Today, we’re excited to feature a guest post from Writing Academy graduates, Rita Potter and Lori G. Matthews who met during their time in the academy and got together to create an excellent project!
Rita Potter: How did two students from the Writing Academy decide to collaborate on a zany superhero story? I’ll let Lori tell you how it happened.
Lori G. Matthews: The GCLS Writing Academy seemed like a perfect environment to hone my writing skills, and the small class size, advertised as around twelve students, was also perfect for me. You see, I can be a shy little bird, and can be overwhelmed in a big group. My hope was that with twelve students, I would be comfortable enough to let my goofball freak flag fly and form some lasting friendships with other writers.
On our first day of class, I was introduced to twenty other students. GULP. A bit bigger than expected. Initially, I struggled to participate and find my voice. Also, the structure of the classes wasn’t conducive to miscellaneous chatting and friending and riffing on silly, inconsequential things, as I am wont to do.
But then one day I had a Facebook message in my inbox. It was from Rita Potter, my fellow classmate. My heart pitter pattered. Oh my God! Could this be a new friend? She’d asked a question about my fanfic writing, and I responded. One thing led to another, and we made a discovery. What was this discovery you ask? I’ll tell you. Dramatic pause.
We both had the same expectations of the Writing Academy, that we would meet other authors in class, all become friends, and talk about author-y things over a cup of coffee or tea. Okay, probably not as dramatic as you were expecting.
So, in typical Rita fashion, she took charge and organized after-class zoomies for everyone, and before you know it, I had a fistful of new friends. It was beautiful. (Cue the violins and cellos.)
But then, Rita took this kumbaya moment a step further. She suggested we write a story together. Not just any story. A funny story. My initial reaction was, “I’m sorry, what?”
You see by now we had both read each other’s debut novels. Hers, Broken not Shattered, is an emotional powerhouse. Mine, #Cassinova, is a romantic comedy. Mine has drag kings and a prosthetic penis rolling across a public bathroom floor. Rita’s deals with domestic abuse. Not exactly a marriage made in heaven, in my opinion.
I tried to be diplomatic. “Dude. I’m not sure our writing styles mesh.” All right. I know what you’re thinking. Yes, I still say dude at my age. Makes me feel hip.
Rita insisted we’d be a perfect fit, and I certainly wasn’t going to squash my newly minted friend’s exuberance, so I agreed. We picked a theme, chose which characters we would write, and the rest is history. Our collaboration, “Randi and Zoey Save the World” is ready to be birthed into the universe. And it’s completely free! Why is it free? Because we wanted the freedom to write what we wanted and to reach as many people as possible. So you have no excuse not to read the story. It won’t cost you a dime. Hopefully you’ll enjoy it and laugh. And if you don’t laugh? Well, it was free.
Rita Potter: In my defense, sure a couple of my books might be a teeny, tiny bit heavy, but note the E in my tagline, which stands for eclectic. It was fun watching Lori try to nicely tell me there was NO WAY I could write something funny. Zoey soon convinced her otherwise. Download the first episode of Randi and Zoey Save the World to see for yourself.
Lori G. Matthews lives outside of Philadelphia with her wife and two cats. Her first brush with literary fame came at the age of thirteen when her composition, an amusing tale told from the perspective of a soccer ball, was the only one read aloud by her teacher. To this day, she still loves to write lighthearted comedies because laughter truly is the best medicine. When not writing, you can find her in the woods hiking, bird watching, or looking for her golf ball.
Rita Potter has spent most of her life trying to figure out what makes people tick. Being an eternal optimist, she maintains that the human spirit is remarkably resilient. Her writing reflects this belief.
Rita’s stories are eclectic but typically put her characters in challenging circumstances. She feels that when they reach their happily ever after, they will have earned it. Despite the heavier subject matter, Rita’s humorous banter and authentic dialogue reflect her hopeful nature.