Liz here, happy to welcome guests Traci Hall and Patrice Wilton— the writing dream team who writes the Salem B&B Mysteries under the name Traci Wilton. They are here today to talk about their collaboration, their books, and most importantly, their friendship. Take it away, ladies!
We are so glad to hang out with you all today!
I met Patrice eighteen years ago through the RWA community. We were both unpublished with BIG dreams, and we were willing to do whatever it took to reach our goals. Patrice was focused on romance while my Gemini self enjoyed telling stories about everything. Why not? (There is a valid reason for that focus, but that is not the point of this post!)
Fast forward to a Florida Romance Writers cruise four years ago. We’d decided to see if we could write together, since we’d been critique partners forever. We had similar styles, we were both determined and disciplined. We had our eye on the prize—a contract with a publishing house in New York. We’d met with our soon-to-be agent on that cruise to pitch a romance that we’d completed in months without many hiccups. That was the beginning of our co-writing journey.
Our golden rule was to never forget that our friendship came first. That makes it easy to compromise or find another solution. We are each strong writers and we learned how to blend our voices into a unique one for the Salem B and B series. Book 5 was just released last week, Mrs. Morris and the Vampire. Book 6 will be out next year. I’m a plotter, which helps with structure, and Patrice has a sense of whimsy and writes from the heart. It works for us. We like it so much that we also write an indie series, the Riley Harper mysteries, that takes place on a fictional island in Maine.
Thank you so much for having us on the blog today! And readers, we’d love to know if there is someone in your life who makes you more than who you are—tell us all about them please! It can be your grandma or your pet fish, we want to know! Our favorite will get a signed copy of Mrs. Morris and the Vampire. One for you, and one for your bestie 😊 ! We will choose a winner September 7th from the comments.
Welcome to the blog, ladies! Congratulations on your co-writing successes all while keeping your friendship intact.
Thank you so fun! It’s great to be here. That’s the fun part–writing with a good friend.
Thank you very much! It’s been a fun journey!
Congratulations on your book release.
Thanks Dru – we are very excited! It debuted on B&N at #25!
It was great to be together when we got the email–champagne!
Sounds like a fun series to read – congratulations! My husband is my best friend and we do make each other better together. He’s the planner for the big life events, more serious than me, I’m the more carefree sort and do the day-to-day stuff. We’re both worriers though, and we help each other to get through it. It’s great to read you put your friendship first!
Kathy, sounds like a great relationship with your best friend/husband. So happy for you. Traci and I have enjoyed writing these together, and now that we live 5 hours apart, it keeps us connected.
That’s really great Kathy–it’s nice to be married to your best friend!
Welcome back and congratulations on the new book. My husband and the writing community make me more than I am on my own.
Hi Sherry, and thank you. It is nice to have someone to lean on and good friends to support your dreams and ambitions too.
Hi Sherry! Thank you. It’s really lovely to have that writing community as well as your spouse!
Congratulations on your latest. Have you given up romance writing or is there a third collaboration you haven’t yet mentioned?
Hi Kait! We are pretty tied up with this cozy mysteries series but Traci is still writing romance and I’ve been working on one for almost a year, but life keeps getting in the way. I think we will keep those down to novellas.
Hey Kait–you never know with us what might happen next LOL…in this biz we’ve learned to be flexible, right, Patrice?
For sure, Traci – ya gotta roll with the punches.
Congratulations on what I know will be a well received awesome new book!
Other than my hubby, whose love and devotion would take a while book to tell you about, I would have to say that my BFF is the one that makes me be the best “me” that I can be. We became friends many years ago through our love for Emmett Kelly Jr. and clowning. That friendship grew into being sisters by choice.
She’s always been there for me through thick and thin. When Mom was living with us after cancer surgery and Alzheimer, she was my lifeline. It was her that convinced me that the best way to care for Mom was to care for myself. She even plotted and planned with hubby for a girl’s weekend. It had been well over a year that I’d been at home 24/7 when flew in at her expense to meet me in the next biggest town for some pampering and girl’s time. She made a point that we talked very day – more often if I just needed an unbiased ear. She seemed to sense when I need to cry it out or needed something to laugh at for distraction. She most definitely showed me what I wanted to be as a friend and how to extend that friendship out to others that may just need that little bit of attention or interest right then. And she was right, I was better able to give Mom the love, attention and care that she most definitely deserved by taking a little time for myself.
We have shared the loss of our parents, spent many times meeting up (her from IL and me from AR) for some fun times and to recharge and still to this day stay in communication in one form or other on a very regular basis. I see many more years and our friendship continuing to grow. Without her, I would feel like part of myself was missing.
Because of her, I do feel that I’m more “me” than I use to be or would have been without her in my life. She keeps me balanced, helps me see and sit my goals and brings out the best in ME.
Thank you for the fabulous opportunity to win a signed copy of “Mrs. Morris and the Vampire” for my bestie and myself! Shared and hoping to be the very fortunate one selected.
2clowns at arkansas dot net
Thank you so much for that beautiful story, Kay. You have been doubly blessed with a wonderful and caring husband, and an endearing kinship with this amazing lady who brought out the best in you. I am so happy for you all. Love and hugs!
Oh wow, Kay–that is so lovely! We need our girls and I’m so glad that you had such amazing support.
And….drumroll please, Kay Garrett is our winner! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your mailing address for you and for your best friend! Thank you everyone for visiting with us yesterday!
