I can sum up what’s missing in two words: John’s byline.
You may be wondering why the novel 60th Hour was written by Susan and John Ruff, but the two Emerald Cove anthology short stories are in my name only. The answer is NOT because John had nothing to do with those stories.
To the contrary, John came up with the original idea that eventually became Lord Larrin’s Daughter. When Emerald Cove first proposed an anthology with a “kidnapping” theme, I was at a total loss as to what I should write. John thought of an idea that I liked. I played with his idea a bit and ultimately modified it slightly when I wrote the actual story. (I don’t want to mention John’s idea here, in case any of the readers of this blog haven’t read the story. It’s a huge spoiler. If you have already read the story and are interested, email me at the address on this website and I will let you know what he proposed.)
After I started writing, I got to a certain point and wasn’t sure where to go next. John suggested that I have the kidnap victim slip out of her bonds. It was a fun suggestion, and I included it in the story. The scene got a great reaction from the readers in my writer’s group.
John should be included as my co-author. In the original draft of the story, his name was included. So what happened to change that?
At some point after I began writing Lord Larrin’s Daughter, but before the Kidnapped!anthology was published, I attended a writer’s conference, trying to peddle 60th Hour. I met with a couple of editors to discuss the book. Either one or both of them informed me that publishers do not like to work with writing teams. After the conference, John and I talked about it and agreed that I should go forward with the short stories and books in my name only, because I did the actual writing.
When I decided to self-publish 60th Hour, I realized I no longer had to please publishers and editors. John’s name could go back where it belonged, as the book’s co-author.
John has already given me some fun ideas for the short story I am currently writing, so his name should appear on the next Emerald Cove anthology.
So next time, nothing will be missing from the short story.