I thought I’d share about how my latest release,Madeleine’s Midday Updates, came about. But I’ve already done that in the Introduction. So, here it is:
When our daughter and son-in-law had to return to work following the birth of their first child, my wife, Rebecca, andI offered to keep our granddaughter. I had no clue what I was getting into, but my wife was sure this would be a wonderful thing, not only for the baby, but also for her parents and us. She was spot on!
Having Madeleine with us for so many days this past year hasbeen one of the delights of my life. Exhausting? YES! I’m sure glad we had our children when wewere in our 20’s. I completelyunderstand and sympathize more than ever now with older parents. Still, it’s worth it.
I was on duty in the mornings, my wife afternoons. Madeleine arrived at 8:30am and left around5:45pm each weekday. What follows is acompilation of text messages I sent to her parents most days. Where you see breaks means we didn’t haveMadeleine. I took some time to visit myother daughter (referred to in these messages as Aunt Margarett) and her familyon the East Coast. Madeleine, becauseshe was breastfeeding, accompanied her mother to New York City on multiple businesstrips.
This idea evolved after getting several telephone calls eachday inquiring about the status of their little Miss M. Babies require a lot of attention, in caseyou didn’t know. Truth be told, I didn’trealize how much. But I sure do now. Invariably, those calls would come during adiaper change, feeding, or some other necessary task. It sure is challenging holding a phone anddoing any of those things simultaneously. So, I had this idea of sharing about our day.
The messages were originally written as text messages via telephoneand sent to our little group of four. Theyare written in Madeleine’s voice and there is a lot of repetition. Even so, most people we shared them withloved the idea. More than one suggestedthey should be compiled and published. That was never my intent when I started. Now, however, with her parents’ permission, that is what I’ve done.
In the back of this book, you’ll find a resource page. Occasionally, someone asked what a certainitem was that I mentioned. Kids thingsare a lot different than forty years ago. That section describes many of the items and provides links if you’reinterested in learning more.
This book’s cover design is inspired by the white boarddrawing my wife did for Madeleine that is mentioned in various updates. I’m grateful to my mother and Madeleine’sgreat-grandmother, Bonnie Bailey Hall, for her careful proofreading.
Now, I hope every time you pick up this book and read a fewpages, it brings a smile.
Looking back, these last twelve months have been among the most magical of my life. When the parents of the newborn little girl in our life had to return to work, my wife and I decided we wanted to help. So, beginning in July Miss Madeleine spent five days a week with Granmama (spelling intentional) and Daddy Ben. And let me tell you, I now completely understand why we’re designed to have babies when we’re young.
I had morning duty. My wife held down afternoons, since that is my most productive writing time. After the first few days, I got back to writing. It was then I realized after numerous head-banging sessions, that I was simply too mentally and physically exhausted to turn out a great story. It just wasn’t working. This mid-60’s man learned first hand that taking care of a little baby is WORK! (I know. I know. You moms already know that.)
We made the decision to set writing aside for this season. My wife emphasized how special this time was for us and how quickly babies grow up. Goodness, how right she was. That season has ended. Baby Girl is in day care three days a week and we are helping with that transition keeping her just two days for now. I’m soon to be back to writing.
BUT, I will not be finishing “Thin Places: Dallas” as a first project. Despite being nearly complete, I don’t like where the plot took the story. It needs work. I hope to revisit Buck and Liz soon. Something else has captured my attention more — children’s books.
Following a trip with Miss M and her parents to Maui to celebrate our year, my birthday, and the wife’s and my 42nd wedding anniversary, I will be working on the first project. My wife, Rebecca, and I have ideas for more, too. But right now, the direction is to get the first one done.
We enjoyed so many incredible moments with our granddaughter this past year. I wouldn’t trade that time for anything. Now it’s time to share some of the magic. More about that soon.
I’m excited to soon be publishing the first three books of my Thin Places series as a box set. It will be available as an e-book download exclusively through Amazon. The $6.99 price will save readers who purchase the set almost $2.00 were they to buy each individual title.
