We guess it’s a good thing to step back once in awhile to take stock and to think about where you’ve been, but it can make you uncomfortable.
Before we were Lynn Evans, Steve wrote a couple of novels for Traci as Christmas presents. Like Bobbie Titan in the Mark of Kain, they involved young people with super human capabilities. While thinking about what adventures Bobbie might have in book two and who she might encounter, Evans reread some of these early efforts in order to mine them for ideas. It was a humbling experience.
There are flashes of brilliance in Steve’s first novels, but much of the work is undisciplined and careless; at times even clumsy. Evans was so amazed at the low-quality of the work that he reread The Mark of Kain just to reassure himself that none of Steve’s written awkwardness had been transferred to their collaboration. When Evans was through and had reassured himself that their story was as tight, faced-paced, and professional as he remembered, his immediate thought was thank goodness for Lynn.
For every flight of fancy Evans imagines, Lynn is there to enforce the discipline of necessity. Lynn is the one who ensures the story stays on the straight-and-narrow. She’s the one who ensures we absorb the comments from our advanced readers, works with the professional editor to polish the work, and makes Evans wait at least four months before the final editing to ensure perspective is maintained. All of these and her true love of a good story well told make the difference between stumbling over uneven prose and racing through a well told narrative.
Traci still loves her Christmas novels but she doesn’t let Lynn read them. The poor construction would ruin the magic. Instead Lynn makes Evans toe the line in between his wild imaginary escapades on their current efforts. Evans likes to complain that Lynnn is a tyrant, but he really doesn’t mind. He knows that when she’s through the results will be something worth reading over and over again.