Thursday, January 10, 2013

Coming Soon.....

Okay... the published cover will feature Saint's name in the primary position... but this copy is all I've got!

Within the next few weeks I’ll be the proud author of another published novel.  Bee Dazzle is its name and it’s a ‘collaborative effort’ between two writers.  I’m one of them.  My friend Eugene Saint is the other.

Saint is from Tennessee.  Although he and I have been friends for three years, we’ve never met in person.  I owe our association to my pal Jack; that Scotsman now living in Australia who has been the springboard for many wonderful long-distance friendships.  Jack and Saint ‘met’ on an online authors’ site and after the two men corresponded for awhile, Saint decided to send Jack an autographed copy of his ‘Coming of Age’ novel, The Eggless Club.  That was almost four years ago and I didn’t know anything about Saint at that time – but I remember when Jack wrote to me one Saturday to tell me that he spent a good part of his day lazing in the hammock while reading an ‘excellent little book’ sent to him by an American author named Eugene Saint. 

Fast-forward a few months to January, 2010.  Jack – who always looks out for his pal ‘Kaz’ – emailed, telling me of a website where authors read and critiqued each others’ work.  I checked it out and – always doing what Jack advises [except when he’s DEAD WRONG] – I enrolled as a member.  Within hours, I got a message from an old guy named ‘Saint’.

“Hi, Karen.  Welcome to the site!  Hey, some of us have a game of ‘writers’ tag’ going and we’re looking for people to participate.  Hope you’ll check it out!”  

Well, I checked it out…and then signed up to play.

The rules were simple: There were no rules!  One writer composed an opening ‘post’ in the style and genre of their choosing and then ‘tagged’ another player – who would then have to continue the story without any collaboration with the previous writer and without any idea of their intent or vision or plot.  I was told that the scheme was to try to write the other players ‘into a corner’ so that they would have to use their skill and imagination to get themselves back out.

That first game –which included 5 other writers – was fun (but rather weird).  I quickly realized that Saint was talented, intelligent – and the most wicked sort of troublemaker!  He had the ability to make me laugh out loud – even while he aggravated and insulted me.  How could I resist such charm?

Saint and I, along with various other writers, participated in several games of Tag but a busy home life and work schedule kept me from ‘playing’ as often as I wanted.  Eventually someone suggested a variation to the game: a contest where several teams consisting of only two writers created short stories and let readers choose their favorite ‘Tag’. 

Saint and I teamed-up…and Bee Dazzle was born.

We authors all agreed that our own work product in each Tag would remain our personal ‘intellectual’ property.  For example: everything I wrote in each collaborative work belonged to me, only – and could be used/re-worked/published by me; exclusive of the others’ contributions.
Eugene Saint (and Wibby...)

By the time the site folded, Saint and I were firm (if somewhat adversarial) friends.  We decided to use our own bits and pieces of the individual Tags to create original novels.  Bee Dazzle – being a short story – seemed like the best choice for a ‘trial run’ at co-writing.

In truth, it’s been a hellish experience.  Saint is opinionated, sarcastic…and he thinks he’s ALWAYS RIGHT.  On the other hand, I AM always right… but have had to cede him some small concessions due to my desire to keep his blood pressure within life-sustaining range.  He has yet to acknowledge the fact that co-authoring with me is good for his image – but I expect that that humble and appropriate homage will be paid to me in due time (i.e., when hell freezes over.)

Bee Dazzle is the result of a light-hearted game in which two authors battled it out in a public forum.  I wrote the first ‘post’ but had no idea where it would go from there.  I STILL don’t know where it went – but I do know that every time I read this collaborative story…I smile.  Sometimes I even laugh out loud.

But I’ll never admit that to Saint. It’s bad enough that he thinks he’s God’s gift to the literary world.  It simply wouldn’t do for him to know that he’s been an amazing gift to me, as well.   

Bee Dazzle has been type-cast in the “Chick Lit” genre –which tickles ME…but which must irritate poor old Saint!  A ‘google’ search defines Chick Lit as “smart, fun fiction for and/or about women of all ages…revolv(ing) around jobs, children, motherhood, romance, fame…friendship…and much more, usually with a touch of humor thrown in.”

Our novel was an ‘off the cuff’ endeavor but it surely fits within the confines of the ‘Chick Lit’ definition. I can live with that.  As ornery as Saint is, I suspect that he can, too.

We hope you’ll agree…because we surely can’t!

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations! I remember reading the 'first draft.' I can't wait to see the published version!