Right and Left Grand by Rosalee Richland
A Darla King Novel
In this first Darla King novel, Darla returns to square dancing in midlife following tragedies in both her personal and professional lives. She moves from Florida to Texas and from high-powered investigator to life in a small town and a job as far removed from crime as she can think of—she becomes a square dance caller. But when an unconscious stranger turns up on the ranch of one of her dance club members, her specialized knowledge may hold the key to the identity of his assailants. At first, Darla is concerned that her friend Doug is the target. When the same square dancer is assaulted not once but twice, she realizes something else is wrong. Even more telling is the secretive but disturbingly handsome FBI agent that enters the picture.
Darla didn’t plan it this way, but her curiosity pulls her into the case and she has to use the investigative skills from her past that she thought she’d left behind. She’s inquisitive by nature, and looks for patterns to unravel it all. Patterns like the ones she uses to choreograph a dance. Combined with her contacts as a square dance caller and her square dance knowledge, she’s just the person to fit all the pieces fit together. Darla, along with her close friends from the Clearton Squares Dance Club, ends up in the thick of things—and in danger.
Rosalee Richland and CoAuthoring
First of all, thanks to Brooke Blogs for inviting a guest blog from Rosalee Richland today. Rosalee Richland is the pen name of the two coauthors of who wrote Right and Left Grand, the first in the Darla King series. We frequently hear the question, “How do two people write one book?” While coauthoring can be a challenge, it works well for Rosalee. There are a number of approaches to coauthoring, but here are a few ways that make coauthoring work for us and the Darla King mystery series.
Build on your separate strengths – When you have more than one author, each one brings different strengths to the project. In this case, the sum really is greater than the parts. Pulling two people’s strengths to bear on one book makes that book all the stronger. One may be better at plot development, while the other is better at character development. During the writing and publication process for Right and Left Grand, we found that our separate strengths for different aspects of the project complemented each other marvelously.
Communicate – Any team project needs communication, but that’s especially true when you’re working on a project such as a story. We want to communicate our story clearly to our readers, but we can’t forget to communicate clearly with each other in the process. In the case of Right and Left Grand, we talked often by telephone, in person, and via email and texts. We tossed ideas and possible twists around and fed off each other’s ideas.
Commit and schedule – When coauthoring, each writer needs to be able to rely on the other to carry out his or her part of the work. Whether you pass the draft back and forth, as we did in Right and Left Grand, or collaborate in real time, it’s important for coauthors to set and meet deadlines dependably. Identifying the expected contribution of each writer helps coauthors feel they are equal partners. In the case of Rosalee, we split up overall duties regarding the book in addition to writing, too, such as responsibilities for activities such as blogging and handling book signings. To keep harmony in both product and process, each person needs to have some investment in the project and be committed to his or her role.
Work toward a common goal and leave the egos behind – When you have another writer rewriting your material and heading in a plot direction you never dreamed, it can be a shock to your system. But in Right and Left Grand, we found that it infused excitement and surprise into the story. It forces a renewed excitement on the part of the authors and produces a fresh perspective in the final book. It also makes it fun for each coauthor to read the latest version and take it to the next step.
For us, coauthoring is the perfect choice. It provides motivation that can lag on solo projects, input from a fresh viewpoint, and counsel when decisions are needed. As a first venture in e-publishing, having two heads to help figure out the process and deal with marketing was a definite bonus. All in all, it seems to be working, and the next Darla King novel from Rosalee Richland is due out before the end of this year!
Rosalee Richland (aka Rhonda Brinkman and Cyndi Riccio)
About Rosalee Richland
Rosalee Richland is the pen name of two real-life square dancing writers. As Rosalee, co-authors Cyndi Riccio and Rhonda Brinkmann joined forces to create the Darla King cozy mystery series. Darla and her friends portray the best of the square community, the warmth and friendship among people in it, and the enjoyment square dancing brings worldwide. Darla’s curiosity often puts her squarely in the midst of unusual circumstances, and Darla can’t let go until the mystery is solved.
When not writing, Darla’s co-authors enjoy reading, traveling, meeting readers and fans, networking with other authors, and – of course – square dancing. They are learning to blog, and are always working on Darla’s next mystery. If you have a chance, stop in at a book signing and find out which half of Rosalee shows up! In the meantime you can stay in touch with Rosalee and Darla on on Facebook, Goodreads, or the Darla King Series blog. Or just search for “Rosalee Richland” anywhere in cyberspace.
Rosalee Richland on FB:
Rosalee Richland blog: