I can’t believe we’ve been blogging for eight years! When we started the blog, we had three books out between us — one each by Jessie, Edith, and Barb–now there are seventy-five books out between us! In the past eight years we’ve experienced all the highs and lows that come with being published. The joy of signing a new contract, the disappointment when a series ends, the delight of a well-designed cover, the fights over book titles, the joy of a series renewal and starting a new series. On a personal level we’ve shared triumphs – marriages, grandchildren, kids graduating, new jobs, retiring from jobs to write full time, starting businesses, and changing jobs.
We’ve shared sorrows from the death of our blog mate and friend, Sheila Connolly, to other personal losses. Behind the scenes we’re each other’s cheerleaders and sympathizers. We’ve had hundreds of guests and many giveaways. We’re so glad to have all of you here celebrating and sharing your lives with us in the comment section. Thank you so much for being a part of The Wickeds!
Wickeds, how did you feel eight years ago right before the first post? How do you feel now?
Julie: Time is so odd, isn’t it? I feel like it was yesterday in so many ways. When we published our first post, I was the only Wicked without a contract. I was excited, and thrilled for my friends, but uncertain about my own journey. Now? I just turned in what will be my tenth published novel, I have two other names, and I’ve got dozens of characters living in my head. One thing I know for sure–I wouldn’t want to be on this journey with anyone else. You all cheerlead, provide wise counsel, and make my life much more joyous. My best writing advice: the journey is better with friends.
Jessie: Julie, it does seem like yesterday to me too, in some ways! I think that is partly because even though we’ve been it for a while, there is always so much more to learn and to experience. Before the first post I felt a bit overwhelmed by every aspect of the job, not least of which was how to navigate a blogging platform! Now I feel inspired and eager for more ways to grow and to try new things. Eight years of journeying with all of you, Wickeds, Accomplices, guests and readers, reminds me of a saying. “If you want to travel fast go alone. If you want to travel far, take a friend.” What a lovely, long trip it has been!
Liz: I can’t believe it’s been eight years! This whole journey is still so amazing to me but like Julie, I can’t imagine doing it with anyone other than all of you. Before the blog went live I think I was just in shock that I was also about to see my first book published (we launched to coincide with my book release) and both of these things were so exciting and overwhelming. But one thing is for sure, it wouldn’t be nearly as much fun on my own. I am grateful for all of you more than you will ever know!
Edith/Maddie: I echo what these dear ladies have said. My first Local Foods mystery was going to launch the following month and I was hugely excited. I didn’t yet have the name Maddie, but had used Tace Baker as a pseudonym. I had had a personal blog (with very few regular readers), so the concept of blogging didn’t daunt me. I think mainly I felt grateful – and still do – for having found such stellar fellow authors to travel this path with. Readers, you might not know that our eight years of behind-the-scenes emails are sometimes way more frequent than our posts as we cheer and gripe and mourn and celebrate with each other.
Barb: Eight years ago, I was eagerly awaiting the release of Clammed Up, the first book in the Maine Clambake Mystery series, which came out that September. I remember, at the first retreat at which we all had contracts, saying in very solemn tones, “One or more of us will be out of contract at some point.” I was trying to manage expectations. All of us had friends who’d lost contracts and had challenges getting back in print. Plus, I wanted to make the point we should keep blogging, even at the low points. Well, here we are. We’ve survived multiple publishers going out of business, some series cancellations, and some coming to their natural ends. Yet we’re all still under contract. All writing away and still blogging together. Pretty remarkable.
Sherry: Oh, Barb, I remember you saying that. What a journey this has been from idea to blog to eight years of blog posts. I confess, I was terrified. I didn’t read many blogs and I wondered if I’d have anything to say that would be worth reading. Edith, very generously, read my posts for the first few months before I put them up. My first book, Tagged for Death, was coming out in December. That was also terrifying, but you all eased my fears. I’ve learned many lessons over the past years from the Wickeds, our guests, and all of the people who leave comments. I’m grateful for all of it!
Readers: What were you doing eight years ago?