Deadly Ever After

Archive for the tag “undead duo”

The Undead Interview: The Undead Duo Regroups

TODAY’S BREW: Kristen and I will begin consumption of alllll the Godiva Pumpkin Spice

By Julie

But really both of us

I’m just the one typing and it’s at my apartment.

Kristen and I became the Undead Duo when we started writing our vampire books together three and a half years ago, though we’ve been friends since we were both frizzy haired pre-teens living in the same apartment complex. We started this blog to document our writing journey as friends, as then unpublished, unagented writers starting from scratch.

Life changed. So we’re going to do a series of blog posts, a Then and Now-er to show you a few things:

  • There is no worse mistake than not trying.
  • When you don’t like the rules, change them. Scowl at those who protest.
  • The Undead Duo is still a duo, baby.
  • There’s more than one way to skin a book. You get it. You know what I mean. Stop that.

So, we’re kicking this sucker off with a Duo Interview. A few questions we came up with that we’ll both answer.

How is writing going now that we don’t get together 2 or 3 times a week to beat each other over the head and motivate one another?

(paraphrased, because we’re sitting together on my couch right now discussing this.) We’re both a lot busier than we used to be, and so our writing dates are rare these days. We both miss getting together, having a beer or 4 and writing until the wee hours together, but these days Kristen has two full time jobs between makeup and book writing/marketing. I’ve got two kids on two different school schedules, one of which has OCD and hyperactivity, plus I’ve been doing developmental editing consistently in addition to always writing a book.

The point of all this is WE STILL ALWAYS ARE WRITING BOOKS. Circumstances have changed, but we got each other into routines, and we know that if the other isn’t writing for a period something is wrong. Usually we see that in more ways than one, because if you’ve ever taken writing away from the writer, you’ll see that it gets ugly reeaaallly fast. Writing is a part of our professional lives now, and it’s because we made it that way. While we still hang out together and still have our hands in the other’s work, we have a routine in our own lives now that we created together.

As Kristen said, “I no longer need daily goals, that if I don’t reach I know you’re going to kick my butt, I do it because these characters are kicking the inside of my skull.  The words come pretty easily, as long as I can sit down and write them. Where before I would have been really proud of a 200 word day, 2000 words is more the norm now.”

How is your writing approach different now than it was a few years ago?

Kristen: “Before if I hit 1000 words it was an event, something to be congratulated. Now it’s part of my daily life, the words need to come out.”

Julie: “I lived on a 1000 word a day diet for quite some time, getting up at 5 in the morning to get my word count in, or going to Kristen’s to have some quiet. Now my words happen at different times of the day, and there’s no way to have the utter concentration I once did. So I edit, I revise, I commit to getting it on paper throughout the day.”

What’s different and what’s the same?

Kristen: “The delivery method. I’m no longer looking for an agent or a publisher, I’m seeking no one’s approval. Self-publishing is a small business that I’m running. I have a lot more responsibility now that circles around the writing.  I commission my editors and designers.  I set all release dates and approve all marketing.  If something isn’t working, I don’t have to lump it any more. I change it. I can try new things.  I’ve always been a bit of a control freak, and this is perfect for me.  I’m much happier on my own than I was chasing an ideal that I’m not convinced really exists.”

Julie: “What’s the same is that I write what I want, what’s speaking to me no matter what the trend. What’s different is now I know that I don’t need to kiss agent ass in order to find one. My agent saw spark in my work, and he was into it and into me. It had nothing to do with trying to impress. I also know that there are a lot of ways to get a book out, and every book might require a different way. The Shinigami series is published through Books of the Dead Press. The Harpy is being marketed to larger publishers through my agent. The Animal has a different path and timing. And who knows about the one I’m working on now? What I do know is that my books will come out one way or the other. There is no try, there is only do.”

We began taking every step of the writing journey together, from first draft to querying agents, to posting our books online for critique, but we’ve ended up in very different places. Why do you think that is?

Kristen: “I think different opportunities presented themselves to us at very different times, and we had different needs and goals even if we didn’t realize it. We both wanted our books out but that meant something different for both of us and we didn’t know what we didn’t know. And once we were both published, success looked very different to each of us. And in some ways we were both so grateful to have books out that we never dared to talk about what else we wanted. We both found success to be in different things.”

