“Have you ever written a book with someone else?” asks Toby from Columbus Ohio.
The answer is yes. I did so with writer Rachel Vail, with whom I wrote, Never Mind. It came about this way.
My twin sister (Emily Leider (www.emilyleider.com )) is also a writer, a poet, and an author of a number of biographies. I once suggested she write a biography of me. I even suggested a title: A Biography of My Twin Brother with Corrections by Him.
Like a good sister she replied, “I have better uses of my time.”
I told that story to Rachel and she said, “I’ll write a book with you!”
So it began. We set up rules. I would write a chapter, then Rachel would rewrite it, and add another. I would rewrite hers and add another … and so forth. Another key rule. She or I could edit (or rewrite) anything the other did and—no complaints, no arguments.
The process worked.
Rachel said it was like the story of Rumpelstiltskin, in which the girl puts straw out on the doorstep, and next day the straw was spun into gold. “So much easier than doing your own rewriting!”
As we approached the end of the book, we set aside time, and went back and forth on a daily basis.
I loved doing this. Rachel and I never had so much as one argument. And the book, I think, is much fun.