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7/16/01 7:01:20 PM  Opening "Chat Log 7/16/01"

HOST WRTR Paul: We have here an author team, two sisters. (Kristy and Kelly)
Sryope2:    Hi Shirley
HOST WRTR Paul: Both are here with us tonight, and we're doing this as a
Protocol session.
HOST WRTR Paul: PJs #1 and #2 can answer in tandem, as they see fit.   :-)
Sryope2:    welcome Kristy and Kelly
HOST WRTR Paul: Okay, I see Donna has a question.   g/a
HOST WRTR Dee:  Do you and your sister work together in person. how do you
work together...
HOST WRTR Dee:  ga
HOST WRTR Dee:  always forget that!!!!
HOST WRTR Paul: Ah, yes, do not forget that magical "g/a"
PJParish:   lots of phone time....1-2 hours at a crack.
PJParish:   trade chapters on AOL
KristyMontee:   like tonite....2 hours just to work out one minor plot detail
PJParish:   then we visit once ot twice a year when we're wrapping something
PJParish:   I usually go to Ft lauderdale and spend a week or more./  GA
HOST WRTR Dee:  thanks
HOST WRTR Paul: Paul, go ahead.   :-)
JsmnStrm:   :::shakes head at Paul::::
HOST WRTR Paul: Out here they just started advertizing "block" phone time. A
flat monthly rate, even of you talk all day every day. Check it out, PJs.  :-)
PJParish:   Bills can get expensive.. where do u live Paul??
HOST WRTR Paul: California
Mod Gonne:  How hard is it to develop a character working in tandem? It is
hard to bring that together?   g/a
KristyMontee:   Kelly created our hero, Louis Kincaid, but it has become very
easy for me to hear his voice
KristyMontee:   ga
PJParish:   Not if we talk it first. we usually know where its going and how
it needs
Sryope2:    ?
PJParish:   to be written..we often take turns writingthe chapter depending
on the mood of the chapter.
PJParish:   ga
HOST WRTR Paul: Jasmine, go ahead
Mod Gonne:  thanks.
JsmnStrm:   What made you two decide to do this together?  I would sooner hit
my brother over the head
Sryope2:    lol
KristyMontee:   lol
OnlineHost: Dcudlbug has entered the room.
JsmnStrm:   than work with him on a project... ga
KristyMontee:   Shall I expalin Kel?
PJParish:   Go ahead
PJParish:   <--(She types faster)
KristyMontee:   I am ex romance wirter who wanted to do mystery; started a
bad one and got deadened. My
KristyMontee:   agent sugggested I make switch. Kel always wanted to write
cop stuff so my husband suggested
KristyMontee:   we try collaboration. Kel has germ of idea for our first
story and
KristyMontee:    we took it from there
KristyMontee:   ga
PJParish:   !
OnlineHost: Witnes4JC has left the room.
SPultz: ?
HOST WRTR Paul: PJ comment?
OnlineHost: Cyncity 1 has entered the room.
PJParish:   It took a while, but we work well together..share the vision so
to speak..
PJParish:   I once said it;s like we fast-forward the same movei. GA
HOST WRTR Paul: Sryope, go ahead.
Sryope2:    how do you divvy up chores, is all the writing evenly divided?
How do you keep one
Sryope2:    consistant voice throughout the piece?
Sryope2:    ga
KristyMontee:   The hardest part is the outlining and plotting. Writing is
easy after that ga
HOST WRTR Paul: Shirley, go ahead
KristyMontee:   Well, not easy but more enjoyable lol
SPultz: same question as sry except , do you both have the same writing
style? GA
KristyMontee:   kel take it
OnlineHost: Witnes4JC has entered the room.
PJParish:   Basically the same, but with complimentary differences...
PJParish:   Kris is a big one for atmosphere and character, I like the plot
and the action.
PJParish:   We feel we have acoomplished both. we get many comments on both.
HOST WRTR Paul: Donna, go ahead
HOST WRTR Dee:  Did you base your detective Louis on detectives you known?
How did you come up with the main
KristyMontee:   But we try to keep an ear on the "voice"....so it is melded
HOST WRTR Dee:  character.
KristyMontee:   sorry
HOST WRTR Paul: (I will wait a little longer!)
