CBSN

"A Version Of The Truth"

Last year, two best-friends-turned-authors found great success with their first novel, "Literacy and Longing in L.A."

Now, Jennifer Kaufman and Karen Mack are back with a new book, "A Version of the Truth," which shows how one lie can change your entire life.

They talked about it -- and what it's like writing with your best friend --on The Early Show Thursday.

How do they write together?

"We sit at one desk and we use one computer," Kaufman told Maggie Rodgriguez. "And nothing goes on the paper that doesn't sound authentic."

"We actually say it out loud, like it's a play," Mack explained. "We sit side-by-side, but we actually act it out like it's a play. It's an unusual process, but we actually did some research. And, as far back as (Charles) Dickens -- he used to yell things out the window!"

"By the end of the day," Kaufman added, "it's kind of like two lonely souls sitting on a park bench!"

"A Version of the Truth" explores the theme of telling a lie to get ahead.

Kaufman and Mack say they were inspired by a Kurt Vonnegut quote when writing this book: "You are what you pretend to be."

The book takes readers to the wilds of Topanga Canyon outside of Los Angeles and introduces Cassie Shaw, a nature lover who's right at home with the call of birds and the sound of wind in the trees. Newly widowed at the age of 30 and without a college degree, Cassie desperately needs a paycheck, so she lies on her resume to get an office job at an elite university with Prof. William Conner, a cheerfully aristocratic expert in animal behavior.

Soon, under Conner's charismatic tutelage, Cassie carefully begins her personal transformation. But her future is teetering on one unbearable truth.

When she discovers what she believes to be the rare Ivory Bill Woodpecker in a nature preserve, her carefully devised web of lies is about to come undone in a chain of events that will transform her life, and the lives of those around her, forever.

To read an excerpt of "A Version of the Truth," click here.

To see the Early Show interview,

.