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Married Co-writers


Here is how it works


by Janet Elizabeth Lynn


My husband, Will Zeilinger, a published author also, and I decided to come together and write a 1950’s hard-boiled mystery, the Skylar Drake Murder Mystery series.

People warned us to would tarnish our 45-year marriage. They insisted it wouldn’t work. Concerned, we took a business approach and set rules of professionalism, respect and overall patience. We learned the value of the difference in style we brought to character dialogue and personality. We set deadlines and nothing, but nothing, got in the way of those deadlines short of death and a fever over 102. And the most important thing was to check our egos at the door from the day we started to the day we finished our final edit.

Of course, differences of opinions reared their ugly head from time to time. When this happened, we tabled the discussion for 24 hours then looked at the issue again.

The results? SLIVERS OF GLASS, STRANGE MARKINGS and released in January, DESERT ICE . . . and yes, we’re still married.


Authors Janet and Will




Published authors Will Zeilinger and Janet Lynn had been writing individually until they got together and wrote the Skylar Drake Mystery Series. These hard-boiled tales are based in old Hollywood of 1955.  Janet has published seven mystery novels, and Will has three plus a couple of short stories. Their world travels have sparked several ideas for murder and crime stories. This creative couple is married and lives in Southern California. 



  • sallyparadysz
    on April 3, 2017

    It was a risky endeavor, but you pulled it off. Good job!

  • janet lynn
    on April 3, 2017

    I always wanted to write noir/hardboiled, 1950 mysteries. But everytime we edited each others work, my husband would change the dialogue and self talk of my male heros, “A guy wouldn’t say that,” or “No guy would think that.” and he changed it. So I knew I couldn’t get into a guy’s head like he could. When I approached him to co write this series he was all for it. Luckily we both had published and know the process of writing. I must say his input has made our 1950s hero… realy real!

  • Geralyn Corcillo
    on April 5, 2017

    Janet, wonderfully funny article with pep and insight 🙂 I, too, am married to a writer, and I love it. It is so cool to have a life partner who GETS the angst of being a writer. We’ve never collaborated … but you give me hope that our marriage can survive it 🙂

  • janet lynn
    on April 5, 2017

    Geralyn, We start each book with brain storming session. We sit in our porch with some ice tea and brain storm ideas, and characters, the odder the better. Many times we laugh over ideas but we list them anyway. It’s a wonderful way to let creativity takes its place and flow. When we’re done the characters are there, and several plots and subplots. We choose or combine the ideas to a working plot, then add the subplots that will work. Of course then comes the pesky thing of writing… outlines, characters studies and subplots. It’s great to share research too.

  • Veronica Jorge
    on April 6, 2017

    Very entertaining piece. Thanks for sharing. Loved the photos you included.

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