Happy Anniversary!


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.

I know!!

We’re supposed to leave the covers alone, but I can’t. Not yet. As much I love the cover of ImageSunshine 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.Image


But for now, champagne for everyone!

125 thoughts on “Happy Anniversary!

  1. 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 ♥

  2. 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!

    • 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. 🙂

  3. 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!

  4. 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. 😉

    • 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. 🙂

    • 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. 🙂

  5. 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!

  6. 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. 🙂

  7. 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!

  8. 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 😀

  9. Congratulations, Maddie!
    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.

  10. 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!!!

    • 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.

      • 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!

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

  13. 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. 🙂

    • 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.” 🙂

  14. 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!

  15. 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, 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!! 🙂

  16. 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!

  17. Wow, this is amazing! This entire post. Congratulations on a wonderful achievement, Maddie. Here’s to many more years of writing ahead of you!

  18. 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… 😉

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