HOST WRTR Dee:  no problem Kristy...we're here to listen to you...
KristyMontee:   kel this one is yours
PJParish:   Didnt know any detectives before we created Louis, except my
ex-husband and
PJParish:   Louis is certainly not modeled after him--LOL
SPultz: ?
KristyMontee:   only cop I knew was the one who ran a light and hit my car
PJParish:   He's just a creation of experiences, the atmosphere in
Mississippi and family circumstances.
PJParish:   GA
HOST WRTR Paul: Shirley, go ahead
SPultz: do u practice character conversation with each other/ga
KristyMontee:   Oh yeah,,,,often. We also act out scenes...people in
restaurants stare at us
PJParish:   We not only practice dialogue, we have acted out fights and other
action to see if it works.
KristyMontee:   We staged a knife fight on Ft Laud beach one with a rubber
shark float
HOST WRTR Dee:  lol
PJParish:   I borrowed handcuffs once to see it if was possible to do what we
wanted to do with them
SPultz: sounds like fun
KristyMontee:   I remember for Dead of Winter, Kel was trying to tell me how
she wanted this character stab
PJParish:   It is great fun, guys. You gotta love it.
KristyMontee:   bed so I went and got a kitchen knife and we acted it out
PJParish:   I put Kris in a chokehold for Paint it Black on her patio.
KristyMontee:   oh thats right.  I also talk to myself (dialog) when I jog
PJParish:   GA
HOST WRTR Paul: Many silent eWorlders here tonight! So I have a question.
Witnes4JC:  ?
HOST WRTR Paul: How near are you in age? Were you always close?
PJParish:   3 yrs apart and never as close as we are now. :-)
KristyMontee:   Close as kids, grew apart as adults do, came back
together...its been fabul experience
PJParish:   You  guys can ask about the publishing business, too. Doesn;t
have to be all about us
HOST WRTR Paul: (True!) Medic, go ahead.
PJParish:   Kris had alot of experience there
KristyMontee:   What? No ?s about query letters or horrible editors????
FalcnEdie:  ?
Witnes4JC:  How do you resolve problems when at a major part of the setting
that will effect the plot?
Witnes4JC:  g/a
KristyMontee:   Wow...theres a cosmic question
PJParish:   Throw stuff atthe wall and when it sticks, we know it.
KristyMontee:   Lots of wine
OnlineHost: Sryope2 has left the room.
PJParish:   we toss out the stupidest ideas and eventually it becomes clear.
OnlineHost: Upsouth has entered the room.
KristyMontee:   seriously, it is hard hard work sometimes. Plotting mysteries
is very difficult work
PJParish:   WE spent 2 hrs on how a crooked sheriff would by-pass an
KristyMontee:   I remember when things were going badly for Paint It Black
rewrite, I took a shower and just
KristyMontee:   stood there in shower crying!!
KristyMontee:   But it worked out  :)
JES No Time:    ?
OnlineHost: JsmnStrm has left the room.
PJParish:   I crawled out of bed one night about 1 am to email an idea to her
that changed the ending of
OnlineHost: Ruth Sil has entered the room.
PJParish:   Paint it Black, Best thought I ever had.
KristyMontee:   lolol
PJParish:   GA
HOST WRTR Paul: Donna, go ahead
HOST WRTR Dee:  how long did it take you to write the first book? And how
many re-writes before a finished
KristyMontee:   thats why they tell you to keep a pad at your bed
HOST WRTR Dee:  product...one with no crying in shower..lol
HOST WRTR Dee:  ga
KristyMontee:   First one took about a yr; it was rewritten several times. We
are great believers in rewrite
OnlineHost: Upsouth has left the room.
PJParish:   heavens, from first word to final submission..closer to18 months
PJParish:   Rewritten 8 times, Kris
KristyMontee:   yeah porbably right about that Kel.
HOST WRTR Dee:  did it change drastically in the rewrite?...
KristyMontee:   hey...Im trying to forget
PJParish:   I got so discouraged but I was pretty new at this stuff.
KristyMontee:   Sometimes it does, but usually it is just plot tweaking and
fine tuning
PJParish:   Didnt change enough, LOL, but changed' alot
HOST WRTR Dee:  thanks
KristyMontee:   Believe it or not, our editor wanted us to ADD pages to last
manuscript so
KristyMontee:   we spent weeks fleshing it out...it was much better for the
PJParish:   Thats something they should know..editors have length expectations
KristyMontee:   true
KristyMontee:   But I still say a book is as long as it has to be....
