My husband, Will Zeilinger, and I co-write the thrillers of INTERNATIONAL MYSTERY SERIES, as E. J. Williams. Our tales transport the reader from 1962 Southern California to various international locales. In the first new book of the series, STONE PUB, we find ourselves in County Cork, Ireland.
Planning the series, then planning the individual novel in the series takes a great deal of time. It is so easy to get stuck on one idea and not move ahead. The two of us had MANY ideas we threw around.
So, we implemented deadlines—not just for writing (which needs to happen) but at the planning stage … making decisions.
For example, “By the next meeting follow, we will decide on:”
1) Romantic scene, when, where, and with who.
2) Car chase: where will it take place and who is chasing whom, etc. Once we agree on these details, one of us writes the scene, and the other adds to it.
Beware of analysis/paralysis. We knew of a co-writing team who couldn’t agree on the names of the characters, not just one but all. Their writing ground to a halt for months!
Remember that your mutual goal is to write a good story.
The takeaway: When writing together, plan your approach.
Remember… the crucial thing is to write a good story. So, stay tuned … there is more to come.
STONE PUB is the first in the series, and yes … we are still married!
The 1960s began a new era of television programs. Broadcasting transitioned from black/white to color. Lighthearted sitcoms/comedies were the most-watched shows. But as the decade progressed people became socially conscious. Memorable theme songs/ lyrics defined the shows.
Here are just a few of those memorable theme songs in alphabetical order:
1965 to 1971
by Jerry Fielding
I Dream of Jeanie
by Hugo Montenegro
by Lalo Schifrin
My Three Sons
1960 to 1970
by Frank De Vo
The Addams Family
1964 to 1966
by Vic Mizzy
The Andy Griffith Show
1960 to 1968
by Earle Hagen
1966 to 1969
by Laurie Johnson
The Beverly Hillbillies
by Paul Henning
The Courtship of Eddies Father
1969 to 1972
by Harry Nilsson
The Twilight Zone
by Bernard Herrmann
Starting a Novel with a Partner: The Plotting
by E.J. Williams
(Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger)
My husband, Will Zeilinger, and I co-write thrillers, the INTERNATIONAL MYSTERY SERIES, as E. J. Williams. Our tales transport the reader from 1962 Southern California to various international locales. In the first new book of the series, STONE PUB, we find ourselves in County Cork, Ireland.
As we began this series, we experienced the same thing as with the previous, Skylar Drake Mystery Series. That is, we had all sorts of ideas stuck in our heads. Each of us had different scenarios we’d developed. We found it challenging to develop and agree on a central plotline for each story that would take the series across many books.
Meeting regularly with specific agendas and follow-up reports for reminders helped us narrow down the many ideas into the main idea, one that could be sustained through many future books. Daily, weekly, and monthly update meetings keep things flowing. Much like each chapter of a book drives the plot forward, the meetings should have a purpose. They should help drive the writing forward. Once we agreed on the plotline for the whole series, we could focus on the individual novels with similar foundations.
Regular meetings are the most efficient way of making a co-writing situation successful. Remember . . . the crucial thing is to write a good story. So, stay tuned . . . there is more to come.
STONE PUB is the first in the series, and yes…we are still married!
Website: Janet Elizabeth Lynn
Website: Will Zeilinger
Read Skylar Drake Mysteries while waiting for STONE PUB.
If you happen to be of a certain age, you will remember tail fins on the cars from your childhood.
Although most people think the trend of having tail fins on cars lasted approximately from 1955 to 1965, the first subtle appearances of tail fins began in the late ’40s. What started as a small chrome trim piece on a tail light, or a subtle fin of a few inches in length.
Growing in size each year until they (literally) peaked in 1959. American cars were not unique in this fad. By the early ’60s, the appeal began to wane. With a few exceptions, by 1965, they had disappeared from the automotive landscape.
General Motors and Chrysler deserve the credit with starting the finny “arms race.” Harley Earl and Bill Mitchell at GM and Virgil Exner at Chrysler attempted to wow the public with each new model year by introducing the most outlandish fins on their vehicles. Ford was in the mix too. Remember, the original Thunderbird also employed design elements that took their cues from jet aircraft. This trend carried through to the 1963 model year. The full-sized Ford lost its fins by 1962.
Even European automotive designers got into the act. French Italian designers have always been avant-garde, but even the British and Germans, who tend to be more conservative, slapped fins on some of their cars.
The ultimate fins of the era belonged to the 1959 Cadillac El Dorado Biarritz. The eye-popping red paint job and fins that look like they could impale someone made this car unmistakeable…Even today.
The Top 10 1960s Billboard Hits
Enjoy the waltz down memory lane!
2. 1961 Tossin and Turnin by Bobby Lewis
3. 1962 Stranger on the Shore by Mr. Acker Bilk
4. 1963 Sugar Shack by Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs
5. 1964 I Want to Hold Your Hand by The Beatles (Ed Sullivan Show)
6. 1965 I Can’t Get No Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones
7. 1966 Ballad of the Green Berets by SSgt. Barry Sadler
8. 1967 To Sir with Love by Lulu
9. 1968 Hey Jude by The Beatles
10. 1969 Sugar, Sugar by The Archies (You’ll get a kick out of the animation.)
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