UPDATE: The winner is Jackie Wisherd!
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The birth of a series. Years ago, I was selling short stories frequently. Now this was in 1968 when my first short story was published. I wrote a story called “And So We Walk On Eggshells.” I sent it out to an editor who had bought several of my other stories. The mss came back with this comment, “This sounds like the synopsis of a novel.” I put the story in the file cabinet and forgot about it. The short story market went bust with many magazines closing or changing direction.
So I moved on to novels. The learning process took several years and many rejections of the same book. In 1972 the first novel sold. There were so many publishers in existence that this book had sixteen rejections before the acceptance. I was at that time writing what I knew, medical romances. I was a nurse.
Then I found that manuscript for that sounded like a synopsis. I had thrown out a lot of false starts during my striving to become a novelist. The short story and the comments by the editor were in a box in the cellar. I began the quest to turn this into a book called Murder and Mint Tea. I didn’t intend this to be a series but the book in the initial printing sold well and even ended up as a book on tape. Things happened and publishers closed down. This was at the dawn of electronic books when books were sold to be read on the computer. But another idea for my heroine to step into the limelight.
I wrote a second, third, fourth and fifth “cozy mysteries” with my take on the genre. Now it’s several publishers later and the books are live again. They’ve been updated from their earlier versions. Station wagons are gone. Cell phones are in, though my heroine isn’t used to using one but she’s learning. A sixth book is on the horizon. My new publisher has designed a series of covers that show my heroine’s “familiar” Robespierre, a Maine Coon cat.
He was once a living cat found by my sons in the wire hub of my silver car with red racing stripes. The vet said he was perhaps four weeks old. We fed him with a baby bottle and he grew to twenty-five pounds at his greatest weight.
The books, all but the first one have new titles except Murder and Mint Tea. They are Murder and Poisoned Tea, Murder and Tainted Tea, Murder and Bitter Tea, Murder and Herbal tea. I’m currently working on Murder and Sweet Tea. They’re all published by Books We Love LTD, my Canadian publisher.
Next year, I’ll be blogging about all the changes I’ve seen in 50 years of being a published author. You can find me at https://wwweclecticwriter.blogspot.com/ My books are available from Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Smashwords and other venues.
I would like to give away a print copy of Murder and Mint Tea. It will be a random drawing from those who comment of this post.