PJParish:   GA
HOST WRTR Paul: Ben, go ahead
FalcnEdie:  Did the success of the second book have much effect on the offer
for the third? ga
KristyMontee:   oh boy
PJParish:   Tough question...mythoughts are not really
PJParish:   since the offer was made before Dead was released.
KristyMontee:   Indirectly. We were already in contract nego before 2nd one
surfaces so sales did not afffec
PJParish:   But publisher's never tell you what they're thinking.
KristyMontee:   affect that. But when sales turned out to be good, we believe
this will
FalcnEdie:  hmmm   and finances set?
KristyMontee:   influence publicity for upcoming one
PJParish:   Hopefully Kensington will promote Paint it better, hoping it top
Dead of Winter
SPultz: ?
KristyMontee:   The best thing you can do as fledging author is make $$
(make back your advance)
Dcudlbug:   ?
KristyMontee:   Your publisher is more inclined to build you if you do
KristyMontee:   ga
HOST WRTR Paul: Jes, go ahead
JES No Time:    Do you love rewrites or hate them? ga
PJParish:   hate doing them, love the results.
KristyMontee:   Rewrites are hard work but necessary...completely utterly
KristyMontee:   if you get your complete ms right the first time youre either
kidding yourself or youre
KristyMontee:   Salinger
PJParish:   They are ALWAYS worth it. I had to get over thinking the first
draft was my best work.
KristyMontee:   The first draft is written with the heart; the second and
third with the head
PJParish:   Writers often ask: How do you know when you've rewritten enough?
PJParish:   You just know. GA
JES No Time:    Thanks, I was afraid you were going to say something like
that  :-)
HOST WRTR Paul: amen to that! Shirley, go ahead.
KristyMontee:   Dont be afraid to rewrite...its where the beauty comes out
PJParish:   Think how hard it was before computers.
HOST WRTR Dee:  I needed to hear that...thanks..
SPultz: how many copies have to sell for the pub. to take you seriosly?
PJParish:   Kris...
KristyMontee:   I think some writers fear rewriting becuz they are really
afraid to confront what they wrote
KristyMontee:   good question....Im not sure there is a pat answer
KristyMontee:   it varies for hardcover, paper, literary, genre
KristyMontee:   IT also is relative to how many copies they printed....
KristyMontee:   if they printed 100,000 copies and you sold 10,000....yikes.
KristyMontee:   but if your print run was modest and you sold more than
half...thats damn good
OnlineHost: Ruth Sil has left the room.
OnlineHost: Witnes4JC has left the room.
KristyMontee:   returns in the book biz are killing the biz right now...its
KristyMontee:   ga
HOST WRTR Paul: Dennis, go ahead
Dcudlbug:   Who are some of your favorite authors?
OnlineHost: Witnes4JC has entered the room.
KristyMontee:   kel
HOST WRTR Paul: [Cyndia, Doc, Kathi, any questions?]
PJParish:   I lean toward the faster paced folks and have to admit I have had
FalcnEdie:  ?
PJParish:   so little time to read lately. Sandford, have read some Demille...
KristyMontee:   I dont have any big faves....Im like most readers. I pick up
a good looking cover, and if
PJParish:   Kris..
KristyMontee:   the author can hook me quick, I keep going
JES No Time:    ?
KristyMontee:   that said, I love anything by Minette Walters
KristyMontee:   ga
HOST WRTR Paul: (Don't know M Walters)    Ben, go ahead
FalcnEdie:  Did you get to give any input on cover design, blurbs, marketing,
etc. ga
KristyMontee:   Nope. Only the big guns get that.
KristyMontee:   But we have gotten all our own blurbs from other authors
PJParish:   we had to get our won blurbs. Kris & husband knew some authors
and we were
FalcnEdie:  then you must feel completely at their mercy?
