|In my blissful, pre-published days, I erroneously believed that once an author received the coveted “call” and turned in a complete manuscript, she could relax and put her feet up. Nothing could be further from the truth. Being published means honoring contracts in a timely fashion, along with a multitude of details. No longer was I squeezing time to “write a book” into my daily routine of tending home, family and day job. With each new release, the juggling act increases from three balls in the air, to four, five or even six.
Let’s take a look at how five projects could potentially demand your attention simultaneously:
First, there’s the book you’re currently writing and editing, according to your publisher’s expectations for word count, level of violence, etc.
Secondly, the book you recently submitted is by no means done. A plethora of add-ons must be finished before the book heads to the printer, such as developmental edits, line edits, back cover copy, book cover suggestions, and blurbs for catalogs and sales brochures.
Thirdly, if this was a series, chances are a book was recently released and requires promotion. Your title will either sink or swim during the first several months. An author must get the word out to readers through blog interviews, website and newsletter giveaways, and book signings, along with social media. Otherwise, with so many fine books releasing each year, how will potential readers find yours?
Fourthly, an author needs to research the next book she intends to write, and that often involves travel or at least long hours spent in the library. Not everything on the internet can be trusted for accuracy, so first-person travel, when possible, is especially helpful.
And finally, what happens when your current series draws to a close? If you don’t wish to be out of a job, you must devise an irresistible proposal that your publisher cannot turn down. Publishing houses consider projects well in advance, so authors need to think far down the line too. Considering all this stress, hard work and long hours, you might conclude that I’m complaining. Nothing would be farther from the truth. I love being an author and pray each night for God to make me a better juggler. Happy reading!
Mary Ellis has written twelve best-selling novels set in the Amish community and several historical romances. Her latest, Magnolia Moonlight, is third of a new mystery series, Secrets of the South, from Harvest House Publishers. Before “retiring” to write full-time, Mary taught school and worked as a sales rep for Hershey Chocolate, a job with amazingly sweet fringe benefits. She enjoys traveling, gardening, bicycling and swimming, and lives in Ohio with her husband, dog, and cat. Sunset in Old Savannah releases in early 2017. She can be found on the web at: www.maryellis.net or www.facebook.com/Mary-Ellis/Author
This week reviewer Beth Ann Ziarnik Reviews SARATOGA LETTERS by Elaine Marie Cooper. Beth Ann says: “When I first realized that Saratoga Letters was a two-part novel with two separate stories—one in the 1777 and the other in more modern times—I wondered how author Elaine Marie Cooper could pull it off successfully. A fan of her earlier novels, I should have known she was up to the challenge. The result is a riveting Christian historical romantic suspense.”
On Wednesday we’ll hear from Suspense Sister Mary Ellis. She talks about time management for authors. (Boy, do I need this one!) She’s giving away a copy of her latest novel, MAGNOLIA MOONLIGHT! Leave a copy on after the blog post for a chance to win. http://www.suspensesisters.blogspot.com/
Gayle Gaymer Martin! Gayle will be giving away a print copy of her book, SECRETS WITHIN. (U.S. only.)
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »
This week senior reviewer Marji Laine reviews TARGETED FOR MURDER by Elizabeth Goddard. Marji says: “As much as the suspense and romance kept me turning the pages, theaction in this book propelled me to keep reading. From the second page, the intensity grew with on life-threatening event after another. The attacks came on without allowing the characters or me to stop and rest, breathe. I found myself flipping the pages instead of turning them. Turning them just wasn’t fast enough!”
Hot in Inspirational Suspense and Mystery!
Friday, Suspense Sister E.E. Kennedy will be interviewing oneof Suspense/Mystery’s top authors. Stay tuned for more information!
Without Losing Your Mind!” She’ll be giving away a copy of her Amish cozy mystery, BLESSINGS IN DISGUISE, nominated for a 2016 Carol Award
Friday, Suspense Sister Mary Ellis will interview author Rachel McMillan. Rachel is giving away a copy of her book, THE BACHELOR GIRL’S GUIDE TO MURDER!
Don’t forget, readers, this is the release week for Magnolia Moonlight, which has already made CBD’s fiction best-seller list, top 20. Thank you to everyone who pre-booked a copy. It is still 7.99 at http://www.christianbook.com . It will release for electronic readers on August 1st. Also on August 1st, books one and two of series will be on sale in all e-formats. Midnight on the Mississippi will be .99 and What Happened on Beale Street will be 2.99.
