It’s newsletter time, making me aware that I’m halfway through summer. (Thanks, Dave! 😞) But thankfully, I’ve been consistent with my work on our fifth book, Wolfe’s Blood, and have kept up my weekly word count.
Travel and writing felt like a far-off dream for a long time—at least until we worked on Shepherd’s Watch.
David worked on the second half while I travelled to Greece. He felt there was a missing scene at one point, so he contacted me. He asked me to write a new chapter since I had written similar character moments.
I had been visiting my aunt at the time and got to work. I went into her front yard and wrote on a blue metal swinging bench under the fig and olive trees. Chickens clucked next door, and the mountains were in the distance. It was quiet and lovely.
When David woke up the next day, I had the scene waiting for him. We reconvened, and his work continued.
It had been so simple, so easy. It was the proof I needed. I could write while travelling. Suddenly, it seemed possible.
(Even now, as we work on this newsletter, David has sent me texts and wanted a phone call to help clarify my words. Thanks, Dave! 😉)
This life is the one I want, where writing can happen anywhere. My desk is my lap, and the view is fantastic.
Summer and long-distance collaboration are at the heart of Counios and Gane.
We’ve had many conversations while in separate cities or countries, near and far. Coffee shops, bars, and beaches have been the home to many text messages and phone calls needed to solve story problems.
However, the most important conversation we ever had was while I was at my family cabin up north.
Long ago, Angie and I were on a break. We’d written several screenplays, but I felt burnt out and needed time away. I returned to university, working towards my Masters in Fine Arts, and felt the call to write my own stuff.
While in school, I rediscovered my love of writing fiction. I’d taken poetry and short fiction classes and wanted to do more. I eventually worked with other authors, put together a small collection, and self-published it.
I loved it. It gave us writers a connection to the reader that we rarely get. I wanted more, but I was stuck. I struggled with the writing. It wasn’t coming easily—at least not like when I had worked with Angie.
Summer came, and the idea of collaborating with Angie nagged at me. I wanted the independence of working alone, but none of it mattered if the stories weren’t making it on the page.
I called her.
I remember being filled with nervous energy and pacing a lot. I tried to keep the stakes low. We could do something simple and quick and hopefully earn a few bucks. Maybe it could be a mystery. Maybe we could do a series.
It took very little to convince her. She missed collaborating.
We tried adapting an old screenplay to a novel, but it was too heavy and dour. We started fresh, and Shepherd & Wolfe was born.
That phone call at the cabin began what feels like our real writing journey.
The novels aren't paying our bills. Frankly, we support them. But it’s opened us to many new things like book launches, signings, and awards. It introduced us to our excellent third collaborator, Heather, our publisher and editor. Most importantly, it has allowed us to share our stories with you, our readers, who inspire us to keep writing.
So, when I think about summer and collaboration, it always comes back to that one phone call—nervous and pacing—from the family cabin up north.