Tag Archives: Guest Blog

CentreStage with the Lazuli Portals: The Joys and Tribulations of Co-Authorship

Welcome to CentreStage!!!

CentreStage showcases fantastic authors from around the world. The authors might write for you about their lives, their writing, their books or anything else that inspires them.

Today, I have an absolute premiere here on CentreStage! Today, I am featuring not one, but two authors all at once. I’m introducing you to the fantastic co-authorship that is Joanna Gawn and Ron Dickerson, jointly know as The Lazuli Portals. Intrigued? Well, so was I when I first encountered this amazing pair (in book terms only, not in real life!) on Twitter, and we have become firm blogging friends since.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to share your writing journey with someone else? Read on to get a first-hand account of how that works…

Introducing Joanna Gawn and Ron Dickerson: The Lazuli Portals.
Written by Joanna Gawn.

Unique Dynamic

When Nicky invited us to guest post on her blog, we were thrilled! But then we needed to make a decision: what on earth will we write about?

Undeniably, there are a great many authors out there, but the vast majority are not co-authors. We believe that writing, editing and publishing a series of novels together creates its own, unique dynamic. This also affects us personally, as you’ll discover as you read on.


For a start, we’re a formal business partnership. That means no business decision gets taken without us both having a say – and that can be tricky when I run one other business, and Ron runs two! Finding a decent block of time to ‘discuss things’ can be quite a challenge.

Luckily, technology is firmly on our side. In between occasional ‘real meetings’ (we live about 30 miles apart), we have very frequent instant message chats, in which we discuss anything and everything related to our works in progress, publishing and marketing. If you’re an author, then you know how much time that can take when there’s only one viewpoint (yours!) in play. Then there’s the next blog post and Newsletter to discuss, draft and edit, and writing and editing the Friday Fictioneers ‘flash fiction’ pieces we create each week.

Over the last year or so, we’ve also found a cloud document system to be invaluable for sharing files, because we can both work on them simultaneously. (This also provides opportunities for great silliness!)

Passion and Fun

Both Ron and I are passionate about energy and healing: recognising and directing natural energies, working with the potential that exists around us, and sharing these experiences and ideas as storytellers. We hope our passion comes across in our writing.

Because the Lazuli Portals stories reveal themselves to us through the writing process itself (we don’t write with much of a plan), we learn more about ourselves and our place in the universe, too. For us, writing really is alchemy – a journey of personal transformation.

What we write could be labelled as visionary fantasy. But we’ve chosen not to align ourselves too closely to any particular label, as we believe that our series has appeal beyond those interested in energy-healing, crystals and unseen realms. But we do hope that reading our series encourages an open mind, and perhaps an expansion of awareness of what is possible – of the very real potential which surrounds us in each and every moment, and how it can be used for the greater good. The only thing holding you back is you.

As we’ve had quite different life experiences, we both bring something new and fresh to every discussion – and of course we are both continuing to learn on a personal level. We intend that our writing, publishing and marketing choices bring us as much satisfaction (and as many readers!) as they can. This is fun! We’re not in the writing ‘business’ to get stressed over deadlines, or to write or edit when we really are too exhausted and our creative wells are parched. We’d like to keep our sanity and our health, thanks very much! For us both, balance is key.

Protection and Trust

Now, we were very good friends before we started ‘this writing lark’. How do we protect that friendship when creative egos can come into play, and financial decisions need to be made?

There’s a simple answer to that. Nothing that is business-related comes before our friendship. We set that intention back in November 2010 when we began writing The Cordello Quest. Ron wrote the first few sentences of Chapter One, just to see if I could make anything of it; I finished the chapter and tentatively emailed my work to Ron for his opinion. He asked if I minded if he made some suggestions . . . and please would I write more of the story, right this minute, because he was well and truly hooked. 🙂

I needed to decide whether I wanted to write alone, or whether this was a project we wanted to work on – in depth, and with complete honesty – as a duo. You can see which option won . . .

Working creatively with another person naturally requires a considerable amount of trust. We both do our best to be objective about our work, and all suggestions we make are offered and received with respect and complete openness. Anything less would simply not work.

Comfort Zone – Where Did It Go?!

This element of trust was also key in my agreeing to be interviewed, with Ron, live on air by Stafford FM, just a week after we launched The Cordello Quest. Me, speaking live on radio? No way, I thought. But I phoned Ron to tell him about the offer we’d received, and he ‘persuaded’ me that passing up this opportunity would lead to regret down the line.

Of course, he was absolutely right (he quite often is!) Even if I never do a live radio interview again, I have the satisfaction of knowing that I did it once, and I wasn’t terrible, even though my knees were knocking throughout the entire interview! Working together, we bring out the best in each other – and as good friends, that naturally translates into our personal lives, too.

Now we’re attending book fairs and writers’ circles, and have even met with ‘interested parties’ on foreign shores! Believe me, as an ex-agoraphobic, I’d have done none of these things without Ron gently pushing me in the right direction. In that sense, becoming an author really has changed my life – often in ways I would never have expected.

