Sunday, April 13, 2014

Husband and Wife - A Writing Team?

Husband and Wife, Writers in the Same House

It’s been thirty four years since we both decided we preferred writing to volleyball or hiking in the woods. Writing became our togetherness hobby.

We even received our first checks on the same day, his from Dog World, mine from Readers Digest. Through the years since, we’ve learned a few lessons.

  • 1.      The most important lesson of all: critiquing one another’s work is exactly that. In the beginning we had to be careful not to personalize our critiques; we had to focus solely on the written words. It wasn’t always easy. I’d write something I thought brilliant and he would suggest major changes. I took offense. Sometimes he would pout. In time we came to understand that the critiques helped our writing and by understanding they were not personal attacks, helped our relationship to grow.

  • 2.      It is still best to have separate writing spaces. I have always had my space close to the center of activity in whatever house we were in. At first we were in the same small office. I’d hear his keyboard clicking away while my mind was blank. Very annoying. Or I’d want to play a game while thinking but felt guilty if he worked assiduously on his story. Our next house gave me an office just off the living room, which worked well as that was our Bed and Breakfast era, so I had to be able to see people arriving at the front door. His office was on the opposite side of the house and then later moved upstairs to an unused bedroom. Now, he uses a spare bedroom and I am in the front room which used to be the dining room.

  • 3.       Because of what we learned in Number 1, we can now complete in the same contests, celebrating each other’s wins. Over the years our books and stories have won or placed well in many competitions. We both enter the Florida Writers annual anthology competition. His stories have been in every issue, mine in three.

Where are we now? We plan to put together a book of our short stories, continue writing our novels and continue to hope for one another’s huge success.

Veronica Helen Hart is an award winning author. Her humorous thriller, The Prince of Keegan Bay, is now part of a series about a group of senior citizens who call themselves The Blenders. Their next adventure, The Swimming Corpse, is scheduled for release in October, 2014. She is currently working on the third book, Safari Stew. These books are published by Champagne Books of Canada. Her publisher, Double Edge Press, Scenery Hill, PA, produces her more serious novels, also award winning, Elena – the Girl with the Piano, now available, and The Reluctant Daughters, being released May 2014. She makes her home in Ormond Beach, Florida with her writer husband, Robert Hart.


Allison Knight said...

DH and I share an office once. Not a wise move. I bothered him, he bothered me. I got in his space, he got in mine. Now he has his office, I have mine, and we do fine. Although he critiques my work, his writing has always been technical and besides, he spells better than me. (grinning) But after 53 years we do appreciate each other's talents and my books would never have seen the light of day if he hadn't helped. You are also one of the lucky few Veronica. Congrats!

Big Mike said...

Lord, it was hard enough collaborating on books with two lady budettes, but a wife. OMG. Just doing our taxes together is a nightmare.

Michael Davis (
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2012)

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

I know this couple, and Ronnie didn't say they also don't openly critique each other in front of their writing groups.

Another marriage of scientist and artist that works well.

Veronica Helen Hart said...

Thank you, Allison and Julie. But, Big Mike - to you I say tch-tch.