R.J. Setser is a pseudonym for wife and husband duo, Rayleigh and Joshua Setser. High-school sweethearts who found their happily-ever-after in 2019, Rayleigh and Joshua have been writing together since 2015 and finished their debut novel, A Queen is Knighted in 2020. They live in a small town in Texas with their 2 dogs, Watson and Rosie, and 1 cat, Yuna. They spend most of their time juggling Joshua’s military life and Rayleigh’s civilian life. In their free time, they can be found with both of their families at the lake, reading or writing, and quite possibly playing sword-fighting video games “for research”. Find them on Instagram @r_j_setser or online at rjsetser.com.
They have graciously agreed to give us a glimpse of what it's like to write as a couple. Book cover, description, giveaway and buy link below.
Double Portions: Writing as a Husband-Wife Duo Team
Rayleigh Setser of “R.J. Setser”
What do the questions “Does this sentence make sense?” and “What do you want to eat?” have in common?
They are quite possibly the two most frequently asked questions in our marriage! In writing A Queen is Knighted together as a couple, a large majority of our spare time was spent snacking on the sofa while staring at the computer writing the next epic scene. But the writing process rarely stopped at the computer, and rarely did any kind of writing or plotting happen without food. Whether it was with our favorite snacks (pretzels, oreos, and cheese-itz), at our favorite restaurant (Chili’s or Red Lobster), or even at the house with Chinese take-out or seafood, no writing session ever began without the question “what do you want to eat?” and nor did it end without “does this sentence make sense?”!
To give you a glimpse into one of our writing sessions, you can imagine two nerds excitedly geeking out over a story that no one else knows about. You already know that snacks are a requirement for any kind of successful brainstorm, but I bet you may not have expected to hear that swords are also required. Collectively, we have 7 different swords that have been props and inspiration for certain scenes in A Queen is Knighted, and there are a few top-secret videos of Joshua acting out many of those scenes as well! We dutifully collect our fantasy inspiration from movies, TV shows, Pinterest, and have been known to call a video game night a “recreational writing session”.
For A Queen is Knighted, the actual writing was done by myself (Rayleigh) and then read aloud to Joshua, who decided if things made sense, needed to be changed, or whether something was missing. For our other *top secret* story, we are both equally involved in the writing process--taking turns writing scenes without any plotting or outlining. Neither of us knows what turn of events is going to change the story next until we get the scene back from the other person, so it’s quite exciting!
Co-authoring is definitely not a new concept, however I think there is an impeccable advantage to be had when your co-author is also your spouse! Not only did we omit the necessity of planning specific “writing days” or Zoom meetings by living in the same house, but we are already attuned to each other’s specific storytelling strengths because we’ve supported each other’s writing so much throughout our dating days and early marriage. In a way, co-authoring came incredibly natural to us because much of our relationship and friendship has been built over our mutual love for stories. At the end of the day, even if we weren’t writing together, you would probably still find us sharing a meal and a good story. It’s just kind of our thing.
Three Kingdoms. Two wars. And one queen who is desperate to save them all.
The kingdoms of Tunock, Taus, and Wilmington have been at peace for more than five hundred years. On their secluded peninsula, life is perfect for royalty and commoners alike. Fear of the pirates in the waters keep them from exploring further than the beaches, and tales of strange visions and missing persons keep them from going to the mountains Beyond. They are happy with their way of living and content in knowing that as long as they don't cross the borders; they are safe. But everything changes when the castle of Tunock burns to the ground and the royal family disappears with no one to blame.
Princess Lauraine of Tunock never dreamed that she would spend her seventeenth birthday escaping a burning castle, but that's precisely how she spent it. Left to the mercy of a knight whom she's never met before, Princess Lauraine goes into hiding while trying to solve the political mystery of who attacked her home—and why. She befriends an old knight—whom her father declared insane—and though she trusts her father's declaration as much as she trusts him, something about the old man seems sincere. Could her father have been wrong about him? And when strange things happen throughout the kingdoms—things that should only belong in the fairy tale books—Lauraine finds herself at an impasse: should she rise to the position of Queen and restore order to her kingdom; or risk losing her kingdom entirely in search of the truth?
As the events happening in the Three Kingdoms continue to unwind, Princess Lauraine makes a choice. A choice that promises little reward and far more humiliation if she's wrong. With a small band of friends who she deems trustworthy, Lauraine gives her everything to become the person who will save her kingdom—even if it means losing herself.
Ebook Distribution Link for your favorite storefront.
Amazon paperback will be available closer to June.
The giveaway begins June 8th and ends June 15th! Winner will receive an autographed copy of A QUEEN IS KNIGHTED.