Co-Authoring a Novel: Who’s Got the Money?

My guests this week are writing duo Morgan St. James and Meredith Holland who collaborated on a very entertaining, exciting and humorous novel, Who’s Got the Money?

Synopsis: With $800 Million worth of products produced in federal prisons every year, division director Abby Hamilton had a diabolical scheme to become a very wealthy woman. In fact, she had almost reached her $35 million goal when she made the mistake of hiring three savvy women who blew the lid off Pandora’s box. Despite comical backfires, Jennifer, Kate and Cameron were determined to find out what happened to missing bonus money and managed to pull off an intensive amateur undercover investigation. What they discovered was shocking evidence of something so much bigger—Abby’s clever multimillion dollar embezzlement plot.

How did the two of you come to collaborate on writing a book?

Morgan: Meredith and I both have backgrounds in interior design and design related sales. We met while working for a private contractor who marketed furniture manufactured in the real Federal Prison Industries factories and became fast friends. Meredith knew I’d written several funny mystery books and after we both resigned from the now defunct company she approached me with her idea.

Meredith:  Our experience with manufacturing arm of the Federal Prison system allowed us to develop an interesting angle for Who’s Got The Money.

How do you handle it—do you each write a scene or chapter?

Meredith: Morgan and I collaborate and brainstorm. Working with a partner helps to see the potential in ideas I might otherwise not use.

Morgan: Because I’m the seasoned author, Meredith was my idea person. She has a quick wit and remembered many incidents I didn’t. Between us we hatched a plot that according to a retired undercover FBI agent, really could have worked. I did the majority of the writing and preliminary editing and Meredith just kept those ideas flowing, but also let me know when she didn’t agree with something I’d written. Then we worked it out until both of us were satisfied.

What was the hardest thing to overcome in writing with a partner?

Morgan: From my experience and the talks I give to other writers, I’m quite aware of what will work and won’t work. I’ve written with various writing partners in the past, but all were trained writers, so the challenges were different. I had to make sure our clues and plot were not too complicated or convoluted, because then you lose or confuse the reader. It had to be something everyone could easily understand.

Meredith: Working with a partner helps you stay focused and helps you be more productive.  Our differences or the creative yin-yang are important to collaboration that helps to develop the story line and bring an extra range of knowledge to tap.

What is the best thing about being a co-author?

Morgan: I love the interaction. My epitaph will say, “She wrote well with others.” Writing is a solitary endeavor if you are writing solo. When you have a co-author there is the exchange and balance of ideas and techniques, plus the friendship and fun conversations. You always have the opportunity to learn something new from your co-author.

Meredith: Working or collaborating with a partner can make you a better writer.  We learned to accept and welcome our differences.

Have you written or are you writing other books together?

Not at the moment, but we made sure to leave an open end for Who’s Got the Money? which presents a myriad of possibilities for future books featuring our trio of amateur sleuths.

Where can readers buy Who’s Got the Money? It can be ordered from most online booksellers or from your favorite local bookstore.

Stay tuned for part two of this interview, when Morgan and Meredith talk more about the book and how they each got into writing.

You can find Meredith blogging at

Morgan’s websites:

You also can connect with Morgan on Twitter: @MorganStJames, and Facebook:

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Morgan and Meredith, thank you for joining me and sharing your experience in writing this book!

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