Currently, I’m in the formatting stage. Recently, a fellow Indie-author and publisher turned me on to a new Apple app geared toward formatting from a document file. I like what Vellum does so much that I am busy learning how it works. Hopefully, the Udemy course I found will help on that front, too.
Once formatted, my launch team will have a first-look. We’ll then publish two weeks later.
We just wrapped up a two-day promotion of Thin Places: Santa Fe. I’m WOWed by all the hundreds of new readers who downloaded it. THANK YOU! I hope you thoroughly enjoy meeting Buck and Liz… the story, too. And, by the way, WELCOME to my website.
Now it’s back to pushing through writing of Thin Places: Dallas. Honestly, it’s taking longer than I planned. Life happens. I choose to make the best of it and not conjure up a bunch of excuses. It is what it is. I’m reminded of a song my Mom used to sing at challenging times: Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries.
Hmmm? I’m dedicating this novel in her memory. I wonder if there’s a connection?
One of the joys in writing this current tale has been bringing in my daughters and their husbands to collaborate. When it was time to flesh out Liz’s best friend, Anna, and her husband Britt St. Claire, I decided to seek their input. The two people are essentially the creation of Katherine & Mark and Margarett & Kris. Anna and Britt will be making regular appearances, along with the other cast of characters, in future books in the series.
Over on Facebook and Twitter, I post more regularly. Writing, however, is my top priority! You can click the links to the right if that’s part of your gig. Please know how thankful I am for YOU, my readers.
I rang out 2016 with boundless JOY! Mind you, I do come alive when my head is in the story and I’m in full write mode. Those closest to me can attest to the truth of those words, for sure. That dims though, when compared to holding my first grandson, now six months, for the very first time. Needless to say, everything author/novelist was pushed aside for the two weeks this over-the-top adorable lad joined us in Dallas — along with his parents, of course. 😉
Already, the New Year seems to be propelling forward at ever-increasing speed. The rewrite of Thin Places: Santa Fe, my first novel, has been published. And I am back to completing the first writing of Thin Places: Dallas.Then it’s to the back-and-forth editing process. Fortunately, I have awesome editors who respect the tales I conjure and possess a strong desire to make them pop… make them better.
Beginning in 2017, my titles are published exclusively with Amazon.com. Apologies to those who purchased my books at and prefer other mediums. For now, Amazon works best for me. Also, the first book in my Thin Places series, ThinPlaces: Santa Fe, is no longer free. I am, however, offering it at a significant discount with hopes of motivating readers not yet familiar with my work to check it out… see if it’s for them.
And, YES, I’m already toying with ideas about the next book in the series. I’m hoping to be a bit more prolific and timely in publishing this year! All of this said, THANK YOU for stopping by here. I am so, so grateful when YOU find some delight and enjoyment in my stories.
Cheers to YOU in this New Year! May 2017 be YOUR best year yet…
Thank you for dropping by and checking out my website. One of my writing mentors, a best-selling author, drilled into my head that to be a successful novelist, my mantra had to be:
Butt in Chair
Head in the Story
Putting Words on the Page
In fact, were you to call me, you would probably get my voicemail which says you didn’t reach me because I’m likely doing exactly those three things. Writers must write!
That does not mean, however, I don’t make time to communicate with my readers. I do! The best way to keep abreast regarding what I’m up to is to subscribe to my VIP Newsletter. If you do, expect an email every other week with behind the scenes information about my stories and me. You will also be among the first to hear about new releases. But that’s not all. Celtic Oakis a short story prequel to my Thin Places romantic suspense… with a touch of fantasy book series. It is available as a free download exclusively to my subscribers. You read that correctly. It is not published in the public domain. It is not available for purchase anywhere. Once confirmed, subscribers receive an email with the download link.
I’m also somewhat active on Facebook and Twitter. I welcome you to follow me if either of those are your thing. You’ll find those buttons on the right.