Collaborative Writing by Bellora Quinn and Angel Martinez – Guest Blog and Giveaway

3_10 Angel Martinez and Bellora Quinn _Quinn's Gambit _BlogTour_WebBanner

Collaborative Writing


Bellora: I think the first question people usually ask us is how we met.

Angel: So we tell them it was at a conference for paleo-anthropologists and…what? 

Bellora: It wasn’t that long ago, but it was right around the dawn of the internet. We were both writing for a Pbem (play by email). Do they even still have those? Anyway, the idea was to write your characters to fit into a pre-made setting. I lusted after Angel’s characters and was even more impressed with her writing so I made her write with me.

Angel: LOL – Bellora was already established at this site. I felt like an interloper and, for many months, wrote alone, too shy to approach anyone. When Bellora did ask me – and she really did ask, quite politely, I was thrilled. It was her approach and her willingness not to dictate what my characters should be thinking or doing that really cemented it for me. It was easy to write with her and not the stressful push-pull it was with other writers. (I am not a control freak. Stop that.)

Bellora: I remember reading what Angel wrote and thinking that the best way to write with her was to write as if my characters were ‘supporting’ characters. I think that’s why it worked so well, because there wasn’t a struggle as to who was going to be the center of the story so to speak. We both just wanted to write a really good story and not worry about one up-ing each other. It was so much fun.

Angel: That was the important part – that it was always about the story and not about egos. We may have started with my characters as the “main” characters, but Bellora’s characterizations have always been so vivid, that it certainly didn’t remain that way. And I think we’re a good balancing act for each other as well, which is vital to a writing team. I have a tendency for melodrama. Bellora pulls me back. Bellora might have a teensy bit more inclination toward the sensual, while I’m more plot oriented. The most wonderful words I have ever seen in emails became “I have an idea…”

Bellora: That’s another really cool part about collaborative writing, it’s like having your own personal muse. You start to feed each other’s idea train, both while writing together, and when writing separately too. I’ll see something Angel wrote and sometimes get a half dozen ideas for another story we could do together.

Angel: The “but what if we” conversations can go in some bizarre directions, but that’s half the fun.

Bellora: That’s why when the Pbem we were both a part of ended there was no way I could just stop. So I said to her, how would you like to write on this blog thing.

Angel: It actually started out in this Yahoo thing that I don’t think exists anymore. And we decided to write stories for characters who happened to live in the same city. Wait…we started writing separate story lines and Bellora put the florist shop from my story into hers. That was it. I think I may have been manipulated a teensy bit, or herded, but, hey, I was happy. We would get to play together again. That venture became our Erotic Spice blog, which is still up and has over 300 chapters.

Bellora: Writing chapter by chapter soap opera style blog posts was not only a great deal of fun but it was good practice. I don’t think we would have stuck with it as long as we did if it wasn’t fun for us both, and if we didn’t build a good understanding of how to give that next piece, the next part of the scene, in just the right amount so the other person is inspired and runs with it.

Angel: We’ve had to make some adjustments to style and focus in writing novels together, but the transition has been surprisingly easy, (Bellora still has POV nightmares, but we got through it) and I do think the process has only gotten smoother over time.

Bellora: I would say to anyone thinking of co-authoring a book with a partner to keep an open line of communication, be flexible enough to roll with a change of plans, and most importantly remember that even serious novels can be fun to write.

3_10 quinnsgambit_800After a terrible magical accident at Berkeley created unpredictable holes between realities—all manner of non-human creatures started popping into our world. These displacements, called RARE—Random Anomalous Reality Events—have taken magic out of fiction and relocated it firmly in reality, resulting in a great deal of chaos and confusion. Displaced elf Valerian works with AURA—the Agency of Unnatural Resettlement and Assimilation—to intercept these beings as they appear in the human world, helping the peaceful ones and subduing the violent, malevolent ones. It’s good, satisfying work, and Val would be happy if he wasn’t so lonely.

Quinten is a young mage just trying to get by, but New York isn’t the easiest city to make a living. If his methods are sometimes morally dubious, his heart is still in the right place. Of course for Quinn, the right place means firmly locked away, protected at all costs. Living by his wits and sometimes magically-induced luck, he works as a ‘free-lance magic user’, or unregistered mage and small time con—according to the authorities. The last thing Quinn wants is to draw the cops’ attention, but when an Event happens right on top of him, he’s forced to turn to AURA for help. Valerian isn’t at all what he’d expected in an AURA cop, and he certainly wasn’t expecting to join forces with the sexy elf, a snarky drow and a bitter incubus when certain individuals in power try to stop the RARE by any means necessary.

