Today is my one year anniversary of becoming a writer. On February 8, 2012, at 11:00 p.m., I used Microsoft Word for the first time in my life and decided to write a story. Susan Hunter and M&M’s showed up.
To this day, I still wonder where all of this came from. I had no burning desire to write a book, and I wasn’t even reading very much at the time. I’m sure I was quite bored – in addition to having the winter blues. I suppose most of it came from Rich giving me a Nook Tablet for Christmas. It opened my eyes to the number of indie works out there, and I simply thought, “I’ll give it a go, too.”
And go I did.
Five books in one year. I still have a hard time wrapping my mind around this. Maple Leaf Hunter is the sixth book, and the story is underway. I think I have a solid first line this time:
The hot, sweaty man lying on top of me was dead.
Pretty good, eh? (Eh? I’m already practicing my Canadian for the book.) Here’s the rough draft of the first paragraph:
The hot, sweaty man lying on top of me was dead. At least I think he was dead. He didn’t appear to be breathing, while I, on the other hand, was gasping for air from his dead weight on my chest.
We’re off to a good start! And no, for all you pervy types, this isn’t something tawdry. Susan is with Samantha at the food court in the mall.
I’m having fun writing again. I keep reading that we should write to entertain ourselves, and I have that down pat. Already events are taking unexpected twists, and I can’t wait to start writing every day to see what’s going to happen next.
I want to do more marketing this year. With six books in the series, I think I’ll be able to find more creative ways to get Susan Hunter out there than I have in the past. Before I go gung-ho though … please control the shocked look on your face when I tell you … I’m messing with covers again.
We’re supposed to leave the covers alone, but I can’t. Not yet. As much I love the cover of Sunshine Hunter, I’m taking Susan’s racquet and gym clothes away from her, and putting her in a sundress. She’ll be walking barefoot on the beach with shoes in hand. I think the look will be more cohesive with the other covers, and it won’t impart such a strong sports theme, which is not the main theme of the book in the first place.
The cover for Big Apple Hunter is then going to be polished and given a more realistic, detailed skyline in the background. I’m one hundred percent happy with the remaining covers. Once the covers are completed and distributed to all sales outlets, I’m going to do my best to try some different avenues for marketing. I’ll keep you posted.
But for now, champagne for everyone!
Woo Hoo! Congrats and Cheers, Maddie! I’m reading book number three and am loving it. They are so entertaining I just seem to fly through the pages! Loving the first paragraph…but don’t tell me any more! 😉 ♥ hugs ♥
Thank you, Paula! So glad you like the first paragraph. I won’t tell any more. Maybe just a few teasers as we go along, but no spoilers. 🙂 Thank you so much for reading! xoxoxoxo
So much fun….I’ve been telling my sis about your books and now she can’t wait to start reading them. hugs! ♥
Yay Renae! Thank you, Paula! 🙂
Congratulations! I can’t believe you’ve been writing only a year – your tone in both your blog and your book (I’ve read Sunshine Hunter) seems so strong and established. I would have thought you’d been writing for years!
Thank you for your kind words. I’m sort of flummoxed by all of this writing myself. 🙂 And thank you so much for reading Sunshine Hunter; I truly appreciate it.
Very impressive! five books and the sixth is a work in progress which reminds me that I have a date with your last book and a cup of earl grey at the weekend
Hi Dallas! Thank you for stopping by. It reminded me to send the links your way for the animal rescue. I’m sending Karen’s links to my husband.
If I remember correctly, you have Sunshine Hunter. That’s the first book in the series. I hope you are entertained for a few hours. 🙂
Happy anniversary, Maddie! Five books in the span of one year… that’s quite an accomplishment! Meanwhile we struggle with releasing one book a year, haha; you’re miles ahead! I would’ve never pegged you for someone who’s been writing for a short time; as Textile Ranger said, you seem so established! Here’s for many many years of writing to come. 😀
Thank you, Zen! I still contend being ignorant of the writing/publishing market was a factor in my favor. I just started writing and publishing, and I didn’t stop. 🙂 … And here’s to many more years of chocolate! Vive chocolat!
Congrats on the Anniversary! Geez, 6 books in a year! I started Rani’s right about 10 years ago and it still isn’t finished. Rochelle’s Briefcase started as a short story about 5 years ago and evolved into the serial novel on Story Time. The Rogue was started in November and is on hold while I run around madly wondering which project to focus on first!
