A Collaborative Effort: Working with a Co-Author

Under the Staircase Cover FinalI had the pleasure of working on a brand new economic adventure series for kids called Under the Staircase. Through the creative direction and inspiration of my co-author, I.M. Lerner, the Under the Staircase Series recently launched with our first book: The Secret Under the Staircase.

The series revolves around two siblings, Maya and Nate Liber who suddenly find themselves locked in a mystery while trying to help stop a mayor who wants to control the school decisions of their small town of Kirkcaldy Point, Virginia. The story is filled with secret codes, secret passageways, and unexpected adversaries, all while trying to teach economic principles in a fun and exciting way.

I.M. Lerner is the glue that holds this project together. It was her desire to teach these important principles and values to her own children that inspired the series. I was just blessed to be brought on for the ride! ;-D

Many may wonder what is it like working with a co-author. For me, this was my second collaborative effort. I have worked previously with another friend, but this was the first time I was brought in when the project was already in development. I.M. already had outlines and character sketches and story ideas. I just helped put all her thoughts onto paper.

There are several things to consider when working with a co-author:

  1. Make sure you get along. It is far easier to work with someone who has similar ideas and with whom you can easily appreciate what they bring to the table.
  2. Don’t always expect to agree, but be respectful of the project. Egos definitely need to be left at the door. The end product is more important.
  3. Be open to new concepts. Maybe you had one idea, but try to look at the new idea. It may work even better.
  4. Before you start, sign a contract. It’s best to have a written agreement, even amongst friends. This way you know what is expected and when.
  5. Enjoy the collaboration. You and your co-author are developing something new. And as they say, two heads are better than one.

For more information about the series, visit: www.underthestaircase.com.