Fiction author Addison McKnight interview
Addison McKnight is a collaboration between authors Nicole Moleti and Krista Wells. After more than a decade of producing nonfiction works, the two decided to join forces and write a novel. The result of their combined effort is An Imperfect Plan, a novel that is based off women‘s emotions and the cultural preoccupation with perfection. We had the opportunity to interview Addison McKnight and learn more about their creative process, the book, and the cultural influences behind their writing.
1. What inspired you to write under one name, and how did you choose it?
When we got our book deal our publisher suggested that we choose a pen name, as it would be too hard for people to remember both of our names. It was fun to try out different names. Our agent and publisher helped us to think of names that had a little bit of darkness, since we are writing thrillers, as well as a trendy name that rolled off the tongue. Also they said don’t pick a “K” name! If people are looking for a thriller and they are in the “K” aisle at the bookstore they will always pick Stephen King!
2. How do you collaborate? Do you both write separately then get together to discuss and merge ideas, or do you sit down together and bounce ideas off each other?
We meet once a week to hash out ideas and talk about what we want to happen next, and then we go on our own and write 1-3 chapters. Then we share our chapters and give each other edits, and then we brainstorm again.
3. What has been the most challenging aspect of writing together?
It was hard at first to figure out how to collaborate as we both have different writing styles and techniques. But now that we are on book three, we have a smooth system that works for us. Sometimes we disagree creatively, but we usually table it, and circle back and find a way to compromise in the end.
4. How have you managed your family, writing, work and other aspects of life?
We have six jobs and six kids between us, so it is definitely hard to squeeze everything in! Krista wakes up early and writes and Nicole writes later in the evening. Our families have learned to acclimate to our new writing schedule and they are supportive, but sometimes things go by the wayside. We joke that while we wrote An Imperfect Plan, we would give the kids chicken nuggets for dinner a little bit more or let laundry pile up, but everyone survived! We are both very respectful of each other’s work and family schedules, if one of us wants to meet to work on the book but the other one has to go to a baseball game or date-night with their husband, we know that always takes precedence.
5. How do you handle disagreements when it comes to the creative process?
We try to be open and compromise. Sometimes if we really can’t agree, we try to leave it alone for a while and circle back. Once we couldn’t agree and we played a tennis match and the winner of the match got her way. Nicole won! We also always have a back-up if we really can’t come to an agreement, we let our agent decide.
6. What are the benefits of writing together?
There are so many benefits, we cannot even imagine doing this alone. We have built-in editing and built-in writing partners to bounce ideas off of. Also we get to go do all of the fun book events and appearances together, and have each other to lean on when we are stressed out or struggling throughout the process.
7. Does working together help to keep the creative juices flowing?
Yes! When we have a good idea, we can’t wait to share it with each other. Of course we are always praying that the other person will love the idea too. We love brainstorming, we meet for breakfast sometimes before our work days and present ideas, or sometimes on Friday nights we meet for a drink and talk about our chapters.
8. Have either of you written books on your own? What made you decide to do one together?
We haven’t written books before An Imperfect Plan, we were both nonfiction writers. Krista wrote for military sites and magazines, and Nicole was a beauty writer. We got this great idea for a thriller and we just dove in and started writing. We had no idea what we were doing, but we just knew that this idea was so good we had to try it.
9. How do you come up with ideas for stories?
We read voraciously in our genre, thrillers and psychological suspense. We are also both in industries where we talk to people all day. Krista is a life coach and military spouse coach, and Nicole is a makeup artist and realtor. We love connecting with people and hearing their stories, and all of that reading and communicating helps us to come up with great ideas.
10. What advice would you give to other authors who want to collaborate?
Do it! Just be prepared to give up a little bit of control. It is hard to work creatively with another person, but once you figure out the most effective way to work together, the benefits far outweigh the negatives. Try to enjoy the process, even when things get stressful.
11. Do you have other books in process?
Our second book takes place in Martha’s Vineyard and will come out next year!
12. Where can people find out more about you and your events?
@addisonmcknightoffical on Instagram
Lori Lebel is a creative soul who loves music, art, writing, reading, photography and video. Born and raised in Connecticut, Lori loves the peace and connection she finds when spending time outdoors in nature, especially by the water. Lori is incredibly passionate about helping others, and cherishes the time she gets to spend with her family, friends, and two beloved dogs. With a desire to explore the world around her, Lori is focusing on improving her mental, physical, and spiritual health in order to embark on more of what life has to offer.
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