Thursday, October 4, 2012


Five Years Since Petticoat Ranch hit the shelves

A Timeline

2007—Petticoat Ranch released, it was finished before it was contracted

2007 also, Golden Days, contracted before Petticoat Ranch but released after, unwritten when it was contracted

2008 –Calico Canyon released, finished before it was contracted

2009—Gingham Mountain, Montana Rose, Cowboy Christmas, Buffalo Gal, Clueless Cowboy release. All written before they were contracted except Cowboy Christmas
(See this pace? I'd have never been able to keep this up if I hadn't have all but one of these books already written-as of Gingham Mountain I'm work through a nine book contract with Barbour and three book contract with HP and a three book contract with HMP-but I can handle it because these books, five of them, are already written)

2010—The Husband Tree, Wildflower Bride, The Bossy Bridegroom, Of Mice…and Murder, Pride and Pestilence, The Miceman Cometh, Doctor in Petticoats, Wrangler in Petticoats release…now we’re starting to see new work much more. Of these, only The Husband Tree was written before it was contracted.

(All the while these are releasing I'm ahead. I was writing Doctor in Petticoats before Montana Rose came out, that gave me the freedom to realize Tom Linscott could be used in this series. Once I decided to write the Sophie's Daughters series and intertwine it with the Montana Marriages series, I had time to do it because I had Gingham Mountain coming but it was done. I went back and changed ages and dates in Montana Rose and The Husband Tree so these books could intertwine. Because I was writing Doctor in Petticoats already I realized I needed a hero left over from the Montana Marriages series to truly make the books connect. I could build Tom Linscott's role up from a barely referred to cranky neighbor who'd fight for Cassie Dawson's spring with Mort Sawyer, to a character in his own right who'd be a love interest for Mandy McClellen-six books in the future)

2011—Sharpshooter in Petticoats, Deep Trouble, Out of Control, Ten Plagues, A Home for Christmas: The Sweetest Gift release, of these Ten Plagues and The Sweetest Gift were written before I got my first contract, the rest are new work.

(Now things started to get a little scary. I'm writing all new books, except for Ten Plagues and The Sweetest Gift--which both needed heavy revision. four full length books a year is a pace that I can keep up if NOTHING GOES WRONG. God protect me if I get the flu and miss ten days of writing 1000 words a day seven days a week)

2012—In Too Deep, Over the Edge and another Christmas novella ebook called The Christmas Candle. Of these only The Christmas Candle was previously written-and it needed heavy revisions.

(I think I’m missing one. But I can’t figure out which one??? 11 full length cowboy books for Barbour. Four HPs. Three HPMs. One suspense. One Christmas novella ebook. Three full length cowboy books for Bethany)

Here’s my point.

I had twenty finished books on my computer when I sold my first book. 

Call it determination. 

Call it striving for your dream. 

Call it Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Whatever you call it, when my chance came, I WAS READY. I have now…of those twenty written books...sold eleven (two yet to be released as novellas). Those years, those ten long, long, long years when I was typing away in mole-like anonymity...were not wasted.

As I celebrate the Fifth Anniversary of Seekerville AND the Fifth Anniversary of being a published author--a published author who, in five years managed to end up with TWENTY-THREE BOOKS ON THE SHELVES (and seven more contracted--that just is amazing to me--shocking...) 
I ask each and every one of our Seekervillagers………….…

 ‘Yes, I can have it to you next week.” Or will you say, “Give me three months, or six months, or a year, and I’ll finish this.” (by which time she just may have forgotten you and moved on to someone else who IS ready)


Everyone who leaves a comment gets their name in the drawing for a 
$55 eGift card to CBD.
I picked $55 for the double fives.
Seekerville’s anniversary and mine.

In the comments, answer me this, ARE YOU READY????????

And if the answer is no, then:
What can you do to get ready?
What can you do to start building a backlist?
What can you finish, submit, then forget while you finish something else.
ARE YOU READY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Click here for the list of


  1. I swiped Connealy's dishpan, and I'm banging on it with Tina's long handled wooden spoon. CO-O-O-O-ME AND GET IT! The coffee pot is waiting for you.

    Yes, Sarge, I'm ready!!!
    Not 20 books ready, but ready.

    Sob Alert:
    If you tell me a dozen is not ready, that'll make my cry.



  3. WheW! Helen, praise the Lord you showed up. I thought fer sure they'd hang me from the nearest tree if I showed up BEFORE the coffee, again.

    I'm trying to be ready! I have two completes, a third needing polished, an ms 90% another 50%. With stories plotted right behind those. And I'm currently trying to plot a suspense and get it loosely written. I asked myself how long it would take me to write 55k words. I'm thinking 5 weeks. Hopefully, I'll have a good portion of it done before my five weeks start.

    You're an inspiration, Mary.

  4. Oh, and CONGRATULATIONS on your five years of success.

  5. I found a crockpot pumpkin latte recipe on Pinterest, so I'll just set that up over on the counter in here. Help yourself, folks. It's a big crockpot.

    Mary, I love your story. As well as your stories.

    And it's why, right now, while I'm in a waiting period, I just keep writing novels. I don't have as many backlogged as you did (never mind usable ones) but I'll be a few ahead of the game, anyway.

    One of these days the dam may break. I'm ready. . .but I'll be more ready in a few months with another completed.

  6. Ah... I'm sorta ready, with lots of revisions. If I get a couple more books finished it will be better. I do have three out and two coming in Nov and Jan. And am contracted for three more that are finished.

    With a few more on tap, but I better get to writing.

    Mary, do you do 1000 ever day?

  7. Mary, your post seems like a dream. Congrats on all the books and thanks for all the wisdom and great stories!

    I am more ready now than I was this time last year. Every day is another step forward. The day after I sent my WIP out for consideration, I started writing another book. It was so fantastic and freeing to be at the beginning again.

    Thanks for the words of encouragement from you and all the Seekers.

  8. A dozen is ready, Helen. Good for you. And we miss you on the coffee. LOL

  9. CHRISTINA!!! Didn't you have some ...NEWS... yesterday?
    Tell us the details if you can.

  10. Oh, and Christian, three finsished novels and two almost finished seems pretty ready to me. YAY

  11. Valerie, good for you. Keep writing. But didn't you have a book come out? So you're launched, girl.

  12. Tina you sound real ready but you can always get MORE ready.
    I am writing 1000 words a day FIVE days a week these days and it's not a great time to ask because the week after ACFW was CUH-RAY-ZEEE
    A book to finished. Galleys to edit. A Proposal due. A novella to revise. That was last week. This week I've got two books for endorsement and a couple of blog posts and internviews but mostly, I'm back to work on my WIP and loving it.

