Working on the fictional town of Bindarra Creek as part of a series with other authors has been a unique experience.
I was in on the series from very early on in its creation, so I’ve had a hand in shaping what the town of Bindarra Creek looks like. But it’s been a very interesting exercise to write a story based around a town that’s populated by other people’s buildings and characters.
We’ve got a very active email loop happening, databases of characters, buildings and events, and a pinterest board to help keep everyone on the same page. There have been many emails firing back and forth as we write – “I need a babysitter – anyone got an older lady who’d like to babysit for my heroine’s kids?”, “Yes, I do – my minor character Mrs Kafoops is great with kids! They keep her young!”, “Can I make such-and-such bridge one lane?” and so on.
It’s been both exciting and challenging – it’s interesting to see how other people think a building looks, when you may have a different idea in mind for it. (Whoever lays claim first gets dibs on describing it!) It can be a challenge to describe someone else’s character, or how they talk, when you haven’t invented them. But on the other hand, having so many characters already created can be great for inspiration. (And let’s not talk about how many hot guys happen to call Bindarra Creek home!)
It’s been fun adding in a reference to someone else’s characters while writing – I know when I read a series, I love that glimpse into old friends.
Through good fortune, and good management (lots of guidelines set in place from the beginning), the group has all worked really well together, with no skirmishes or disagreements. It’s honestly being a pleasure working with the other 12 authors.
Would I do it again? Possibly – although not straight away. I’m looking forward to diving back into Hope Creek in a couple of months!