News Flash: Linda Ortiz is our lucky winner! Linda, please check your email, and congratulations.
Edith/Maddie, writing from north of Boston and feeling blessed.
I’m so happy to share with you my first decade of being a published mystery author! I have a special giveaway to offer, so please read to the end.
Yes, Speaking of Mystery, my first novel, came out exactly ten years ago.
Speaking of Murder released under a pen name from a small press, Barking Rain, which has since closed. With the help of Beyond the Page Publishing, it’s out again with fresh edits, a fabulous new cover, and my own name.
It was such a huge thrill to hold my very first launch party in September, 2012, at an indy bookstore in the next town. The Book Rack had about ten chairs set up. From the responses I’d had to my invitation, I told the manager, “You might want to set up more chairs.” More than sixty people from many walks of my life – Quakers, work friends, neighbors, my critique group, and fellow crime writers, including Wickeds Julie and Barb before we were even blogmates – showed up to support me!
When the bookstore ran out of books, Hugh brought in the box I’d stashed in the car, just in case. (Pro tip to authors: always keep a box of books in the car.)
And now, ten years later, Murder in a Cape Cottage is my twenty-eighth published novel, and it releases next week! This feels like a huge milestone, even though more books are in production and under contract, for a total of six series (three now ended). In addition, I’ve had two novellas release in collections, plus about twenty short stories. Of course I had to bake a cake to celebrate.
I have so very many people to thank, tops among them my beloved Wickeds. Nobody could wish for a better support group than Barb, Jessie, Julie, Liz, and Sherry.
Writers farther along the path than me boosted me as I was starting. Bless you, Susan Oleksiw, Kate Flora, Hallie Ephron, Lucy Burdette, and Hank Phillippi Ryan, as well as the late Sheila Connolly.
Sisters in Crime and the New England chapter (note lots of overlap with previously mentioned ladies) made my path to publication possible, with workshops, networking, the New England Crime Bake conference, along with the online Guppies chapter. For many years I read scenes to the Monday Night Writers Group and have to thank those ladies (plus Doug) for their valuable feedback.
Gratitude also to my agent, John Talbot, for taking a chance on me early on, and to my several publisher/editors: Sheri Gormley, John Scognamiglio, Terri Bischoff, Amy Glaser, and Bill Harris. To my sisters, my sons, my close friends, my Quaker community, my partner Hugh – I couldn’t do it without you.
My biggest thanks go to all the lovely fans who keep reading my books, buying them, recommending them, requesting them from the library, and passing them along to others. And to the wonderful book bloggers and reviewers in our community – Dru Ann Love, Mark Baker, Jay Roberts, Lesa Holstine, Kristopher Zgorski, and many others – who help get the word out to readers.
To celebrate, I put together a special giveaway. Apparently tin is the metal for the tenth anniversary, but it was kind of hard to find. Instead I’m adding a pretty metal starfish to a package with an author apron, Kensington coasters, recipe cards, a Wicked Authors bag, and signed copies of the new book and the novella collection!
Readers: Thanks so much for joining me. What ten-year anniversary have you celebrated? Bonus point to anyone who has read all 28 books! I’ll send one lucky commenter the special prize.