PJParish:   very fortunate to get Michael Connelly and Jeremiah Healy for the
KristyMontee:   lolol...yup. And you all know how cretinous the jacket copy
can be
PJParish:   John Sandford's blurb on the 2nd made a big diff, I Think
FalcnEdie:  yes    thanks   :-)
PJParish:   Our cover artist actually emailed us and told us he like dthe bo
ok. WE now communicate with
KristyMontee:   Weve had readers tell us they bought the book because
Standford or Conneally quote
PJParish:   him and sa wthe third before the Pub did..lol
PJParish:   we love our covers, by the way.
PJParish:    not many authors can say that
FalcnEdie:  are in Amazon?
KristyMontee:   sorry for my typos by the way...I cant see what I type. Puter
FalcnEdie:  sorry  I'll stop now
PJParish:   what was the Amazon question, Eddie?
FalcnEdie:  are your books sold at Amazon dot com
PJParish:   certainly.
FalcnEdie:  oh dear   I've spelled dot
KristyMontee:   lol
PJParish:   LOL eddie
SPultz: ?
HOST WRTR Paul:  [smart move with the illustrator!]   Jes,  go ahead
KristyMontee:   And dont think we dont check on their rankings  lol
JES No Time:    So how important do you think the cover is to the success of
the book?  ga
HOST WRTR Paul: [Dale, any questions?]
KristyMontee:   Hugely important.
PJParish:   It's all a form of marketing, guys. In fact, the marketing dept
seems to
PJParish:   have more say then the editorial dept.
PJParish:   thats scary.
KristyMontee:   Shes right. Book proposals routinely go thru marketing staffs
PJParish:   We have many tell us they picked becuz of the cover  GA
PJParish:   sorry, picked up the book
JES No Time:    Thanks
Kathi Smith 116:    ?
HOST WRTR Paul:  Shirley, go ahead
OnlineHost: PepperRainesInc has entered the room.
SPultz: whar % of a chance soes an unknown writer have of being published?ga
SPultz: sorry for typos
PJParish:   Kris--
KristyMontee:   Cant give you %age, really. It is harder and harder becuz of
shrinking pub world
KristyMontee:   but readership reamins steady so there is always hope.
SPultz: does it depend on the genre and topic?
Dcudlbug:   ?
OnlineHost: WhisperingThundr has entered the room.
OnlineHost: Spideb has entered the room.
PJParish:   There are many new authors out there. U probably meet them every
day hanging aorund here
KristyMontee:   Fewer publishers now becuz of mergers, less willingness to
take chances on unknowns
PJParish:   It's getting noticed that is harder, as well.
KristyMontee:   I doubt it. But all genres have cycles of popularity.
Mystery/suspence hot now
OnlineHost: WhisperingThundr has left the room.
KristyMontee:   romance on slight dip but romantic suspece hotter.
KristyMontee:   ga
SPultz: thanks
HOST WRTR Paul:  Donna, go ahead
PJParish:   !
HOST WRTR Dee:  Is it better to look for agent, vs. sending to publishers?
For the first book?  GA
HOST WRTR Paul:  PJ's comment?
OnlineHost: Spideb has left the room.
KristyMontee:   I didnt have agent for my first romance. You dont need one
but if you can get an agents eye
PJParish:   Don't stop trying, though. Not if you want it. Forget the odds. GA
KristyMontee:   you mite have better chance of selling a first novel. But you
can still do it w/o agent
KristyMontee:   If I were starting out again, I wud try to get agent ga
HOST WRTR Dee:  thanks
HOST WRTR Paul:  Kathi, go ahead
Kathi Smith 116:    Who designs the cover? And what if the author hates it? ga
KristyMontee:   lol
PJParish:   apparently Kensington has a agency do it, as our artist does
KristyMontee:   Every publisher has own art dept or free lancers. If you hate
the cover, tough noogies.
PJParish:   not work for the pub, and I don;t think anyone cares what the
author thinks. not unless
PJParish:   yr famous. GA
KristyMontee:   You guys ever hear Harlan Coben talk about his early covers?
PJParish:   sad to say, you don't have much muscle. GA
HOST WRTR Dee:  no
Witnes4JC:  ?
KristyMontee:   He writes about sports sleuth so every cover had baseball,
baseketball, football
OnlineHost: LGHTMN1 has entered the room.
KristyMontee:   all with knives in them or bursting into flames. He became k
nown as the Burning Balls writer
HOST WRTR Paul:  [ouch!]    Dennis, go ahead
JES No Time:    LOL
Kathi Smith 116:    lol
Dcudlbug:   How much time daily do you devote to your writing, and how do you
make time for it?
