Wibberley, Emily & Austin Siegemund-Broka. The Roughest Draft. Berkley, 2022. 336 pp. ISBN 978-0593201930. $16
Did they or didn’t they? Co-authors Nathan and Katrina have a three-book contract. The first novel was good, but the second, about an affair, was a torrid best-seller that left the world wondering if art was imitating reality. Their friendship implodes and so does Nathan’s marriage. A few years later, Katrina–now engaged to her agent–is pressured into writing a final book with someone she can’t stand. Nathan agrees, they decamp to the same Florida beach house as their writer’s retreat (now owned by Chris, who has informed Katrina she can do whatever she needs to do to get the book written, including bang it out of their systems). The two determine this book will focus on a divorce.
Nathan and Kat tell the story in alternating voices, going back in time to the writing of the previous novel. Faking pleasantries and friendship somehow allows the real thing to reemerge, and the writing and banter flows, and so do the fights, but they manage to make up, as always–at least when it comes to plot, character or language disagreements.
This slow burn literary romance is as much about the process as plot, and was a fascinating look at how two people work on a book together, written insightfully by a married couple. Five stars for excellent plotting, great dialogue, and using words I had to look up.
I received an advance reader’s review copy of #TheRoughestDraft from #NetGalley.