I like the opening line to Maple Leaf Hunter although this perv fails to see how a mall food court can possibly fit into this scene! Okay, I admit you’re job is done. I’m getting it as soon as it’s available! 😉
You’re a peach, Richard. My first opening line had the man making a gurgling sound before he died, but I opted to cut right to hot, sweaty dead guy on top of her. She is not happy. 😉 … As for you, i was hoping Rochelle’s Briefcase would be on my Kindle soon. What do you think?
No, the opening you have now is fantastic. Good choice!
Ah, pressure! “Soon” is an amazingly versatile and flexible word with respect to the time frames it may refer to. At this rate, it will have it out on Kindle “soon”, in, say, geological time scales! (Think tectonic plate movement will bring Australia into the Northern hemisphere soon. RB will be out on Kindle soon, too!) I do want to hurry it up but as you know the story takes place between two consecutive Wednesdays and I’m currently at Friday evening. The vote count on each chapter has been dropping to disappointing levels, but not just mine. It’s left me wondering about the whole serial novel concept. Letting people determine the outcome sounds good in principle but I think they also want to read it at their own pace and the stop/start nature of it may turn people away, I fear, especially when we take too long getting the next chapter out! (I found this with many of the serialised 6SS posts – I just couldn’t get into them. I need bigger chunks.)
I’ve been reading another online serial, and because I found it in the middle or the story, I wish I could just put it on my Kindle and read it at my leisure without having to go back through web pages. So, I do think some of your thoughts are valid. RB is the the type of story I enjoy, so I’ve been deliberately not going back to read from the beginning in the hopes it would be finished “soon.” But I won’t push you. 😉
Great teaser, now a must read. You’ve accomplished so much in such a short time.
Thanks, Val! I think it’s been going so well because it’s just so much fun. I know you know the feeling – and you’re right behind me. Tell me again when your next book will be out.
My next book, Sincerely, Cupid, is scheduled for release in October of 2013.
Wow that is so immpresive, 5 books in one year. Did you work out how many writing hours that was?
Hi Pauline! I never did figure out the actual writing time. Each book didn’t take more than a month of actual writing. Editing certainly added some time though. I think it’s gone well, and so quickly, because the books are so much fun to write. 🙂
I had no idea this had all happened in the course of one year. That IS amazing. Congratulations and Happy Anniversary.
Thank you, Ruth! … 2012. It was the year I went a little crazy. I kind of love that I have a starting date for all of this. … You know I’ll be looking forward to *your* first book. 🙂
Sounds like a good start. I have the first of your books – now if you could just babysit the kids and walk the puppy for me, I might find 5 minutes to start reading!
Oops – and Happy Anniversary!
Thank you, Piper. 🙂
That’s always the case, isn’t it? When there were four dogs, a kid, and a husband here, I could never read. So much commotion and interruptions.
Hey Maddie are your books on Kobo eReader? I will definetly check them out sometime! Congrats on starting the latest book!
Thank you, James! My books are everywhere. 😉 When I get back to my computer, I’ll drop a link in here for Kobo.
Here’s the link for Kobo, James: http://www.kobobooks.com/search/search.html?q=%22Maddie+Cochere%22&t=none&f=author&p=1&s=none&g=both
The order of the books is on my website here: http://www.breezybooks.com/
Thanks for the link Maddie I look forward to reading them!
You’re welcome, James. … Now I know you prefer fantasy and biography, so I realize my fluffy chick-lit may not be up your alley. 😉 If you don’t think you’d want to wade through all of them, you might want to consider the last book, Windy City Hunter. It’s more “pure mystery” than the others. If your wife likes chick-lit, she might get a kick out of them.
Well I have actually bought a romance novel by Nora Roberts. Thought I would step out of my comfort zone. I have bought two of your books, Big Apple Hunter & Sunshine Hunter. The only kicker is my Kobo has frozen on me so I won’t be able to read them till I get it fixed. I look forward to reading them! Cheers!