The13thDoctor:  LOL
PJParish:   I still work full-time days so most is done at night or on
OnlineHost: LGHTMN1 has left the room.
KristyMontee:   I goof off fulltime so I write when Kelly tells me to
PJParish:   OFten not enough time. I spent 14 straight days in Fla last March.
KristyMontee:   just kidding
PJParish:   (tough vacation...LOL0 but it was tough. we crunched 11 chapters
in 14 days.
Dcudlbug:   WOW
KristyMontee:   I have luxury of working spouse. I try to do something with
the writing each day...
KristyMontee:   outline or whatever. Dont always make quota
KristyMontee:   ga
KristyMontee:   it about killed us
JES No Time:    ?
HOST WRTR Paul:  Medic, go ahead
Witnes4JC:  Any tips on getting published for authors that seam to move more
than they stay in 1 place?
Witnes4JC:  save a laptop lol g/a
KristyMontee:   Not sure I understand that one Wit
Dcudlbug:   ?
HOST WRTR Paul: (he moves around a lot--Army type}
KristyMontee:   ah....
PJParish:   laptop would help..lol. I have moved 8 times in 7 years. shouldnt
KristyMontee:   Try a pad and pen...not being flip here. If you wanna write
you will
Kathi Smith 116:    ?
HOST WRTR Paul: Jes, go ahead
JES No Time:    How many letters did you have to send out before you got pub.?
KristyMontee:   Kelly has distinction of never getting a rejection letter....
KristyMontee:   lol
PJParish:   actually, kris had an agent from the romance days...she
HOST WRTR Paul: [Note! The hour is nearly up, but we can go as long as our
guests are willing.]
PJParish:   liked the first ms and sent it to 4 pubs. One took it.
KristyMontee:   I got at least five rejections from publishers, more from
KristyMontee:   when I was first starting out
JES No Time:    Thanks
HOST WRTR Paul:  Dennis, go ahead
Dcudlbug:   How did you get up the nerve to send in the first ms?
KristyMontee:   you cant take rejection personally. It may mean pub just
doesnt do your kind of book or has
PJParish:   many authors get dozens. dont give up.
KristyMontee:   one like it in their pipeline already
PJParish:   Beleive in your work and in your dreams.
KristyMontee:   amen
PJParish:   nerve has nothing to do with it.
KristyMontee:   every author has been rejected...the stories are legion
PJParish:   I live where Grisham where first started trying to promote his
Dcudlbug:   Thank you
PJParish:   There are only 2 bookstores he signs at here near Memohis. Both
small. The big ones
PJParish:   ,I have heard-- turned himd own for signimgs. So there you go.
They sell tickets
HOST WRTR Paul:  [good for him!]    Kathi, go ahead
KristyMontee:   I was so excited when I sent out my first book I didnt even
THINK about having nerve
Kathi Smith 116:    Do you both come up with ideas for stories, or does one
get an idea and the other just helps
PJParish:   to his signings in Memphis. GA
Kathi Smith 116:    flesh it out? ga
KristyMontee:   We have both come up with initial plot ideas. A couple our
editor has rejected
Deluge3:    ?
KristyMontee:   the weasel....
KristyMontee:   ga
KristyMontee:   (sorry....)
HOST WRTR Paul: Dale, go ahead
JES No Time:    ?
Deluge3:    You seem to start out with an ending. Do you have trouble coming
up with good endings?
Deluge3:    ga
KristyMontee:   interesting ? take it kel
OnlineHost: Cyncity 1 has left the room.
PJParish:   actually, we didn't start with endings prior to having to produce
an outline.
OnlineHost: Witnes4JC has left the room.
PJParish:   (Pubs buy on outlines after the first usually)
KristyMontee:   You get paid on outlines, you know
PJParish:   We have an ending in mind, but it can change.
PJParish:   GA
HOST WRTR Paul: {interesting]   Jes, go ahead
JES No Time:    I thought fiction novels had to be finished before being
submitted.  ga
KristyMontee:   Well, eventually sure. But the GENERAL rule is:
KristyMontee:   you get paid a third for acceptance of idea, a third for the
outline and final
KristyMontee:   third for finsihed ms
KristyMontee:   The fat and fabulously famous are different than you and me
KristyMontee:   ga
PJParish:   new or first time authors will have to finish 1st ms
JES No Time:    So you could try to sell a novel before rewriting it?
