Guest Blog: Finding Balance Among The Multiples
The Miss Demeanors are thrilled to have 2017 double Agatha-nominated and national best-selling author Edith Maxwell visit us today. Edith writes the Quaker Midwife Mysteries and the Local Foods Mysteries; as Maddie Day she writes the Country Store Mysteries and the Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries. Her award-winning short crime fiction has appeared in many juried anthologies and journals, and she serves 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 on Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and at www.edithmaxwell.com. Edith’s latest book is Mulch Ado About Murder. From the dust cover: It’s been a hot, dry spring in Westbury, Massachusetts. As organic farmer Cam Flaherty waits for much-needed rain, storm clouds of mystery begin to gather. Once again, it’s time to put away her sun hat and put on her sleuthing cap when a fellow farmer is found dead in a vat of hydroponic slurry—clutching a set of rosary beads. Showers may be scarce this spring, but there’s no shortage of suspects, including the dead woman’s embittered ex-husband, the Other Man whose affair ruined their marriage, and Cam’s own visiting mother. Lucky for Cam, her nerdy academic father turns out to have a knack for sleuthing. Will he and Cam be able to clear Mom’s name before the killer strikes again? UPDATE: Edith is giving away an ARC! Comment below to enter. Winner will be chosen on May 18 at 12pm EDT! Take it away, Edith! Edith:I’m delighted to be a guest here today! Mulch Ado About Murder, my fifth Local Foods Mystery, is coming out on May 30, but it’s only one of the series I write. People often ask how in the world I juggle writing and promoting three or four series, so I thought I’d talk about that today. I’ve been happy writing a book a year about murder on an organic farm for Kensington Publishing. The Local Foods Mysteries were my first multi-book contract. Along the way I acquired a few other multi-book contracts, too. Called to Justice, my latest historical Quaker Midwife Mystery, released a month ago, and When the Grits Hit the Fan, Country Store Mystery number three (written as Maddie Day), came out only ten days before it. And I have a new Cozy Capers Book Group series set on Cape Cod, also by Maddie Day. Book one is due June first. One thing that makes all this possible is that I left my day job four years ago. Writing mysteryfiction is now my full-time job and I treat it as such. I’m at my desk writing by seven everymorning except Sunday. I do almost nothing else in the morning but write (or revise), other thanthe occasional load of laundry. I have found with that schedule and some focus I can write a firstdraft in about two months, which leaves another month or two for revision. I now know I can writethree quality books a year, plus the occasional short story. So I can handle the writing part. Another thing that helps is focusing on one series at a time, and I do my best not to be distractedby the next book until the current one is finished. (Those characters and plots do start talking to mewhen a new book is coming up!) Adding in promotion for multiple books can be tricky, though. Promotion itself isn’tstraightforward. We authors always want to be creating a community of readers. Nobody wants tobe told, Buy my book! Buy my book! That said, I of course want people to buy my book. Andwhen I have, as with this spring, three books coming out in three months, it’s kind of hard to avoidmaking those pleas. I’m always trying to find the right balance. Of course I need to also juggle family, garden, health, and other aspects of daily life, and havefound a sustainable path on that, for the most part. I love that my final full-time job is my favorite,and the one that makes me happiest. I’m living my dream. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Readers: How do you find balance among the various parts of your life? What kinds of things do you juggle on a daily basis?