know, they’re like little things we couldn’t figure out. And so then we, that’s, then that’s when we’ have like these, like leav Olivia’s place, and then all o a sudden text, text text, an we’d be texting back and forth because our ideas would be goin back and forth.Olivia Wildenstein: 12:51

The brain sessions.Katie Hayoz: 12:52

Yeah, yeah.Sarina Langer: 12:54

It probably helped a lot that you both have very similar approaches to writing the book, because I think, you know, if one of you was mega organised, and the other one just didn’t care about any of the plotting at all, I feel like there would have been a lot of strife.Olivia Wildenstein: 13:07

Yeah. Oh, yeah. No, definitely. No, no, we’re, yeah, I think character wise, we’re very, we’re very, I wouldn’t so much say similar as just compatible, like,Katie Hayoz: 13:17

yeahOlivia Wildenstein: 13:18

We’re just compatible.Katie Hayoz: 13:19

Yeah. Yeah.Sarina Langer: 13:21

Yeah, I can see all that probably helped quite a lot. On a similar note, we have a question from @VillimeyS onTwitter: 13:29

do you edit together as well? And how do you delegate the tasks?Olivia Wildenstein: 13:34

So editing is something we do… there’s a couple rounds of edits. And as we said, like, she writes a chapter, she sends it to me, I edited, I send it back with my new chapter, she edits it, and so on, and so forth. So there’s a pretty big chunk of time that’s spent on that first draft. I do this with all my books also it’s like, I go back to the chapter I wrote the day before, edit the heck out of it, and then just go on. Some people I know, like, first drafts, and then they’ll go back on it at the very end and then start editing. So by the time we got our first draft done, I mean, it was pretty like solid first draft. There’s some things that ended up changing. We added a chapter here, broke up another chapter there, but the editing in itself… so I went through the whole book the fir- one time, then Katie went through the whole book the second time, then I went through it again. And then she went through it one last time.Katie Hayoz: 14:33

Yeah. And we sent it to an editor.Olivia Wildenstein: 14:35

And the editor and proofreader and the beta readers. I mean, there’sKatie Hayoz: 14:40

However, I do want to point out that while you know, yes, you know, we’re, we both do like you know, 50 50 of the the writing let’s say, Olivia really is, she’s a star because she’s- Seriously. She’s done 80% of the editing and the marketing.Olivia Wildenstein: 15:01

But that’s just because I have this OCD. No, it’s just like it– but it’s, I would have done the same for my own book, like it’s-Katie Hayoz: 15:09

Right. But it’s great. I mean, I’m just saying that, you know, she, part of the reason that works for us is because I know that I mean, I trust, I trust her. I read her, you know, I read her books, I trust her as a writer, and I trust, I trust her decision making. So you know, when I have a chapter, and she’s like, no, that line’s not gonna make it in there. I might try to slip it in the next time when I get my chapter back. I might try slipping it back in and see if it gets past her. But usually, usually I trust her decision making.Olivia Wildenstein: 15:52

No.Sarina Langer: 15:53

Does that ever work?Olivia Wildenstein: 15:55

That’s really sweet. No, but in just, in the thing is to say also, I mean, Katie has written books, but I mean, you need to, you might want to turn it into a real business. No, no, no. It’s true. I really, like I’m so focused on the business side of it, that it’s just like, there’s, it kind of goes hand in hand, I guess. I don’t know.Katie Hayoz: 16:15

Yeah. I mean, Olivia, in terms of writing as a business and all that she, she is a lot more experienced. You know, I had some life changes in the past eight years that have taken me away from my writing in a way I didn’t want it to. And now I’m kind of getting back on track. And it’s really great to have somebody like Olivia on my team.Olivia Wildenstein: 16:41

Because Katie has like a bunch of amazing, amazing books she’s been sitting on. Amazing, and she’s just been sitting on them. And I’m hoping this is going to be the like the spark that will, that’ll get her to…Sarina Langer: 16:56

