Hi, there! We’re HL Carpenter, a mother/daughter duo. We write family-friendly fiction from our studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like our stories, is unreal but not untrue. When we’re not writing, we enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity. We invite you to visit us at HLCarpenter.com for free reads, links to guest blog posts, and other news from Carpenter Country. We also invite you to sign up for our newsletter, which goes out every Saturday thanks to the hard-working team at MailChimp. The newsletter is free, we’ll never spam you, and you can unsubscribe easily at any time (not that you’ll want to).
If you want to talk to us, send an email to editor @ TopDrawerInkCorp.com or hl_carpenter @ HLCarpenter.com, or you can connect on Google+ or LinkedIn.
Thanks for reading, and welcome to Carpenter Country! Now that we've met, we hope you’ll be a regular visitor.
H & L Carpenter
How do you write together?
When you hear the word “writers”, do you picture individual authors, each working on separate projects?
Here in Carpenter Country, where we write, a different image canters into view - one of individual authors working on the same project. As HL Carpenter, a mother/daughter team, we’re writers who write together.
If you’re thinking you could never write with someone else, we understand. We felt the same way in the beginning. Sharing what you've written, especially when the words come from your heart, is hard. What if the other person doesn't like what you have to say, or worse, doesn't understand and thinks you should change what you've written? That would be like changing who you are or what you feel.
You don’t ever want to do that.
Neither do we. Fortunately, we discovered we can stay true to ourselves while writing collaboratively. How? By letting each other be who we are. For instance, when we create the first draft of our stories, we never make corrections to each other’s work. Instead, we take turns writing chapters, always moving forward.
After we have the story captured from first scene to last, we go back to the beginning and blend our words together. Harmony results as our separate voices merge into one.
How well does the process work? You’re reading an example right now. If you didn't know, would you suspect more than one author wrote the answer to this question?
We’re not saying collaborating is for everyone or that teamwork is always easy. What relationship is? Even when two people commit to the same goal, disagreements can flare. For us, flare-ups happen as we revise the initial draft. So we have a rule: No matter how attached either of us is to a particular word or phrase, when we disagree, we re-write the section in dispute.
Following that rule meant our first book, a young adult novel called The SkyHorse, underwent multiple revisions. With each, the story grew stronger, much like the little winged SkyHorse does when our heroine learns how to feed him properly.
By the time we finished, all the words belonged to both of us, and The SkyHorse galloped off to Musa Publishing. Musa was a terrific publisher and when our run there was finished, we got the rights back and re-published the story of our little winged horse. He's still flying, and we're delighted that others love him as much as we do.
Meanwhile, here in Carpenter Country, we’re working on another book - together, because we’re not only writers, we’re a team.
What is your writing process?
One or the other of us spots a sentence, an image, or a word that sparks an idea. If the idea is intriguing enough, the spotter writes up a synopsis and fleshes the story out. Then we decide if the topic is one we can both sustain our interest in long enough to complete the story. Then we write. Revise. Edit. Proof. Fix.
Sounds easy. Can take months. Good thing we love our work!