Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Who is Sable Grace Anyway?

Since this is our first blog, and our book isn't due out for another eight months, we thought we'd take this opportunity to introduce ourselves, answer a few of the questions we've been asked, and talk a bit about our new series.

So, you're reading this blog filled with so many fantastic, best selling authors and you see one name and think, hmm, who the hell is that? Sable WHO? Who is this Sable Grace person and why is she listed on Supernatural Underground? Well, Sable Grace isn't just one who. It's two. The writing team of Heather Waters and Laura Barone. We're long-time friends and critique partners who started writing together because of a simple, and odd, challenge: I'll write one sentence, you write the next. This was supposed to be an exercise to spark our creativity so we could work on our own projects, but two hours and a chapter later, Sable Grace was created.

Are you two alike? No, not really. We are as different in our writing styles as we are in real life. Heather's blond. I'm brunette. She writes historical. I write steamy contemporary. She likes to explore the world we've built. I like to see more action. She's organized. I'm so totally not. But, we do have a lot in common that made us friends, and allow us to work together without killing each other. We both have a thing for Jon Bon Jovi, both adore Johnny Depp, and both want out of Florida so bad that we dream about it daily. Our tastes in music, books, and movies tend to run the gambit--we'll both listen to anything, read anything, and watch anything. Okay, I have an issue with 'Chick Flicks" only because nothings getting blown up or shot at, but if you swear to me it's good and can convince me something shocking is going to happen in the first ten minutes, I'll give it a try.

How do we write? Well, we've tried several different ways. We'd rent a hotel room for the weekend and spend the time busting out a couple chapters at a time. We've played a game of toss--lined up numbers cards and whatever number it lands on is how many sentences you have to write. And thrown dice--same deal as the toss. Fun, yes, but not always cool because Heather's much luckier than I am and always finds the ones and twos. Due to family obligations, we're not always able to get together for the weekend, so we had to try something else. Since Heather is so organized, she came up with a spreadsheet detailing how many words/pages we had to write to meet our deadline. One of us writes in the morning and emails it to the other who finishes before bedtime and mails it back. We edit each others work as we go and add our new pages. No, we don't always write an entire scene or chapter--it's been known to happen, but normally this isn't the case. Wherever one leaves off, the other picks up. No, it's not as aggravating as it may seem. We've been surprised more than once because the way one saw the scene going when she emailed it to the other, isn't how it was finished, but 99% of the time, we like the direction it took so all is good.

Pros/Cons of working with someone else? As you can imagine, the biggest Con is control. It's not easy to give up the control of a story idea and trust it to someone else. Waiting for the other one to complete a task or acknowledge they received the pages or to discover if you wrote four pages of crap that have to be redone is a bit stressful, too. But the high notes are way up on the list. We get surprised and explore new areas and ideas we hadn't thought of because we stopped in the middle of the scene to let the other one finish. We live two hours away so the fear of getting hit with flying objects are minimal (Although I am always expecting her to smack me in the back of the head every time we do see each other). There's always someone to share the workload and tasks with so you're not overwhelmed as much. And the best thing of all--If you write yourself into a corner, most times you'll realize it's happened at the point you reached your pages/words for the day and the other one gets to figure out how to get the characters out of the mess you dumped them into. (Okay, I'm famous for this one which is why I'm usually expecting that smack to the head.)

How do we take two distinctly different voices and make them read as one? Darn good question. Our typical answer is a glance at each other, a duel shrug, and one of us mumbles, "I don't know" (as one confused word, to which our editor says whatever you do, keeping doing it because it's working.) Honestly, though, we don't know how we do it. Maybe it's because we do have a lot of things in common. Or maybe it's because we're so different. Or perhaps it's because we've been reading/editing each other for years. Or even because we edit the other before we start our pages for the day. I really don't know, but we've decided if it's not broke, we aren't going to try to over analyze it.

Alright, now that we know a little about Sable Grace, what's the series about? It's a post-apocalyptic series set in St. Augustine, FL. The world has been destroyed when the gates of Hell are breeched, spilling Dark Breeds into the human world. The Order of Ancients, the gods of old who have been given the duty of keeping the balance of good and evil, and preventing the humans from knowing about all the things that really do go bump in the night, are losing their powers and are unable to restore order. With their Chosen replacements being slaughtered, they must rely on an unlikely ally to save them all. The first book, Ascension: A Dark Breed Novel, is due out in May 2011.

If you'd like to keep up to date on what we're doing, you can find us at and come join us at or

So, did we miss anything? What else would you like to know about Sable Grace?


Sharon S. said...

wow! When did you guys show up?! Can't wait for all the hoopla to start for your book. You know, the cover unveiling and snippet releasing. Do either of you have other works out there?