Thanks, James! I’ve been reading out of my comfort zone, too, and have been surprised by how much I’m enjoying it. I even read a vampire story recently. 🙂
Yay for you Maddie! Congratulations! I have all of your books loaded in my Kindle library, and am about halfway through number two. I can’t wait to see what comes next for Susan, Mick and Darby. Keep writing, keep blogging, and keep being you! And..don’t you owe me an email? I sent you some pretty big news last time. 😉
Oh my gosh! I am so sorry! I wanted to write yesterday but was distracted by a plethora of things. If you could have heard me squeeing, and seen the huge smile on my face, you would already know how happy I am for you! I’m on my Nook right now, but when I get back to my computer this afternoon, I’ll definitely be in touch. … Thanks for the kind words. And thank you for reading my books. 🙂
Can’t wait to talk later! I’m reading about the drop in everyone’s blog hits right now. Darn Google. TTYL
Five books in one year? WOW! Congratulations! And happy anniversary 🙂
Thank you, MissFourEyes! It’s been a lot of fun … and a lot of M&M’s. 🙂
That’s awesome, Maddie! Way to go! It took me YEARS just to finish one 40,000 word novella. You kick butt!
Thank you, Twindaddy! … Hey, are you published? Is that novella for sale at Amazon? Does it possibly have a Star Wars theme?
Haha. No, it’s not published. And it is Star Wars so I couldn’t publish it even if I wanted to.
Congratulations Maddie 😉
And the first paragraph rocks!
Thank you, Pixie Girl! I appreciate the approval of the first paragraph. It made me laugh when I wrote it, so I knew it was a keeper. 🙂
Whooohooo! Congrats Maddie! Wow, when I grow up I want to write like you do. 😉 If I ever get my butt in gear I might be able to get one book out. Maybe. But 5!!! Now that’s something extra special. As soon as I can afford it I am getting the other 4 to go with the one I have. I love the opening line in your new one though. Great job! big hugs!
Thank you, thank you, Jackie! I’m enjoying your writings on your blog so much. I know you’ll get your book done. Thanks for approving the opening line. 🙂
That opening line makes me wonder what Susan has been up too, or umm down with. haha! I was thinking of doing a book on short stories, what do you think? For my first attempt at epublishing?
Jackie, I think it’s a great idea. I just went over to Smashwords and scrolled through the anthologies. I quit looking after 2,000. I think there are a lot of people who like short stories. They can read a quick story at lunch, at bedtime, while waiting for an appointment, etc., without having to be drawn into a work that will take days to read. I have a blogger friend who is compiling a book of ghost stories. I think your short stories would be great.
Do you know I have not looked as Smashwords yet? Really, I am so behind things. I like books of short stories also, just for the reasons you state. I just wasn’t sure mine were good enough.
Oh my gosh! Of course they are. You’ve written some wonderful things on your blog.
By the way, my oh my goshes are *always* the excited, happy kind. 😉
haha I knew that. Thank you for thinking they are good enough. I’m seriously thinking about a book of short stories. So be warned my friend, I will be emailing you with all sorts of questions. 🙂
Ask away any time! 🙂
I love ghost stories!!
Hi Barb! My friend writing the ghost stories is Paula Acton. Here is a post with her cards and bookmarks to showcase the book: http://paulaacton.com/2013/01/12/speculate-to-accumulate/
What an incredible year for you! Looking forward to the new book.
Thank you, Connie. It’s been surreal and a lot of fun. I’m well underway in the new book without a single M&M for inspiration. 🙂
Five boooks in a year, dear lord in Heaven!! Here’s to the next five!
LOL! Thank you, Elin! I’ll drink to that … and hope there will be five more. 🙂
I’d like to say something clever, but I still can’t get over the “Five books in one year” thing. I’m bowing to you as I write this.
Thank you, Carrie. I’m still laughing about the whole thing – truly. Some of my ideas for this book came from something I saw in Cleveland many years ago. I can’t tell you what it is now because of spoilers, but I will later. … I’m in the middle of a book right now, but The Seneca Scourge is up next! 🙂
Ah, so nice to hear. Thank you. 🙂
Happy Anniversary, Maddie – woot woot!!!! Five books in one year is amazing (maybe you got hit on the head by an asteroid, or something on 12 Feb last year!) 😉
You’re an amazing lady and I tip my hat (and clink my champagne glass) to you, my friend 😀
An asteroid the size of a bus – and I somehow don’t recall it. 😉 Thank you for celebrating with me, Dianne! 🙂
Fantastic opening paragraph. Makes me want to read more! Can I have some more champagne?
Yay! So glad you like the opening. … Yes, I think you and I should take the champagne outside at your place and polish it off into the evening. 🙂
I know you’ve told us this already, but who does your covers again? My daughter has written a series of book and she needs some illustrations done. We have a budget of virtually nothing, but I’d still like to explore our options.