It must have been nice to come back to writing after that break and after all those changes to your life, but then do it for somebody else. It must have been really nice.Katie Hayoz: 17:06

I, you know, I did I did do some writing during that time, it was just, but not, I wasn’t able to focus 100% on it, or even 75% on it. And coming back and, and doing this with Olivia, it’s honestly, it’s really helped my confidence level. And it’s also, I mean, you know, it’s showing me…Olivia Wildenstein: 17:30

That you can do it.Katie Hayoz: 17:31

That I can do it. But it also shows me, I’m not sure if I’m going to do it as well. It’s a heck of a lot of work. This woman works her butt off. I mean, it’s, she does so much work, she’s always working, and so I also-Olivia Wildenstein: 17:45

That’s what my kids say.Katie Hayoz: 17:48

But it also puts things in perspective, and you’re going okay, you know, I look at how well she’s doing and it’s like, okay, but she really, really works for that. It’s not a fluke. It’s, it’s not, there’s, it’s not, there’s a there is a reason that she’s, she’s successful.Olivia Wildenstein: 18:03

I think it’s like every I mean, it’s like in anything. The more you work at it, the the higher you go, but that’s just…Katie Hayoz: 18:10

yeah, so but I’ll be happy with, uh, you know, Midway.Olivia Wildenstein: 18:14

No.Katie Hayoz: 18:15

I don’t want to work as hard as Olivia does. I think, I think I like to sit back and have a cocktail every once in a while.Olivia Wildenstein: 18:24

While You write.Katie Hayoz: 18:26

While I write.Sarina Langer: 18:28

Whatever works!Olivia Wildenstein: 18:29

And it’s great for me to have somebody also that is just loving the ride, because it’s true. Sometimes, like, I get so stressed out by the destination that the ride becomes like, you know, just stressful. And I must say like, I love writing so much. It’s such a passion, that when it gets to the point where it’s stressful, it’s, it takes away all the great things that I mean, that writing has brought to me. And so it’s, so just, you know, it was, it’s always a great reminder that you’re doing this for fun. I mean, ultimately, we’re doing this for fun.Sarina Langer: 19:04

That’s a really lovely thing, I think. I mean, I do think that you probably, you know, you’re really good for each other as well with the whole process because you know, you clearly complement each other very well. And there’s so much that goes into writing and publishing a book, you must have disagreed at one point or another. So how do you… You both, you’re both giving me faces like you haven’t been?Katie Hayoz: 19:31

Well, we disagree, I mean.Olivia Wildenstein: 19:34

But it wasn’t really about anything important. Like it was, you know, maybe it’s something, we didn’t really disagree that much.Katie Hayoz: 19:41

I mean, like, we’ll be like, okay, let’s say like, Olivia sent me a text last night saying like, what about this for the next book, and I’m not going to tell you what it is. But she’s like, Well, what about, Oh, what about this? And then last last night, I’m like, oh, you’re a genius. Yes. And then this morning, I woke up and I’m like, wait a minute. I don’t know if that’s gonna work, you know? And so, today I’m like, I’m not sure. And so we might disagree. We’re disagreeing, but we talk through it. And I don’t know, I guess we’re also lucky in the sense that no one’s like, this is the way it’s gonna be and that’s final. But I also I, you know, I think…Olivia Wildenstein: 20:27

I think we don’t understand how lucky we are to have like, found each other and how we complement each other as well until we try to do it with somebody else. I, it’s drive that, I mean, Katie is the first person I co wrote with. I mean, I love the idea of co writing with somebody else, but it is true that since we know each other in person, that helps a lot. I mean, you know, if it’s a virtual person that you know, it’s not the same relationship already.Katie Hayoz: 20:51