You are our winner, Kay! Email at email@example.com with your mailing info for you and for your best friend!
Congrats, Kay!! You deserve it!
I would have to say my friend Angela makes me feel so much more, she lifts me up even if I’m not feeling bad. She has helped me so much through this next journey in life I just started. She not only does this for me, she does it for many others.
Thank you Karen, and if this is the Angela I think it is, you are right that she gives to all of us. You are lucky to have such a caring, supportive friend.
Angela–code word for Angel? I’m so happy that you’ve got such a terrific friend!
My boyfriend. I’m a full time caregiver for my mom and he gives me a shoulder to lean on when I need it
Wow–that boyfriend is a Keeper! I am so glad he is there for you, as I know how hard it can be.
That is such a tough position to be in! Your BF sounds terrific…remember to take time for yourself too
Don’t enter me in your contest because I won your grand prize at the launch party last week. I can’t wait to read these because I know I’m going to love the series and want more.
My husband completes me and my furbabies make me more than I am because all five of them are rescues and they deserve the best life they can have and it’s up to me to give it to them no matter what.
Hi Laurie – I have your grand prize all boxed up, but I’m waiting for another two winners so I can get them mailed at the same time. You should have it by the end of the week, and we LOVED your thank-you note! I am thrilled that you have a wonderful husband, and five furbabies! Life is good.
Laurie! Yay–congratulations again. Five rescues? They are lucky to have you! It sounds like you and your hubby both have huge hearts <3
What great faith you have in each other to turn the critique partnership into a writing team. So glad it has worked out for you. The person who has made me more than just myself was my life partner, Pat, who encouraged my writing, was the first to hear and critique each story–often through several iterations, and let me be me but also helped me grow into more than me from back then.
Cam, as a writer we both know how important it is to have someone who believes in you and your writing, no matter how long it takes to achieve that goal. We need someone to push us forward when we have lost faith in ourselves. For Traci and I, it was the glue that maintained our friendship and mutual love and respect. We held each other up during the bad times, and cheered for each other’s success.
Cam, what Patrice said is so true! I’m glad you found your partner, too!
Oh, definitely my fantastic hubby of 46 years. We are best friends and love doing all kinds of things together. I would not be the person I am today without his support and encouragement. Gotta love that guy.
Ginny– beautiful, I love hearing this so much. You both are so fortunate to have found each other and to be able to nourish that love. You keep on loving that guy!
Sounds like you do! And he is no doubt just as lucky to have you. Happy 46 years!
Welcome to the Wickeds, Traci and Patrice! I am fascinated by writing teams. I think the main reason is that though I worked on teams throughout my working life and loved it, I love writing because I can do it alone and am the absolute dictator in my fictional world.
Thanks for the welcome, Barbara. It is true that writers are introverts in the most part, and enjoy being alone and creating new stories for readers to love. It gives us as much pleasure as it does the readers. We had talked about co-writing something together, and then our editor asked if we’d like to do this. We didn’t say no.
Hi Barbara! That is so funny–but also, we continue to have individual series as well, where we can be as bossy as we like LOL!
So nice to hear that this team up works so well for you both. Congrats on book 5!
Thank you Mark! We’ve enjoyed the journey together.
Thank you very much! We appreciate you dropping in!
I have a girlfriend, Betty, who has been there for over 45 years. We share everything from the ridiculous to the heartbreak. We are each other’s sounding board no matter how great or how small.
That is so important to have that special person in our lives! Thank you for sharing, Maryfrances!
Forty-five years of friendship is something to be especially proud of. Two hearts that beat as one. We all need sounding boards, and usually a friend works better than a hubby – lol.
My Sister is the my best friend and the one who keeps me in line. She’s also my reading buddy. I haven’t read this series yet. It’s already on my TBR list.
You’re so fortunate to have a sister, and that she’s your best friend is double great! Thanks for chatting, Dianne!
My sister and I have never been close and now we’re separated from coast to coast. We live in Florida and she’s in BC, Canada. You are very fortunate.
Thanks for visiting the Wickeds today! I am in awe of you ability to collaborate on novels!So impressive!
We always love visiting this terrific community 🙂
Thank you Jessie! I’m not sure if impressive is the right word, but we work hard, have respect, and our good times too.
Hello and welcome ladies! Congratulations on the upcoming new release, I love the book cover, and how fun to be writing partners! My husband has known me way far longer then anyone else, together we make a great team , we have been married for 44 years and together for 45 yrs. so he knows me better than anybody else. Thank you for the chance. Have a great week and stay safe. I enjoyed getting to know you a little more , I will definitely be adding more books to my TBR list. 🙂
Thank you so much for sharing your romance–that is the stuff we write about!
Thanks Alicia, but I’m sure we both envy the wonderful life you have had married so many wonderful years and keeping the love alive. We’ve been fortunate in so many ways, but life has had it ups and downs.
Congratulations on another book! My husband has always been there for me for 31 years. Starting a business, adopting all our “previously owned” dogs (oh, and the two rabbits), my book buying habit/compulsion? (oh, dear), and taking care of my mom for many years. It would have been a lot harder without him.
Lolol–it sounds like you have a true partner at your side. Rabbits too? That’s awesome!
Thank you Violet. You’ve been through the trenches too, but have come out a winner. So happy you have a great man at your side.
My Mom makes me to be more than I am. She has always told me I could do anything. Thank you for the opportunity.
Without a doubt my answer is my mom! She is my best friend!
Nadine Gentile reminds me that I am important to her.
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