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Don and Stephanie Prichard have recently released their novel, Stranded. I am excited to welcome them both here today to visit! They also generously offered to give away a copy of Stranded to one lucky reader — you’ll find the entry form at the bottom of today’s post.
Steph: Perhaps one reason we work together so well is that we function as “separate but equal,” LOL. His skill is plotting, mine is writing. He comes up with the rough draft then hands it over to me. As I write, he gives feedback, especially on being a man and a Marine.
Don: I “tell,” she “shows,” so how can I argue against making the book better? But I have to admit that at first it was difficult turning my sweet baby Frankenstein over to her. She did a lot of major surgery on the poor little guy.
That sounds like a great combination of skills! Have there been blessings along the way that you never would have anticipated?
Steph: We both love “story,” Don in the format of movies and I in reading. Writing our novel brought those two interests together and gave us an unexpected bond that is huge.
Don: We also find that writing together helps round out our novel’s characters. When I explain to Steph how a male character thinks, and she explains how a woman thinks, we increase our ability to create realistic characters.
I would imagine, though, that it’s not always easy to work so closely on a project. What do you find is the most difficult part of writing together as a couple? How do you get through the struggles?
Steph: Well, um, we do indeed get intense when disagreements happen. Neither of us is an easy “yielder,” so we’ve learned to drop it while emotions are high, pray about it, and eventually one of us either sees the light or comes up with a solution that makes us happy.
Don: My philosophy is that when I’m right and Steph is wrong (ahem), that means the passage is wrong and it needs to be reworked until we both think it’s right.
Those sound like good strategies for resolving any conflict — writing or not. Do you have other hobbies you enjoy doing together, or do you tend to pursue individual hobbies after working together on your novel?
Steph: Our family and church have always been our big bonds. Now, in retirement, our full-time “hobby” is writing.
Don: At night we enjoy watching television series and movies and then discussing them to break down how the writers made the story effective or not so much.
It’s hard to “leave work” when it’s at home and creative, isn’t it? Do you have a favorite character in this novel? Why is this character your favorite?
Steph: Eve grabs my heart because she’s an atheist like I once was, and because she’s been shaped by a painful childhood experience similar to mine (but hers is far worse).
Don: Jake is my favorite because I’ve had many parallel but slightly different experiences.
It sounds like we’ll learn a little more about each of you as we read! Who is your favorite secondary character, and do you think you’ll include that character in a future story?
Steph: Crystal. I found her the easiest and most enjoyable character to write.
Don: Crystal for me too. She is a spunky little kid who has had a rough go of it. She is a key character in our second novel.
I’m really looking forward to reading Stranded. Thanks so much for visiting with us today, and giving us a glimpse into your lives!
Thanks for inviting us, Sarah. You’ve got a great blog going here!
More about Don and Steph:
Don Prichard is a Viet Nam veteran who served in the Marine Corps Reserves for thirty-two years before retiring as a colonel. He is also a career architect, whose specialty in government work includes the design of prisons, courthouses, and military facilities.
Stephanie is an army brat who lived in many countries around the world and loved it. She met her husband at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where she majored in English/Literature. She and Don have lived in Indianapolis, IN, for forty years.
You can connect with the Prichards online:
More about Stranded:
All Marine Corps reservist Jake Chalmers wants is to give his dying wife a last, romantic cruise to the Philippines. Unable to save her in a mass murder aboard ship, he washes ashore a jungle island, where he discovers three other survivors. Heartbroken that he failed to save his wife, he is determined not to fail these helpless castaways.
Federal prosecutor Eve Eriksson rescues a young girl and her elderly great-aunt from the same ship. They badly need Jake’s survival skills, but why is he so maddeningly careful? She needs to hurry home to nail a significant career trial. And, please, before Jake learns her secret that she’s responsible for his wife’s death.