Round Table Session: Collaboration

Our April 5 meeting featured six different round tables. This post is the first of six describing the different sessions. This round table featured how three authors collaborated on one book.

Three Authors – One Book – Linda Reinhardt

 Linda Reinhardt is co-author of “Like a Bird Wanders”. 

 The project started in the mind of Sharon Bernash Smith.   She invited Linda to a writer’s group.  At the group, she shared the vision of the writing project.  She explained how the idea had developed in her mind, and showed them the pictures that had first intrigued her.

 Linda and their co-author Rosanne Croft were on board.

 Q:  How did you start this project?

A:  First we chose the characters.  The project is of the three characters writing letters to each other.

 When they met, they discussed the plot and went home and wrote.  They each picked a character, named the character.  They did the character development together.  They had to decide where their characters would end up, both emotionally and physically.  At the climax of the story, they had to end up in the same location.  Sharon, Linda and Rosanne found a time and place in history (the Yacolt Burn) to have their place of resolution.

 Q:  Writing independently, did you find that you went in different directions and had to do a lot of rewrites?

 A:  We didn’t face a lot of that.  Sharon threw a monkey wrench in the plot when she was stuck and someone at a conference, who wrote Westerns, said that whenever he got stuck, he shot someone.  She went home and killed someone.  They had to work through the twist in the plot.  They researched the town.

 Q: Did you have to research people who had gone through hard things? 

A: Actually, we had each gone through hard things recently, so we put those in the book.  Each of us brought things into the book and we worked out the issues while we were writing.  A lot of it came from our own experience.

 Q:  How did you manage your work flow?

A:  We eventually learned that meeting every week worked well.  When we met, we brought something to work on.  The hard part was bringing something that you thought was terrific and having other people red line it.

 The most difficult part was choosing a leader and editor.  They had to choose one editor to be the final decider for what should stay and go.

The process took about two years.

Q: What are some of the things that you learned?

A: Communication is important.  You need to talk about what you are thinking, feeling, etc.  You have to communicate well and lay aside your ego.

Linda learned to work alongside other writers.  She learned how to take critiques, and how to speak for her work.

Setting the deadlines was also a learning process.   They wanted to finish in 10 months, it took about two years. They first started meeting once a month, then every two weeks, then every week.  This book taught them to meet deadlines, but the actual project was a learning process.

Take away:  If you want to collaborate, you should write down your goal and start asking around.

Q:  What is one thing we should know about “As a Bird Wanders?”

A:  The book is really for people with prodigals, it will give them hope.

Speaker Bio: Linda Reinhardt

Raised in beautiful Washington State, since age eight, Linda Reinhardt has always enjoyed writing a poem, song or story. She’s contributed to church newsletters, a puppet ministry curriculum, and wrote/directed a Christmas and Women’s Bible Study play, and written for Girlfriend 2 Girlfriend online magazine. Linda wrote a song performed at her wedding, which has now become a lullaby to her daughter before bed. She is now a speaker for StoneCroft Ministries and has also lead writer’s workshops.  

Linda is a stay-at-home mom. She is now working on several serial novels, about an issue she holds dear to her heart: to minister to post-abortive women.  
Her favorite activity is to spend time with her best friend and husband and her miracle daughter. She also enjoys sitting over a cup of coffee with her sister or a friend, sharing the details of their hearts. Involved in women’s ministry, Linda is active in leading small group Bible studies: HEART (Healing and Encouragement for Abortion Related Trauma), Time to Heal, and Life Groups. An avid believer in the power of prayer, she has met for the last 8 years with a prayer group dedicated to supporting family and friends.

Email address

Linda can also be found on Facebook

Kim Martinez, the author of this post, is the Membership Coordinator for NCWA.  She is also a wife, mom of four, and an ordained pastor.  Her primary teaching focus is to help people know and serve God through ordinary opportunities while maintaining focus and balance through life’s tumultuous twists and turns.  Kim has contributed to one book, has published many articles with online publications, and can be found through her blog, She has been a member of NCWA since May of 2009. 

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