The Odd Couple: Co-Authoring a Book with a Friend

Is it crazy for two close friends to think they can write a book together—and maintain their friendship?

Five years ago, at our usual Monday breakfast in a café, we asked ourselves this question. We’d been toying with the idea of co-authoring a book about the experience of mothering middle-aged daughters and imagined it would be a challenging and provocative way to spend the next few years. We would develop our ideas and questions, interview a range of women, and write a book that would open a long, overdue conversation among older mothers about these relationships. While we were used to being together often, we understood this would mean that we would have much more contact, and we’d need to create a balance of work and non-book time so that we’d continue to share other parts of our lives. There would be differences of opinion that would have to be navigated, and we hoped we’d do this skillfully, but the question that was paramount for both of us was: Could we make it through the predictable ups and downs during this period and keep our friendship in one piece?

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