That’s our story so far . We plan to be writing and publishing for many years to come . . . with our friendship remaining intact. 🙂

Thanks for the opportunity to share our thoughts with your readers, Nicky. Rock on!

Yay, rock on indeed! Thank you so much to Jo and Ron for sharing their experience of writing as a duo. I stand in awe and admiration at you two working together as one and how it’s enriching both your lives! It’s been wonderful to have you visit here today, and I hope you’ve enjoyed yourselves. But before I open the floor for questions, first things first…

The Cordello Quest is available from Amazon.co.uk. You can find out more about The Lazuli Portals on Jo and Ron’s website. The Lazuli Portals also tweet and Facebook!

So then, dear reader: could you write jointly with someone else? Share the burden, the pain, the inspiration, the joy? Take turns? Bounce ideas? I’ve got to be honest, I am intrigued but I’m not sure I would succeed. I’m a control freak. But I admire those who can. What about you??

Love crime, but couldn’t write it? Guest blogging with @GaryKassay today!

Yes, that’s right. I love crime. I really do.  Well, not actual crime.  Not physical crime, the real thing. Of course not! Goodness, no. That frightens me. I may be odd, but I’m not that odd.

What I mean is that I love reading crime fiction. Someone congratulated me on coming out of the closet on this one, but I’ve actually always read crime, for as long as I can remember.  (Don’t laugh! Don’t The Famous Five count as children’s crime fiction?  There’s always a bad guy doing bad things in there!  Right?)

Anyway, while I love reading it, I couldn’t write it. And that’s exactly what I am guest blogging about today at fellow Sapphire Star Publishing author and crime-writer Gary Kassay’s blog.  Pop on over and check out what I have to say! There’s quite a discussion going already so don’t be shy… tell us what you think about crime fiction, reading vs. writing!

~Nicky x 🙂

I’m a Spring Author @StephanieKeyes blog today!

I’m travelling all the way across the pond this morning to meet with the lovely Stephanie Keyes for the Spring Author Series that she’s running on her blog.  Pop on over and find out why seafood features so heavily in my writing…

A big Thank You to Stephanie for hosting me today, and I hope you’ll stop by and join the party.  Cheerio,

~Nicky 🙂 xx

Nicky visits Dizzy C’s Little Book Blog to talk about Part 2 in the Rock Star Romance Trilogy

Happy Wednesday!  Just a quick message to let you know that I am visiting the lovely Carol on her book blog today to talk about the sequel to Sophie’s Turn  as part of the “W.I.P. Wednesday” series.  Pop on over and visit HERE to get the scoop…

Author to Author: Today, I’m blogging at Elle Amberley’s wonderful website

Hello there!  You have probably seen this already, considering that in my great excitement, I have plastered it all over Facebook and Twitter before even thinking of my own blog… Yes, you must forgive me! Only two days away, and my brain fails to resume normal logical and customary steps.  Anyway.  Without further ado, let’s get to the heart of the matter!

Today, it is my tremendous pleasure to visit the amazing Elle Amberley for an author to author interview. I had such fun answering the questions… Find out that I don’t write at my desk any more, and why!

Please come and join us and feel free to comment! Would love to see you there, and am sending a BIG THANKS to Elle not only for having me, but also for rescheduling when I had a little locational clash.  You rock, Elle! XX

At alchemyofscrawl today, Nicky Wells guest-blogs on a slightly different topic: Insomnia

I may be a serial novelist (or at least, one in the making!) but I am also a serial insomniac.

Today, it is my privilege and my honour to share my experiences and a couple of anecdotes on Coral Russell’s wonderful blog, alchemyofscrawl.  Please stop by and say hello… perhaps insomnia is something that you’re familiar with?  Or maybe something that never bothers you at all?  Would love to hear from you!


Nicky Wells visits The Littlereader Library and Private Detective Ian MacGregger today!

I’m doing my infamous double act again, featuring in two places all at once today:  The Littlereader Library and Ian MacGregger’s blog!

First of all, it is my great pleasure to visit Lindsay Healy’s wonderful blog, The Littlereader Library.

Lindsay has very kindly reviewed Sophie’s Turn  and she feels that “The author has penned an enjoyable, light romantic novel with some entertaining comedy moments, and there is a palpable chemistry between Sophie and Dan!”  I am truly honoured and delighted that Lindsay enjoyed my debut novel and that she is keenly anticipating the sequel!  You can read the full review here.

Moreover, Lindsay is also hosting me for an interview and you can find out about my favourite music, the sequel to Sophie’s Turn, and my favourite reads right here.

Thank you so much to Lindsay for featuring me on her blog.  Please do join me there and say hello!  Lindsay is an Associate Reader at the innovative author/reader project, loveahappyending.com.

And secondly…  A while back, a certain Ian MacGregger put out a call on Twitter asking authors to share where and when inspiration strikes them.  Well, you know me, I always have a story to tell, so I fired off my instant response to him.  The outcome of the resulting Twitter exchange is a guest blog I wrote for his Private Detective blog… a totally new environment for this here romance writer, and very exciting.  Please do stop by and take a look!  Thank you, Ian, for inviting me on your blog.  It’s a real pleasure to be there! XX