Monday, August 24, 2015
How I Chose My Collaborators - Part 2
In the first half of this discussion I talked about collaborating with my wife Helen and how much of an impact she's had on my writing.
Today I would like to introduce you all to my other cohort in crime, mischief, nonsense, lunacy, chaos, and other things too numerous to mention, as well as writing.
Richard Caminiti and I go back as far as Levittown Memorial High School (Go Panthers). Mind you shortly after we graduated the school was closed. Coincidence? You decide.
But when I left Levittown, Long Island (New York State), in 1985 I lost touch with him an so many others. So I was not there to watch him rise up through the ranks from police officer to Sergeant. Nor was I around when he served as part of the Volunteer Fire Department as an EMT/Firefighter. I was also not around for when he began one of the most intriguing jobs he's had, namely Paranormal Investigator (which he still does). He's seen and debunked a lot of things and helped to put people's minds at rest, but he has also encountered phenomenon that is less easily explained and is a true believer in the paranormal.
So you can easily see why I felt so lucky and thrilled that thanks to FB, after 20+ years of being out of touch, to be in contact with him again. Especially when we started to Skype and it felt like very little time had actually passed since the last time we got to sit down together. Much had happened for each of us in those years, but the camaraderie we shared had not diminished in the slightest. So when he asked me to take a look at a writing project he'd been working on and off for the last two decades, I was only too glad to say yes.
What I found was very much a rough first draft of a science fiction/time travel story. There was a lot of setting the scene in the future, and technobabble, which made it a bit dry reading but there wa sa real story here. I was able to see the story he wanted to tell and where he intended to take it. In short, it had potential. With a bit of reworking his story had legs and wanted to run. So during some Skype sessions I gave him a lot of the same advice I've shared on this blog in the past and acted as a sounding board as he came up with new ideas and helped guide him to rework what he had. The newer versions I and others have seen are a great improvement and he is extremely fired up to keep it going.
After seeing how far he was coming in such a short time, and because of our long friendship and shared interests, I was more than willing to agree to collaborate on a novel with him. I knew his strengths and insights, as well as how good we could work together. And I enjoy our brainstorming sessions and how thoroughly he cares about accuracy when it comes to writing in a historical setting. Which is what we're doing currently. "The Pass" will be our first joint project and will involve some interesting supernatural entities that one might not think of blending together for a piece. But I assure you all, we're being careful and making sure the beings we incorporate have reasons for being in this setting. History and the supernatural will be meeting in this tale set during the waining years of the Civil War, but the battlefront will not be on fields of Gettysburg or Atlanta. This story will be set on west coast and involve a famous pass who's name is associated with people who tried to travel through it during a terrible winter back in the 1840's.
We plan on keeping you all updated on our progress and I'll be helping my partner create a blog of his own so you can all get to know him better. He's wealth of knowledge and is only too happy to share with others, which makes him an excellent storyteller, collaborator and very dear friend.
So there you have it folks. Choosing to work with someone on a collaboration is not easy by any means. But if you truly feel you can rely on the individual in question and that the two of you can really work as one, then give it a shot.
Until next time, take care and keep writing.