RM: Can you tell me about your interests in writing before you started coauthoring together?
DC: David’s major interest was fantasy & science fiction and, at the time, writing short stories.
JE: Jack mainly read anything he could get his hands on and told stories to his sons.
RM: Did the two of you know each other outside of the realm of creative writing before you started collaborating, or did you know each other in the industry and felt that there'd be a synergy between the two of you?
DC: No. David had been fortunate to be awarded first place for a sf short story in New English Library’s Science Fiction Magazine; they published his name and the town he lived in. Jack lived in a village close by and phoned every David Coles in the book. After meeting up, we very definitely felt there was a shared interest which has grown into a firm bond.
JE: David took his life in his hands the 1st time he came to see me I could have been an axe murderer with a clever way with words. I always admired him for that. You see I had written a book, a far fetched fantasy and I wanted another writer’s view of it. Luckily for me David didn't tell me how rubbish it was.
RM: I realize that it's a pretty broad and general question but when you're coauthoring a book, can you give the readers an insight as to how you proceed with the development of the story? Are there areas of creative writing that one is stronger in, and as such, that individual will be primarily responsible for that aspect?
DC: It tends to depend on the genre: David will create the backbone of a fantasy or, perhaps, science fiction so that Jack will follow on, fill in, add new material, improve the narrative. It’s the other way around with thrillers and our latest Police Procedural trilogy. So, yes, it depends upon our respective strengths.
JE: David didn't mention the WW2 novel "Last Mission" or the Roman historical "The Last Free Men" that took me almost a year each to research but I concur with everything else.
RM: During the development of a book, how often is there significant disagreement on the direction of the story or the makeup of the characters? How do you resolve this conflict?
DC: David can’t remember any significant disagreements during the 34 years we’ve worked together. There are odd technical errors – perhaps timing or accidental errors but nothing else.
JE: We agreed at the outset that if either of us did not like something in the writing it would come out. A very effective way of avoiding arguments that has worked for us.
RM: What have been the biggest challenges of co-authoring? Have they gotten easier as you've written more books together? Are the challenges different within each book?
DC: There have been challenges in the early works: unfamiliarity with a genre or technical issues. The solution is discussion and research.
JE: I agree.
RM: How has your personal writing style been influenced by that of the co-author?
DC: David has probably moved from a much more descriptive style to one where dialog has replaced description to some extent.
JE: I thing David's descriptive work has grown less because our Sci/Fi and Fantasy has taken a back seat to crime thrillers lately.
RM: Out of the books that you're written together, which one is your personal favourite and which one would you make changes to if you could?
DC: Favourite – Faces of Immortality (also its sequel – To Rule the Universe) Changes – Perhaps very minor ones to The Last Free Men.
JE: I Agree
RM: What’s the next story on the horizon for your co-authoring venture?
DC: The third book in the Detective Inspector White Series
RM: Finally, can each of you speak to new authors and give advice based on the benefit of your experience? What pearls of wisdom would you pass along?
DC: Both parties have to accept that the other doesn’t see things from quite the same perspective. Successful partnering depends upon holding one’s ego in check and realizing that neither has a better talent than the other.
JE: As an author I would suggest you aspire to achieve everything but expect nothing, that way if your talents are not fully recognized you can put it down to other people’s ignorance.
I’d like thank Jack Everett and David Coles for taking the time to be interviewed. It’s personally been a great experience for me and I wish them both best of luck and continued success with their writing!