Don’t you just love a sale?? Have a great week. Mary
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged Harvest House Publishers, Magnolia Moonlight, Mary Ellis books, Midnight on the Mississippi, Secrets of the South mysteries, What Happened on Beale Street | Leave a Comment »
It’s another great week on the Suspense Sisters! ANNOUNCEMENT!
We’re excited to announce that two of our sisters have been honored with award nominations! Mary Ellis and Elizabeth Godard are both finalists for the Daphne Du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense!
This is quite a distinction, and we’re so proud of them! Congratulations, Sisters!
This week we’re reviewing SINS OF THE PAST, a collection ofromantic suspense novellas by award winning authors Dee Henderson, Dani Pettrey, and Lynette Eason. Here’s a brief description of each novella to whet your appetite!
Secrets and Lies. Danger That Will Never Go Away. Join Three Beloved Masters of Romantic Suspense for Novellas Where the Past Will Not Stay Buried.
Dee Henderson – “Missing”
A Wyoming sheriff is called to Chicago when his elderly mother goes missing from her retirement community. Paired with a savvy Chicago cop, the two soon launch into a race against the clock when they realize something dark may lie at the heart of the disappearance.
Dani Pettrey – “Shadowed”
Adventure, romance, and danger collide when a young Alaskan fisherman nets the body of a Russian open water swimming competitor. Another swimmer, who’d been the dead woman’s roommate years ago, is pulled into the search for answers as it grows more and more clear that something sinister is at play.
Lynette Eason – “Blackout”
A young woman once implicated in a robbery gone wrong finds herself at risk years later when the real culprit is up for parole. The loot taken that night has never been found and he believes she knows where it’s hidden–only her memory of that night has always been unreliable. Can she remember enough to find her way to safety?
To read our complete review, go HERE.
On Tuesday, Dana Mentink will share What’s Hot in Inspirational Suspense and Mystery!
On Wednesday we’ll hear from Dana again. She’ll be sharing her summer reading survey. She’ll also be giving away two of her newest releases, SEASIDE SECRETS and SIT, STAY, LOVE!
Friday, Suspense Sister Ellen Kennedy will be interviewing another top notch author in the mystery/ suspense genre. Watch us to find out who it will be! That’s what’s happening this week on the Suspense Sisters! Don’t miss a single day. Sign up through email so you’ll get updates in the exciting world of inspirational suspense and mystery!
It’s another great week on the Suspense Sisters! Our senior reviewer, Marji Laine, is giving away a copy of Ronie Kendig’s great book DIGITALIS! Here’s a brief description:
Step into the boots of a former Marine in this heart-pounding adventure in life and love. Colton “Cowboy” Neeley is a Marine trying to find his footing as he battles flashbacks now that he’s back
home. Piper Blum is a woman in hiding—from life and the assassins bent on destroying her family. When their hearts collide, more than their lives are at stake. Will Colton find a way to forgive Piper’s lies? Can Piper find a way to rescue her father, trapped in Israel? Is there any way their love, founded on her lies, can survive?
Marji has one print copy of this book to give away to one lucky reader. To enter, go HERE.
On Wednesday be sure to check out a great post from Suspense Sister Elizabeth Goddard!
Friday, we’re interviewing Suspense Mister Richard Mabry. Spending time with Richard is always fun! He’s giving away a copy of his new book, MEDICAL JUDGMENT! Stop by and see how you can win.
Suspense Sister, Mary Ellis
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »
Happy Tuesday, Readers,
Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing cozy mystery author, Kylie Logan.
KL: I’m a writer with a career that allows me to kill people legally.
What do you do when you’re not writing? Any interesting hobbies?
I don’t know how interesting they are to anyone but me, but I enjoy weaving and knitting. I’m also a sucker for cemeteries—the older the better–and am always anxious to explore them. I love the combination of history, art, architecture. And of course as a writer, I look at names and dates on tombstones and on family gravestones clustered together and I always think of stories! I’m also interested in family history and am the keeper of genealogy for both my family and my husband’s. I volunteer at our local county archives which gives me plenty of chances to immerse myself in old pictures, records and documents. It’s great fun!
What was your favorite book as a teen or child?
