Guest Post: Author Steve Petzinger

Have you ever considered co-writing a book with another author? Steve Petzinger, co-author of BOB THE BANANA GOES BAD, shares his experience working collaboratively on a picture book and tips for giving it a try.

How to Collaborate with a Co-author

By Steve Petzinger


When I was 12 and I first wrote Bob the Banana Goes Bad, I didn’t have to worry about any co-author stepping on my toes.  Well, fast forward 32 years, and that’s exactly what happened. All joking aside, my co-author, Selai Akbar-Hussain really helped to change and shift the story for the positive that in hindsight I would not have been able to do alone.  Her input and knowledge about children’s books and children in general were valuable assets for the success and impact of the book.

Working together involved a good amount of listening, compromising, and expressing our thoughts freely. We collaborated very smoothly when we both felt our ideas were heard. Once we acknowledged that both of us had ideas that were equally valid and important, we really began to make quick and steady progress on the book.  As an example, at one point in the writing process, we could not agree whether each character should be named in every scene.  So, we both made our points and validated each other’s perspective and ultimately chose the decision that would best suit the reader.  

Creativity is an interesting thing.  We are so used to creating alone, but there is a lot that can be done in unison, too.  At the end of the day, we both shared the same vision for Bob, and this made all the difference. The writing process was a fluid exchange of creative ideas that was ultimately very fun.  Collaborating with a co-author was a new thing for me, but I enjoyed every minute of it.  I look forward to many more collaborations in the near future with my favorite co-author.

Great advice from author Steve Petzinger. For more information about the authors of BOB THE BANANA GOES BAD and a chance to win a copy of the book, visit my earlier post Book Review + Giveaway: Bob the Banana Goes Bad.

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