Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Guest Post ~ Teresa Tysinger, multi-published author + Bookmark Giveaway

Behind-The-Scenes of Collection Writing

By Teresa Tysinger

I often hear from readers that they most enjoy hearing about the behind-the-scenes life of authors. What goes into creating the stories printed on pages (or screens for you eBook readers), methods of researching, what gets left on the cutting room floor, or even what snacks a writer keeps on hand while drafting.

Today, I thought I’d share some behind-the-scenes stuff of collection writing. It’s particularly fitting since today I’m celebrating the release of Something Borrowed: Christmas Weddings Collection along with authors Jaycee Weaver, Toni Shiloh, Mikal Dawn, and Andrea Boyd! More on this sweet collection later on.

Collections are quite popular these days. Usually consisting of between three and six novellas, these sets give authors the opportunity to write stories connected by one location, theme, or holiday. The novellas in the Something Borrowed collection are connected by five friends who pass along a special “something borrowed” over the course of a few years as they each plan their Christmas weddings.

But how do these collections come to be? What are the challenges? And will I ever do one again? Maybe you’ll be surprised by the answers…

The Birth of a Collection

For us, the idea for the collection came about much like our individual books. We brainstormed ideas that interested us—themes and topics we personally enjoy in life and while reading. So, we landed on Christmas and weddings! After settling on the main theme, we brainstormed in our Facebook group how the stories might further be connected. After throwing around a lot of ideas, someone suggested that sharing a “something borrowed” could easily connect friends who lived in different states and were getting married in different years. It allowed us to keep our own preferred settings, which was nice! We then submitted a synopsis for each of our stories before beginning to write.

From there, we write our stories and go through our individual editing processes. As indie authors, we also worked together on deciding on the cover design (which I was excited to get to execute), schedule of pre-orders and release, marketing (Toni has done a lot of the organizing for this area!), and final push to promote to our communities of readers. It’s a big job made easier with a team!

Ups and Downs of Collection Writing

I think it’s safe to speak for my team of writers when I say that the challenges for us were very minimal. Jaycee, Toni, Mikal, and Andrea really have become dear friends. Thankfully, after countless conversations, back-and-forth text messages, lots of (constructive) critiquing of one another’s stories, and keeping up with lots of little deadlines, we’ve come out of it better friends than when we started. I think it’s also safe to say, however, that the biggest challenge we ran into had to do with little details. Deciding to connect our stories with even a loose tie of the “something borrowed,” made it difficult to keep our timelines straight and make sure references to each other’s characters was accurate. Thank goodness for the editing process!

Recently, a reader asked me if collection writing falls into the category of “too many cooks in the kitchen.” Without a doubt, it can be more challenging to settle on even little details when there are five opinions to consider. The five of us had to come to a consensus on things like fonts for the cover design, how to format chapter headings, and even the name of the bridal shop the friends visit in the opening of the collection. Thankfully, for us, there wasn’t anything we wholeheartedly disagreed on.

Will I Ever Write in a Collection Again?

I mentioned in an interview recently that I am naturally not a team player. I was one of those kids in school who hated group projects. I still am most comfortable working alone. But—and this is a big but—I cannot tell you how much this process has blessed me.

Thanks to this particular group of authors, I now have true friends who I cherish more for their hearts than for their professional connections. God willing, I don’t think this will be the last time I write with these brilliant, funny, kind women. The experience has been so positive that I look forward to possible opportunities to write within other collection groups, too. For this, I am most grateful to Jaycee, Toni, Mikal, and Andrea for creating such a positive experience.

It’s been a joy to chat with you! I hope this gives you a little insight into how a collection comes together. Do you have other questions about the process? Post a comment and I’d be happy to answer the best I can!

About Something Borrowed: Christmas Weddings Collection 

AVAILABLE NOW in Paperback and eBook [buy link: https://amzn.to/3dDQBK7]

Old friends, new loves, and a borrowed tiara.

Always Been Yours by Jaycee Weaver — Hanady’s planning her dream wedding, but her injured best friend Keenan isn’t the groom. If she can’t see she’s marrying the wrong guy soon, his leg won’t be the only thing broken.

All the Moore by Toni Shiloh — Leilah Anderson has been living behind the screen to hide her disability, then she meets Reggie Moore face-to-face. Can their relationship survive the truth and distance between them?

A Holly, Bolly Christmas by Mikal Dawn — A dream wedding venue at Christmas? Sign Chahna Kapoor up. Even if her fiancĂ© doesn’t know it…

Somehow, This Christmas by Teresa Tysinger — When not-so-merry mishaps threaten wedding planner Cate Forsyth’s holiday wedding and reputation, will her own happily ever after with sweetheart Noah Bennett melt away?

A Promise So Sweet by Andrea Boyd — Lydia Osborn hasn’t heard from her ex in ten years, so imagine her surprise when he shows up proposing marriage. Tis the season for love?

Follow the Authors:

Jaycee Weaver: Website  Facebook  Twitter  Goodreads  Instagram  Bookbub

Toni Shiloh: Website  Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Goodreads  Bookbub

Mikal Dawn: Website  Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Goodreads  Bookbub

Teresa Tysinger: Website  Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Goodreads  Bookbub

Andrea Boyd: Website  Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Goodreads  Bookbub


Leave a comment for Teresa and the other authors in this collection! Also, leave your email in a non-spammy format (jane at doe dot com), and I will send ONE handmade bookmark to a winner next week.  US ONLY (lower 48) Giveaway ends 10/24/20

***Bookmark may be different in style/color than the one pictured.***


  1. Blessed to influence for this book. And you know I love your bookmarks.
    tsl9snodgrass at aol dot com

    1. I'm glad we're book buddies, Susan. I'm thinking about making a more Christmas themed bookmark for the giveaway but don't have one ready yet.

    2. Always appreciate your support, Susan!

  2. It is always interesting to know what happens in the lives of people "behind the scenes", and I enjoyed hearing how you worked to collaborate on this book! Thank you for a chance to win this lovely bookmark :)

    1. Hey Marilyn, I agree about people's lives being fascinating. There is a lot of work that goes into collaborating. Nice to see you!

    2. Thanks so much for reading about our journey, Marilyn!

  3. Great interview, Anne. This book cover is one of my favorites this year, so creative! Hopefully, I can actually read the stories in between!

    1. Hey Rebecca, I so appreciated Teresa guest posting on such short notice. I think this cover is one of the cutest too. The stories are easy and quick to read. You'll have no problem zooking right through them. ;-)

    2. Thanks for "visiting" with us, and it means a lot to me that you love the cover so much. It was so fun to design!

  4. The stories sound sweet, and I love the cover. It reveals so much about the different personalities of the characters and maybe the authors. How did you decide on each wedding dress on the cover? Thanks for the chance to win the bookmark.

    1. Hi! I tried to find dresses that reflected the characters in the book (sweet, quirky, traditional, etc.) and, in some cases, the dresses actually described in the stories. It wasn't easy, but we love how it turned out.

    2. That's a great question, Roses!!! I hope you come back and leave an email address if you want an opportunity to win a bookmark. Otherwise, I have no way to contact you if you win. TY!!!


I am so delighted that you've taken time to come by and comment. Blessings for a joy-filled day!

1 Corinthians 1:3 ~ Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.