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“Who are you, anyway?”

Updated: May 27, 2021

Who is writing these very words?, you might wonder. And well you might wonder, too. The quick-witted among you may have noticed there is slight ... unclarity about authorial identity around here. So let’s clear up—or add to—the confusion.

Here are the facts, dear friends.

Our very first book, Parent/Teen Breakthrough, came out as “by Mira Kirshenbaum and Charles Foster.” We were the joint authors. At that point we promised each other we would never talk to anyone about our actual writing process, other than to say that we work together, that the work is a full 50/50 partnership, and that we talk the book onto the page.

So far so good. But then the evil forces of commerce came into play. Our new at the time but now long-term and faithful agent urged us to put out our books under one name only. People, he said, like a single author. It’s easier to have one person to connect with, identify with.

So when our next book came out, Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay, we tossed for it and it was Mira’s name that went on that book. But note: we say at the very beginning of the acknowledgments for TGTL that “Every word here is the product of a fifty/fifty collaboration between us. [Charles Foster’s] research, insights, and ideas fill this book. We are full partners in everything.”

And we’ve said words to that effect in every book that’s come out under either the Mira Kirshenbaum name or the Charles Foster name. Meaning: the answer to the question, Who wrote your books? is We did. And people who detect a “Mira Kirshenbaum voice” or a “Charles Foster voice” in certain books make us laugh. ALL of our books come from the exact same process.

We said the very same thing in our latest book, Why Couples Fight, but we upped the ante!: “From the incredibly difficult process of turning the germ of an idea into a viable proposal and then into a completed book, this has been not a 50/50 collaboration but a 60/60 collaboration, which is crazy but totally true. Every word in this book is as much his [Charles Foster’s] as it is mine [Mira Kirshenbaum’s]. Really.”

It was because Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay became a bestseller that more books ended up coming out under Mira’s name than Charles’ name.

As for the blog. Guess what? You guessed it! The blogs are written by...US! Exactly how is a secret, but “us” is the correct answer.

And what does this mean for you? It’s simple: two heads are better than one. Although we write together, we’re different people, and we supplement each other in all kinds of wild and wonderful ways. And you’re the beneficiary of all that. We sometimes disagree about words and ideas and about how best to present things to you. We even sometimes disagree about who you are! (Meaning: What are the thoughts and feelings and needs and lives of our readers?) But always for your sake and in your interest.

We’re your team.

And for what it’s worth, I believe this is true: No therapist couple has written more books together than we have, or been married longer (56 years this July—but remember, we were teenagers in college when we got married!).

Whatever your thoughts, leave a comment in the comments section of this blog post or on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Instagram all @mirakirshenbaum.


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