Tag Archives: The Lazuli Portals

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??

Under The Sun

It’s Music Monday!
And I’ve added a nifty logo for the feature…

[Logo Back Soon]

So what have I got for you today?  Well let’s see!  Today I have a feature that was inspired by Joanna Gawn of The Lazuli Portals blog… and you’ll have to visit the ‘Bio‘ Page to find out why!

There are first love memories…

Moreover, I’m bringing you a song that takes me right back, and I mean right back, in time.  First love, first boyfriend, first foreign holiday in the sun without parents.  A fourteen hour drive in the car from Essen, Germany, to Capbreton, France.  Driving through the night to arrive in the blazing sunshine at 10 am in the morning.  And always, always that song:  Under The Sun by Dare.  For some reason, it encapsulates the entire holiday.  The haunting voice, the guitars, the piano all fitted the atmosphere and the mood.

Recognising that even at the time, we nonetheless thought we were immune to the lyrics, that our love would last forever.  Alas, we were too young, it was too soon, and a few years later, it was all gone.  Prophetic words indeed, in places!

…and double starstruck memories!

Amazingly, I did have the good fortune of having a beer with the guys from Dare once.  Yes, indeed, my claim to fame!

They were supporting German rockers Warlock (fronted by Doro Pesch!) in the Grugahalle in my native Essen, and they were fantastic.  In actual fact, my then boyfriend (he of the first-love-memorable-France-trip) and I had gone to see Dare rather than Warlock, and we were at a bit of a loose end when Dare’s act finished.  So we loitered at the back of the hall, my boyfriend focusing on the stage (obviously–what male wouldn’t, with Doro up there?), me being bored.  I was keenly clutching the drumstick thrown out by James Ross and very casually (and quite unexpectedly) caught by me, yes me!

And then… Dare just wandered by, heading downstairs to the open bar. Of course I went straight after them.  And thus we ended up having a beer and a chat, me clutching my drumstick in one hand and my plastic mug of beer in the other. Oh happy days!

Without further ado, I give you the lyrics and the video…  If you like it, remember to honour the artist by buying the music through the appropriate channel. Thank you! 🙂

Under The Sun by Dare

Nothing lasts forever
Especially the things you always wanted to
See the reddened sky
I long to be there where the eagles used to fly

Methods to their madness
Or so they say before they throw away the key
Is there anyone there
Won’t you open the stairways for me

Under the sun
Where can we run
Under the sun
Where has love gone

Hear the deafening silence
While slowly losing all control of what you do
Chance would be a fine thing
A momentary loss of all thoughts

Holding back the fear
They point the finger every minute of the day
Doesn’t anyone care
Won’t they open the stairway for me

Nothing lasts forever
Especially the things you always wanted to
See the reddened sky
I long to be there where the eagles used to fly

Methods to their madness
Or so they say brfore they throw away the sky
Doesn’t anyone care
Won’t they open the stairways for me

Do you have a first-love, first-holiday mood song that takes you right back? I’d love to hear about it! xx Rock on!