  13. It seems like a dream to me, too, Lyndee. I just can't believe it. HONESTLY I have never really gotten over the idea that I finally sold ONE book. I am still so thrilled about it and don't take one speck of it for granted. Each time a new contract comes along I just CHERISH it.

  14. Thanks for remembering, Mary!

    I did have a novella come out in May in Rainbow's End, one of Barbour's 4-in-1 collections. But while my toe is firmly in the gap, the door hasn't precisely opened up yet.

    I've just finished writing my 11th novel. A solid half of those will certainly never be published. They need more than revision. They need burying! But that still does leave a few I have hopes for.

  15. Valerie your time was not wasted and do NOT throw any of them away. They may not be ready for publication but the STORY, the IDEA, that can be saved.
    I've changed books from contemporary to historical. I've changed names and dates and states and conflicts and still held on to the STORY so don't lose those books.

  16. Hi Mary:

    Were you trying to think of “Swept Away”?

    When you get all your written books published, will you write any more spec books or will you at that point work only on contract?


  17. Mary, you exhaust me. I thought my 6 and 2 year old were exhausting, but reading this post . . . I couldn't even keep up with the books you were listing off!

    And here I am, adding to your workload.

    I have 5 books written, and I have a pretty firm grasp of how I write best, how quickly I can turn out a book at this point in life, and I have lists and lists of ideas.

  18. Mary, I'd heard others speak of your amazing debut and the unimaginable number of contracted books you had from the start, but it wasn't until I saw your stories appear on the shelves with the speed of a caffeinated racehorse that I felt the full impact. I couldn't keep up and have no earthly idea how you did. Simply put, you're a living legend--and a source of inspiration for the rest of us mere mortals. Congrats on your amazing five years!!!!!

  19. Wow Mary this is great....I want to be like you and say "I can get it to you next week."

    Wonderful..Thank you


  20. Wow I did not realize how really quickly you released all of those books! Maybe it seemed longer due to the fact that I wanted the next book so bad it just seemed like forever! I still remember the first time I saw Petticoat Ranch in the CBD and how badly I wanted to read it. It took me a little bit to actually get a copy since I was a lot younger with out much of a job but the next Christmas I begged for Calico Canyon so much that I actually ended up with 3 copies of it! I currently have 17 of your books and I'm gonna try to get the rest at some point. I have loved EVERY one and can not wait for Swept Away! I think I might have literally squealed when I heard about it and then again when I found out it's connection to The Kincaid Brides!
    I'm not "ready" due to the fact that I'm not an author nor do I really want to be!

  21. I need a are you ready question for a reader. (yes I am ready to read more books). I am actually reading again not as fast as before as I still tire at night but I read 3 LI books in Sept and have read 2 books in Oct so far. (Sunny weather helps).

    Congrats on 5 years, I have your latest to read and will get to it soon.

  22. Mary you are my all time favorite author. I have loved all your books I
    have read so far. Calico Canyon was my very favorite. So glad you kept writing all those years. I would have
    missed lots of smiles and giggles if
    your books had not been published. Keep them coming and I'll slowly get them all as I can afford to. God bless you, Mary. Please keep on writing. :)

  23. Congratulations Mary....what an accomplishment...and I look forward to reading the rest of your books :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  24. I admire your persistence in staying the course! You've set a great example for the rest of us!

  25. Helen, thank you for coffee...

    Helen, a dozen is SOLID!!!!! And we never stop!

    1000 words/day.

    That's all it takes. I do more on weekends if possible.

    1000 words/day.

    Mary, this timeline just makes me grin because it is so natural!

    Doesn't God tell us to prepare? Be ready? Try to apply that to everything in your life.

    "The harder you work, the luckier you get"... great sales adage... great AUTHOR'S adage...

    Be ready.

  26. Oh, I cannot believe I signed in as farmer Ruthy....

    Okay, going back to Logan Herne....

    Sheesh, should have actually DRUNK/DRANK/DRUNKEN the coffee before I hopped on this thing!

  27. Wow. I got tired just reading that! You are such an inspiration. I'm sitting here with my two completed manuscripts and you had 18 more!

    I'm just going to go have a lie down...

  28. Welcome back Helen.

    Mary congrats!

    Thanks for making me not feel so bad about the stories I have written and just sitting on the shelf.

    I've got 3 basic settings. One is an island I created. It took so much work that I've used it in three stories.

    So my answer is, yes. I'm ready.
    Thanks for the encouragement!

    Jackie L.

  29. Yay, Helen!!

    You're quite famous here =)
    Bless you for the coffee

    Congratulations, Mary!

    Have a lovely day everyone.

  30. I needed this! I have a work in progress but need to finish it. But I have books two and three in outline form. Didn't think I would be that far along.

    Going to Moonlight and Magnolias. Catching the plane in a few minutes. Not to put any pressure on Debby and Missy but I expect to come back stoked!

    Congrats, Mary! You are an inspiration.

    Peace, Julie

  31. I have two finished and four 1/2 finished and about 6 started.

    Now I'm in the "focus on one at a time" mode. Which is hard since I have so many stories swirling. So I've resigned myself to writing ideas on scraps of paper and attempting at that thing, what's it called? Oh, yeah, discipline. :)

  32. Mary, congratulations on five years. That's a lot of books.

    I've got three complete novels, one children's book, one middle grade, one YA, and two WIPs half done. I'm writing book 2 and 3 of a series simutaneaously. It's weird but it works.

  33. Under my little writing desk I have over fifteen manuscripts. In Dec. I received my first contract and have since enjoyed that release and a second contract. What am I doing right now? Honing one of those ms waiting in the wings to submit.
    I can't remember exactly where I heard this before, but this is a strategy that works. If this isn't your first time to share this, I could've heard it from you, Mary.
    Just keep writing! Congrats Mary on 5 years and Seekerville, too! Both have encouraged me.

  34. Good Morning, Mary

    Happy Five Year Anniversary! So, does this mean that I've known you for five years? I think you're book signing was for Petticoat Ranch that I attended!

    Ummm....I don't have a backlog of books on my computer because I sold the first book I wrote, then the next, etc. But remember I cut my teeth on short stories, non-fiction, devotions since 1991.

  35. Wow! What an inspiring post, Mary. Congratulation to you! After reading this, I'm going to GET READY!

  36. This post is so inspiring. Congrats on all of your success.

    To answer your question: yes, I'm ready.

    I'm working on my 10th completed novel, but I can honestly say that I would only try to sell 3 of those. The others were practice.

    How in the world did you write all those books doing only 1,000 words a day? 1,000 words is alot, but you have a ton of books.

    Anyway, awesome post. I'm forwarding it to my critique group because it's so motivational.

  37. Mary - you are my hero. I'm sure you know it is a dubious and fleeting honor but for now, it's all yours.

    I'm so way impressed. Can I be you when I grow up? [though that may require growing up...]

