Going back to the old ways

Going back to the old ways


Angie and I have been trying a new process to write Wolfe's Blood, our fifth and final book in the Shepherd & Wolfe series.

It started when I was doing some film pitches over the summer and had to write it all on one page. I liked the process because it required me to make deliberate choices about what to include and exclude, and reading them to my friends and family was fun.

It felt like a good way to build our next novel, planning each chapter, section, and story beat. Angie embraced the idea but it meant that our morning meetings were now spent planning every moment out.

We haven't written like this in over ten years. The past few books have had us outline the chapters and then work alone.

This new way has us working through each part, making sure we agree with the plan before we proceed further. It makes the writing slower, but we're getting better results. I love it and it makes me excited to continue working this way.

It's funny that it took us over a decade to swing back to how we used to write. We abandoned it because we thought we could write quicker alone, but after the time spent fixing plot holes and silly mistakes, it seemed like we were wrong.

I'm here for it. Working with Angie every morning has been a blast, and I can't wait to see where it takes us.


When David and I started writing long ago I wasn’t sure what to expect. I have often joked with colleagues in my teaching profession that I don’t work well with others—unless they work well with me.

I didn't have anything to worry about though. David and I turned out to be great collaborators.

When we began writing together, the experience was very hands-on and present. We would meet, usually at my place, and we’d brainstorm and story-build. We'd cover the wall in my dining room with pages of scenes and move them around physically. It was great for my visual brain. I'd sit on the couch and write, and David would pace back and forth, talking out our ideas.

Eventually, the writing shifted to his house. I'd write in a journal to keep track of things or punch keys on the laptop. David would still pace. Eventually, delicious smells would float up from the kitchen and my sister would invite me to stay for supper—which, of course, I did.

Although some things changed, the joy of collaboration stayed the same. We'd always find excitement in solving a story problem—negotiating, suggesting, pondering, and eventually high-fiving when we’d come up with something we both loved.

Yet, as time passed, our process changed again. We shifted to outlining together but writing separately. I’d write the first half and then pass it on to David. He’d edit my part and then write his part. He’d do several passes, then hand it back to me. It was faster but more distant. Big story decisions meant text messages, phone calls, and always someone having to catch up to where the story had gone.

But now, David has had a new idea, and it's brought our process back around. We meet every morning and talk out the story, like the old days. It feels good. Familiar and comforting, like a warm sweater on a cool fall day.

I’ve always said that I will keep writing with David as long as it’s fun, and getting back to the way we used to do it makes it so much better.

Thank you so much for being a part of our journey.