When I met multi-published author PAIGE TYLER and her husband PAUL at Lori Foster’s Reader Author Get Together in June, I asked how she managed to write so many books. (Paige is incredibly prolific!) I was fascinated to learn about Paul’s role in her writing process. Paige’s bio at Ellora’s Cave lists Paul as her research assistant *cough* – no, seriously, he really does assist her. Read on, as Paige and Paul answer RU’s questions and explain their unique “marriage of the minds.”
A. I wrote stories before we met, but I wasn’t published yet. I really didin’t get serious about making it a career until five or six years ago. I started writing that first book – SAMANTHA AND THE DETECTIVE – myself, but I was a panster, which got me into trouble quickly. Paul, who is much more organized than I am, told me if I wanted to be successful, I should outline books before writing them. I told him I wasn’t very good at that kind of thing, then gave him my best butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-my-mouth look (he knows the one!) and asked if he’d help me. How could he say no, right?
Question for Paige – How many books have you had published? Out of that total, how many has Paul worked with you on?
A. I have thirty-nine books published to date, plus another coming out in Nov. (a Christmas story called SANTA’S WAYWARD ELF!) and he’s helped me on all of them!
Question for Paige and Paul – Would you say working together has been good for your marriage overall?
A. We wouldn’t necessarily say it’s been either good or bad. It’s indicative of how we approach marriage. We try to be very supportive of each other’s goals and dreams. Sure, writing has led to some heated disagreements, but we handle them the same way we do any other argument. (i.e. I let Paul vent for a while until he’s ready to listen to me and agree that I’m right. LOL!)
Question for Paul – How did your working relationship with Paige begin? Did you offer to help, or did she ask for your input?
A. Originally, Paige would ask for my thoughts on how a story should flow, and I’d try to dictate random thoughts to her as she typed. That didn’t work out too well. So, I started writing bubble outlines similar to a flowchart on paper and she’d use that to write the story. The more we started working together, though, the more it made sense for me to outline the story on my computer, then give it to her when I finished. I started to add a lot more detail, especially to the action scenes, which helped her get the books written faster. I like her to write fast. Fast = more money! I’m a bottom line type of guy.
Question for Paige – Did you find it awkward when Paul first started reading your stories, or have you always shared them with him?
A. Not awkward, no. But when he criticized something, it hurt my feelings in the beginning. Which was silly, especially since his suggestions were usually good ones, but I’m a very sensitive person! The more books we worked on, though, the better I got at taking his suggestions – and his criticism! LOL! Paul’s nudging me, saying he got better at giving worthwhile suggestions instead of just ranting.
Question for Paige and Paul – What happens when you disagree over how a scene should go? Are you more likely to argue over a sexy scene or, say, an action scene?
A. We’re more likely to argue about an action scene. As a guy, he’ll approach it like an action flick, instead of a romance book. I tell him women don’t want read about all that gross stuff, so we’ve had to tone down some stuff. He’s getting better at that, though! We also disagree about overall plot development sometimes. Paul can get too focused on the story or the suspense or the paranormal elements, and forget it needs to be first and foremost a romance. As far as how we deal with that, it’s a work in progress. I worry I’ll hurt his feelings if I say I don’t like something he put in the story. He tells me I have complete creative control, though. Two people can’t write a book equally – one person has to be in charge.
Question for Paige and Paul – Would you describe your writing process? What are your “areas of expertise”? (Oh man, that sounds really suggestive, but I’m aiming for plotting vs. dialogue type answers here. Although…!)
A. LOL! Cute! We start by coming up with a story idea, then talking about it before putting anything on paper. Paul then writes the outline, initially focusing on the plot and actions scenes which I read while I’m working on writing another book he’s already outlined. That way I can keep him on track with what my vision is for the story. When he’s done with the outline, I write the book, then we edit it together. As to what we’re both good at, I love getting to know the characters and getting inside their heads, adding emotion to the story, as well as writing dialogue. Paul’s much better with action scenes and plotting the overall story. When it comes to sex scenes, Paul focuses on the mechanics – where all the hands, feet, tabs and slots go – while I concentrate on the emotions and pillow talk. Just a side note – we do some of our best thinking at PF Chang’s!
Question for Paul – Have you ever considered writing a book yourself?
A. Not really. I could certainly outline and draft a story, but it would lack depth and soul. Those are the key elements that Paige adds to the mix. Also, it sounds bad to say, but after I had an outline done, my creative interest would wane, and I’d be more likely to want to jump to the next outline. In the business world, I’d be the one getting the start-up business going, but then turning it over to someone else once the wheels are all rolling in the right direction.
Question for Paige and Paul – What are some of the benefits of writing together? What are the drawbacks?
A. You have a built-in critique partner, sounding board, editor, research assistant (in every sense of the word!). You also have someone who gives you a fresh look at a story and can tell you when it’s headed off track. He’s also my emotional support, too. When I get a crappy review, he says opinions are like a-holes – everyone has them. Plus, he lets me vent! We don’t think there are any drawbacks (Paul says being forced to look at guys with six-pack abs on my covers is a drawback, but I don’t agree!)
Paige and Paul, thank you so much for answering all these questions!
So, all you writers – do your spouses read your work? Do you ask for their input when you’re writing?
Join us on Monday when debut author NANCY NAIGLE visits with us!
Paige Tyler is a full-time, multi-published, award-winning writer of erotic romance. She and her research assistant and writing partner (otherwise known as her husband!) live on the beautiful Florida coast with their easy going dog and their lazy, I-refuse-to-get-off-the-couch-for-anything-but-food cat. When not working on her latest book, Paige enjoys reading, jogging, doing Pilates, P90X, going to the beach, watching Pro football, and vacationing with her husband at Disney. She loves writing about strong, sexy, alpha males and the feisty, independent women who fall for them. From verbal foreplay to sexual heat, her wickedly hot stories of romance, adventure, passion and true love will bring a blush to your cheeks and leave you breathlessly panting for more!
Look for her stories at Ellora’s Cave, Whiskey Creek Press Torrid and Blushing Books, as well as Amazon, All Romance eBooks and Barnes & Noble.
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