Julie: “I agree. I think we needed the support and it was hugely helpful to go through publication being able to see the differences between my path through small press at that time and yours through being put on submission with larger publishers through an agent, then self-publishing. It’s helped me learn allllll the options out there and make a more educated decision for each one of my books. Starting together and taking parallel paths made me realize that the rules are always changing in publishing and I can make that work for me.”

Well, that’s it! Our Undead Interview for this week and next week we’ll dive into what our expectations were up until this point and what we actually got. We’ll pick over our choices and mistakes and maybe get a little ugly. See you then.

Advertisements

Julie Gets Sappy About Kristen: BECAUSE THE NIGHT release

TODAY’S BREW: Ironically, Hazelnut, The Kristen Killer

By Julie

If you had told Kristen and I a year ago that our books would be in the hands of the public now, I don’t know that either of us would be able to pick our jaws up off the floor long enough to kiss you.

Now here we are, counting the minutes until Kristen’s book, BECAUSE THE NIGHT, is undead and kicking.

You’ve been reading us. You know we’re excited and proud, and how much we care about each other. This means a lot to both of us. To make our dreams, and in Kristen’s case, her literal dreams, come alive this way, it’s more than either of us ever expected. And yet, we expect a lot of ourselves, and therefore, each other. We expect excellence of each other, always have. And when we didn’t get it, we’d say so. It makes for ugly moments between us, and we come out all the stronger for it. We’re family.

I’ve known Kristen since she was a little girl with a ginormous personality that I could argue never quite fit where it was. She was just wrong for Catholic school, too big for high school, different from college. She lives better in her mind, and with BECAUSE THE NIGHT you get a look inside. Consider yourselves lucky.

I’m proud of her for doing everything she’s wanted to do, no matter how hard it was or what it did to her. She does everything that needs to be done. Kristen sets her sights and does it. She does it if it’s across the country. She does it if it doesn’t make sense. She does it if it makes her physically ill. She does it if it’s the hardest thing she can imagine. She’s more resilient than anyone on the planet, and her strength is all wrapped up in this bubbly blonde package that could outlast anyone in a test of emotional fortitude or in a Zumba class.

Kristen, you’ve always forged your own path and gods be damned that stood in your way. All of the people who are missing this in person aren’t really missing it; they were here to watch you decide to be great, and you’re doing it.

Go Road Trippin’ With The Undead Duo

Today’s Brew: Wild Blueberry Mountain or something like that. It smells like blueberries. It tastes like coffee.

20130301-220343.jpg

Julie and I contributed a story to our wonderful friend and awesome writer Chynna Blue Scott’s Blog.  It is the last of her supernatural guest series featuring paranormal shorts by Chynna as well as a host of other talented writers.  Go check out How It Didn’t End by us, and stick around to see the rest of the stories too.  You won’t be sorry!

Everything You Wanted to Know About the Undead Duo and Some Things You Didn’t

TODAY’S BREW: For Julie Sam Adams.  Kristen is on straight coffee.  It is 8PM.

December was fun.  The Nightmares Before Christmas was a lot of fun. But Kristen and I were very quiet for the whole month.  And we aren’t good at that.  It’s time for you to see what we do and how we write.  Get excited about getting to know us.  We are super fantastic.

We are, once again, writing this post passing the laptop back and forth, so enjoy trying to figure out who the hell is speaking.

OUR HUMBLE BEGINNINGS
The Undead Duo was not always such.  We were once awkward children the ages of 9 and 10 that lived in an apartment complex with a kick ass pool, sledding hill that could have killed many children (and did maim Kristen’s arm), tennis court turned roller skating rink, and the best games of neighborhood wide hide and seek that you could imagine.  As teenagers, we scrounged change  and hit the road to go to concerts, graced our presence at parties we had no business being at (or any business living to tell about), and started writing as a way to entertain ourselves.  In our day, sonny, there was no internet.  We just had Headbanger’s Ball on MTV and a notebook to entertain ourselves.  We never really grew up per se, but we did get older.  Both Julie and I did time as retail managers for the same extremely well known lingerie company.  After years in retail purgatory, we both escaped and began to write together again.