    I've got 7 manuscripts written. In various stages of polishing. Did you write books 2 and 3 in the serieses before getting published? Or did you write book 1, plan 2 and 3 then move on to another book 1? For me, personally, at this point, it doesn't seem like writing books 2 and 3 are worth it if book 1 never sells, but I could be wrong.

    [That said, I have about 1/3 and 1/2 of books 2 and 3 in one series done anyway.]

    My laptop is officially dead :(. Hoping to get a new one sooner rather than later but that may not be...

  38. Truly, truly amazing. Come to think of it, I can't remember a time when there wasn't a Mary Connealy book available.

    This whole long term memory thing is for the birds, LOL!

    Back in the early days, did you just write the book and then move on to the next one, or did you angst over any of them and revise, rewrite, revise, etc until you thought they were saleable at that moment?

    Mary, keep cranking out those books! Thanks for sharing your wonderful imagination with the world!

  39. 20 books in 10 years??!! You are an inspiration, Mary. I've got six ready to go in my seven years of writing--I thought that was good. I'm ready, but I'll also keep churning out more stories.

  40. Vince the trouble with writing what you called 'spec' books, by which I guess you mean just write what I want and then try to sell it, is.......that I'd like to do that now but there's no time.
    I hope I NEVER have time. I hope people keep wanting my books as long as I can write them.
    But honestly, I think, if all the publishers on earth decided tomorrow NO MORE MARY CONNEALY...I think I'd just keep writing. I just love writing.
    It's all I really know how to do.
    I think i'll keep writing for the rest of my life because I just CAN'T STOP!!!!!!!!!!!

  41. I'm reading Melissa Js book right now and sweetie, it's wonderful. Keep writing. You're going to need all those books.

  42. Keli that's so nice of you. Living legend.
    I need to print that off and show it to My Cowboy the next time he asks why I haven't done laundry in a month.

    Like dirty underwear ever killed anybody!!!!!!!!

  43. Melinda, honestly, with Petticoat Ranch, that is exactly what they said.
    I'm sure something happened to a contracted book because they needed that book NEXT WEEK!
    If I hadn't been able to say yes, they'd have found someone else to do it. Of course they'd had it for nearly a YEAR at this point and they'd even shown some interest so they knew I was out here.

  44. ABBI, if you're not an author, then you totally have my permission to not have a book ready. :)
    Swept Away is book #1 of the Trouble in Texas Series beginning March 2013
    Swept Away
    Fired Up
    Stuck Together

    I just turned in the galleys for Swept Away but I'm working already on Stuck Together. It just does something to a book to be able to write all three books before the first one comes out. You've got time to really develop interesting details and weave them through all three books that, I think, makes them all richer. I hope.

  45. JENNY if you leave a comment, you're in the drawing. NEVER FEAR

  46. Well rats, blogger ate my first response. So if it magically materializes please excuse my posting twice.

    I'm in awe, Mary. And amazed. And I have two questions:

    1) What kept you going during those ten years? Did you ever get discouraged? Question what you were doing?

    2) What's the story behind your first acceptance? Did you pitch it at a conference or submit blindly to a publisher? Would love to hear that story.

  47. JAN, that is so nice of you. I love being someone's favorite.
    I'm a middle child so I'm desperate for attention.

  48. Helen, you've got a dirty dozen in the wings???? Su-weet!!!

    I'm reading through the comments and see that Christina has like 5 1/2 ready, some have more, some have less...

    And...not to rain on Mary's book-size ticker parade, but for those of you who haven't been at this for a LONG time like Mary had (a long, long, looooong time, btw :), don't panic and think you can't do this because you only have one measly manuscript finished.

    You CAN.

    Keep it up, keep adding to your stable of completed manuscripts. Keep preparing proposals. Keep plotting series out.

    What I'm saying is that if you're kinda new at this writing gig, don't panic and think you have to have fifteen manuscripts completed before you'll even get a chance.

    Your break might come long before Mary's did. Got it?

    But if it doesn't, write, write and write some more stories. That's Mary's mantra!

  49. No, I'm not ready. But thank you for the inspiration!

    I loved the 'mole-like anonymity'. Now you are all Nora Roberts like.

    I didn't realize how far behind I was in reading your books! I have lots of catching up to do...

    How much revision do you normally have to do on a MS? I'm wondering if some of your first drafts are close to being publishable.

    Congratulations on ALL of your success. And diligence!

  50. how about "I will be ready" is that too lame?

    Mary you are a treasure! Five years... wow. And, once you have a contract, It seems like the work load doubles, right? it's not just writing any more. it's those guest spots on Oprah and interviews with the NYT.

    I love seeing Helen at the top of the stack. Phew. Life is normal again...

    I will have two complete polished (until the next round) manuscripts and one full in rough draft before any editors see a one of em. I hope I don't have 20 completed when that happens because I'd like to publish before I'm 70. Lofty goal, I know...

  51. Mary - as usual...

    Cracking the whip on us, in a good way.

    I'm on a different path, but getting there like a short-legged bulldog. (If only I could be more like May. She trots everywhere she goes, with enthusiasm!)

    But thank you - need that whip cracking to stir me forward. Book 2 is on target to release before Thanksgiving so... *gulp* I'll have 2 out there!

    I'll keep at the craft of writing, as well as learning more about the whole publishing business. Steep learning curve but it has been a lot of fun, and wow have I been blessed to meet wonderful people. You rank right at the top of that list... and Ruthy... and Debby... and Tina...and Audra... and Pam... and Cara... and Myra... and Glynna... and Sandra... and Julie and Missy...

    Y'all are da bestest!!!

    Congratulations on your LUCK. (HA.HA.HA.) Yep. The harder you've worked, the luckier you've gotten!

    Long live Seekerville!

  52. Mary, Mary, What a woman. My heroine. smile

    I'm so glad you put it in a timeline. I knew you had written many before the pub date, but it was fun to see how it all worked out.

    I'm always telling newbies to keep writing and I use you as an example. Great going and wow Five YEars.


  53. Helen, welcome back. Missed you.

    Christina what is the news?

    Julie Steele, I'm so jealous you're going to Moonlight and Magnolias. Give Debby a hug for me.

    Farmer Ruthy??????? I hope you've had your coffee.

    Congrats to all of you who are READY. woo hooo. You will be so happy to have those books finished.

