Amie and Meg: How We Met
When it comes to questions we get asked often, right up there with “where do you get your inspiration” is “how do you guys write together? The short answer is that we alternate chapters and points of view, but that’s the super simple version. To understand our process, you have to understand how we met, became friends, and started writing together.
The first thing you need to know is this: we are geeks. Like, seriously, guys. Not only have we both been space/survival/fantasy/dragon/time travel/explorer nerds since we were tiny, but we’re also gamers and fangirls and proud of it.
So let’s rewind nine years and visit a little online roleplaying game set in the world of Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series. See some familiar faces? Yep. That’s us, meeting for the first time. We were both newcomers to that game, and didn’t know anyone. We met while creating our characters, and in an effort to not be alone, latched onto each other and decided our characters knew each other as children, and are just meeting each other as adults for the first time.
(Dear Past Meg, the answer to your question is: EXTREMELY FUN.)
This is a conversation we had on the day we met. And yes, this is a screencap of the actual conversation, with only the names blocked out because we may someday write about these characters and this story that started us writing together. As you can see, we literally became friends while planning a starcrossed, love-to-hate-to-love romance between our characters.
To this day, we still plan and begin writing each book by roleplaying our characters. We started off writing characters in another author’s world—think interactive fanfiction—and then moved on to creating our own worlds.
(The corresponding scene from the final version is on p. 234-235 of These Broken Stars.)
Our first “draft” is really the pages and pages of logs we have from playing these scenes together, in which neither one of us is taking over. The conversations our characters have and the choices they make are things that we decide on together, on the fly, based on what the other character is doing. It’s as close as we can get to watching the actual characters come to life and tell us how to write their stories.
Once we’ve played out enough scenes and scenarios for us to know our characters backwards and forwards, we move on to drafting. And only then do we start splitting up the work by chapter. But as you can see, a lot of the dialogue and the general story still comes from what we roleplayed. Drafting just puts it into a more traditionally readable form. (And cuts out about 100,000 words of conversations that never make it into the final book!)
It’s honestly some of the most fun you can possibly have typing words on a keyboard. It says something that we did this just with each other, just for fun, with no one paying us or giving us any kind of affirmation, for over six years before it ever occurred to us that maybe we were writing things other people might want to read. Even if we never sold another book, we’d keep doing this for fun the rest of our lives.
But, you know. If you keep reading them, we’ll keep selling them. Because that’s a hell of a lot of fun too.
This Shattered World
by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
The second installment in the epic Starbound trilogy introduces a new pair of star-crossed lovers on two sides of a bloody war.
Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac should never have met.
Lee is captain of the forces sent to Avon to crush the terraformed planet’s rebellious colonists, but she has her own reasons for hating the insurgents.
Rebellion is in Flynn’s blood. Terraforming corporations make their fortune by recruiting colonists to make the inhospitable planets livable, with the promise of a better life for their children. But they never fulfilled their promise on Avon, and decades later, Flynn is leading the rebellion.
Desperate for any advantage in a bloody and unrelentingly war, Flynn does the only thing that makes sense when he and Lee cross paths: he returns to base with her as prisoner. But as his fellow rebels prepare to execute this tough-talking girl with nerves of steel, Flynn makes another choice that will change him forever. He and Lee escape the rebel base together, caught between two sides of a senseless war.
Don’t forget to visit the other tour stops!
Monday, December 8 The Midnight Garden Secrets of Starbound: Characters
Tuesday, December 9 The Book Smugglers Making an Audiobook
Wednesday, December 10 Ivy Book Bindings Secrets of Starbound: Science and Settings
Thursday, December 11 Cuddlebuggery How Amie & Meagan Met
Friday, December 12 Little Book Owl Video Interview
Tuesday, December 16 Xpresso Reads Starbound Inspirations
Wednesday, December 17 A Book Utopia Video: Your New Book Boyfriend
Thursday, December 18 Supernatural Snark Q & A
Friday, December 19 Love is Not a Triangle Gender in Science Fiction
Amie and Meg are hosting a giveaway which you can enter below!
Rafflecopter code: a Rafflecopter giveaway
LOVE how they bring characters to life!! It’s such a unique way of getting to know their characters, and I love how it’s like improv in a way.
I hope they publish part of the dialogue scenes they’ve written and go on to write the story about the love to hate to love romance!!
thank you so very much 🙂
Jade @ Bedtime Bookworm
Wow how interesting! I love their process! I used to do some online role playing back in the day, but it was based on the Redwall series (little forrest animals walking and talking, fun!). It was back when message boards were a big thing. You would show up to the message board and post something about your character showing up and just wait, hoping someone else would be online at the same time too. Oh, the memories! I have GOT to read this series.
