The Waiting Game

Edith here, with a finally planted garden and a full heart north of Boston. And a book to give away!steam-train

So much about the writer’s life involves waiting. You finish one book, work on another project, write a proposal for yet a different book, and still the first book hasn’t come out, at least in the traditional publishing model. The release feels like forever distant. Then all of a sudden things are happening and you’re barely hanging onto the freight train door as it hurtles down a mountainside.

I wrote Farmed and Dangerous, polished it, and turned it in over a year ago. I first saw the FarmedandDancover late last fall, I believe, and got really excited about it, but it still seemed so long until it would be out. Kensington sent me a box of Advance Review Copies (ARCs) months ahead of the release date, and a box of the actual hardcovers a month or so ago. Now the book is out – well, officially next week – and I’ve been frantically writing guest blog posts, arranging a launch party (you’re all invited!), agreeing to all kinds of library and bookstore events. Speak of a freight train!

In the meantime, I wrote Book Four, Murder Most Fowl, polished it, and turned it in, and have made the few editorial revisons my editor asked for. But it won’t be out until a year from now. AND I wrote the synopsis for Book Five, Cart Before the Corpse (or maybe Mulch Ado About Murder), which my editor liked and accepted. That book is Flippedcoverdue in May 2016 and won’t be out for a year after that. Where is my time telescope so I can see that far out?

The same thing with the Country Store Mysteries. Got the cover for Flipped for Murder a few months ago and loved it, but the book won’t be out until late October, although it IS available for preorder (as Hank Phillippi Ryan says, it’s only my career…). Meanwhile Grilled for Murder, the second book, due August 1, is complete and awaiting Sherry’s expert edits before I submit it. (Book Three is due March 1. Gulp.)

The same thing, even worse, with Delivering the Truth. I say worse only in that, once Delivering the TruthCoveragain, the release date seems so very far away, but that’s partly because the book was complete before I landed the contract with Midnight Ink last December. The release date is April 6, 2016. I just saw the cover, which I love, and when I posted it on Facebook, 300 people popped in to say how much they also like it and want to read the book. It won’t even be available for preorder until July, and I’m already ten thousand words into Book Two! See what I mean?

It’s a good thing I’m, shall we say, a bit too busy, or the waiting game might have me sitting around tapping my foot and chewing my fingernails. As it is, I’m barely keeping my head above water. In addition to writing books, I also read books. I am Clerk of Amesbury Friends Meeting, on the Crime Bake committee, a judge in a contest, and so on. I’m smiling, don’t get me wrong. I love this life. And good things come to those who wait, right? Or as my Hugh says, “It’s just another f—ing growth opportunity!” (minus the dashes…).

Readers: How are you with waiting? Are you the patient sort, or the I Can’t Stand the Wait type? And what do you think about the brand-new Quaker Midwife Mystery cover? I’ll send a copy of Farmed and Dangerous to one commenter!

59 Thoughts

  1. Dear Edith, I think the brand-new Quaker Midwife Mystery cover is the best possible one to deliver a book baby. I am charmed by it and the story, and that is certainly hard to wait for.

    I am not generally patient. My brain seems to stall when I have to wait for something tedious to be completed. Some things, however, I am very patient with, because I see they involve structuring a series of events that will move me in the direction I want to go however long it might take or how slowly it might move along. Make a great puzzle that has interlocking choices. One piece fits in the slot between another piece, but it isn’t a good fit. Work with it until you can slide another piece in that makes the picture clearer and the whole work more substantial.

    Not fitting in well, myself, growing up, taught me this strategy that turned out to be a lot like the Kenny Rogers song about knowing when to hold ’em and knowing when to fold ’em… when to walk away… when to run… never count your money… . Never count your money. Never.

    1. I like the puzzle analogy, Reine, especially as I’m always working at least three intricate jigsaws. And the song, of course!

  2. Congratulations, Edith, on your ability to juggle so many projects. Anyone who has ever queried an agent or waited for a response to a submission has had to learn to wait patiently, otherwise, you would drive yourself crazy. From what you’ve described, after the long wait, everything comes at you in a rush. I wonder how many of us yearning for publication are prepared for that.

    1. Thanks, Grace. Yes, it’s definitely a rush of busyness. Also the other kind of rush – exciting that the book is out, thrilling that people are reading and reviewing it, emotional that your baby is in bookstores and libraries!

  3. Oh, these all look so interesting! The covers are great, they stick in hour mind. Can hardly wait. Ty

  4. I’m patient most of the time–at least I try to be. My agent sold my series on proposal a year ago in January and the first book won’t be out until December. That seemed like such a LONG time, but it really has gone quickly. I have an August 1st deadline to turn in the second book and I’m only halfway done (there’s a drill sergeant angel on my shoulder at the moment screaming, “Tremel! What are you doing online! Get back to that book!).

    I honestly don’t know how you keep up with three series. I don’t think I could do it.

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your midwife cover! It is really beautiful. I can’t wait to read it.