  54. mary
    you are my hero (heroine?)

    i am not ready *heavy sigh* not even close. i'm in the fledgling learning stage right now, absorbing the wisdom available from the peeps of Seekerville. I'm also still trying to figure out time management with a very active, creative toddler in the house who wants to pound the keyboard right next to momma whenever she breaks out the laptop.

    in the meantime, i take your advice to heart and will strive to become ready. thank you for being an inspriation (that goes for all the other Seekers as well - y'all are a huge blessing to us writing rookies)

  55. Hey, Mary!!! Your list of published books in such a short time is dizzying. I wrote for seven years--six years if you count when I started writing a novel--before my first book came out. That felt like a LONG TIME. Because I WAS so obsessed with getting published. In that time I was obsessed with polishing The Healer's Apprentice and making it as perfect as I could. I worked on it, off and on while writing two more novels, for three years before a publisher gave me a yes. It only took me five months to write it, but it too three years to revise and edit it. But it got me published.

    Now, two years after it came out, I have to keep writing, with or without a contract, and this is a good reminder. (I should probably read this a couple of times every day, in fact.) I have two more books coming out, but to get more contracts I can't slow down. I need to stay focused and motivated. I need to be like YOU, MARY!!! I need to be disciplined and OCD, and it would help if I was an insomniac like you (but I love to sleep too much for me to ever aspire to that).

    There are so many things in this business that we can't control, but one thing we can control is our productivity. Most of the time.

  56. Wow, Mary. You made your point with showing what you had ready. I'm in awe. So I have a question. How far into the process of preparing your book do you go before moving on to write another one? Do you just write your first draft, save it for later, or do you write, revise, polish and then move on?

    I'm working my way through my first title, revising, and I've got a number of other stories mulling. I'm not overworking the one book (I started it over at least four times :) because I love the story and it needed help). I want to walk through the complete process at least once to know how I work with it.

    What are your thoughts?

    I hate this, but I'm off and running. Parent conferences, fall break, critique group, you know. Hoping to check back in later.

    HELEN--thanks for the quick drink of java. :)

  57. TOTALLY not ready! But working on it - learning, writing, planning. All that.

    And Mary - WOWOWOW! Insane.

    Super post!

  58. Mary, I can't decide if you're seriously dedicated or seriously scary. Or both.

    I'm just glad you keep writing...

    And the only scary part is how FAST it all happened for you!

    I have to admit I don't have a backlog of books. Like Rose, I sold the first book I wrote, and now I'm working hard to get more written.

    But I do have a backlog of ideas! They'll all be written eventually, because of all the things I've learned on Seekerville, the most important is to "write every day".

    And heads up, Mary and Rose, I'm heading east on Saturday, so I'll be passing your houses just after noon sometime. Wave to me 'cause I'll be waving to you (much to my dear husband's embarrassment)!

  59. My saying of the month.

  60. KARA, if you lie down, take a laptop with you and write. It'll make you look relentless rather than like a slacker.

  61. GANISE you are so right.
    HELEN CAN MAKE COFFEE and we can project our heart's desire on it, so it tastes EXACTLY LIKE PERFECT COFFEE SHOULD!!!!!
    Helen, thank you for your gift. :)

  62. WHOO-HOO, MARE, YOU ROCK!!! When I grow up, I want to be just like Mary Connealy ... but I suspect I'll have to buy a gun ... ;)



  63. JULIE STEELE I'd give you a pep talk about finishing those books except I'm so stinking jealous that you're going to hang out with Missy and Debby (and they with you of course) that I can't even worry about you and your writing right now.
    YOU'LL BE FINE!!!!!!!!!!

  64. NATASHA all those 'started' books are honestly fantastic, now that you KNOW you can finish one. Yes, focus on one at a time but think of those 'started' books as your idea file. A back log of inspiration just waiting for their chance. Even your ideas are ready.

  65. BRIDGETT I think writing them simultaneously is honestly a great idea. The stories have to intertwine almost perfectly if you do it that way. Think of all the details that will be true between the two books. The threads you can pull through both of them.

  66. WOW FIFTEEN BOOKS, Paula? I'm thinking you are for sure a writer, girl. You must just love it.

  67. I just went and bought Paula's book 'The Blessing Seer'. It's on Kindle today for $2.99. There's a Christmas book, too.

  68. Woohoo!!! I'm nowhere near your pace, though when the doors opened, they really opened. In three years I have had 11 books published, with two more to come out yet.

    I've loved everything you've ever written. Here's hoping the other 9 books on your hard drive see the light of day, because two books a year from now on isn't enough!

  69. Hi Rose (you show off!!!) Well, I pity those who sell the first book they ever wrote. (I have to or I may gnash my teeth and worse yet, rend my garments, and NOBODY wants me walking around in rended garments)

  70. JILLIAN, good for you. You know I used to coach softball for little girls. Maybe it's my inner pep talk coming out.

    I kinda doubt it. I wasn't a very good coach. In fact, I was such a BAD coach that I often picture God asking hard questions about my coaching at the Pearly Gates.
    I intend to lean heavily on Salvation and Repentence and the arm of Jesus at that point.

  71. Hi Mary:

    Don’t you think it is time to develop an understudy?

    You have four daughters. Can’t one of them be prepped to help out if you were sick for an extended time? Mary Higgins Clark, P.C. Cast, and I think Janet Evanovich all have daughters who can and do write. You are not just an author -- you’re a cottage industry. You have orders to fill. Contracts, no less.


  72. ANNIE RAINS, I did it by being an anti-social loner who lives inside her own head.

    That gives a person a surprising amount of time to write.

  73. CAROL MONCADO... how I 'did it' is a blog post all it's own.
    I wrote them all out of the order they got published.
    Montana Rose was first. The Husband Tree was next, but I wrote several books between the two and they weren't a series.
    Then Petticoat Ranch, which I thought of as a 'kinder gentler' Husband Tree.
    I did have the 'all girl world' in mind of Petticoat Ranch when I wrote the all boy world of Calico Canyon and the 'mix' of children in Gingham Mountain, but the two books weren't in a series.
    Grace Calhoun wasnt' in Petticoat Ranch until later. Belle Tanner wasn't in Montana Rose at all.
    For that matter the three book series of Black Hills Blessing, book #2 Clueless Cowboy is the 2nd book I ever wrote. It gave me a huge amount of pleasure to have that book make it's way into print.
    It was called "The Farmer Takes a Husband." And was set in Nebraska.
    Then I rewrote it into a series I called "From Here to Fraternity" with the hero being frat brothers with two guys in two books that have never been published. (contemporary, set in Houston, I moved Clueless Cowboy to Texas)
    You'll note it got published being set in South Dakota.
    All these things were revised and rewritten, made into series, matched and rematched with other books.
    If you have ten years to get ready, you can do a lot of REVISING.

  74. BRENDA six books is good, don't ever think it's not. It was so fun to see you in Dallas! Congrats on the Genesis Finalist!

