Pairing Off

by Rob Gregory Browne

I think one of the reasons I never got along very well in Hollywood is because I've never been big on collaboration.  It just isn't really my thing.

I don't know why.  Probably because I like the idea of succeeding or failing on my own terms.  I have no interest in writing somebody else's idea.

Oh, I've done it.  I worked many days together with my old friend Larry Brody — Mr. Television — writing animated shows like Spider-Man and Diabolik.  Brody and I had a lot of fun together, and were so well suited to each other professionally and personally that our collaboration was a successful and productive one.

I also collaborate with my editors.  They give me notes on my books, I make a few changes, and everyone is happy.

And when I'm stuck on a story, I've been known to bounce a scene off my buddies Brett Battles and Bill Cameron (we IM most every day), and they're always a huge help.

But for the most part, I'm happy to sit alone in a room writing my stories without input from anyone but my muse.

Still, I know there are a lot of people out there who love to collaborate.  Two writers feeding off each other, telling each other what sucks and what's great, creating characters and worlds together — I can see how that might be appealing to some.

And as I was thinking about such collaborations today, I thought, what if everyone on Murderati were to pair off and write something together?  We might have six interesting new books.

Or maybe not:

06-RHOADES-BATTLES
BRETT RHOADES
– THE CLEANER'S RIGHT HAND

Bounty hunter Jonathan Keller loses an appendage to a runaway power scrubber.

04-CORNELIA-ALEX
ALEXANDRA READ – THE PRICE OF DARKNESS

A fledgling journalist follows the trail of a family of blue bloods to a hospital full of monstrous nuns.

02-BRENNAN-SHARP
ZOE BRENNAN – SUDDEN STRIKE

Two soldiers-for-hire, Jack Fox and Charlie Kincaid, spend a harrowing week on the picket line.

05-ELLISON-GERRITSEN
JT GERRITSEN – THE MEPHISTO KISS

A Boston medical examiner meets a Nashville homicide detective and their accents collide.

01 - LOUISE-PARI
PARI NOSKIN URE – ANONYMOUS HITCH

A public relations consultant gets roadside assistance from a blind woman and all hell breaks loose.

03-CAUSEY-BROWNE
ROBBI MCGEE GREGORY CAUSEY
KISS HER FAMILY JEWELS (kinda sorta)

While making love to a slightly trashy but oh-so-hot Southern gal, an ATF agent finds himself rocketed into the afterlife.

Okay, maybe I do need a collaborator.  Somebody who's actually funny (or better at Photoshop than I am…)

28 thoughts on “Pairing Off

  1. tess gerritsen

    Rob,actually, some of those combos sound pretty good…

    Re collaboration: recently, I took part in a “progressive” novel, where each author writes a chapter and passes it on. It’s the first time I’d ever done such a thing and it ended up being a lot more fun (and easier) than I’d expected. Not having the weight of the entire plot on your shoulders is incredibly liberating and seems to get the creative juices flowing.

    Once, I would have said there’s no way I”d collaborate. But now I’m thinking there are advantages to it.

    Reply
  2. Alexandra Sokoloff

    Oh my god, too early in the morning for those horrifying composite photos.

    But I still laughed. This is pretty brilliant, Rob.

    I adore your sometime partner, Brody. I wouldn’t have been able to collaborate with him, though – we would have wreaked havoc on our relationships and never have written a word.

    I’ve collaborated as a screenwriter and the huge advantage of it is that you get to go out to the car after a meeting with the latest lineup of execs and turn to each other and say – “Did he REALLY just say that? REALLY? Is it even possible in the known universe to say something like that?”

    And thus not go completely out of your respective minds.

    Reply
  3. pari

    Brahahahhaahaha.

    I agree with Louise and Brett 100 percent!

    Holy cow, Rob. Tomorrow’s my bday and that photo actually makes me feel good — at least Louise and I aren’t THAT old in real life.

    Reply
  4. Zo√ę Sharp

    Hi Rob

    Hmm – “a harrowing week on the picket line” huh? Is this a good time to point out that it was during the infamous miners’ strike of the Thatcher years that I first discovered my ability to get out of police handcuffs …?

    And Allison – “ROFLOL. I like Zoe’s hair. I’ll keep it :)”

    Do I still get custody at weekends?

    Reply
  5. Zo√ę Sharp

    Oh, but yeah – Dusty’s right.

    We WILL definitely have to kill you. No doubt about that.

    Don’t go buying any long-life milk, and keep watching the treeline 600 yards away … ;-]

    Reply

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