KristyMontee:   Sure. Some authors never produce what they are advanced
for...big trouble
PJParish:   not rewriting, altho editor may ask for rewrites, have to finish
what you think
PJParish:   is the final product. for first time authors.
KristyMontee:   You can sell a book often on stength of outline and sample
chapters...not uncommon at all
Kathi Smith 116:    ?
JES No Time:    OK, Thanks ga
HOST WRTR Paul:  Donna, go ahead
HOST WRTR Dee:  How detailed are the outlines that you work from? Do you
deviate from them much? ga
KristyMontee:   ugh
HOST WRTR Dee:  sore subject, huh?
KristyMontee:   I hate outlines...it is a necessary evil....EVIL
PJParish:   we get less and less detailed as we go. tired of publisher
nitpicking it to death.
KristyMontee:   yup
PJParish:   so we lay something out and change it at will, as long as they
KristyMontee:   And I think your pub gets more confident in your ability to
PJParish:   the general story. GA
KristyMontee:   But outlines are very helpful....you can get rid of a lot of
bad ideas that way
SPultz: ?
PJParish:   (Will have to go very soon here)
KristyMontee:   Mysteries are plot-intensive. If you cant untangle the ball
of yarn who will bother to read
KristyMontee:   it?
HOST WRTR Paul: Shirley, go ahead (last question!)
SPultz: how long soes a pub like the book to be? ga
PJParish:   I think we hang around what...90,000 words??
KristyMontee:   For mystery-suspence? I'd say 350-400 pages. But thats ONLY A
PJParish:   370-400 paperback pages
PJParish:   many are much longer
HOST WRTR Paul: Okay!   Kelly and Kristy, thanks VERY much.   :-)
SPultz: thanks
KristyMontee:   Our pleasure!!!
Kathi Smith 116:    Thank you, great chat!
PJParish:   Thank you guys...you have been great
HOST WRTR Dee:  yes...thank you...You both have been one of our better guests!
HOST WRTR Paul: We really appreciate your efforts in visiting us tonight.
Deluge3:    Great having both of you.
PJParish:   Good luck to all of you.
FalcnEdie:  yes   thank you     wonderful evening   :-)
Dcudlbug:   Thank you both.
JES No Time:    It's been real interesting, thanks!
KristyMontee:   Good luck to all of you in your writings!!!
The13thDoctor:  bravo
SPultz: thank you for the visit and information
HOST WRTR Dee:  hope you can come back again.
OnlineHost: PepperRainesInc has left the room.
FalcnEdie:  best guests ever  :-)
KristyMontee:   Hey, anything to keep from outlining Dee
HOST WRTR Paul: And see you at the Rich and famous Writers gatherings.   :-)
PJParish:   LOl..by the way---attend a conference or two. very informative
HOST WRTR Dee:  the fat, rich and famous writers, Paul...
HOST WRTR Dee:  I've heard that on conferences...
PJParish:   anytime, Paul..just holler
PJParish:   get to know people--people who might give you blurbs later
KristyMontee:   thanx for the invite paul...good questions
PJParish:   thanks alot guys
FalcnEdie:  g,nite all      45 mins to pumpkin time
PJParish:   nite all
SPultz: we enjoyed the visit
OnlineHost: FalcnEdie has left the room.
JES No Time:    Thanks
HOST WRTR Dee:  night
OnlineHost: PJParish has left the room.
HOST WRTR Paul: Thanks, gang, for your excellent questions
HOST WRTR Dee:  thanks Kristy and Kelly
Dcudlbug:   yeah.  I gotta go too.   Nytol
KristyMontee:   Think I will go watch the news and see if they caught Condit
Mod Gonne:  thanks..
HOST WRTR Paul: I smell dinner!     :-q
Kathi Smith 116:    Night all
Mod Gonne:  It was nice of you both to take the time
HOST WRTR Paul: I know two who knew intern.     I live not far from Modesto
JES No Time:    Night all
OnlineHost: KristyMontee has left the room.

7/16/01 8:16:55 PM  Closing "Chat Log 7/16/01"