  75. KAV honestly I have no idea what I was thinking. Mostly just that I was having fun writing and it sure beat dusting.
    I got my first contract at the ACFW conference in that wonderful moment, which they have every year, when Barbour Publishing announces a new contract to an unpublished author.
    Wow, I'm tingling as I type. I NEVER get over how sweet that was. I never get jaded about it. One of the sweetest moments of my life.

  76. DONNA, I'm all Nora-Roberts-like?
    Wow, girl. I just read that she makes about SIXTY MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!
    So, except for that tiny detail, sure you can compare me to Nora.

  77. Impressive Mary and what a challenge you have issued for the rest of us. Am I ready? I have three novels completed and one of those I'm revising and planning to resubmit to an editor who already took a first look at it and made suggestions. Another novel is waiting in the wings to be written.

    You are amazing Mary and an inspiration to all of us. Love your books. :)

    Jodie Wolfe

  78. DEBRA, I am so tired of seeing Oprah's name pop up on my phone. I've had to block her. Nuisance.

  79. KC good for you on the THANKSGIVING release. MORE MAY ON THE WAY! YAY!

    (okay that's a great poem. You can use it but you have to put my name on it.

    More May
    On the Way

  80. DEBH, don't worry about not being read if you're just getting started. If, ten years from now, you're still sighing, then we might need to scold you. But everyone's gotta START! Don't let NOT BEING READY keep you from getting ready.


  82. JEANNE I'd say I write, revise, polish, consider it done, set it aside, write something new to give me distance from the book, then revise again.
    At least I used to. Now I sorta have to finish so I can turn it in. Though I TRY and get them done early enough I can step back from the book at least for a couple of weeks.

  83. JOANNE Learning, writing, planning sounds good but make sure and FINISH something. Your writing needs to lead to THE END.

  84. I am not ready! I just keep everything in my head and never write it down. One day I need to change that.
    Amy C
    campbellamyd at gmail dot com

  85. JAN, you too? You sold the first book you ever wrote.


  86. JAN You must be going past Nebraska on I-29! I won't be home or I'd come to Onawa, Iowa and meet you for coffee. And your husband can sit in the car patiently. I'm sure he'd do that for you.

  87. VINCE I had two daughters who did start writing a book.
    they got distracted by needing to spend time with other human beings. That is a stumbling block they need to GET OVER.

  88. Wow, wow, wow, what amazing success you've achieved. Congrats to you and for being prepared!

    Being ready is so important. Often an editor will say, sorry this isn't quite the fit we need..what else have you got? And when you have more to show, that's an awesome thing! :)

  89. Mary, I'm coming back the same way the following Saturday - the 13th. Will you be home then?

    My husband will be patient.

    Yes, he loves me that much.

    And I'll buy him ice cream.

  90. JODIE (Digging for Pearls) YAY on the editor.

    Good luck and God bless you with that. KEEP WRITING

  91. AMY C, well, if you're not ready, at least your name is in the drawing. Not being Ready isn't a disqualification from the Fifty Five bucks!!!!!!

  92. ANGELA, thanks for stopping in. I enjoyed your Emotional Thesaurus Blog post. You were a great guest.

  93. JAN email me at I might be home. We can swap phone numbers and figure out when you'll be passing. There is a McDonalds in Onawa and we could just sit and talk for a few minutes (or, well, two hours, but whatever)

    If you have a different email address for me, use that one, they all work. All FIVE of them. Sorry, I didn't set out to have five email addresses, it just kinda snuck up on me.

  94. Are you ready? That is such a good question Mary. I am working hard & keep telling myself that I AM ready.
    It sounds like you have a lot of fun writing!

  95. Mary I am so proud of you, what FAITH you have to have written without contracts and hoping that they would get published-I for one am so glad that you did as I have enjoyed reading your books so much. 5 yrs seems like a long time to some but others it is just a hop skip and jump and its over. Looks like Seekerville and you have lots in common and you both are winners in my book. I am happy to share just a little of the happiness that abounds in Seekerville with so many wonderful authors-readers and wannabe's.
    Paula O(

  96. This is one of those times when I remind myself not to compare my writing journey to any other writer's...


    Not sure it's humanly possible to be THAT ready. Still, the KIB (kick in butt) is appreciated. :-)


    FIVE?? You are amazing..I don't care how many you had under your bed.

  98. LOL. Vince is right. You need to expand. Like James Patterson.

    Mary Connealy with Tina Radcliffe understudy.

  99. Good morning Mary and Seekerville.

    I'm not dead!!! I haven't made a comment in a long time, but I do look at the articles.

    I would say no, I'm not ready, but I'm getting close. I have 2 complete novels that still need some revisions and several more in different stages of completion. I'm getting a proposal ready to send in to LI which was requested.

    I will mail it by Monday no matter what.
    Connie Queen

    And Mary, you're a true inspiration.

  100. TINA!!!!!!!!!!
    I so want to do this.
    I'll write two romantic comedy with cowboys books a year.
    You write two medical romances a year.
    Then we'll team up to write uh.. hmmm... how about (JD Robb comes to mind) two futuristic murder mysteries a year.
    We'll call ourselves (thinking) Tina Mary Radcliff Connealy
    how about Tary Concliff
    Mina Radly
    Or no...
    M T Cobb (oh, oops, that sounds like a cornfield after a drough, or a dinner table after a sweet corn feast)
    WELL we'll work out the details later, but I'm totally in.

  101. HI CONNIE thanks for stopping in to say hi. Keep working, girl.

  102. JANET KERR the hard work is the secret. Just like has been said, the harder you work, the luckier you get.

  103. POL ... working without contracts? How else?
    You've got to get those first books written (except apparently for JAN and ROSE who got their first books published-the big babies!)
    But they are the exception that proves the rule. (also they are undoubtedly crazy talented! The big babies)
    Most of us have to write a few books to get good at it.

  104. JUST FYI Julie Lessman got her first book published too.
    And Lorna Seilstad
    A little abuse (ten years of it) is GOOD for a person.

  105. Someone had this talk with me recently (someone whose Twitter handle may or may not make references to the Yankees,or Derek Jeter, or 1-year old grandkids running around on a farm, however, I'm giving no names). I'm hear to say that I've taken it to heart.

  106. that should be "I'm 'here' to say..."

  107. AAAAAAGGGHHHHH!!! I pop in at 12:37 my time and there are already 107 comments!!!!

    Mary, you are an inspiration! A thousand words a day, seven days a week. That is a goal I can only aspire to! I am too easily sidetracked by the inevitable monkey wrenches that somehow always get thrown at my schedule.

    Someday maybe I will have the courage to unearth the dozen or more unpublished manuscripts that have been gathering dust inside my computer since beginning in the mid-'80s. Most of them, however, are probably not worth the effort. But all of them were learning experiences.

