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A Word with Marji Laine

Posted by on January 28, 2014

This week, I’m welcoming friend and fellow author, Marji Laine.

Marji LaineMarji is a homeschooling mom of 4 with the oldest working in the mission field in Africa. She spends her days transporting to and from volleyball, teaching writing classes at a local coop, and directing the children’s music program at her church.

With decades of leading worship, directing and performing in theatre productions, and script-writing, Marji took the plunge to creating scintillating Christian romance and romantic suspense novels with a side of Texas sassy. She invites readers to unravel their inspiration, seeking a deeper knowledge of the Lord’s Great Mystery that invites us all.

Today, Marji is sharing her experience in The Art of Collaboration in writing:

When I first started writing, I loved the solitude. The quiet gave me the excuse to tap away at my keyboard only engaging the characters inside my head. (Pretty scary, huh.)

No really, for a home-schooling mom of four, I was all about getting in a little uninterrupted time. But then I had the cold water of reality flung into my face. Presenting.

Presenting is that necessary little element that helps a person move from being a writer to being an author. It can be in the form of indi-pubbing, where you just dress your baby up and toss it out there for all to see. Or it can take the form of pitching, querying, and proposing to agents and editors.

Now that’s the real scary stuff, let me tell you! And when faced with that situation, being a writer can be a very lonely career.

“One is the loneliest number.”

So when I saw the opportunity last Christmas to be part of a collaboration novella, I jumped. I entered at the last moment, but my chapter was selected to join the others as part of the Christmas Tree Treasure Hunt. What an amazing experience.

The Benefits

Writing in collaboration with others eliminates the isolation. True, I wrote my section by myself, but because I was one of several contributors to the book, I could give honest appraisals of it. I wasn’t tooting my own horn to share information and promotion of the story. And because there were so many of us, we had 9 times the audience than just one of us would’ve had. That right there was huge.

The Story

How could 9 women with totally different writing styles put together a single story? I can do nothing but shake my head and lift my hands A Dozen Apologies Coverskyward to that question. God is good.

The editor had to do a little tweaking with details here and there to make the chapters flow and the initial author wrote the final chapter after viewing the others. But the Lord entwined the chapter and the character arch without effort.

The Result

The whole thing makes me downright giddy. The book, the first collaboration that Write Integrity Press had ever done, hit the top of Amazon charts. The success catapulted me and the other 8 authors to the top 100 authors list. No kidding! I got up to number 48, right in front of Leo Tolstoy! We were bestsellers for 8 days straight.

The Anticipation

I don’t know that our current project will reach the same success level, but I do know that while I loved The Christmas Tree Treasure Hunt, A Dozen Apologies is much better. Mara has done some pretty horrible things, but when she comes to know the Lord, she feels she must do her best to make things right. Not an easy task considering the humiliations she created. To read her story, find the posts on Write Integrity Press and watch for the notice of the free e-book. (WriteIntegrity.com)

 

Thanks for visiting, Marji, and showing us a glimpse of the writing life. You can connect with Marji on her website, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Goodreads.

 

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6 Responses to A Word with Marji Laine

  1. Jody Bailey Day

    Sounds like a wonderful experience. Glad you were able to participate:)

  2. Phee

    I love collaborating too, for lots of the reasons you said. The best part is participating in others’ creativity. But the hardest part is promotion. All of you have pushed me way past where I would go by natural inclination. Thanks for sharing your perspective.

    • Marji Laine

      I have learned so much about promos through these collaborations. Brainstorming is therapeutic to me! My weakness is follow-through, but working with other authors, I have ample motivation to push through to the end!

  3. Jennifer Hallmark

    It is hard at times, isn’t it? I need to be alone to work, but get tired of being alone at the same time…

    • Marji Laine

      I find I work best alone, when I’m in the groove. But I also enjoy being partnered with others for brainstorming and sharing the project.

I welcome your thoughts on this.