THE ODD COUPLE UNITE
I almost said the weirdest thing about us, but that’s not true….one of the oddest things about us as a duo is that we are beyond totally different.  I mean, there isn’t a whole lot more different than we are.  There are many many differences which we shall chronicle in part here.

Kristen: hair band lover

Julie: punk enthusiast

Kristen: great cook

Julie: would die without pizza delivery

Kristen: enjoys cowboys

Julie: does not.

Kristen: enjoys fancy drinks

Julie: enjoys beer, much beer

Kristen:  has a bird

Julie: has reptiles and Mexican dog

Kristen: reads erotica, paranormal, dirty rock n’ roll biographies

Julie: reads sci fi, horror, paranormal

Kristen: house decorated in authentic 70’s decor

Julie: lives in Legoland

Kristen:  digs chick flicks and comedy movies

Julie: digs horror and Kung Fu n=movies

Kristen: night-writing with a plan

Julie: raw morning writing

Kristen: goes to zumba classes

Julie: a martial arts champion

Kristekn: is a football savant

Julie:  preferes hockey and boxing

This all culminates in Julie being the Wildcard and the Muscle of this operation, and Kristen being the Brains and Beauty.

FUN FACT

Julie attempted to sell Kristen off in marriage to a hot dog vending gentleman on the streets of Manhattan.

WHAT, NOW YOU WRITE BOOKS?

Julie-I, the Muscle/Wildcard began my book while on maternity leave with my first child.  An emotional crash test dummy, I spent 8 weeks nursing, watching the Departed and over and over, and finally giving in and reading Twilight.   Once I saw my favorite actor become one of my favorite comic superheroes, Iron Man, and heard the Kings of Leon’s Closer, it all fell into place.  Out of these unrelated events, a trilogy in the making was born.

Kristen-I got drunk on July Fourth and had a dream about a girl trying to make her way in Las Vegas.  I felt so strongly about it I actually moved to Las Vegas to research my story.  Turns out, I think my friend left Showgirls on while I slept off my drinking.  But the attempt to write a book was born.  All my life, I would make up stories to get my mind off of the drama of the day so I could go the f&%k to sleep.  I combined those characters and my experiences in Las Vegas to write Immortal Dilemma.

So, one fine day I let it out that I, Julie, had been working on a novel, and Kristen had been quietly doing the same.  While mine was finished…completely in longhand…Kristen was just getting started on hers.  We decided to work together on the  goal of getting them ready for the world, and started right away.  Kristen was hashing out her ideas, and I was just trying to get them out of various notebooks into one laptop. We committed to regularly scheduled writing dates, and dude, we did it.

A TYPICAL MEETING OF THE MINDS

We meet in sweatpants.  This is always how it is.  Pajamas or sweatpants.  This is how writers write.  There is coffee if we are writing original content.  There is alcohol for queries and synopses.  It’s always at Kristen’s place, because my place has kids in it.  We meet halfway on music and listen to alternative something or other.  The bird cheers us on.  Pizza is involved.  And we feel really, really bad if we don’t accomplish a crap ton of stuff.  I read Kristen’s stuff, and tell her to get more raw.  She reads mine and tells me to stop describing stuff.  But mostly we agree on things.  And we both care about the other’s success.  It’s fun, and not all about fun at the same time.  One thing that we both do exceedingly well is take shit over.  We do it a lot.  So it works to our favor that we forge ahead no matter what the circumstances, and keep each other afloat.  Winning.

FOR OUR NEXT TRICK…

We get things done.  Both Running Home and Immortal Dilemma are complete.  Both of us have sequels in the works, titled Running Away and Immortal Forever.  Kristen has also completed a prequel novella, and Julie has started two completely different new works.  We created this blog as a show case for all things related to our books, and anything else we damn please.

WHAT CAN THE UNDEAD DUO DO FOR YOU?

Expect a good time.  We will post our own short stories often.  Individually, we write very differently, but when we pass the notebook back and forth lunacy ensues.  We want to continue writing our short series The Plan, which we gave a second installment of on Christmas.  We both are freakishly excited to write some short stories involving our novels’ characters, and there will be plenty of surprises to be had there.  You can hear about our writing process, a bunch of stuff on vampire mythology and whatnot, some work from you guys, and any stuff we like because nobody can tell us not to.  Sit back and enjoy the ride.

 

 

 

Post Navigation