When Josh meets handsome airline pilot Captain Guy Collingwood on a sun-kissed island, he finds out what flying first class really means!
When Josh leaves the rainy shore of England for the sun-drenched tropical island of St Sebastian, his biggest worry is remembering his best man’s speech. But a chance meeting with handsome airline pilot Captain Guy Collingwood leads to a hot and raunchy holiday romance.
Guy’s everything Josh is looking for in his ideal man. Mature, dashing and confident, he’s also single and more than happy to show Josh the pleasures of St Sebastian. Yet Guy’s unruffled demeanor hides a past regret. Is the wedding of Josh’s best friend about to reopen a painful chapter that has never fully closed?
As a fearsome tropical storm threatens the island paradise and a broken family threatens Josh and Guy’s happiness, the stakes have never been higher. Can St Sebastian work its magic to heal past wounds and will Josh and Guy’s holiday fling take flight?
General Release Date: 3rd December 2019
The pros and cons of co-writing
We’ve been writing together for nearly three years and in that time we’ve been writing our Captivating Captains m/m romances, as well as the de Chastelaine Chronicles paranormal romances. Our latest Captivating Captains novel, The Captain and the Best Man, is out on 3rd December. Readers and other writers are often curious about how we do it, so here’s an insight into what we get up to!
- Different co-writing authors approach co-writing differently. Some write alternate chapters to accommodate different points-of-view, others divide up the work so one writes plot and the other writes the narrative, and others have one writer produce the first draft while the second comes in and adds embellishments. Because we write in the same document (thank you, Google Docs!) we divide up characters and write together that way. One of the pros to this approach is that our dialogue really does sound like different characters talking because in reality, it really is the voices of two different people! And bear in mind, writing together isn’t at all unusual in the world of television, but it is when it comes to fiction.
- Brainstorming ideas works really well when writing as a team because you can bounce ideas of each other and can look at suggestions from different angles. I might put forward an idea and Catherine will go, “I like that. And what about…?” And it’s those “and what about” questions that help to develop and shape the plot and the characters.
- We have two people’s experiences to inspire our stories. For instance, there’s a woman I see on the way to work each morning who puts her make-up on on the bus, and I sent Catherine a message from the bus saying “She’s like the heroine of a romcom. Imagine if a man – who turns out to be the hero – sits next to her and she manages to tip blusher into his lap!” And Catherine replied, saying,“Yes! And what if she’s going to a job interview, and she walks into the room and it’s the man from the bus on the interview panel!” The ideas kept on coming and like rolling a snowball across the garden that eventually grows big enough to turn into a snowman, we came up with a novel.
- We share out the jobs. So while the writing is shared down the middle anyway, there’s other tasks that writers have to do, such as going through edits from the editor, talking to the publisher about cover art, doing promo, etc. This way, we share the load.
- It’s fun! The best way to explain what co-writing is like – at least, the way we do it – is that it’s like when you were little and your friend came round after school to play with Sindy dolls or Sylvanians. Writing can be a lonely process so it’s good to write with someone else. Also, it’s frustrating when a story comes to a stop as you’re writing, so when this happens, we at least have each other to talk about in order to find a solution. And commiserate if we realise we need to either do major unpicking or abandon ship. Luckily we have a lot of ideas knocking about, so if something does prove unworkable, we have other projects we can move onto. And eventually, one of us will have an idea that’ll fix the stalled project and bring it back to life.
- Compromise is essential. Imagine if, when I suggested the “woman doing her make-up on the bus” idea, Catherine had said, “I’m not seeing it. What about a woman who eats toast and drinks tea on the bus for breakfast instead?” Then we’d have to have a chat about what’s more compelling, what’s more realistic, and in a romcom, what’s funniest. It can be difficult if you’re wedded to an idea, but the point of thrashing the ideas out is to make sure the stories are as good as can be. You might have to compromise on a detail, but if it means the story works better overall, then that’s the main thing. Authors writing solo will have experienced something similar when their editor returns a manuscript querying what the characters are up to! So at least we will have spotted anomalies or things that might work better with a tweak before our editor reads the story.
- It’s the old chestnut that crops up in job interviews when you get a question about teamwork, but really, communication is incredibly important when co-writing. And sometimes communicating ideas can be difficult – we live about two and half hours apart so can’t meet up very often and we rely on communicating online which isn’t always easy. Messenger is okay most of the time, but there’s some things you just can’t discuss that way so we use Skype.
- Leading on from communication – you can’t see inside someone else’s head so you need to be clear about how you’re seeing the world you’re creating. Sometimes this is resolved easily by sending each other photos of what we see – this is the character’s house, and he looks a bit like this guy, and he wears these shoes and drives this car. Sometimes you might need to check – so when they walk out of that door you see them in a corridor? I thought they were in another room! But obviously for consistency you’ve got to see the same room layout!
- Plot required! I’ve put this under cons because there’s certain stories where a plot is essential, like when you’ve got a mystery for your characters to unravel (although some authors write stories with a mystery element without one!). And if you don’t want to go the whole hog with a tightly laid out, chapter-by-chapter plot, you need at least a roadmap or an outline of ideas when co-writing so you both know where you’re going. If you think of it as a convoy, it’s sensible that you both know where the destination is and what the main routes are on the way there so everyone knows the route to drive. But saying that, as important as the plot is, it can feel quite tyrannous! I don’t think either of us are natural “pantsers” ie writers who plunge into a story without knowing where it’s going and with no plot in mind, but still, a plot can feel like a yoke sometimes, so we try even to avoid referring to the “plotting document” and call it “the ideas page” instead!
- We’re different people. It’s a con in that it would be much easier if we were exactly the same and agreed all the time with the same ideas, the same perception of the characters and their world, etc. But then again, if we were the same, then there would be no point in co-writing. Being two different people means we bring different, although sometimes similar, things to the table. And that’s why co-writing works.
Oh my gosh, I enjoyed this book so much! It was fun and flirty. It had just the right dash of island fun, great characters and some definite sexiness.
These characters started as a holiday romance, for sure, with even a few bumblings to begin with…the soaked napkin was awesome to me. I felt Josh’s disappointment, and then his joy when he was given a second chance. The two MC’s were a great match, with Guy teaching Josh a little about being adventurous, and Josh willing to jump head-first into the fun.
I’m not sure if the island of St. Sebastian is real (and I refuse to look it up, because I don’t want to be disappointed), but I definitely want to head there for a little fun in the sun, and basking in the glow of all the characters.
4 pieces of eye candy
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