rita ackerman

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Partners In Writing


Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter Spring Event: Part III

A few years ago I attended a book discussion and signing by two local authors who had partnered in writing a book about a ghost in Sedona, Arizona:  The Ghost Wore Polyester. It was a fun read. We didn’t stay in touch but later I ran into one of them at one of the Desert Sleuths events. We’ve been in touch ever since and now, just this month she has a new book out with a new partner:  Stealing the Moon and Stars by Sally J. Smith and Jean Steffens. 

Sally and Jean spoke at Desert Sleuths on working with a partner and shared many valuable tips.

As a team they get together three days a week to write side-by-side at the computer. They also share marketing and other duties of being authors. They work with an outline and keep a bible or lexicon of each scene and event in the book in a Word document. They also keep a timeline from chapter to chapter. These tools keep them on track and help them avoid inconsistencies. Each character also gets a detailed biography back to their great grandparents and their own timeline.

Before they reached this point they were able to identify their own strengths and weaknesses. They sealed the decisions in a collaboration agreement before they set anything to paper/computer. Writing for a partner isn’t for everyone but Sally and Jean have a great thing going.

“Readers are fussy and they are smart and they will call you on it.” Sally J. Smith





  1. Sally J Smith says:

    Thanks for the promo, Rita. Will share it everywhere. 🙂

    Sally Sent from mt iPad


  2. Thank you for the nice write up, Rita.

  3. I am in awe of writers that can write a book as a team. I don’t think I could ever do that!

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