And, and I think it’s also the nature of the project, because I did, I worked on two other collaborations this year, and one was with another woman, but we wrote a series of picture books. And we each wrote, we had four picture books. So each of us took two. So it was still our own little project, you know what I mean? I mean, we’re publishing them together as a series. But like, when people are like, Oh, I like the werewolf one, I’m like hehe. And where, and then I worked on another picture book. It’s a picture book biography of 50, 50 women. And I worked with five authors. And we each had our own chapters, and we kind of, we did critique each other, and we gave feedback, but there was kind of an ownership to it. Whereas I think what’s rare with us is that I don’t feel an ownership to Slate’s chapters necessarily, because, I just, we, I feel an ownership to the book with Olivia, but there’s so much crossover that we don’t own it. And I think there is also, it’s important to have somebody you know, somebody does have to be the leader, in a sense, you have to do that. And, and, for me, I’m like, from the beginning, I’ve decided Olivia’s the leader, whether she knows it or not. And so like I said, you know, I’m like, if we disagree, in the end, you know, I trust Olivia’s decision making, but up until now, we haven’t had any.Olivia Wildenstein: 22:27

We’ve never disagreed. I mean it could happen, but I don’t, I don’t really see on what we’d disagree.Sarina Langer: 22:35

So there’s been no big fights over it. That’s really good to hear.Katie Hayoz: 22:39

No.Sarina Langer: 22:40

I mean, I definitely wasn’t hoping for it. But I think you know, for, for many authors, if they were to try something like this, then sooner or later, they would get to a point where one person really wants to include one chapter and the other author would ultimately say that it doesn’t belong in the book for whatever reason. So I think it’s really nice to see that you both just work together so well that those issues have just never come up.Katie Hayoz: 23:02

I think you know what, this is really good that we’re on your podcast, because this is really making me realise this, like, wow.Sarina Langer: 23:11

I think Olivia was saying just now that you don’t realise how lucky you are to do this together, but I think you’re getting there now.Olivia Wildenstein: 23:17

Exactly. It’s a great strength session right now.Sarina Langer: 23:23

I’m thrilled to hear that. So what would you say was like the most challenging point for you of co writing this book? Although it sounds like there weren’t really any?Katie Hayoz: 23:34

Oh, no, there were challenges.Olivia Wildenstein: 23:36

But not to the co writing, more to the story.Katie Hayoz: 23:39

Well, yeah, to the story. No, but the CO writing, I will say–Olivia Wildenstein: 23:43

We’re getting to the-Sarina Langer: 23:46

It’s all coming ot now.Katie Hayoz: 23:53

No, I will say that there is a certain amount of pressure, because you know, like I like, in the sense of, even though like, Olivia never puts pressure on me. She’s always like, oh, whenever you got it done, or whatever, but you know, you have this chapter and it’s like, ooh, I gotta get this done. I gotta get this back to her and it’s got to be good. And um, I did have, I, this, this year earlier this or last year, whatever. In October, November, I had a serious writer’s block. Am I like, my chapter was just, it took me three weeks. It took me three weeks to write a chapter and it was just crap.Olivia Wildenstein: 24:38

No it wasn’t. I don’t even know which one.Katie Hayoz: 24:42

But and so the pressure for me was like, Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, you know, what if she doesn’t want to work with me anymore, and then, but, it, once we started getting back on track, it just that fades away because, because it’s fun, because we’re, we’re making each other laugh. And because I think we’re not taking the book too seriously. I think, you know, neither of us are trying to write, you know, high literary fiction where we’re gonna win the Booker. I mean, you know, this is, we’re trying to have fun. And we want our readers to have fun. And so, you know, if Slayt and Cadence, you know, sometimes they’re a little ridiculous. Hey, that’s okay. You know, and I think-Olivia Wildenstein: 25:31

Especially Slate.Katie Hayoz: 25:32

Yeah.Sarina Langer: 25:34

I mean, I didn’t think at any point that anything that they did was, you know, was, was weird in any way, or that it shouldn’t have happened or that it was out of character. So, you know, I think you’ve certainly written both of them well enough, and had developed the personalities enough that I always thought oh, you know, well, he would do that. You know, because it’s just, you know, it’s just who they are. So, it really came together very well.Katie Hayoz: 25:59

