Sunday, November 1, 2009

Writing with Ted

I get this question a lot: What's it like to write with Ted Dekker, no less than a New York Times best-selling author?

A little bit like following Tyra Banks down a runway in a bikini. Very intimidating! (Make what connections you will between Tyra and Ted.) But Ted, as you know, is as gracious as he is talented, and he’s been patient with my sometimes-bumbling early attempts at novel writing.

Each of our stories has come about in its own way. For KISS, I sent him several story concepts, and he pulled from one of those a device he liked: the idea that a woman could steal memories from other people. Then he built a story out of it that was quite different from the one I envisioned, but of course it was spectacular. BURN (releasing January 2010) emerged from two ideas we had independently of each other that had similar themes of regret and second chances. We married those concepts and got a pretty baby out of the union. So the process has reinvented itself each time.

Ted and I spend a lot of time on the phone hashing out ideas. We talk and talk and talk. I’ve lost at least three phone batteries to Ted alone. Then I write and he reads and we talk some more. Then I write and rewrite, and he writes and rewrites, and we go back and forth like this until the story is born. It’s a real synergistic endeavor, and each time I learn something new—like what not to eat if you want to look good on the runway in a bikini.

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