Welcome to the Supernatural Underground. Don't worry, we *do bite .

Unknown said...

Hi Sharon,
Laura is a fantastic writer who finaled in the 2007 Golden Hearts. I wrote two medieval paranormals for Berkley that year under my own name (Heather Waters)also but am so glad to be at Avon!

Pamela Palmer said...

I love hearing how you two write! Love the idea of handing off the pages every time I don't know where they're going. :) And the book sounds fascinating! Welcome to the Underground, ladies!

Unknown said...

Pamela, It's awesome to have the ability to pass it along whenever you get a little lost. Of course, Heather (Sable) probably doesn't feel that way all the time and she'll probably give into that urge to smack me for it one day :)

Anonymous said...

Great Job. Very informative. I'm not sure that I could handle leavine my creative idea up to someone else to complete. That is a talent in and of itself.

Terri Garey said...

Hi, Heather! Hi, Laura!

I hear ya on wanting to get out of Florida, particularly when everybody else is starting to enjoy fall weather! :-)

I have absolutely no idea how you two do what you do, even after you've taken such pains to describe it! I've heard good things about you from Erika, so I'm looking forward to your book!

Unknown said...

I am so excited about this! I have read and adored Heather's books and looking for Laura's books!

It sounds like you both are having fun!

Crystal @ RBtWBC said...

Wow, what an interesting post!
I've always wondered how you write a novel with someone else. I don't know if I'd be able to give up control to do what you guys do. But I bet that helps out a lot when you get stuck, you have someone who is there start to finish with you to give you a hand. It sounds like you guys have a great system going too.

So WELCOME! Ascension: A Dark Breed Novel sounds great! I will have to add it to my TRB list. And like Sharon said, can't wait to see a cover and a snippet!

I have to disagree with one thing though, I LOVE FLORIDA.
BUT, I freeze with any temp under 76 so am happy to only have a month or two of winter. Though I can't wait for the fall weather too Terri, the temp is perfect then. Maybe we'll get some by Halloween?

Unknown said...

Thanks ladies. Laura and I want four seasons, neither of us are beach/sun people (which you could see if you saw us in person! We're so white we're see-through). It IS a beautiful state, though. Just, we're not built for hot climates lol.

And believe me, we can't wait for cover/snippets too! Soon, we hope for a glimpse.

Crystal - I snuck a peek at your blog. Book club + wine = win. Can I join??????

Barbara E. said...

I enjoyed the post and the chance to learn more about Sable Grace. I'll be watching for your debut, it sounds fantastic.
I dream daily of getting out of Florida as well - and going to Oregon. I moved here 6 years ago and I've about had it with the heat and humidity, but with the housing market as it is, I think I'm going to have to wait a few more years to make my escape.

Sharon S. said...

Y'all need to come to NC! We get 4 seasons and fall is coming . I can smell it!

nymfaux said...

mmmm!!!!! So much good stuff!!!! Welcome to the Underground!!! Dark Breeds sounds really interesting!!!! --Definitely going on my tbr list!!!

I've always wondered about how two people can write together, and you guys make it sound like a lot of fun!!! (I always picture James Patterson with a bunch of writing slaves that hand him work to edit, and then he adds a little bit of dialogue before shipping it out to mass market). ;) It's nice to get your perspective!

Crystal @ RBtWBC said...

LoL Sure Heather, come on over. All book and wine lovers welcome! =)

Abby Minard said...

Wow, that sounds like so much fun! I think it takes a special author to be able to work with another and crank out an awesome book. I am excited to read your book when it comes out!

Oh and I'm totally like you on Chick Flicks- not a fan of them (not enough action for sure!). But I always will give them a try too...especially since I have a friend who drags me to see them at the movies all the time!

Thanks for the post!

Unknown said...

Hi Abby it's so cool to finally have someone understand why I'm not a fan of Chick Flicks. Us action girls have to stick together :)

Hope you enjoy the book as much as we do!


Abby Minard said...

I know! Some of my girlfriends laugh at me because I don't like "chick flicks". Give me Jason Bourne, X-men, Star Trek, Twister and National Treasure any day lol!

Tyy (also known as the Ladie's Head Cheerleader) said...

There are not enough words to express how excited I am about this new series. While I do like the seasons, May needs to hurry the heck up so I can have my book fix. I love that it's set in one of the oldest and most mysterious towns in Florida....that's so cool. And next time I get home, I can go through and relate things to the book.
I love Heather's writing, and am looking forward to Laura's too.

Helen Lowe said...

Welcome to the Supernatural Underground Sable Grace--it's great to have you on the team.

Juliana Stone said...

Hey, we have so much in common surely I could squeeze in between you....we could be a threesome?? :-) LOL, very cool to meet you ladies in Orlando and I'm so looking forward to your books!