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It began with a death final presentation

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“It Began With A Death.” Deborah K Reed and Lisa K Shapiro created this video to describe how they met, their writing process, and research for The Chamber and the Cross. Presentation includes beautiful photography by Deborah K Reed.

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It began with a death final presentation

  1. 1. DEBORAH REED AND LISA SHAPIRO It began with a death…
  2. 2. OUR STORY AS WRITERS BEGAN WHEN WE FACED A MOTHER’S DEATH TOGETHER…
  3. 3. OUR FIRST MEETING DID NOT GO WELL
  4. 4.  First, we became friends who supported each other through some very difficult times  As we processed these turning points, we talked, and talked, and talked  A story began to germinate about loss and one’s reactions to the hurdles  Of course, a Realtor had to include a house. It immediately became central to the story, just like another character.
  5. 5. WRITING TOGETHER HELPED US BEGIN TO HEAL
  6. 6. THE FIVE STAGES OF GRIEF • Denial • Anger • Bargaining • Depression • Acceptance THE FIVE STAGES OF CO-WRITING • Naiveté • Fury • Despair • Compromise • Completion
  7. 7. OUR RESEARCH • Britain’s inheritance taxes • How to clean valuable historic books • Priest’s holes and safe chambers • Castle construction • How to put on armor piece by piece • The value of a dovecote • Plumbing problems in a house that has been remodeled over centuries • The chronology and significance of various battles and wars • And how to drive in England
  8. 8.  We had to decide if we wanted to flip back and forth between time periods  We also considered making two separate books, one modern and one medieval  Ultimately we chose to stay with one plot at a time, and then weave them together at the end  The book as a whole had to balance the two very different time periods
  9. 9.  Outline, outline, outline  Plotters like to have the Big Picture and know where the plot of the story is going  Before starting a scene, plotters want to know:  Who is in the scene  What is the setting  Who is the point of view character describing the events  What information needs to be conveyed
  10. 10. DEBORAH LOVES DETAILS, LIKE HOW THE PLUMBING WORKS The Garderrobe
  11. 11.  Write by the seat of their pants  Figure it out as they go along  Write drafts  Throw them away and start again  And again  And again
  12. 12. He strolled across the rolling meadow, his heart glowing like an evening sunset… Flowery Language, Poetic verse Wordy prose… And it drives Deborah crazy!
  13. 13.  People always ask us who wrote which part of the story  We wrote it all – every word - together  Sometimes we overwrote each other  Deborah accused Lisa of lobotomizing her characters  Sooner or later , often much later, we had to compromise  As we developed characters, we had to learn all about them  Their desires  Their motivations  Their weaknesses  How they would deal with obstacles
  14. 14.  Architecture  Landscape  Laws  Clothing  Structure of Society  Language  Battles and weapons  Each character’s expertise
  15. 15. TRAVELING TO ENGLAND WAS FUN! Deborah interviewed the owners of medieval homes for behind-the- scenes details, and slept in period manor houses. • Plumbing and drainage Dryrot and leaking roofs Replacing moldings and mullioned windows Inheritance taxes and property taxes Insurance and security and mortgages She also met with solicitors (lawyers) and estate agents (Realtors)
  16. 16. FORENSIC ANTHROPOLOGY WAS MORE INTERESTING THAN WE ANTICIPATED
  17. 17. THE SAFE CHAMBER • Safe chambers and Priest’s Holes were necessary as people moved from the protection of castle walls into the more open landscape that surrounded manor homes.
  18. 18. EVERY TIME WE OPENED A NEW DOOR THE STORY GREW LONGER
  19. 19. THE CHAMBER AND THE CROSS IS A BIG STORY
  20. 20. THE JOURNEY TO COMPLETION TOOK A LOT MORE TIME THAN WE ANTICIPATED • We worked for over ten years, but stayed true to our vision, and crafted strong heroines who fought for their dreams
  21. 21. WE DEDICATED THIS BOOK TO OUR MOTHERS ROBERTA LAMBERT AND NICKI SHAPIRO
  22. 22. BY DEBORAH REED AND LISA SHAPIRO

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