Partner Writing tip from Sarah and Shannon Brady

Sarah and Shannen Brady are a mother/daughter writing team out of Washington State.  Together they write paranormal romantic suspense.


Partner Writing

Sarah Brady


We get a lot of requests to talk about partner writing. That doesn’t surprise me. Creative writing is generally a solitary thing, and the fact we’re mother and daughter and writing steamy romance together moves us quite a few points up the weird scale. Everyone is always friendly and nice at the conferences we go to but by the third day I start to feel just a little like a fascinating zoo exhibit. (Poke, Poke. What’s it doing? How does it do that? Poke.) Seriously, we’re always happy to share but I don’t know if our particular methods would work for someone else or not.  I only know that, with Shannen, it feels like the most natural thing in the world.

When we want to come up with a new book, it’s as simple as just sitting down and telling each other a story. We can argue about plot and characters, motivation and hooks for a couple of hours and come out of it with a completely plotted novel. We should be pretty good at that sort of thing; we’ve been arguing about one thing or another all her life. Once we have our overall plot and characters, the rough plot gradually turns into a detailed scene-by-scene outline that is essentially a rough draft. After that, one of us creates a first draft of the actual book and the other edits it.

A couple of key factors make this work for us. One is that I am a plotter to the point of neuroses. I make lists of my lists and like to plan my life and everyone else’s to the nth degree. Our method of outlining in such detail means that we can agree on exactly where the book is going before we ever write a scene. Left to her own devices, Shannen is a bit more of a free-thinker than I am but she’s adapted.  I don’t think this particular method would work if she were truly a pantser. She’d stab me in my sleep.

I’ve heard of several writing relationships that have disintegrated over disputes about money, fair work load distribution or any number of other issues and have personal experience with what happens when a family business goes bad. (When they go bad, it’s not a firecracker, it’s a thermonuclear detonation.) That’s never going to happen to us. Our relationship comes first, and any money, prestige, work or anything else can’t ever be important at all compared to that. I started on this journey as way to stay connected with my daughter when she went off to college.  Even as she finishes up multiple college degrees and launches out into the real adult world, complete with job and apartment and boyfriend and dog, she still has to call me a couple of times a week to discuss book stuff. Even if we never sell another book, I win.

Not that we don’t want to sell books.  Just because I didn’t set out to become a bestselling author doesn’t mean I can’t SQUEEE with the best of them when I see our first book out there. What follows is a bunch of blatant, shameless self-promotion.  Check out our new release info below and see what a multi-generational nerd squad can do.


 Alexandra Grayson is an empathic healer, flying under the radar as a Spokane Valley EMT. Protecting her family’s secret from Homeland Security’s Gifted Agenda and the bigotry of a fearful populace is the most important thing to her. Getting close to men, especially super sexy cops, isn’t an option.

Tyler Kincaid is a man who knows what he wants, and what he wants is Alex. When she outs herself as Gifted by healing a child, Tyler helps her escape, but even his love is not enough to protect her. When Alex is taken by HOMSEC agents, Tyler has to lead a motley collection of Alex’s Gifted relatives in a daring rescue.

Shannen Brady lives in Western Washington with her boyfriend and their child, a rambunctious corgi named Chubberus Maximus. When she's not writing her latest sexy story, you can find her hiking, watching terrible SyFy movies and avoiding cooking of any kind.

 Sarah Brady lives in Eastern Washington with her husband and teenage son, dividing her time between her real life and the voices in her head.

 Sarah and Shannen are a mother/daughter team and together they write paranormal romantic suspense. Their first book, Healer, is book 1 of The Gifted, a series that will be four m/f romances, and published by Soul Mate Publishing. Their second book will be Sweet Fire, book 1 of a related series of m/m books, to be released January 2, 2015 by Dreamspinner Press.

Sarah and Shannen love to hear from readers.

 FaceBook at SBradyBooks

Twitter @sbradybooks.