Andrew’s Side of the Story
Teaming up professionally with Michele Scott (aka A.K. Alexander) seemed like something that was destined to happen from the word go—one of those odd life circumstances where things instantly snap into place, and as soon as they do, you can’t remember them being any other way. It was that easy.
She’d actually been kicking my tail on the bestsellers list for weeks. Her title, Daddy’s Home, was in the number one spot for psychological thrillers, and mine, The Lion, the Lamb, the Hunted, was right behind her at number two. Then I looked at the Top 100, and there she was again at number four. And there I was below her at seven. I kept thinking, “Who is this girl? I’m selling a hell of a lot of books, but damn, she must be selling a hell of a lot more.”
Several weeks later, I was getting ready to head out on vacation, when a light bulb blinked above my head. Actually, it was more like a pop. Her book was doing great, and my book was doing great. What if we teamed up and did a little author cross-pollination? We were targeting the same audience, and I figured maybe we could parlay that into a bigger one. With things changing as rapidly as they are in the publishing business, you have to think on your feet if you want to sell books, so I figured, why not? The worst thing she could do was tell me to get lost.
Luckily, she didn’t. In fact, her response was more than favorable. To my surprise, she said she’d been watching me closely too and had been thinking that working together could be a great opportunity. Then she mentioned that she’d considered co-authoring a novel with someone, and would I be interested? Was I interested? The wheels in my head were already turning. This could be huge!
I happened to notice that the setting for Daddy’s Home was in my hometown of San Diego, and I mentioned it during one of our conversations.
“I live here too,” she replied, “Which part of town are you in?”
I told her.
She said, “Get out! So am I!”
Now, you have to understand something: San Diego is a huge city, which, at last count, had a population of more than 1.3 million. Our little town, on the other hand, is in the outlying area and size of a postage stamp, so small in fact, and so far out in the sticks, that half the people in the city have never even heard of it. So, what are the odds that two authors standing back-to-back on a national bestsellers list would be living here? And what are the odds that I would unknowingly contact my neighbor to team up?
Next to none, I know.
At first, I thought she was pulling my leg, so I asked where in town she lived. She told me exactly.
Then I said, “You know what? I think we’re neighbors.”
And we are—literally—just a few blocks from each other.
Meant to happen. See what I mean?
The professional relationship quickly flourished, and we got busy working on our collaborative effort, a psychological thriller entitled The Killing Rain. How’s it going? If I told you better than we ever could have ever expected, would you believe me? Right away, the ideas began flying back and forth between us, and now, so are the pages. We jokingly call ourselves The Dream Team now, and I almost feel guilty because it seems too easy. That’s how you know when a collaboration is really working—when it feels effortless.
Working with Michele has been an experience unlike any other. It’s exciting, invigorating, and remarkably rewarding. When we get together and start brainstorming, it’s like there’s a fire in the room that can’t be put out. We are a team in every sense of the word, and we’re learning so much from each other.
But more than that, Michele has become one of my closest friends, and I feel so fortunate to have met her. Forget about the numbers, the sales, forget all of it, because none of it can compare to the camaraderie, the mutual respect, and the support we give to each other.
Michele’s Side of the Story:
When Andrew contacted me and we discovered how close in proximity we lived, I knew this was kismet—that it was meant to be. And while we each have very different experiences as writers, I think it actually works in our favor and helps us write the best books we can for our readers.
Besides that, the commonalities extend far beyond our writing lives. Right away, we discovered we each have a menagerie of horses and dogs, and from that point on, we knew a friendship was in the works and decided to give this co-author thing a try.
At first, I could tell Andrew was a little hesitant to speak up if he didn’t care for an idea. I finally told him that I had worked with agents and editors in New York and had received over two hundred rejection letters in my day. His telling me that something didn’t click for him was not an issue, and I let him know I expected the same from him. We agreed, and from that point on, things just started working.
Mechanics have also worked out wonderfully. We plotted the book together, then got started writing. I write from the protagonist’s point of view and Andrew, from our very heinous antagonist’s. We send chapters back and forth for polishing, and it’s going great. In addition to that, we’re seeing our protagonist grow to where we feel she’s strong enough to become a series character. We hope the readers love her as much as we do.
Of course, we’re both still working on our individual thrillers and other projects as well, but I cannot express enough how rewarding the experience has been working with another author. Writing is typically so solitary, and having a “partner in crime” is unique and a lot of fun. The camaraderie and sharing of ideas work well for us. There is simply an energy in the air that I can only quantify as pure creativity. It’s kind of like being a kid again and playing some imaginary storyline with your best friend. Granted, this is the adult version where we kill people off, and have our characters be a bit twisted and dark, but the feeling is the same. I believe that energy will come through in the book and help Andrew and I achieve our common goals. With our novels, whether they’re individual projects or our collaborative work, we strive to entertain readers. We want our books to be touch points of joy that allow them to escape their day-to-day world.
Andrew E. Kaufman and A.K. Alexander (pen name for Michele Scott) are each bestselling authors in their own right, with combined book sales of more than a half-million copies during the past six months. Andrew’s latest psychological thriller, “The Lion, the Lamb, the Hunted, and A.K.’s novel, “Daddy’s Home” each spent several months in the upper tier of Amazon’s Top 100 bestsellers list, distinguishing them as two of the highest grossing independent authors in the United States and abroad. For more info on “The Killing Rain,” please visit the website.