Well, and that’s the thing too, like, if we write something like, let’s say, I wrote something, and then, you know, Olivia would be like, I don’t know, would he do that? And then Oh, actually, you’re right, he wouldn’t do that. So that also helps to have two voices there.Olivia Wildenstein: 26:10

Yeah. There were some times also with Cadence where I just got a little stuck with her because she was, because she is like, you know, a daddy’s girl. I mean, she is, and she’s 17 and but she’s supposed to be more, you know, very mature, because, you know, homeschooled, but like, started college very young, and has a lot of, takes on a lot of responsibility. And it’s just like, sometimes she just, not annoyed me but I wanted to shake her and I was like, Katie, you shake her because I don’t know what to do with her anymore. It was, um, it was fun for the character growth to actually act upon it, you know, as authors, and our characters act upon the character grows of the other one.Sarina Langer: 26:51

It must have been nice to have that instant feedback right away, you know, if you write a chapter, and then you immediately hear what’s good about it, and if everything still goes in the right direction, that must have been really nice.Olivia Wildenstein: 27:02

Yeah, it is really nice.Katie Hayoz: 27:04

Yeah, it is, actually that’s really what helps us move forward.Olivia Wildenstein: 27:07

Yeah.Katie Hayoz: 27:07

And we do I mean, the other thing is maybe another reason that we work well together is because we already critique each other’s work.Olivia Wildenstein: 27:15

Yeah, for like a couple of years now.Katie Hayoz: 27:17

Yeah. For the past couple years we’ve been…Olivia Wildenstein: 27:19

I think all of my work except my first very first book, Katie has been critiquing it. Yes.Katie Hayoz: 27:26

Everything except Ghostboy, I think. Yeah.Olivia Wildenstein: 27:28

Yep. And I critique the seven versions of the same book that she rewrites and rewrites and rewrites and refuses to publish even though the first version was really good.Katie Hayoz: 27:37

No, it’s on preorder now, it will be coming out. Sometime.Sarina Langer: 27:43

I think it’s certainly come across how well you work together in there. And I mean, for anyone listening, if you are interested in seeing some of those exchanges that you two have had, there are little snippets at the back of the book, where you can read some of the messages that you two have exchanged, which for me, it’s not something I see very often at the back of a book. So it was, for me, it was a really great little addition to it. You know, you don’t often get that insight.Olivia Wildenstein: 28:11

We need to do it for a second one. The thing is, the second book is almost so much easier to write that we haven’t been sending each other enough text messages.Katie Hayoz: 28:18

You’re right. We need to send each other more text messages. It’s just coming along more…Olivia Wildenstein: 28:24

Fluidly.Katie Hayoz: 28:25

Yeah.Sarina Langer: 28:28

Such a hassle when it’s just flowing beautifully.Olivia Wildenstein: 28:31

No one wants that. There’s the expression in French ‘La vie est un lon fleuve tranquille’. A tranqui , a long tranquil river, we ne d to, we need the white riverKatie Hayoz: 28:45

Yeah.Sarina Langer: 28:46

And what would you say were your highlights of doing this book together?Olivia Wildenstein: 28:51

Working as a team, not being all by yourself with your book and with your characters. I mean, it’s really, it’s really fun, because it’s such a lonely job when you think of it. Even though you have so many virtual friends and imaginary ones, but it’s, it was fun to do it as a team, like to… Yeah, for me, that was my…Katie Hayoz: 29:12

Yeah, I mean, it was fun for me to do it as a team. And I’ve also, I’ve learned a lot from Olivia about just, you know, writing as a business and also, I think just, you know, how to put things together and make it you know, keep it moving, keep the momentum going forward. UmOlivia Wildenstein: 29:38

Yeah, I know, it’s just beenKatie Hayoz: 29:39

It’s been fun.Olivia Wildenstein: 29:41

It’s been fun.Katie Hayoz: 29:42

I guess like it Yeah, there were moments where like, but those are usually because we’re stuck on the story or something like that, but it has nothing to do with-Olivia Wildenstein: 29:54