  108. Anyone know any good editors who do freelance editing on the side? Please advise.

  109. Mary, you're amazing. A born writer.

    Congrats on your well-deserved success.

    My bag is packed, and I'm ready to close down my computer and head to Georgia Romance Writers' Moonlight and Magnolias Conference. Looking forward to seeing a number of Seekers and SeekerVillagers there.

    Will bring back pictures and writing tips!

    Have a wonderful weekend.


  110. Yes Elizabeth - one of our Friends of Seekerville does!

    Also this lady, Mary Holyer-Black did amazing work for me on my latest:

    Hope that will help!

  111. Myra!

    I love your new ‘do’!

    It’s flat out beautiful!

    No kidding.



  112. Mary IS a cottage industry, Vince... or stagecoach or something...

    Love it!

    OOH - thank you so much for the shout out Mary... In fact... This one is May Finds a Way: Peril in Paris and our own philosopher, poet and ace K9 dog trainer, VINCE, gave me the honor of writing the back of the book blurb!

    /backflip/ There went May! ("") ("")

  113. Y'all have a blast at the conference! Maybe next year I'll make some and MEET y'all in person! May and I will be at the Pumpkin Festival in Allardt, TN if anyone is around. Come see May, in dog!

  114. Walt, that is funny...
    I wonder who that could be? I dunno...

  115. Mina Radly...

    That is IT!

    Well - I have to go get this bonus chapter DONE. ACK.

    Where oh where is the part where the words write themselves?

  116. Myra, I love the new picture! Beautiful!

  117. Congrats Mary on your fifth anniversary as a published author! As I read your post I thought wow that is perseverance - way to pursue your passion! What an awesome testament to your God-given gift.

    jswaks at gmail dot com

    P.S. I am loving reading your comments on each blog post - they are providing many laugh out loud moments! :)

  118. Mary, one of the best discoveries I ever made was Petticoat Ranch on a bookstore shelf. You are definitely a favorite writer and you make me laugh everytime you write, whether it's a book or a blog post/comment. I love it. :-)

    Happy published-anniversary, Mary, and Happy birthday, Seekerville!
    I'll bring cake tomorrow, 'cause it'll be my b-day. :-)

    Today is the non-fun stuff like the chiropractor to take care of my out-off-whack shoulder and neck, and a hair cut.

    Am I ready? Yes and No.
    Seekerville gave me the courage to put feet to my prayers/dreams and actually write, and that first story "The Marshal Meets His Match" comes out in January. So, I was "ready" when you all created the Query Letter Contest, but since I have no back log of stories, I've spent this year trying to get another story "ready." It's been fun, crazy, exciting, and a bit scary as the publication date comes closer. I think I'm gonna' go hide during the month of January. In my writer's cave, under the desk, with the lights out. There may or may not be an insane amount of chocolate under there with me.

  119. Hi Mary,

    You make me tired just reading your blog. And somehow you fit 'cows' into your life!!

    I am ready - I have 7 books in various stages of polishing.

    Learning all about revisions now!!

    Thanks for the inspiration and encouragement!

    sbmason at sympatico dot ca

  120. Oh, and another thing I've learned ...

    I used to take a year to write a book, and then last November, I wrote a book in 6 weeks! In March I started another that took 2 months. So I've learned I can write faster than I thought!

  121. CLARI!!!!!!!!!!! are you saying you got YOUR FIRST BOOK PUBLISHED TOO???


    This is Ruthy's fault.

    But you know what? One of the reasons we started Seekerville was because we all (well, not JULIE!) seemed to be right on the verge of getting published but we just weren't getting through that last stubborn door. We were doing great in contests, getting 'good' rejection letters but we just weren't getting that last final victory.
    We thought maybe, maybe, maybe we could help people NOT have to learn the hard way, all the things we learned.
    Sweat and tears, yes, you'll have them, but maybe we can spare you the blood.

  122. I can give away all my kids to be ready!!

    I can stop answering the door and the phone... and doing the dishes and coming to Seekerville and hanging out!

    Kiddind. I have lots of books. But apparently THEY'RE not ready to be submitted to editors. :)

    So, now we ask the all important question... What can my books do to be ready??

    I think they're yelling something about freedom but I can't quite hear it...

  123. It's almost 3 o'clock in the afternoon....but I need some of HELEN'S COFFEE!!! ~ WOW, Mary---I LOVE this post---and my answer is yes (not in all caps, though)--I'm ready but not "Mary Connealy ready"--that is, I DO have 4 completed ms.--but they need polishing (which I'm doing to 2 of them right now). YOUR timeline is super impressive, but even more so is ALL the projects you had completed---waiting and READY! Love it! ~ Please enjoy this just-baked Georgia Peach Cobbler--right from the oven, with vanilla ice-cream (or whipped cream, your choice). Hugs, Patti Jo

  124. Walt, obeying Ruthy (or whoever you're referring too, shame on me...jumping to conclusions like that.)
    But as I was saying, Obeying Ruthy is usually best. Not necessarily because she's always right, but because of the RACKET until you do obey. It's just QUIETER.

    And don't we all love quiet?

  125. No I'm not ready. I'm at work on rewriting a novel that I started previously. But I am working towards that goal.

  126. Wow, Myra. Pretty new picture. I like it!!! Are you SURE you're not blonde?

  127. FINE DEBBY, Go to your conference. I'm not speaking to ANY OF YOU!!!

  128. KC, I'll bet you and May are the life of the Pumpkin Festival.

  129. Hoping friend Hannah will come over here and take inspiration from you, Mary, dear.

    We won't tell her the truth.

    I'm not sure what we won't tell her the truth about, but we won't.

    What about Tiry Russoneacliff?

    I'm not sure I like those of you who got your first book published. I'm sure I'll get over it but for now I'll glare at you from here.

    And try to convince some of the voices in my head they can't come out and play until Nov. 1...

  130. JES, thank you so much.
    Way to pursue your passion!!!???
    I like that. In fact I LOVE IT!!! It is so much better than that whole OCD thing. And now when they come to the door with the white coats, court order and NET!!! I can show them your comment. :)

  131. There's Hannah! Up there a few comments!!!

    I've heard her plot. And I <3 it. She needs to write it.

    And if she gets it published as her first book, I'll stop liking her for a while too. And I can glare at her much easier.

  132. VINCE!!

    And Vince saves my tushie yet again.

    I have tons of understudies, just waiting to be coached.

    And they're homeschooled so I'll just take them fromt their usual homework and give them my laptop.

    Ahhhhh. feel better now. :D

  133. SUSAN, good for you for pushing your limits. I once wrote 80,000 words of a 90,000 word book in a month and it felt good to know I could do it. Not that I want to do it or even have to do it, but it's good to know it's possible.
    That month? 3000 words a day, seven days a week.
    And every time I got to the end of a scene and stood up to quit for the day, I'd think, "Mary, you lazy slut, sit back down and go back to work."

