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MargaretBolingMullin

MargaretBolingMullin

Heads You Lose

Heads You Lose - Lisa Lutz,  David  Hayward 4/27/2011 ** The two main characters, who happen to be involved in growing and distributing pot, receive a rude surprise one night when they discover a headless corpse in their driveway. Not wanting the cops snooping around, understandably, they move the body to another location and wait to hear of a missing person. Imagine their shock when the body reappears!

While this sounds like a simple whodunit, the narrative is complicated by the fact that the book was written by two not-so-collaborative authors. Lisa Lutz wrote the odd numbered chapters, and David Haywood wrote the even. They were not allowed to change the previous work and it appears that little editing was done, either at a global or a micro level. From the standpoint of the mystery, the book is convoluted and difficult to follow. From the standpoint of the writing process, it's a fascinating read. Each chapter is preceded by the sometimes scathing email comments the two authors exchanged.

4/16/11 ** Heard an interview with the authors on Morning Edition today. I was intrigued when Lutz said that she'd wondered about the writing process of collaborative novels and thought co-writing would be a new challenge after just finishing four novels in a series. Apparently the authors have let some of the writing tensions emerge in the relationship between the two protagonists. Another tension between the two authors is one's tendency to be plot-driven and the other's tendency to be character-driven. As a reader, I'm curious to read the book with an eye to the ways in which the book reflects the authors' interview. I've requested it from my library.