Thank you, Hook! … My niece does my covers for me. I have your sympatico email address, and I will email her name and address to you. You or your daughter can contact her when you’re ready.
Maddie, that’s so great that you’ve accomplished so much in only one year! You have a lot to be proud of so pat yourself on the back! Way to go!!
Thank you, Charlie. I’m celebrating today, but I know I still have a lot to learn. … I’ll worry about that later. 🙂
Damn, woman. You are a wonderment.
Have some shampagnee and put your feet up. You can polish that apple later. 😉
Rich brought gifts home for me today. M&M’s and potato chips. Looks like I have a little inspiration for my weekend writing. 😉
Wasn’t it the Golden Girls who once said, ‘And if you threw a party, you’d invite everyone you knew. You would see the biggest gift would be from me, and the card attached would say: Thank you for being a friend.’
Congrats Maddie on all your hard work. Can’t wait to see what the future holds!!!
Hey! Thank *you* for being a friend. I think you are my only male reader to have read TWO of my books. I appreciate you, David! 🙂
And that will be 3 soon enough!!!
Happy anniversary you clever girl. It’s only 11.30am here, but I’m going to pour myself a glass of white wine and salute you.
Thank you, Mary! It’s nearing 9:00 pm. I’m switching from virtual champagne to a glass of Drambuie over cracked ice soon. It’s snowing and cold, and a glass sounds so good right now.
WooHoo! Congratulations Maddie!! I think you are spot on updating the covers too, I love your new ideas!
Thank you, Pam! You are the first person to mention the changes I want to make, and I truly appreciate your vote of confidence. It means a lot to me. 🙂
You have a really good feel for it Maddie, trust your instincts I think they are right on target. I love your covers! I also think each upgrade makes them even better and putting the first Susan in a sun dress is a great idea, now she will be leading all of your readers into a series of awesome adventures!
I am toasting you with green tea tonight!
I’m already into the Drambuie, but hot green tea sure sounds good, too! Thanks, Pam. 🙂
Congratulations on that anniversary! What a fun year it must have been! I have more to write about in my life now than I have in a while, and I am too busy and too bound to certain confidentialities to actually get anything down! Someday–???
I know nothing about changing or not changing covers, but a sundress and bare feet on a beach sound very much like what I see down here in the Sunshine State! I think it’s good to listen to those little nudges in your mind to improve and update.
I hope this year to come is full of more writing, too. Blessings–Alison
Thank you so much, Alison. I was by your place earlier today for a quick read. I hope Little A is feeling better this evening. With young children and a busy home, I understand how hard it is to find the time for writing. Three of our dogs had passed, and our son moved out last year. It was the right time to find out that I would enjoy writing.
Thank you for seeing that the changes to the Florida cover would be good. I think I’ve known this in my heart for quite some time, but I’m a little stubborn, and it wasn’t until I didn’t want to use it in a marketing piece that I realized it needed to change. … I appreciate your encouragement!
I cannot believe you turned out the Susan Hunter series in only a year!! What an achievement!! Congratulations, Maddie!!! Love your opening paragraph!!
I’m glad you like the opening, Barb. 🙂 You saw the potential opener at Rita Kay’s, but I decided to ditch his gurgling. I like this one better. … 2012 was a fun year with a lot of ups and downs as I tried to figure out what in the world I was doing. 😉 I hope this year goes more smoothly.
For you and me both, Maddie!
Unbelievable what you have accomplished in ONE year Maddie 🙂 xx
Annie, most of the time it feels like it was someone else who did all this writing. Sometimes Rich and I laugh that it was silly ol’ me. I’m still having fun, and I’ll keep doing it as long as it’s fun. 🙂
Like a channel 🙂 I’ve heard often that if you just sit and write it will come out right…
Happy Anniversary on your writing. I am amazed at what you have accomplished in one year and I am so glad you are having fun with it. Not only are you having fun but you are bringing enjoyment to all your fans too.
May Year 2 be even more blessed than year 1.
Thank you so much for your well-wishes, Bo. I never, ever dreamed anyone would be a fan of my writing. I’m so surprised at the the few people I know who have read all five books already and are waiting on the next one. It’s very humbling. … I do think this will be a better year. 🙂
Kudos to you! That is quite an accomplishment — and a great opening line. 🙂
Thank you! And I’m so glad you like the first line. I’m finally getting the hang of it, and It’s a much better first line than, “Susan, Mrs. Colter peed on the floor again.” 🙂
Congrats Maddie! Does an underwear caper make an appearance? Can Susan help solve my own skivvie mystery? Lol! You are inspiring!