KL: Hmmm…favorite is tough because I have so many favorites! As a child I remember reading “Island of the Blue Dolphin” and loving it. As a teen, I started reading Dorothy Dunnett’s fabulous Lyman books as well as Mary Stewart and of course, Arthur Conan Doyle.
Tell us three things about yourself that might surprise your readers.
KL: Gosh, I wish there was something surprising about me! Maybe the surprise is that there isn’t one! I think I’m pretty normal except for my tendency to plot murder and mayhem at the oddest times like at cocktail parties and business meetings. But then, maybe that’s not a surprise to anyone who’s attended those sorts of things.
What genre did you start out writing? Have you changed course? Why or why not?
KL: I started my career writing historical romance. At the time, I didn’t know a thing about markets, but I had a story in my head, and the more I learned about how to get it published, the more I realized it was what the industry called historical romance. I love history and I really enjoy research, so this was a natural to me. I ended up writing more than a dozen historicals as well as some contemporary romance. I’ve also written YA and a children’s book, but my first love has always been mystery. For many years, I talked myself out of writing mystery because I thought I wasn’t clever enough to pull off the clues and the plots twists and the red herrings. Finally I realized that like anything else in life, you don’t know if you can do it until you try. Thirty mysteries later, I’m still writing what I love!
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
KL I don’t know if it’s the toughest criticism, but the one I heard the most back when I was writing historical romance was that my books were too plot heavy. At the time, it stung, but eventually, that criticism helped nudge me toward writing mysteries. Mysteries are all about plot and knowing I was a plot lover made me realize I was writing in the wrong genre. As for compliments . . . I never get tired of hearing from readers who enjoy my work. I remember once getting an email from a reader who confessed she’d taken my book to work, and had read it at red lights during her commute! This is not something I recommend, but it was nice to hear that I’d hooked this reader and that she couldn’t put the book down.
Any other genres you’d like to try? If yes, what and why?
KL: I’ve always been fascinated with short stories and I’ve never written one. I like the way short stories pack so much into so little room and how they often surprise and amaze right there at the end. Maybe someday . . .
If you could go back in time and do something differently at the start of your career, what would it be?
KL: A million things! Really. But then, that’s what growing and learning is all about, isn’t it? None of us is the person we were five or ten or twenty years ago. We change because life teaches us lessons. Every day, we understand our world in a different way. I can’t even begin to list the things I’d do differently, because there are so many. I do know that if I’d done one or two or three things in a different way, I wouldn’t be where I am now, I’d be in some other place. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? I’ll never know.
What is the most important piece of advice you’d like to give to unpublished authors?
KL: Think about what you’re trying to accomplish. Why do you want to write? If you want to leave your memories for your family, that’s great, and that’s one kind of writing. Do you want to self-publish? That’s a whole other thing, and something I don’t know very much about. I do know that if you’re looking to publish commercially with a traditional publisher, never forget that this is a business. We’re not talking art here or vision or dreams though all of that certainly goes into the mix. We’re talking business. Publishers are businesses, they need to make money to keep their doors open. Know your markets. Target your writing. Do your homework.
Here’s a little bit about the author: Kylie Logan is the bestselling author of the League of Literary Ladies mysteries, the Chili Cook-Off mysteries and now, the Ethnic Eats mysteries. She is a lifelong resident of Ohio and both the League series and Ethnic Eats are set in her home state. The newest League book (#4), “And Then There Were Nuns,” was published in March. In addition to writing cozy mysteries as Kylie, she writes the Pepper Martin paranormal mysteries as Casey Daniels. Book #10 in that series, “Graveyard Shift” will be published this fall. Kylie is a founding member of the Northeast Ohio chapter of Sisters in Crime, a lover of cemeteries, and can’t think of a better way to make a living than killing people off–and not getting arrested for it!
Tell us about your new mystery, Irish Stewed, about to released on May 3rd:
Irish Stewed can be pre-booked at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Irish-Stewed-Ethnic-Eats-Mystery/dp/0425274888/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1460329395&sr=1-1&keywords=irish+stewed
Please leave a comment for Kylie, along with your email address, to be entered in a drawing for a print copy. US readers only, please.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged Berkley Prime Crime Publishing. League of Literary Ladies Mysteries., book giveaways, Casey Daniels, cozy mysteries, Ethnic Eats series, Irish Stewed, Kylie Logan | 6 Comments »