Maggie Pill

The Most Entertaining Cozy Author You Never Heard Of!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Counting-down Contest

Today marks 35 days to the release of SLEUTHING AT SWEET SPRINGS. (Some of you have already pre-ordered, but if you haven't and want to do that now, here's the link:

To build buzz and eventually celebrate the release on June 30th, I'm inventing the world's FIRST Create-Your-Own-Contest Contest. The rule is "Do whatever you want to with the idea of the Sleuth Sisters Mysteries, and you might win a $50-gift certificate to the bookstore of your choice."

$50 worth of books? Be still, my heart!

I'm guessing some of you will get all shy and say, "But I don't know what you want, Maggie."

That's just it. I want what you want. are some ideas that came to mind. Use them or ignore them and be creative. It's all up to you. Entries will be judged on originality, quality, and popularity, so have at it!

*Caption the picture below (I'll post more in the days to come, so prepare to be inspired).
*Take a picture of yourself reading one of my books.
*Take a picture of your pet reading one of my books. (Good luck with that. I tried to get Old Cat to cooperate and she just walked away.)
*Take a picture of yourself and your sisters being "familial".
*Write an ode to your sister(s).
*Write a nostalgia piece about growing up with sisters.

Get the idea? Just do something really cool with my soon-to-be-four-book series. Put it into the comment section on my blog or email it to and I'll handle it.

Note: I will share what you do on Facebook unless I get thousands of entries, in which case I'll share some of them. Whatever name you sign at the bottom is what I'll share: for example, if you sign as "Mugwump" that's what I'll put on FB, so you're anonymous. If you don't mind having your full name shared, that's fine, too.

So here's Photo #1 to caption, if that's the way you choose to go:

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Cat Report--Travel

If you read this blog regularly, you might remember I was worried about our vacation and how Old Cat would react to living in a travel trailer for a few weeks. She's 21, though she wears her age very well, and she hadn't been on many car trips in her lifetime. Because she's so old, we weighed the possibilities carefully. Leave her home with a drop-in sitter? She'd be alone most of the time. Take her to relatives? She'd be just as upset in a strange place as she'd be in a camper. Boarding has never been something she enjoys. In the end we decided she'd come along. If it was traumatic, at least she'd be with Mom and Dad.
There's no telling what she thought, of course, but Old Cat did okay. The going-down-the-road part wasn't her favorite, but she accepted it if she could crawl into the pillowcase on the camper bed and stay there until the movement stopped. Since she sleeps all day anyway, that worked well.
Once we were set up, she did exactly what she does at home--ate a little, napped a lot, and harassed Mom and Dad. She woke us up around 5:00 each morning her time, which was actually 4:00 in Kentucky. What does a cat care about time zones?
Going outside the camper held no interest, though she did get up in the night to look out the windows from time to time. I know this because she'd bash her head into the blinds to get them swinging then get under them so she could see out. Hubby didn't hear a thing, but the first time she did it I thought the trailer was falling apart. After than it was just irritating.
Then there was the tornado. Sirens went off at around 4:30 one afternoon, signaling one had been seen in the area. We headed for the shelter, and I took Old Cat in my arms, thinking she'd be comforted by Mom's embrace. Why didn't I wrap her in the beach towel I'd brought along just for such a situation? Put her in her carrier? I guess I was in a hurry.
Things were okay until the dog arrived. The owner said he loves cats, and I think Old Cat assumed she meant for dinner. Though I tried to calm her down, suddenly I had four holes in my shirt and a bloody belly. Hubby managed to catch her as she leapt from my arms, and Old Cat soon returned to the trailer. The tornado did not get her, I'm happy to say, but my shirt was a total loss.
She showed no real emotion when we returned home safely, but then, she doesn't show much emotion about anything. We'll probably take her along again next time. She might not love it, but Old Cat is going to see the U.S.A.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

The Perils of Pre-order

First, the upside of arranging pre-orders of an upcoming book. If an author sets a book up for pre-order, the sales that come before the release date count as sales on that day, which raises the book higher in rankings, which shows it to more people, which in turn generates more sales.
In theory, anyway.
I'm not much for figuring out the ins and outs of selling more books. I'd rather write more.
The downside of pre-orders is my anxiety level. I have to cross-my-heart-and-hope-to-die promise I'll get the book done by June 20, ten days before the "official" release date so Amazon knows I'm trustworthy. If I fail, they promise to never let me pre-order again (well, for a year, anyway).
I could live with that, but I hate failing, so I won't if I can possibly help it.
The problem is I'm waiting for others to do their jobs and hoping that their jobs (editing) won't require too much more work from me (re-writing/fixing errors).
When I signed a contract for my first book, the release date was two years away, and I wondered, "What takes two years?" and "What will I do in the meantime?"
Today it doesn't take that long, although big publishers have a queue and you get put into it somewhere at least a year from the date of signing. Still, it takes more time than authors would like to get decent editing, a good cover, and proper formatting. I know people who think they can do all that next weekend after the softball game but--ahem--they're wrong.
As for what authors do "in the meantime"? Work on the next book, of course, which is what I'm going to do as soon as I post this!