Thank you, UL! I haven’t yet worked an underwear caper into the new book. The last book had David Harding’s shrimp pizza and a plate of nachos in it as a nod to him. 😉
LOL. Just being silly, Mads. 🙂
I know you are. That’s what I like about you. 😉
Congrats on the anniversary and the successful writing during the past year. I hope your success continues …. Hi Maddie!
Hi Frank! Thank you so much! I’m working on my first book of 2013. I hope the magic is still here. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!
You don’t know until you try. Keep it up!
Congratulations Maddie! That is a seriously impressive accomplishment! Champagne and M&Ms for everyone!
Thank you, Madame Weebles! I hope you’re staying warm. If you’re leaving a comment, you must have power. So glad to see it!!
You are amazing, congratulations Maddie!
Thank you, Maggie. I think you are pretty amazing yourself! 🙂
Well, it took me two years to write one book 😉
I probably *should* have taken two years to write my first book, but my attention span isn’t that long. 😉 … I’m amazed by your bravery and your journey. I have Carrie’s book up next to read, and then yours is scheduled right after. I can’t wait!
I find it amazing that your writing started exactly at the top of an hour. That is really kind of an odd thing. There are 60 minutes in every hour and you started writing exactly at minute zero. What’s the odds of that? Oh, I know. 1 in 60! Good thing is wasn’t, like, you know, 54 minutes after the hour, because that would have been really hard to remember. But then again, if it was 11:11 that would have been cool too.
The rest of the story. … I had taken the dog out, Rich was asleep on the sofa, and I was looking over books on Smashwords. I think I was downloading books for my Nook. Once again, I was so surprised by the stories for sale, inexpensive books, and free books. The computer I’m using is a discarded one from where Rich works, so I started looking to see what I could write with, and I found Word. I opened it up. Typed Chapter One, and looked at the clock on my desk. It was exactly 11:00. I figured I would give it a go for a couple of hours. 🙂 … It’s funny you mentioned 11:11. I see it all the time – and 1:11. I don’t see 2:22, or 3:33, or 4:44, or even 5:55. I don’t want to see 666. But it seems every day, I see all of the ones in some form. … Thanks for stopping by, That Funny Guy!
Cheers to Suzanne and to you, Maddie!
Thank you! 🙂
Congratulations! It’s amazing what we can do, if we make up our minds to it.
Thank you, Tilly Bud. … Yes, this entire writing process continues to amaze me. I’m just going to keep at it!
Hep, hep hurray! Yihheyyy! I’m so so happy for you Maddie 🙂 mmwahhh! Congratulation to your Susan Hunter series. Wow, so amazing you really are! And happy one year old in the blogging world too! Keep writing…. you’re really good at it!
Thank you so much, Dolly! Your kind words are appreciated. 🙂
Wow, Congratulations! Five books in one years is quite the accomplishment!
Thank you, Laila. It’s been fun. … I went through some of your blog recently, and have these recipes printed now: Grampa’s Fresh Fruit Tart, Cream of Mushroom Soup (I’m doing this one first!), and your Cranberry Cake. Yum!! 🙂
Happy anniversary! Great opening line…and lines. And, five books in one year is very noteworthy!
Thank you, Steven! I’m delighted you like the opening line(s)! 🙂
Happy birthday, and so glad you’re having fun!
I bet the new book (and covers) will be spectactular.
Thank you, El Guapo! I’ve seen a partial of one of the covers, and I’m delighted!! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂
I had a hot, sweaty, dead man lying on top of me once. Then I woke up. That’s what comes of using two electric blankets with both of ’em set to High… : P
Sincere congrats on an amazing achievement, Maddie!
LOL!! Mark, you are my kind of guy. 🙂 Love your sense of humor. … Thank you!
Wow, this is amazing! This entire post. Congratulations on a wonderful achievement, Maddie. Here’s to many more years of writing ahead of you!
Thank you, Amber. I appreciate your kind sentiments. The future looks bright. 🙂
I still dream of having one book in circulation… may it be e or paper! You have FIVE!! Well done!! Congrats and may it only get better…
PS – I’m hoping the fellow was fully clothed… 😉