C0-WRITING: Bringing it to Life By Will Zeilinger and Janet Elizabeth Lynn

[This blog post was originally scheduled to be out around mid-February to coincide with the three month anniversary of my website. As John Lennon so famously said, "Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans." I apologize, to you, and to our guest bloggers, for it being late.Today I have a guest blog written by two of the finest people that I know. I'll let their work speak for itself. Janet and Will, take it away!]

Writing can be a solitary occupation.  Janet and I started writing novels individually over a decade ago.  We’re fortunate that as husband and wife we have each other to discuss ideas and answer questions that come up in our writing.

Every writer needs to have someone in their life to help out when tackling something as formidable as a novel. Even those doing NANOWRIMO can use a second pair of eyes, or a listening ear.

Don’t ever think any of the famous authors you’ve admired have done it all themselves. While their writing partners, proofreaders, muses, assistants, or whatever they call them, may go unnamed, they do exist. One of the places that can give you a hint to their identity is on the dedication page. Hidden somewhere in those names are those who helped get the novel written. It may end up being their editor, but they did not do it unassisted.

This is one of the reasons we began co-writing. We figured that since we were helping each other out with story ideas, word choice, grammar and beta reading for our individual novels, why not write a novel together?

After our first book came out, the questions started. "How exactly does this work?" people would ask. One of us would answer "What? You mean writing?" They would point a finger at the two of us and say, "No. I mean this—writing together. How exactly do you do it?"

We gladly explain that first, we each have different strengths. Those may include plotting, dialog, grammar, or scene descriptions. Next, we try to explain that the story has priority. It is a living thing.  Who gets credit for writing or editing what part is not the issue. Most importantly, we check our egos at the door and let the story come to life.

If you are pursuing a solo writing career or if you think co-writing might be your thing, remember that you will always need someone else. Finding a partner or whatever you want to call them is important to your personal life and to your writing life.

Janet and I still write independent of each other and it shows in the voice of what we write.  Our co-written pieces sound very different from either of our solo works.

Co-writing was an experiment. Neither of us had any idea what would come of it. Friends weren’t even sure our marriage could survive. BUT, they were surprised and so were we that it worked.

Our fourth book together—SLICK DEAL will be available April first… and yes, we’re still married.



Janet Elizabeth Lynn and Will Zeilinger

Published authors Will Zeilinger and Janet Lynn had been writing individually until they got together and wrote the Skylar Drake Mystery Series. These hard-boiled tales are based in old Hollywood of 1955.  Janet has published seven mystery novels and Will has three plus a couple of short stories. Their world travels have sparked several ideas for murder and crime stories. This creative couple is married and live in Southern California.

The next Skylar Drake Mystery, fourth in the series, SLICK DEAL will be available April 1, 2018.


Janet Elizabeth Lynn


Will Zeilinger