  5. Great cover, Edith. One more problem with the long wait and writing other books during it–trying to keep straight what happens in the book that just came out and not give away anything from the next, already written or in progress book(s) in the series!


  6. I’m rather impatient, especially when it comes to books I want. And I want all of those books! The covers are fantastic! They would get me to pick them up at the store, that is for sure. Thanks for the chance to win!

  7. Love all of the covers. My TBR pile is definitely growing. 🙂 I am a fairly patient person. But sometimes it’s hard. Thanks for the giveaway. Have a great day!

  8. I am not good at waiting for anything to be honest but when it is a book by an author I likr it is worse. And since i currently have a limited book budget I have to wait for paperback…

    I like the cover for the new book. I think it does a good job of reflecting the title.

    1. Agree, Sarah! You can always ask your library to acquire the book – that way it’s still a sale for me, you can read it for free, and others can, too. ;^)

  9. So much good news, and your patience–and hard work–are paying off! But we gardeners learn patience, don’t we? It’s either that or be frustrated all the time.

    I’m almost patient to a fault. Almost. Up to a point, she says, darkly. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Debra. Kind of distracted on the work front this morning! But I did but manage to write a 900-word scene where both mom and baby survive an 1888 childbirth.

  10. If I am escited I am NOT a patient waiter. I think the series looks interesting and like something I would like to read.

  11. I am not patient at all. I have trouble sleeping on Christmas Eve waiting for morning.

  12. I am horribly impatient but I know it, so I instruct myself to be patient. But oh my gosh, Edith, so many good books from one brain! You are a mental ninja!

  13. I don’t know how you keep it all straight, but I’m so grateful that you do! Quite looking forward to _Delivering the Truth_ and LOVE _Farmed and Dangerous_, perfect book for my CSA farmers and my Girl Scout nieces. <3

  14. Hi, Edith! Again I must say that the cover is BEAUTIFUL and compelling! What a blessing seeing that black dress and crisp white apron must have been to a young woman in labor. I would like to know the illustrators name if possible. My daughter is a budding artist. When it comes to patience…It doesn’t come naturally…but having and rearing four children made me LEARN patience even if reluctantly…there are just so many things that we can not control so one must let go.

  15. I know what you mean about the waiting, Edith. I am eagerly awaiting your first Quaker midwife book. My first mystery came out November 2014 and my publisher has had the second one since last October. It won’t be out until June 2016. It’s a bit disconcerting when you’re writing a mystery series and readers have to wait 18 months for the next book. I find publishing a very strange business indeed.

  16. Interesting you discuss patience this morning since the universe gave me a lesson when i went to the post office — slow down, take a breath.

  17. I know that you and other authors juggle several series and always have to be working in advance and keeping everything straight, but seeing it all written down as in your blog – wow, I am even more amazed and impressed.

    I am usually fairly patient because there are so many good things out there to read, compared to how it seemed in the “olden” days when I was impatiently waiting for the latest from one of my favorite authors. I do get impatient, though, when I discover a new series and I am behind. I read all that I have missed to catch up and by that time I am so enjoying my time with the characters I just can’t wait for the next book.

    Don’t include me for a copy of Farmed and Dangerous. I was lucky enough to receive an ARC. Reviews are out there. Loved it – and now I am impatient to see what Cam gets up to next! But I guess I can catch up on your other series ;-).

    1. So pleased you loved the book, Sally. I know that feeling about catching up on a fabulous series and then having to wait for the new one.

  18. Livin’ the dream, Edie, livin’ the dream. From where I sit, it looks like you’re doing a great job of managing everything. And I’m really looking forward to your new (and old) series!

    1. Thanks, Susannah. Definitely living the dream. (But I’m afraid no one but blood – or very nearly so – relatives are allowed to call me Edie…)

      1. Oops! Sorry. It was used for literary effect, and I love that name! But you can call me Suzie or Janie if you need revenge 🙂

      2. No worries, Suzie! I just know how fast nicknames can spread, and it took me years to get RID of that one and just be Edith…

  19. Edith, I think you’re doing a fabulous job of keeping it all together! I believe I commented on your FB post, but I love love love the new cover. Keep up the good (hard) work!

  20. Flipped for Murder preordered, yay!. The cover art reminds me of two of my favorite series, so naturally, I had to look. Also looking forward to the Quaker midwife series.

  21. Hi Edith! Thanks so much for updating what you’ve been doing. Patience…what’s that? LOL But, compared to my husband who has zero patience…I practice patients as much as I can stand to. The book cover is wonderful…considering the subject matter…plain is better. Thanks for the chance in the give-a-way!

  22. Edith, I’m just as impatient 🙂 But also finding that the busier I am the easier it is to cope! So happy for all that’s happening for you!

  23. When I see a cover, I get excited to read the book. Knowing I have to wait months is hard, but with so many books to read, it does seem to fly by.

    And yes, I love your Middlewife cover. All three of those covers are great, in fact.

  24. Pernette Wells is the winner of Farmed and Dangerous! Congratulations, Pernette. Please contact me at edithmaxwellauthor at gmail dot com.

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