Janeen: I’m a plotter. I believe in to-do lists and set routines. I like to work alone so I can control things.
God has a sense of humor, since I’m in a long-term creative collaboration with a visual artist, Julia Busko, who has a very different perspective.
Julia: The best way to describe my process is an indestructible butterfly thrown into a clothes dryer. I have a wonderful art workshop in my basement. However, I can usually be found on the couch, kitchen table, or even the floor working on my computer. My husband tolerates it and I sometimes remember to clean up the reference materials. Ultimately my process works well for me, even if it is an opportunity for those around me to practice patience.
When I met Janeen while working at a Christian school, I didn’t immediately connect with her because of our different personalities. We clicked when we began writing stories over text message.
Janeen: That summer we spent every free moment writing Eimiror Accords, our urban fantasy series. Then my husband Stephen entered the mix. A fellow geek and creator, he’s my harshest critic and biggest supporter. When Julia and I had personality conflicts, he stepped in to mediate, as he respected my need for organization and closure, as well as Julia’s impulsive intuition. Having him as a go-between, and occasional idea creator, really gave the creative partnership staying power. Moreover, Stephen and I were blessed to count Julia as family (considering that she spent every other night sleeping on our futon).
Julia: I’m married and we’re now separated by five hours of driving. Still, thanks to God’s grace, sheer stubbornness, Google docs, and video chats, our creative partnership has grown. What began as a single story concept has exploded into over seven different stories.
I like to say it’s two globes of water floating in space with koi fish swimming between the globes, growing and changing with each pass through the different waters.
Janeen: Basically, she means that one of us can’t write a story without the other getting involved. And it works for us. We’re drafting the second book in the Eimiror Accords series. Key themes in our stories are friendships, family, and partnership. These themes aren’t always found in the urban fantasy genre, but are valued highly by us because of our own collaboration.
Janeen Ippolito and Julia Busko are a dynamic duo of writer and illustrator who combine their creative powers for unique stories in urban fantasy, mythology, and horror. Their collaborative series, The Emiror Accords, is currently in submission. Find out more about them at JaneenIppolito.com and JuliaBusko.com.