    A cruel but effective pep talk.

  134. Mary, I think you Seekers kicked the doors of the publishing world so wide open, it allowed me to sneak in on your coat tails before they recovered. (Shhh... they haven't realized I sneaked in, yet.) And, um, yep. It was my very first. But blame Ruthy. She can handle it. :-)

  135. Lol! Thanks Carol! :). First comes the writing!

  136. thanks Mary
    i AM just getting started, and i've a good path to follow thanks to you and the other Seekers. i appreciate the forging ahead y'all did to make future author's treks to publication less arduous.

    ps. i also so enjoy your commentary on the comment pages as well. you and Ruthy crack me up.

  137. M T Cobb, is hilarious, isn't it.
    How am I ever gonna work THAT into a book???

  138. Clari, I think it's fair that Seekerville gets the credit for your success. You KNOW you'd blame us if things went badly.
    ADMIT IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  139. Mary! You go, girl!! You are such an inspiration! :)

  140. I AM NOT BLOND!!!!!!!!

    Thanks for the compliments about my new pic. I had a fun photo shoot with Jodie Westfall, the official ACFW Conference photographer this year, and she does a great job of making her subjects feel at ease!

    As for the new "do," Vince, glad you approve! I will pass your kind words along to my stylist.

    We now return to our regularly scheduled writing session. Up to 808 words this afternoon. I won't quit until I get AT LEAST Mary's 1K!

  141. Mary, I've been meaning to ask you. On a typical writing day, how long does it take you to whip out 1,000 words? And how much of your writing day (or week) do you usually devote to research, editing, etc.?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~ MARY CONNEALY

  143. That quote only applies to me, you all can make up your own quotes.

  144. Myra, you know, there's no real time. I rarely write 1000 in one sitting. If I push hard I can do it in an hour but often I do it in fits and starts. Which reminds me, I need to go write!

  145. After I posted I thought in Dec it will be 5 years since I started blogging and my very first interview on my blog was with Mary.

  146. Jenny!!

    I love that!! Mary was your first interview five years ago?

    That is so neat...

  147. Mary:

    M.T. Cobb is the last man standing after the cornhuskers leave town.

    According to Thomas Edison, “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration”. So even with perseverance, one still needs air conditioning.


  148. Hi Myra:

    Yes, please compliment your hair stylist. Why couldn’t you still live in Tulsa? I’d send my wife to your stylist. (I really can’t send her anywhere but I could buy her gift certificates. )

    Jodie Westfall also did a great job on the photo composition. Notice how the photo is framed in a diamond shape which makes it visually dynamic? This dynamism adds a living quality to what is actually a still photo. This is very creative. I’m jealous. If I get an opportunity I will definitely have Jodie take my picture. She is a genuine photographer and not just someone who can use a camera.


  149. Hi Virginia:

    Learning how to write requires mastering many skills: communication, psychology, logical thinking, dramatics, stagecraft, grammar, vocabulary, seeing, listening, history, the philosophy of mind (for the non- psychological aspects of POV), ethics, sociology (for Regencies), research, the art of asking questions, literature, geography, religion (for inspirationals) and a whole lot more.

    I would think that it would be possible to teach a great many home school subjects during the process of explaining how to write a novel or short story.

    If your children wanted to become writers, you could probably advance them along the learning curve to publication by at least five to ten years. It would be like the apprenticeship that helped produce Ben Franklin.

    I can see the assignment now: Write a short story (or scene) using at least one element from each subject we covered today. It could be a group assignment.


  150. Amazing accomplishments, Mary!

    I just realized, 2012 is the 5-year anniversary of leaving my full-time career to have more time for the creative stuff that had been burning a hole in my bones for thirty years.

    I'm ready for action on some things and not quite ready for others, I guess. :)

    In 2012 I self-pubbed a book of hymns and faith songs I wrote during that five year stretch and started getting some devotionals and poems published. I have a puppet ministry book nearly finished, then will try to get a publisher for that. Between times I've been writing a mystery novel and a few short plays, and thinking on a womens fiction book.

    Part of my "getting ready" is building my own website - just did that last week! Before 2012 ends, I should have it well populated with posts and pages.

    Anyway, your experience goes to show that there's nothing wrong with building a backlog before landing a contract - in fact, there are real benefits, like the intertwining you mentioned. Very encouraging! Thanks!


  151. Blame lt on Mary

    It was four years ago, this month, that Mary asked me to do a guest blog based on a comment I left. If it wasn’t for Mary, I would probably be haunting some other blog. That may or may not be a good thing. : )

  152. Mary-To prove how much of a Mary Connealy fangirl I am, when I read your reply to my comment I literally squealed at finding out the titles of the next two books!
    And if writing them all before the first releases is how you've been doing it then it's definitely working! I can't wait till I can proudly display them on my shelf-soon I'll need a whole one just for your books!

  153. Vince, I can recommend a great hairstylist in Tulsa if your wife is interested. I went to her for all five years we lived there.

    FYI, you can "like" Jodie's Facebook page. Look up Jodie Westfall Photography.

  154. That's amazing, Mary. I'm so glad you were ready. I love reading your books so please keep on writing! I'm ready to read more (but I don't write).
    Thanks for the chance to win the gift card. It would make a great birthday present for me! (My birthday is Oct. 12). Happy Birthday to all of you at Seekerville.

  155. Congrats,'re the best. Love your books!
    Jackie S.

  156. Wow, Jenny, cool. I'm glad I didn't know that though, cuz no way am I adding another 5 to the give away. $555, nope, not gonna happen.

  157. LINDA BONNEY OLIN try css publishing to sell your stuff, they do a lot of sunday school material, devotions, other short form writing. I sold Sunday School Christmas Programs to them before I sold any full length fiction.

  158. Excuse me, VINCE, Blame it on me.

    How about THANK ME!!!!!!!!

    And if you hung around at another blog, you'd still find your way here, because SEEKERVILLE IS THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!!

  159. pam k, October 12th, right smack dab in the middle of our birthday month?
    I'll see if Ruthy will bring birthday cake. NO WAIT!!!!
    YOU BRING BIRTHDAY CAKE. It'll be fun. And Cyber birthday cake is surprisingly easy to make.

  160. ABI HART, that is so stinkin sweet. THANK YOU.
    I really sincerely appreciate you reading my books. God bless you.

  161. Mary, that is incredible! Congratulations to you on all your hard work paying off!!!

  162. Mary,

    After reading your great post (and pausing in my research about boxing), I feel as if I am Rocky at the top of the staircase at the museum! Very inspirational! I think that the steady 1k a day would be enough to get you produce without having problems with shoulders, neck pain, etc.

