Celebrating Eight Wicked Years of Blogging

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?

40 Thoughts

  1. Eight years ago I had finished b scheduling duties for the Emergency Winter Shelter and was in planning mode for Camp Agape, both of which activities I had laid down before COVID hit. Now, I review books and battle the onslaught of emails (currently 7,947).

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  2. Eight years ago, I was still working for the Department of Veterans Affairs, stressed, overworked/overwhelmed and tired! Took early retirement two years later. Funny how time erases bad times! Or maybe it’s just that good times displace bad times?

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  3. I had to do the math…2013? I was still shopping Circle of Influence and had no idea if publication would ever happen. One year later, it did! And today, I await the release next week of my 11th book. I’ve been a fan of the Wickeds since day one. Happy anniversary, my friends!

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  4. Congratulations on eight fabulous years! I know that I wake up to my fix of Wickeds first thing when I sit at the computer as I know others do as well. Thank you!

    In the last eight years, there have been many ups and downs. Sadly Mom died, but happy to know she went to join Dad in heaven and is no longer suffering with Alzheimer. Happiness to be spending retirement years working at our own pace and doing what we want. We sold out, packed up and moved to our dream destination building the home we had always talked about. Sad that the aches and pains seem to increase, but thrilled that we are both mobile and still able to mark items off our “gotta see” list. All in all, the ups over power the downs. We are blessed!

    Please continue doing what you all do. Love the all the great books and love waking up to the Wickeds!
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

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  5. Congratulations! Truly impressive achievements in the publishing and blogging world! Eight years ago, I was in the middle of my son’s toddler phase and just scrambling to keep working. I thought it was as good — and as tough — as it would get. I was wrong on both counts!

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  6. Happy anniversary! My publishing journey started around the same time as all of yours, with my first book being released in March 2013. Congrats to all of us for making it this far!

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  7. Congrats, ladies! Running a blog for eight years is a massive achievement, so three cheers to all of you! I was still early in my writing journey in May of 2013. Yesterday, I typed The End on the first draft of my sixth mystery novel. The first installment of a new series. 🙂
    I raise a glass to you all with wishes for many more years of blogging and many more wonderful mysteries!

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  8. Hmm…eight years ago my first mystery with Annie’s Fiction was released. I’ve since penned numerous titles for them in various group series, and now have two of my own series with St. Martin’s Press, a dream come true for sure.

    So glad you ladies have continued to find success!!

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  9. Eight years ago this month I signed my first contract with Kensington for my Witch City Mystery series. Working on book #12 in the series right now!

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  10. Congratulations on 8 years of entertaining and educating us, you Wicked folks! Love it. You wonderful people have seen me through looking for a job at 63, driving a school bus for 5 years, and retiring again. It’s always a joy seeing your blog in my email each morning. Thanks!

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  11. Ladies, congratulations on your eight years together! It is hard to believe that some of your series are already eight years old because it seems like just a couple of years ago I was excited to be buying the first book in them, wow, time does fly by! I do miss Sheila’s books as I am a fan of all of her series, and am looking forward to reading the third in her Victorian Village Mysteries when it is released, but reading this book will be bittersweet knowing there won’t be any more coming from her. Thanks for the years of entertainment you have all provided me with, and keep ’em coming!

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    1. Thank you, Renee! I feel the same way about Sheila’s book. Her photos and posts often pop up in my Facebook memories. I miss her every time.

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  12. 8 years ago, my nephew was only a few months old, and I was working at a temp job that I had to commute out of town for. I’m still in touch with my boss from that job. But it wouldn’t be until that temp job finally ended (after 18 months) the next year that I’d stumble upon the Wickeds. I’m so glad I did. The blog is one of my highlights each morning.

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  13. Happy anniversary! You all are fabulous and inspiring! Eight years ago, I was just starting my publishing journey. I’d written before, of course, but it was exciting finally getting words into print, all beginning with a short story.

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  14. Thank you Dear Wickeds for all of your entertaining books and this very special blog. Like others here, I look forward each day to seeing what news The Wickeds have in store for me. Eight years ago we welcomed our second Grand into the family and he has enriched our lives as much as his big sister has…what blessings they are! Seems like maybe I read about the blog in your book Sherry, Tagged For Death, as it was the first Wicked book that I read. I appreciate you each one and hope for you continued success and many more years of blogging, too! 😉

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  15. Congratulations to you all. Eight years ago, my daughter and our son in law are both RN’s at our local hospital and they were working the night shift so my husband and I would help them by keeping our 2 grandchildren who were in elementary school, they would spend the night with us and when they got off work they would take them to school and then they would both go home and sleep and then they would pick them up from school, feed them dinner and then they would bring them to us before they went to work for the night, they would bring them back to us. Both our daughter and so in law started working days, 6 yrs ago, so we didn’t have to do that anymore, our son in law is retired now and our daughter works in the hospital pharmacy now. It was a lot of fun having our 2 grandchildren with us and I am so very happy that we were able to help them.

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  16. Congratulations on eight years, dear Wickeds! It’s been so much fun to watch you all grow and succeed, right from the start. Your sum is greater than its parts, for sure.

    I think 2013 was my first Malice Domestic. My daughter had moved to DC to work a year or so before, and I was able to stay with her in Arlington and walk to the Metro station. I met some of you in person then, as a matter of fact.

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