Since there's a big difference in our ages (I'm over 30 years
older than Jacob), everyone is curious about how we came to
be writing partners, and I often ask myself if it was coincidence
Yes-or moxy! It happened back when I was twenty-four or so and
had completed my second novel, The Sleepwalkers (which HCI Books
just released). Like most young writers, I was looking for a
literary agent. On a whim, I posted an ad on Craigslist with
the title "Young Writer Seeking Mentor." Char answered.
He was hoping to find an established author to advise him on
getting published, and I was looking for a young hot guy to
take with me to studio pitch meetings. I'd reached that certain
age (over fifty) where women become invisible in Hollywood.
I didn't even care if he could write but I got lucky. Jacob's
talent is awesome.
Thanks. I felt pretty lucky, too, to stumble upon a writing
partner who had published a dozen books and done some major
TV shows. And the more we've worked together, the more I appreciate
Charlene's masterful skill as a writer and storyteller. I've
learned a lot, and had a lot of fun. It was definitely destiny
that brought us together.
It had to be. Jacob was about three when Dell (now part of Doubleday)
published my women's mainstream novel, Rituals, which eventually
became the basis for the first continuing TV drama made for
syndication. I got completely immersed in writing for television
with no idea that Rituals would be my last book deal until Jacob
grew up and came to me with his idea for The Tracks.
Just before Char and I met, I was living in Los Angeles and
taking Wing Chun Kung Fu classes. At that time, some of my friends
were into watching a lot of teen drama shows like Degrassi and
The O.C., and I thought: wouldn't it be awesome to see a teen
drama with kung fu? That would really be something. After contacting
me via Craigslist, Char and I had lunch and fleshed out my idea
(The Tracks) as a treatment for a TV series.
We added the supernatural element to Jake's original concept
but we both left L.A. before we had a chance to pitch it. Flash
forward five years, after I'd moved to South Florida and Jacob
had moved to Canada. I'd been following the success of Twilight
and Harry Potter and grousing about the fact that I couldn't
come up with an idea for a cool YA book series, and then it
hit me-I already had it in my files. About that time my friend
Herman Rush, a television producer, met Peter Vegso, the head
of HCI Books (which brings the world all those marvelous Chicken
Soup For The Soul books). I got in touch with Jacob and asked
him what he thought of pitching The Tracks as a book series.
It was quite a time in my life when all this came about. In
L.A., I'd had a great career going, acting in T.V. commercials
for Old Spice and Acura, among others. The woman I was with
then was having a really hard time in L.A., so I dropped everything
and moved to Toronto to help her out. I was an illegal immigrant
up there and had to work a construction job to make ends meet.
We didn't always have enough money, so we had to resort to begging
a couple of times. Seriously. It was a pretty brutal existence.
Then, from out of the blue. . .
Herman introduced me to Mr. Vegso, I pitched the idea and here
we are. Dark Territory came out in July, 2011, and Ghost Crown
hits the stands in March, 2012. Jacob immediately sold HCI two
other books he'd already written. He's a phenomenon and I'm
so fortunate to be his co-author. He's everything a brilliant
novelist is supposed to be: rebel . . . radical . . . romantic
. . . smart . . . and smoldering sexy . . .
Ha ha. I'm still having trouble with that concept.
He's modest, too-but you can see why my family and friends now
tease me about being a literary cougar. There has probably never
been a more unlikely duo but I couldn't ask for a better writing
partner. We overcame some initial creative skirmishes with mutual
respect and professionalism. The result is The Tracks series,
and it's full of magic, martial arts, star-crossed lovers, giant
monsters, alternate realities, demons and fallen angels. Something
I couldn't have hoped for a more talented, creative, driven
writing partner than Char. I think it's because of our disparate
points of view and life experiences that we've been able to
come together and create something really unique and special.
I can't wait to hear what all the romance readers out there
think of it! I hope they'll find us on Facebook or Goodreads.com
and let us know.
So, serve 'em up, barkeep-make mine a margarita and don't spare
And I'll have some of that fine virtual beer you keep on tap.