Welcome back longtime Mysteristas friend, Edith Maxwell (aka Maddie Day)!
If Only I’d Known…
Wow, what a topic. Here I am, coming out with two books in a ten-day span. Two books by two versions of me from two publishers. What was I thinking? And how did it happen? Well, let’s break that down.
How it happened: I had the Local Foods Mysteries with Kensington Publishing. It was coming up for renewal a couple of years ago. My agent wanted to get “something else in the pipeline” in case the contract wasn’t extended. Thus was born the Country Store Mysteries, with my same editor at Kensington – and he wanted it to be written under a pseudonym. Then I felt driven to write the Quaker Midwife Mysteries and we sold Delivering the Truth (written as Edith Maxwell) in a three-book deal to Midnight Ink. Then Local Foods was extended for two more books, so I suddenly became one of those obnoxious three-books-a-year authors.
All good so far. Except … Maddie Day’s series comes out every nine or ten months. The Quaker Midwife series releases once a year. On April 8, to be exact. So not only do the due dates bump up against each other sometimes, this year so do the release dates. I’ve written a couple dozen guest blog posts and answered myriad interview questions. Each post has to be unique. I have two launch parties planned, and a half dozen local appearances in April, with a trip to Malice Domestic in Bethesda rounding out the end of the month. And it’s all on top of being Sisters in Crime New England president planning our SINC 30th anniversary celebration, which took place – you guessed it, last Saturday.
If I’d known what a zoo it would be to be me right now (not to mention two or three weeks from now), would I have rejected one of those contracts? Uh, no. Why not? Because I’m living my dream, writing mystery fiction full time.
If I’d known what a big job it is to be the chapter prez of one of SINC’s biggest chapters, would I have declined the offer? No way. Two of my fellow Wicked Cozy Authors were the penultimate and antepenultimate presidents, so I knew well what the job entailed, and I volunteered to give back to this fabulous organization.
If I’d known what a juggling act having two author names is, would I have (again) turned down the Country Store contract? Heck no. And it’s not that bad. (Yes, snickering can be heard coming from the vicinity of the den in my house.) After all, neither publisher said I couldn’t link the names, and I do (it’s all on edithmaxwell.com, hint hint).
And if I’d known what a delight it is to hear from readers in either (or both) series, addressed to either (or both) names, maybe I would have jumped in a long time ago!
Readers, do you ever take on extra work despite knowing it might cause stress and overload? How do you cope with one too many commitments?
When the Grits Hit the Fan: Despite the bitter winter in South Lick, Indiana, business is still hot at Robbie Jordan’s Country Store restaurant. But when another murder rattles the small town, can Robbie defrost the motives of a cold-blooded killer? Robbie and her friend Lou go snowshoeing and find a contentious academic frozen under the ice. Police suspect Lou might have killed him after their public tiff in Pans ‘N Pancakes the night before. To prove her friend’s innocence, Robbie absorbs local gossip about the professor’s past and develops her own thesis on the homicide—even if that means stirring up terrible danger for herself along the way.
Called to Justice: Quaker midwife Rose Carroll is enjoying the 1888 Independence Day evening fireworks with her beau when a teenaged Quaker mill girl is found shot dead. After a former slave and fellow Quaker is accused of the murder, Rose delves into the crime, convinced of the man’s innocence. An ill-mannered mill manager, an Irish immigrant, and the victim’s young boyfriend come under suspicion even as Rose’s future with her handsome doctor suitor becomes unsure. Rose continues to deliver babies and listen to secrets, finally figuring out one criminal―only to be threatened by the murderer, with three lives at stake. Can she rescue herself, a baby, and her elderly midwifery teacher in time?
National best-selling author Maddie Day writes the Country Store Mysteries and the Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries. As Edith Maxwell she is a 2017 double Agatha Award nominee for her historical mystery Delivering the Truth and her short story, “The Mayor and the Midwife.” Maxwell writes the Quaker Midwife Mysteries and the Local Foods Mysteries. Her award-winning short crime fiction has appeared in many juried anthologies, and she is honored to serve as President of Sisters in Crime New England.
A fourth-generation Californian and former tech writer, farmer, and doula, Maxwell now writes, cooks, gardens, and wastes time as a Facebook addict north of Boston with her beau and three cats. She blogs at WickedCozyAuthors.com, Killer Characters, and with the Midnight Ink authors. Find her at www.edithmaxwell.com and elsewhere.