I think Sarina wanted a Jerry Springer like interview and… Watch out, my tea’s very hot.Sarina Langer: 30:08

So obviously, I know that you’re both working on the sequel now, and you’re hoping that will be out later this year. But apart from this series, is co writing a book something that you would do again?Olivia Wildenstein: 30:19

Yes.Katie Hayoz: 30:20

Yes.Sarina Langer: 30:20

Immediately. I think that’s the fastest answer that I’ve had from you.Katie Hayoz: 30:26

No, yes. No, I’m telling you, I still this should be a trilogy. But, but that was, maybe we couldOlivia Wildenstein: 30:34

We could still potentially turn it into a trilogy.Katie Hayoz: 30:37

We could. We have to see how this one ends. It might be perfectly good just there.Olivia Wildenstein: 30:42

Yeah. Yeah. Especially since you know, at the end of book one, since you have read book one, it sort of ends on a cliffhanger, but not really. And readers detest cliffhangers. I don’t know why because as a reader, I kind of like them, they’re,Sarina Langer: 30:57

I do, I love cliffhangers. I mean, we, we had a question about that in an interview that I’ve done a couple of weeks ago about plotting your whole trilogy before you start writing it. And one of the questions that we got in that was, um, is it okay to end a book on a cliffhanger? And we you know, we were both saying that we could talk about cliffhangers forever because we both absolutely love cliffhangers. You know, we, so, I don’t know, I don’t understand when readers don’t enjoy cliffhangers because for me, they add so much excitement, you know.Olivia Wildenstein: 31:29

It makes you want to pick up the next book, but until the second book is out, some people are kind of against them, I guess. I think they’re a little kinder once the second book is out and they get the answers.Katie Hayoz: 31:42

Yeah, I get it. Because it’s kind of like, you know, when I want to binge a series on Netflix, and there’s only season one or season two, I prefer to watch the older stuff where all six seasons are on there, and I can just binge it in one thing. I guess that’s kind of what it is.Sarina Langer: 31:59

That’s very satisfying to do. I think as long as you tie up all the major plot points so that the cliffhanger isn’t something that you really should have wrapped up, that’s probably fine.Olivia Wildenstein: 32:14

We didn’t leave anything hanging because I didn’t want to figure out how to shut it. Like how to tie it up. We really, I mean, we left there’s a couple plotlines, you know where you’re not 100% sure about Rainier’s motivation or what he did, but we know exactly what he did. We just didn’t want to give it.Sarina Langer: 32:34

I mean, to me, it certainly didn’t feel like the plot was unfinished when I read your book, you know, I definitely felt that the story in that book was over and everything and wrapped up really well. But there was also the promise there of something else that could happen in the next book. But you know, equally if you did leave it there, I wouldn’t feel like I didn’t get the answers that I wanted.Olivia Wildenstein: 32:57

We’re happy to hear that.Katie Hayoz: 32:58

Yeah.Sarina Langer: 32:59

Good. And erm, so just one last question. Now, do you have any tips for authors who are interestin– interested in co writing a book?Olivia Wildenstein: 33:10

Never forget that it’s just supposed to be fun. I mean, honestly, if you view it as anything else, I think, I’m not even sure if you can get a book written if you view it as a job. Or if you view it as an obligation or… That’s mine. You have to come up with your own advice.Sarina Langer: 33:32

It’s fine to just second it.Katie Hayoz: 33:34

I piggyback on that. No, I would say, I mean, I agree with that. But I also, seeing as I have worked with other authors and it was a job. I mean, like, there was one where we worked for a publisher, and it was a job, it was like you had to get your word count in and you had to do this and that, I think more of it is going back to the thing where you can’t be precious. You just, you know, it is something where you, you have to let go when you’re working with someone else and respect their opinion. And if you can’t respect what they have to say about your writing, you shouldn’t be in a partnership with them.Olivia Wildenstein: 34:18