Jade @ Bedtime Bookworm recently posted…Goodreads Choice Awards 2014
Oh wow! This is SO COOL! Me and my first CP also RPd characters and then moved on to original characters and then started writing as well. So much fun! 🙂
Ellie recently posted…Top 10 books that stayed with me
Seriously you guys make it impossible to wait any longer for TSW! I’m already obsessing over Flynn!! Can’t wait!!
I always wondered how two people could author a book because how can two people be so totally on the same page that they can create a perfectly cohesive novel? I guess Amie and Meagan are my answer to that question! They’re different but they get each other and they seem to work wonderfully together as authors.
So cool to see two friends living their dreams!
This two ladies are just too awesome!! =D
Pili recently posted…Waiting On Wednesday #72!!
This sounds like the best prize ever! Can’t wait for the second book to come out – thanks for the new details!
Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally
There was a RPG based on The Dragonriders of Pern? How did I miss that? It’s great to get a peek into Meagan and Aime’s first meeting and seeing how they write their books together. Role-playing their characters is an amazing way to start writing and it makes total sense now that they would write such full-bodied characters.
But seriously, I am so excited to read This Shattered World. I’m ready to have my mind-blown by Aime and Meagan again and to fall for two more characters as they fall for each other.
Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally recently posted…Throwback Thursday Review: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Fun process, it’s always amazing when you find someone who understands and see your characters and world the same way you do.
I seriously can’t wait for this book!!
maganbagan recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday: Ignite by Sara B. Larson
I hear These Broken Stars is a really good book based off of the review on GoodReads. I hope to pick the first book up sometime soon!
Fantastic post! I enjoyed reading These Broken Stars. I didn’t really know what to expect, but it really was a great read. One of my favorites of the year.
Lauren recently posted…Scowler by Daniel Kraus – Review
Awww the story about how Megan and Amie met was so cute!! I hope to one day co-author a book with my best friend; it sounds like a lot of fun. Can’t wait to read This Shattered World!
I was surprised by how much I loved These Broken Stars. I would never have guessed it was cowritten, because the narrative flowed so smoothly! I’m in awe that such a thing could happen (I tried cowriting once- and it ruined the friendship and the book wallowed and died). I’m looking forward to meeting Jubilee and Flynn, and I’ll be trying not to expect too much or compare them to Tarver and Lilac (which would be unfair). 🙂
Beth W recently posted…Book Review: Just Ella
It’s so cool to read about how they met and how that turned into all of this. I also hope they turn that dialogue into a full fleshed out story!
I loved learning about how you met and how you write together! It’s seriously so fun to see your process all laid out, and I loved the detail 😉
Alexa S. recently posted…The Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Tag
This Shattered World
[…] Secrets of Starbound: Science and Settings Thursday, December 11 Cuddlebuggery How Amie & Meagan Met Friday, December 12 Little […]
This series is honestly one of the best YA sic-fi series EVER and if This Shattered World has half the amount of intense and heartbreaking moments as These Broken Stars, it will be completely amazing.
Inspirations for This Shattered World & Giveaway! | Xpresso Reads
[…] The Book Smugglers Wednesday, December 10 – Ivy Book Bindings Thursday, December 11 – Cuddlebuggery Friday, December 12 – Little Book Owl Monday, December 15 – Mundie Moms Tuesday, […]
Great post! I loved These Broken Stars and I’m really looking forward to This Shattered World:) I’ve recommended this series to like 30 different people.
Alyssa Susanna (The Eater of Books!)
Nine years is a long time! I love author friendship turned co-authoring 🙂 I can’t wait to read book three of this series! TBS, TNSD, andTSW were amazing 🙂
Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!
Alyssa Susanna (The Eater of Books!) recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday (#103): The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey
Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction
Love that these two met in a roleplaying game! How fun!
Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction recently posted…5 Star Review & Giveaway – This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
I love seeing people’s processes in writing books, especially when there’s more than one author working on it. these two are adorable and i’d love to have coffee with them!
Jen K recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday: I’ll Meet You There
Quote Stop + Giveaway: This Shattered World – Amie Kaufman + Meagan Spooner
[…] Wednesday, 12/10 Ivy Book Boundings: Secrets of Starbound: Science and Settings Thursday, 12/11 Cuddlebuggery: How Amie & Meagan Met Friday, 12/12 Little Book Owl: Video Interview Monday, 12/15 Mundie […]
I can’t wait!!!
That is so cool that you two met on a roleplaying game! AUTHOR GOALS.
So excited! TSW COMES OUT TOMORROW.
Kelsey recently posted…Blog Tour for THIS SHATTERED WORLD
Playing out the scenes in the books is an ingenious way of defining the characters! More tricks for writers – can’t get enough of those. I love this series of books – and these authors are just wonderful folk.
It is so interesting to see their process. I also love that they roleplay!
I’ve never heard of authors writing this way and that is so incredibly cool!
I never knew that role-playing writing was a thing, and it is awesome! This post really nails home the idea that these women put so much time and effort into their books to me, and I really love it.