What could be better than your favorite author releasing a new,
exciting novel? Your favorite celebrity writing that page-turner with
your favorite author! A creative intertwining of expertise, celebrity/novelist collaborations result in unique, well-written books, with
inside glimpses into the worlds of the famous co-authors.

Lis Wiehl, a Fox News legal analyst,
prominent trial lawyer and the daughter
of an FBI agent, was searching for
someone who could help her realize
her dream of writing compelling fiction
for smart, well-informed readers who
want to learn about law enforcement
as well as TV life. Her agent connected
her with established mystery writer
April Henry, and they instantly hit it
off. Their Triple Threat trilogy (Face of
Betrayal, Heart of Ice
Eyes of Justice) has been
so popular, they’re writing
a new series debuting
in March with A Matter
of Trust
(Thomas Nelson). We asked Lis the
secret of their successful
collaboration, and she said
without hesitation: “Easy.
Divas prohibited. Tell a
good story, and let the
readers be the jury.”

April Henry readily
confirms this motto. “I’ve
known authors who collaborated
with celebrities who turned
out to be divas. Lis isn’t like that at all. We each have our area of expertise. I’m
good at twisty plots; she’s good at sharing
the information that makes those
twisty plots work. For our novels, we
first think of an overarching idea that
draws on something from Lis’ real-life
experiences. After that, we rough out
an outline. Then I start work on the first
draft. During that process we email each other back and forth, as I come up
against an area I don’t know very much
about. After the first draft is done, we
both go over it to improve and clarify
before we send it on to our editor.”

Model and actress Kim Alexis found
herself in a similar position. She loved to
read and had always loved cozy fiction,
but she wanted a well-known writer to
come alongside her to create
the Spa Mystery Series (B&H Fiction).
Enter Mindy Starns Clark,
an author Kim describes as
warm, funny and dedicated.
“Mindy brings the mystery
writing to our team,” Kim
says. “I bring a glimpse
into what the fashion world
feels like and what a model
feels like behind the camera.
I loved discussing possibilities
with Mindy and watching the characters
in A Beauty to Die For
grow and change into
people you want to hang
out with.”

Pastor and nonfiction
author Kurt Bruner was
the one who approached
Dr. James Dobson about
his idea for a series of dystopian
novels set in 2042. “After working closely
with him for 20 years
at Focus on the Family
I felt a collaborative effort
would work well, me crafting the
story and him infusing credibility as the
foremost authority on the themes we
depict,” Kurt says. “We brainstormed
the characters, likely-future scenarios
based upon present trends, etc. I then
spent nine months writing the first
manuscript of Fatherless (FaithWords),
and he suggested modest changes. The process has been very rewarding.”

Whether they’re writing cozy mysteries,
crime novels or dystopian thrillers,
these teams understand the power
of fiction. “Often the best way to communicate
vital truths is to weave them
into a story,” Dobson says. “The New
Testament parables offer a great example
of that.”

This article originally appeared in the February/March 2013 issue of FamilyFiction Edge digital magazine. Subscribe for free today!



Beauty to Die For
(A Spa Mystery)
B&H Fiction
By Kim Alexis and Mindy Starns Clark


A Matter of Trust
(A Mia Quinn Mystery)
Thomas Nelson
By Lis Wiehl with April Henry


By James Dobson and Kurt Bruner

Check out more great articles

About The Author

C. J.'s love of reading began when she was a kid dragging home bags of books from the library. When she was twelve she started dreaming about becoming a published author. That dream came true when her first novel Thicker than Blood won a national writing contest. It became the first book in the Thicker than Blood series, which also includes Bound by Guilt, Ties that Bind, and Running on Empty. She has also written Jupiter Winds and Jupiter Storm the first and second books in the Jupiter Winds series. Her children's fantasy Alison Henry and the Creatures of Torone has also been well received. C. J. lives in Pennsylvania with her whippets, two tabby cats, and a Paint mare named Sky.