Things are not all what they seem at AURA headquarters, and a greater evil lurks at the top than anyone could have imagined. 

Like the sound of Quinn’s Gambit? Buy it here.

Excerpt for Quinn’s Gambit: 

“No, you don’t understand,” Quinn said, starting to lose his temper. “This chick just fell out of the sky and knocked me on my ass. She’s probably losing what’s left of her marbles after the jog down from Central Park. Can’t you just help her?”

The receptionist gave him a coolly patronizing smile. “Sir, calm down. This isn’t an adoption agency or the city dog pound. You can’t just drop people off here. Now, if you will just take the clipboard, have a seat and fill out the form, I’ll see what we can do.”

Quinn stood with the clipboard in one hand, glaring back at her incredulously. “This is ridiculous! I have stuff to do, you know?” He looked down at the form. “’What is the nature of the problem you are experiencing’?” he read. “Oh my God, that’s what I’ve been trying to tell you! Look, can’t you just pick up the phone and ask someone in a uniform to put their donuts down and come to the lobby?”

“Yes, I will do just that. As soon as you—”

“Fill out the form,” Quinn interrupted her with a heavy sigh. “Fuck sake,” he grumbled, snatching up the pen. He refused to sit down. If he had to fill out the damn form, he was going to stand right here and remind her how stupid this was until she relented.

* * * *

“Event is local! Central Park area!” Marius cried out in triumph, his dowsing over the map pinpointing it almost at AURA’s doorstep.

Matt clapped Val on the shoulder. “No ‘porting today. Doesn’t make me sad.”

“All right, boys and girls,” Captain Lyons’ voice cut through the chatter. “We’ll quarter the park. We haven’t got a good reading on this, so weapons of choice handy at all times. Valerian, you and Kensington take the north side. McAndrews, you and Nestor on the south. Nyssa, can you fly today?”

The sphinx rose from her place by the door and shook out her wings. “Yes, ma’am. Winds are good. Pollution’s down.”

“Good. Aerial over the park. Keep in radio contact, folks. Let’s move out!”

Val grabbed his sword from his locker in the weapons room, settling the strap across his chest and feeling more himself with the familiar weight of Anvar on his back. A magical sword didn’t do much against gunfire, but it was more than helpful in subduing the most dangerous monsters. Matt carried the guns, three of them.

They dashed down toward the lobby, headed for the street, with Val in the lead. He nearly caused a pile up of human and non-human officers when he stopped short just inside the lobby.

A dryad stood there, her leaves trembling, eyes huge and glassy. That would have been arresting enough, but at the receptionist’s desk, yelling at the girl on duty, was one of the most lovely human boys Val had ever seen—lithe and lean, with cornflower blue eyes and a mop of honey-gold hair. He found himself mesmerized.

“Well, I think we found it,” Matt said with a snort.

“Yes,” Val said, his mouth gone dry. “Perhaps we have.”

Bellora Quinn: Originally hailing from Detroit Michigan, Bellora now resides on the sunny Gulf Coast of Florida where a herd of Dachshunds keeps her entertained. She got her start in writing at the dawn of the internet when she discovered PbEMs (Play by email) and found a passion for collaborative writing and steamy hot erotica. Soap Opera like blogs soon followed and eventually full novels.

The majority of her stories are in the M/M genre with urban fantasy or paranormal settings and many with a strong BDSM flavor. Bellora’s first published novel, co-authored with Angel, is scheduled for release at Totally Bound in March 2015.

For more info on Bellora’s work and current projects: Bellora Quinn

Angel Martinez: Published since 2006, Angel’s cynical heart cloaks a desperate romantic. You’ll find drama and humor given equal weight in her writing and don’t expect sad endings. Life is sad enough.

She currently lives in Delaware in a drinking town with a college problem and writes Science Fiction and Fantasy centered around gay heroes.

For all the info on published work, WIP’s, and updates: Angel Martinez

Enter Totally Bound’s March blog tour competition for the chance to win an eBook of your choice, not including boxsets or anthologies!

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