“I write in two directions. I had very little experience with collaboration when Karen (who had read a magazine article about me) got in touch and asked if we might discuss working together.
What impressed me about her immediately was how receptive she was to anything I suggested. It made no difference to her that a thing had never been done before, or that there was no obvious language for expressing something. I would eventually come to understand that this striking combination of curiosity and flexibility was at the heart of who she is. Karen is a creator of possibilities, a synthesizer of ideas, a translator of the seemingly untranslatable (palindromes, in my case).
There is a way of approaching a collaboration, where one says to oneself: I have this really great concept. Let me try to get others to see it my way. Karen’s approach is more like: I am working with talented and clever people. Let us discover what we can make together.
It is difficult to imagine anyone who is closer to the ideal of what a collaborator should be. I have now reached a point where I accept almost every project I am offered. The reason I can do that is because of my collaboration with Karen – or, to put it another way, because it was Karen who taught me how to collaborate.”
Barry Duncan, Master Palindromist