S DeGiorgio at the Museum of Natural History, Butterfly Exhibit, Washington DC.
We both always dreamed of writing books, but before either of us finished anything independently, we started collaborating serendipitously in May of 2013. I, Sebastian, was working on Orion Connection and Shaley was working on a young adult series. During a discussion one night over dinner we realized that we were in essence writing the same story, but at different points in time. Combining the storylines transformed the arc of the entire series in ways neither of us could have imagined on our own. Before we knew it we had outlined three trilogies in the Orion Series.
This is where the true power of collaboration resides.
The nineteenth century archetype of the novelist slaving away in solitude runs contrary to the demands of today’s fast-paced society. Television shows and movies employ teams of writers to craft imaginative, interesting plots. We asked ourselves, why should we slug through the writing process alone when working with a partner results in a better end product.
We develop all of our ideas together.
The constant ideas flowing through our conversations is fun. Right now we’re playing with ideas for several other projects that aren’t in the Orion Series: a couple love stories, screenplays, short stories, and a story about coming of age as a soldier in Korea (based on my personal experience).
Orion Connection came first, but took longer to finish than Yo Ho Ho and a Very Merry Christmas, because it’s a much longer book!
Yo Ho Ho and a Very Merry Christmas!, published in December of 2013, came about because we always had our hearts set on writing a classic Christmas story. Then, one day we came across some Christmas wrapping that had a pirate theme and said “Yo ho ho!” instead of “Ho ho ho!” and we ran with it. That night we lay in bed chatting about adventures and the plot until around 2:00 am.
A couple weeks later Yo Ho Ho and a Very Merry Christmas! was written and we had our first small book to publish. We hired a talented, aspiring illustrator, ElizaBeth Swenson, to color pencil drawings we provided to her, and Yo Ho Ho turned out to be a great book for us to try out self-publishing. It got us through all the steps necessary to develop our first kindle book and helped us approach publishing Orion Connection with a lot more confidence. Yo Ho Ho is also available in audiobook!