Category Archives: Latchkeys

Latchkeys #3 is Slightly Delayed

If you haven’t figured it out yet, there’s been a slight hiccup in completing the third Latchkeys installment, Nevermore. It’s coming along and should be available for sale in the next week or two. These things happen, even with the best of intentions, and we apologize. The HiveMind, the 13 creators contributing the series, remain committed and eager to share the world with you.

We’ve been pleased with the early response to Unlatched and The Ugly Little Bloke but we’d certainly love to hear from more of you. And if you like what you’ve read so far, please tell your friends. It’s been a little mystifying in this viral world of ours that we’ve had some trouble making people aware the books are available.

Meantime, we’re incredibly proud of the work Vance Kelly has done on the covers. We’ll be getting him to talk about the process next month but for right now, we thought we’d show off some of the process steps in the creation of a cover, using Nevermore as an example. Continue reading

Latchkeys Universe “One Heck of a Thrill Ride”

By Debbie Viguié

I am not a short story person.  I don’t tend to read them and I hate writing them.  It’s ironic, but writing a short story takes me longer than writing a novel.  Also ironically when I do write a short story most people comment (correctly) that it sounds like the setup for a series of books.  It always is because I think about big, large plots that can’t be completely condensed down into a few thousand words.

What makes Latchkeys so cool is that even though I was technically writing a short story, it was more like writing a chapter in a novel.  There’s an entire world we have built, rich characters that we’re just starting to explore on paper, and miles and miles of plot much of which has only yet been hinted at.  It is awesome.  I basically wrote chapter three for this epic story that I helped to craft the outline for.

I hope that’s how it reads to people.  When you have multiple writers it can be difficult to control tone and voice and make something flow smoothly.  One of the points of creating the Latchkeys universe was a bunch of us wanted to do something as a group showcasing our ability to work together and our ability to shine on our own.  I think we’ve managed to do that.  There are continuing style elements that let the readers know this is all the same big story.  There are also ways and places in which we can shine individually and bring our own creative drives to our individual chapters, er, stories. Continue reading

Latchkeys #3 Takes a Dark Turn With “Nevermore”

Debbie Viguié taks about the third installment of Latchkeys, coming in April:

People often ask me what it’s like to write with other people.  Frankly, it can be a nightmare or a rhapsodic dream. Writers tend to see their work as their children and get very upset when anyone else messes with their babies.  A writing collaboration, though, can be like happy, constructive co-parenting.  You make decisions together for the good of the family.  When this works well it leads you to have a stronger final product.

Latchkeys from the start has been a very different kind of product.  Instead of sharing the actual effort of co-writing each story all of us involved have merely shared the effort of creating the universe and setting up the premise for each story.  From my point of view creating the world is one of the best aspects of writing.  It is much more exciting than the actual job of putting the words on paper to tell the story.

With as many writers as we had we suffered from a wealth of ideas as we got this project going.  Compromise was the name of the game as we decided everything, including what to name the characters.  Individual egos were set aside and majority rule almost always applied.  That’s what led to us creating the name HiveMind.  We are all worker bees serving the collective.  It can be exhilarating and at the same time frustrating.  I for one, argued strenuously that Jeremy be named Biff.  You can see that I lost.  Ultimately that was okay, though, because the group’s voice was heard.  Plus I got to reference him once having the nickname of Biff in my story.  (Just in case you thought writers ever let anything go easily!) Continue reading

Preview: The Ugly Little Bloke

Breathing life into new characters is always a challenge. You sketch them out in your notes and think you know how you want them to sound, but invariably, once you begin the actual prose, things change. They develop a bigger vocabulary or sound snarkier than intended. You let things flow because it feels right and after all, they’re your characters.

It’s vastly different when you’re putting words into characters’ mouths for the first or second time when you’re collaborating with others. Such was the case with Latchkeys when I began writing The Ugly Little Bloke the second installment. Steven Savile focused quite a bit on our point-of-view character Matt and the Wardens’ leader Jeremy but less so on the others so it fell to me to find their voices.

I grabbed on to the story when it was offered because it centered on Kaitlyn, the young teen who can access the electromagnetic spectrum but has no clue just how powerful she is. She’s young and fun and enjoys being a Warden so she had a lot to learn. Finding her voice was pretty easy and the dialogue flowed smoothly. Continue reading

Meet The Ugly Little Bloke

Steven Savile had no idea what he ignited. There were a baker’s dozen of us chomping at the bit to write something, anything, and when he suggested we create our own project, we went crazy. He gave us his Latchkeys idea and we glommed on to it, forming a cooperative that has gone on to sub-divide and create a few more projects, but the heart and soul remains Latchkeys. Once we agreed on the premise, we build a bible, populating it with characters and once we decided which ones we liked, we began pitching ideas.

I imagine this is very much like a writers’ room in television, just a virtual version with members contributing ideas from across America and Europe. We all tossed in ideas and kicked them around, seeing which ones excited the others and which ones might make the cut. Just about three years ago, we had roughed out the idea of a thirteen episode season that brought us to particular point, to be followed by a second season that went somewhere else, and so on. Thirteen writers, thirteen episodes…this just might work. Continue reading