As a writing team, we like to argue plots, characters and motivations, and sometimes comma placement.
As individuals, we bring both different and similar sets of interests and expertise to life and fiction.
Both of us are avid Science Fiction and Fantasy readers.
Clif's "magic year" was when he was ten. That's the year when he graduated from "Space Cat" and "The Lost Race of Mars" to Madeline L'Engles' Wrinkle In Time, A. E. Van Vogt's Destination Universe and Conan Doyle's Hound of Baskervilles
The Hound of Baskervilles made him want to write detective novels in the worst possible way. Which he did. His grand detective novel stumbled when he couldn't think of a name for the client who walked through the door of 221 B.
In Jr. High, his school library got the full collection of Heinlein juveniles. Have Space Suit, Will Travel, Farmer in the Sky and Star Beast and the rest got devoured as quickly as he could. Paperbacks of The Foundation Trilogy, Stranger in a Strange Land, Elric of Melnibone, 1984 and dozens of others weren't far behind.
His love affair with music began about this time as well. A battered and ignored learner guitar got a full set of strings and a lot of use. A cheap bass guitar and a friend's dad's amp turned out to be inadequate for Grand Funk style feedback, and the neighbors revised their opinions of "that nice, quiet boy next door".
Clif started writing fiction again during college. Syracuse University Science Fiction club put out a once-a-semester mimeographed fanzine. Upon reading the first issue, Clif said, "I can write that poorly", which he proceeded to do. Every issue of the fanzine had one or two of his stories, whether it needed them or not.
After he graduated from college, Clif found SF Convention Fandom. The order of discovery probably has a lot to do with his graduating.
From the mid-70s to the early '90s Clif hit an SF con almost every month. He became a fixture in the filk rooms, a welcome visitor to the hucksters room (particularly used and new book dealers), and pubbed his ish.
Nucleus was an anomaly in Fanzine circles. It was offset printed in an era when most fanzines were mimeo'd. It ran one thousand copies / issue when most fanzines ran under a hundred. It had full color covers when most used simple line art. It got the most recent books from the publishers for review, before they hit the stands. It was given away for free and made a profit.
And it was seen by less than a dozen fans.
Clif distributed Nucleus at all of the bookstores in Syracuse. They were happy to have something to give away, particularly something with favorable reviews of the books they were selling. They all bought advertising in the 'zine (dirt cheap advertising).
Clif went on to become a computer programmer.
After a couple decades of programming computers and singing filk, Clif got the opportunity to write a technical book. Tcl/Tk: A Developer's Guide is now in the 3'd edition and is regarded as one of the best Tcl/Tk books.
And so, with a renewed sense of chutzpah, Clif is once more writing fiction and seeing how many readers can survive it.
Carol approached writing from a more reasonable perspective.
She wrote in high-school and went to Smith College as a Literary Crit major.
After graduation, she realized that a lit-crit degree qualifies you from an entry level position in any office. And that's about it.
She ended up in the clerical staff at the College Board office where she discovered that she was the only staff member who could figure out how to work the brand new Wang Word Processing System.
This led her to a two-year degree in IT, an MBA, and too many unpaid hours at CNA. (Murder mystery author Sarah Paretsky is also a CNA graduate. This explains why she delights in killing off management types.)
After years of not writing, NaNoWriMo came along and two novels later she's ready to unleash her creations on an unsuspecting world.