A New Book for a New Year

I’m celebrating the New Year with a book!

I’m excited to announce Murder Under Construction, the first book in my new series, Two Sisters and a Journalist, is published and available at Smashwords and will be available in a few hours at Amazon. It will become available at other outlets as Smashwords distributes the book.

ImageThis is the book that came to me out of the blue one day. While my sister was in the doctor’s office, I waited for her in my car. I found a little notebook in my purse, and I started scribbling. By the time she came out, I had scribbled almost 1300 words.

You won’t find pink on the covers of the new series. The main character, Jo Ravens, isn’t a girly girl. In fact, at times, she doesn’t act very lady-like. She’s not a shopaholic, men don’t swoon over her, and she’s not a crier.

The new series will be more true mystery than the Susan Hunter books, but don’t worry – they’ll still have my own brand of silliness in them. I enjoy writing lighter fare, and the genre for this new series will be humorous mystery.

Four people have read the book so far.

My mother loved the book. She said she liked it better than my Susan Hunter books.

My sister enjoyed the book and said she couldn’t put it down until she finished it; however, she said she likes the Susan Hunter books more. Secretly, I think she loves Mick. That’s what’s going on there.

My dear friend over there in Australia, David Harding, read the book and gave me a wonderful surprise one day by sending this email to me:

Hi Maddie!
Sorry I took so long but I finished your lovely new book and it is great!!!!
I’m so torn – do I like this better than Susan H? I don’t know! It’s so amazing both of these worlds came out of your head! Wow!
And how in the world do you go about writing a mystery that makes sense and is exciting (and funny). I don’t know that either!
So good!
David

His email put me on top of the world. (Of course! Because he’s Down Under!)

And last but not least, my sweet friend, Jackie, wrote a review for the book for my post today. Oh, did I mention the journalist in the book is named Jackie?  Yep! Once again, a blogger provides inspiration for one of my characters.

“Maddie’s new book is a funny, feel good cozy mystery. Even though it has a dead body (I mean a good mystery has to have a dead body!), the dialog between the two sisters and the journalist (which is my favorite, but I am a bit prejudiced) is filled with laughter and love. The secondary characters are believable and round out the book in a great way! I found myself laughing out loud in places and cheering the ladies on! If you want a great read, go get this Imagebook and see what Maddie does so well – write good, fun books!” ~Jackie

I love my early readers!

And yes, I allowed the first line to stand. It was, after all, what started the series.  I swear that body was hard as a rock when my butt bounced off it.

So let’s give some books away to start the New Year!

If you would like an eBook copy of Murder Under Construction, leave a comment and tell me how you would like to receive the book – through Amazon or via a coupon code at Smashwords. I’m offering a limited number of books, but at least thirty, so don’t be shy about asking!

If you are shy (cough, cough, men who like my books but don’t want others to know), feel free to ask for the book through email. My email address is on my About page.         smiley

You can leave comments about other things, too.

Onward and upward! The second book in this new series is the book I wrote for National Novel Writing Month in November – Murder Is Where the Heart Is. Hopefully, I’ll get that book under control and publish it soon, too!

Just do it.

ImageIt feels good to dive back into writing full time, and I recently completed the first book of my new series.

As I quickly moved on toward completion of the next Susan Hunter book, I was reminded of a blog post I wrote a few months ago but never published. It is the advice I give to myself all the time when I think I can’t do it, when I have a hard time keeping at it, or even when I feel like quitting. It’s good for me to read this again today as I forge ahead with the hopes of writing two books in two months. I’ll share it with you, too.

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Just do it.

Everyone is familiar with the famous Nike slogan. It has seeped into many aspects of our lives. I think of the saying when I have chores to do, when I don’t want to exercise or eat healthy, and most definitely with writing.

I wasn’t a writer. I was a wife, a mother, a seller of used children’s books. I love books, but other than a couple of ideas for children’s picture books, the thought never entered my mind to write a fiction novel.

Until it did.

Just do it.

Late in the day, on a cold evening in February of 2012, it popped into my mind that I should write a story. It popped into my mind because I was surfing the Smashwords site, and I was amazed that people were writing stories and books and publishing them on their own. That’s when I thought I would try, too.

I didn’t do any preliminary outlining or give any serious thought to who the characters would be or where they would go. I simply started typing and kept at it for a couple of hours. It was fun, and the story made me smile. I went to bed laughing at myself that I might actually be writing a book.

I added to the story the next day, but I was already waning. I am sometimes my own worst enemy. I can be flighty. I talk myself out of things. Writing a book would be a lot of work, and I was already busy enough. I set the writing aside and went about my normal business for a few days.

But now that the story was started, it kept calling to me. I didn’t really want to, but I found myself adding to the story late at night after everyone was in bed. My book was finished within the month.
I wrote a second book. I wrote a third. I was too afraid to publish them.

Until I wasn’t.

Just do it.

In May of 2012, I published all three books at Smashwords and Amazon. I freaked out shortly after over the fact that I had put my work up at Amazon, but it was done, and I let it be.

Now I couldn’t stop writing. I started a fourth book, and then a blog. I didn’t want to start a blog, but the thought wouldn’t leave me alone Imageuntil I did. It seemed a good idea to keep a chronicle of my writing and self-publishing journey. I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t know any of the finer points of writing or marketing. I was doing everything wrong, but I was oblivious, and there was no one to tell me otherwise, so I simply kept going forward.

Just do it.

I’ve made wonderful friends through blogging, and I’ve learned a lot about writing, self-publishing, and marketing from other bloggers. If I would have had all of this “new” information before I started writing, I probably would have never written my first book. It would have been too daunting.

I didn’t have money for professional editing or expensive marketing, but that didn’t stop me. I’ve kept my sense of humor throughout most of my trials and tribulations. There have been times when I’ve wanted to throw in the towel and quit, but those feelings passed fairly quickly, and, for the most part, I continue to have fun writing and self-publishing. I’ve made corrections, republished a couple of my titles (numerous times), and I believe my writing has become stronger. There is still a lot to learn.

Will I ever write the great American novel? No. I enjoy my silly fare too much. But I’m happy I followed my instincts and the little voice inside my head that continually says …

Just do it.

Today, I want to encourage you, too – especially new writers. Whether you are toying with the idea of writing a book, or finally on your way and writing, don’t listen to the naysayers, not even the ones in your own mind. Learn what you can when you can, but don’t be afraid to go forward with what you know now and the tools you have on hand. I was as green as they come when I first started.

Just do it.

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Write. Write for fun. Write to entertain yourself. Write because you can. Then publish. It’s a wonderful world that has opened up to us because we can publish our own works.

What about you? What do you tell yourself to keep going forward?

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Back at the keyboard when the rain passes.