But I think it’s like a critique partner. I mean, if you already have that relationship with the person, like you’re fine. But again, if you really are attached to something, you need to be able also to talk it out and like you know, insist that it stays.Katie Hayoz: 34:31

Or talk out why and the other person say why, why not, and you know.Olivia Wildenstein: 34:35

You have to find a middle ground.Katie Hayoz: 34:36

Yeah, compromise, you know, yeah,Olivia Wildenstein: 34:38

It’s a relationship like any other. It’s a little easier than most relationships.Katie Hayoz: 34:44

Yeah, cuz I’ll have to cook for you. Yeah, you were my cooking you would definitely.Olivia Wildenstein: 34:52

Fine, fine.Sarina Langer: 34:54

I think those are both very good pieces of advice. I mean, one of my books now is with critique partners and for me, it was a very different book to write. So, you know, I immediately went in thinking, I don’t know if the whole thing is gonna work at all. So, you know, as always, I suppose you just need to be open to that feedback. And that if there is something, say, if one of you says, this really doesn’t work for me, but you really like it, you know, that you can then talk it through and say why doesn’t it work for you? How might we be able to adapt it? Because for me, this is quite an important point.Katie Hayoz: 35:25

Exactly. Yeah, there has to be, there definitely has to be a lot of respect between the two of you.Olivia Wildenstein: 35:29

Yeah, and pick your critique, especially when it’s like your, I don’t know if this is your first book that’s in beta reading, or no?Sarina Langer: 35:35

Oh no, no, this will be… To be honest, I’m not entirely sure, it would be either the seventh for the tenth depending on what comes out first.Olivia Wildenstein: 35:43

So it’s somebody you know, just because sometimes you will also get advice from people who are not always in the exact same industry, not industry, like the part of the industry as you let’s say, like they don’t specifically write, you know, they’ll write high and literary books, and it’s just like, it’s not exactly the same genre. So just make sure like you, I don’t know, you pick and choose the person that gives you advice. It’s also…Sarina Langer: 36:08

Yeah. I mean, every time–Katie Hayoz: 36:11

It’s about respect, I mean, it’s like, you know, you have to also, you can’t, if they say, Oh, I don’t like this, you don’t.. But it’s really important to you, you also need to say why and and, you know, you might have to fight for it and maybe in the end, it’s worth it, maybe in the end it’s not. Like you said, you know, we have a discussion.Sarina Langer: 36:30

Yeah, I mean, that’s probably also why it’s important to get the different people on there. Because I think if you only have one other person giving feedback on it, maybe someone who’s completely different to what you do, then that’s not necessarily going to give you the best kind of insight. But because you’ve both written your book together, you immediately get that feedback and you can immediately talk it through and try to, you know, to sort it out if there is something, although, as we’ve seen earlier, you just never really disagreed on anything so it wasn’t the problem for you anyway.Katie Hayoz: 37:01

I think we probably disagreed, but not in the sense that, I mean, like, you know, there were things that we… Yeah, but we managed, we managed to work it out right away. It’s not, it never became a problem. It was like, Oh, I didn’t think of that. Okay, so then what do you think?Olivia Wildenstein: 37:19

We’re both passive aggressive, so it’s…Sarina Langer: 37:24

I think that’s a good point to end on being passive aggressive. Well, thank you so much. Thank you so much for talking to me about co writing the book today. I really appreciate it that you’ve taken the time out for it.Katie Hayoz: 37:41

Thank you for having us!Olivia Wildenstein: 37:41

Thank you, Sarina. Thank you for having us.Sarina Langer: 37:44

Thank you so much for coming onto my podcast, I appreciate it. And erm, yeah, thank you so much, and bye bye.Olivia Wildenstein: 37:51

Bye.Katie Hayoz: 37:51

Bye.Sarina Langer: 37:56

If you enjoyed todays episode, maybe learn something along the way, hit the subscribe button. You can also connect with me on Twitter @sarina_langer, on Instagram and Facebook @sarinalangerwriter, and of course on my website at sarinalanger.com. Until next time! Bye!


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