    I am working on book four in my series that I started a year ago, but I have other books than that. I just don't want to speak about them, that's all. they are perfectly content under my bed! ;)


  163. I am READY. Not as ready as Mary. I have 8 books done and working on nine. Do you suppose I'll have to wait until i get to 20? I better hurry because patience is not one of my best things. Where's the coffee?

  164. Mary I didn't start til Dec. (so it was a couple months later and really didn't do much til the January. So you are safe. A lot has happened in the past 5 years and in the coming year I am so excited to be able to meet a couple of seekers in Atlanta and some LI authors in Spokane and possibly 2 in Williamstown I think. it 7 months to the day today til I leave Australia! not that I am counting.

  165. Oops, Abbi I mean. You're so nice then I typo your name.


  166. PIPER, it's sounds to me like you're ready. :)

  167. Cindy, 8 books is fantastic. Good for you. Honestly, isn't twenty books kind of embarrassing?
    At the time it seemed like a stinking monument to failure.

    But later, those books came in handy.

  168. Jenny's coming to America? Wow, I'm trying to imagine me ever getting to Australia. I can barely get to the grocery store to buy milk!!!

  169. Mary,
    That's a great story-thanks for sharing. And for the challenge. I didn't even know what "backlist" was a few months ago. Long way to go! I have a plan- I'll be done with the day job in about 11 months. I'm working on the story starters I've put off, and will have a couple finished next year.
    Just hanging around this bunch of authors is a big encouragement. Special thanks to the MozArks group!

    Ruth Tredway

  170. I figure if I want to see Gettysburg I have to go to America! I am having a couple days in Hawaii on the way home. I have been thinking of it since the beginning of the year and sort of had it worked out from about Mayish. But I have booked the flight to and from the States and we have a travel expo tomorrow so will book my tour. Then its internal flights and a little accomodation. I think only have to find a hotel in Atlanta for the 5th and one in Hawaii as Spokane is taken care of and the tour will include an extra night in Washington DC. Its giving me something to focus on and look forward to.

  171. Mary, I haven't seen anyone beat your total, and I know I can't, but I did have 3 completed full-length novels with sequels planned out for all of them and 10 uncompleted novels/novellas before getting my first contract with Barbour in Sept. 2010, so still have plenty to work on! I agree that perseverance is the key. and I give God and ACFW with so many helpful members the credit for getting pubbed at all!

  172. I'm not ready for an agent or editor (I'm just a reader:-P) but I'm ready to read all those books so people get to writing!!!!! It's called keep Renee busy, her bookshelves overflowing and her TBR stack tumbling. teeheehee.

  173. Ya know, looking at that list of how many books you've written makes me realize I've read more than I thought I had these past few years :-)

    Getting ready: three completed contemporaries, closing in on three completed historicals, two partial contemporaries, two partials that I think want to be novellas, and notes for two more historicals ... as well as a really long list of dinners that can be cooked in 20 minutes or less.

    Thank you for reminding me to push on!

    Nancy C

  174. Nancy -

    I want that list of dinners.

    That is all.


  175. Wow...that is amazing! I just got around to reading your post and it's a good one, as always. You're a great motivator and I like how you put things into perspective. To answer your drawing, I'm not ready at all! But I think your post can help set some goals. What is keeping me from writing goals right now? Well...pregnancy and a new baby definitely slowed things down and about 3 weeks after he was born I discovered thyroid issues and about 2 mos. ago I had surgery and found out it was cancerous. So I have surgery #2 on Wednesday (prayers appreciated!). BUT...even in all that (and a lot more I didn't even mention)...I still have high hopes that one day I might meet a writing goal : ). I'd love to be put in the drawing...and happy anniversary! : ) ~Stacey

  176. travelingstacy, wow, girl. I'll be praying for you. God bless you and your new little one!

  177. Way back in '06 and '07, when my then agent was shopping my book, we received some wonderful rejections. "I like her voice and style, but I'm just not sure about this story. Does she have anything else?"

    Nice rejections, encouraging even, but we had to say no.

    Now looking back, I can see that I wasn't ready. I was in the process of being diagnosed with an auto-immune disease and was very sick. I didn't know I had a big move coming up or a baby a year or so out.

    So God knew. And the timing wasn't right. But I still wish I hadn't finished book one and started building that platform and had kept writing instead.

    Lesson learned!

  178. I'm not an author, but I want to encourage those of you who are --as a reader, I am always looking forward to discovering new authors and their novels!

    If I were to become an author, my first step would be to try and get my feet wet by writing some fanfiction or something, since the only things I write are school papers. =)


  179. Mary, thanks for the suggestion to try CSS Publishing. I'll check it out!

  180. Mary, the world has been blessed by your OCD. :) Praying you'll be blessing us all with more stories for MANY, MANY years to come!

  181. Yes I am ready.
    Enter me!!
    Sarah Richmond

  182. Hi Tina,

    Thanks, I needed that. I have seven completed, and get really bummed out w/the waiting....but you had TWENTY....sheesh.

    Again, thank you,

    Back to my ms.

    Gail gkittleson at

  183. PS.

    I forgot to say, I'M READY!!!!!


  184. I'm no where near ready but I am working towards being ready. Ask me that question in a few more years and I might be ready.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.


  185. yes i'm ready!

  186. It is encouraging that once you were "discovered" you were able to empty your bookshelf into their laps. :) I've always liked to ask authors how many manuscripts they written and finished before getting a book contract. Thanks for sharing!

  187. I forgot to answer the question! Yes, I am ready... as ready as I can be. I got an agent before my first book was completed... and am just finishing the second now. So I guess I'm not as prepared as I'd like. :) I would be nice to have a whole pile of manuscripts to offer... but I'll have to settle with offering them my ideas instead.

  188. Good luck reading all these comments. I must confess, I'm NOT ready. But I'm learning, thanks to great sites like seekerville. I do have two requests to fulfill and I'm working diligently to get them out before the promised date.

    Ginger dot Solomon at gmail dot com

  189. WOW! Busy you--Kudos!

    I'm gettin' ready, but not quite there YET. I have several WIPs almost ready and one I hope to complete next month.

    Will someone please pass me the coffee? I attended the FAB-U-LOUS Moonlight and Magnolias Conference this weekend and I'm porch-dog-tired!

    Happy Monday, y'all.

  190. I'm not ready. Haven't even finished my first novel yet. But that is what I'm working on. I figure I'll write as much as I can at this point in my life, then I'll go for publication once I have something to offer. In the mean time, keep honing my talents/skills and learning about the industry.

    Thanks for the post. It's a reminder of the need to keep writing as much as possible.

    I'd love to be entered in the drawing.