Behind the Scenes—The Serendipitous Adventures of Maddison Case

The Serendipitous Adventures of Maddison Case is part of the Celebrate Lit April Showers promo and I thought I’d share a little of the story of how it came to be. It’s still a work in progress, but it will be finished one day. I just don’t know when yet, because I’m not setting any deadlines. Today I’ll share where the idea came from and why I started writing a book that isn’t my usual genre.

It went something like this…

I started writing the third book in my Taking Chances series, Christmas Rose, back in early October. I assumed that, because it hadn’t been too hard for me to whip out Yours, Mine, & Forever in 6 weeks, I could easily do it again with extra time to get Christmas Rose finished well before Christmas.

However, I wasn’t factoring in the way our lives had changed with Buddy’s diagnosis. At the time I was feeling pretty good. We had a good grasp of what Buddy needed and… it wasn’t until after the book was done that we realized the toll it took mentally to get that book out there. In the process, I lost all joy in writing and by the last chapters, it was a struggle to get anything written. At one point I had to resort to plotting the story out and I’m not a plotter by nature. Plots make me twitchy. I like to get an idea, figure out where it’s going to end, and let the story take me where it wills. It was horridly confining to have to sit down with a pile of 3×5 cards telling me what I needed to do in each chapter. Some people do well with that style of writing, but not me. Usually. It was the only way I could keep going at the time, and worked when I needed it to, so I won’t shun the idea in future.

Anyway, we got the book done, but it took me a lot longer than I planned and we almost ran out of time (my editor saved the day). Instead of finishing with plenty of time to spare, we only had a few days until Christmas so it was either publish in a hurry, or wait a whole year…

I can be patient, but sometimes… I don’t like waiting. I didn’t want to wait a whole year before I could work on my series again. Josh worked hard to get the cover done in time, my editor worked super hard to get the manuscript polished up and ready to go, and it felt like their efforts would be wasted if we waited. Besides which, I know I already said this, but, there are times when I don’t like to wait. So I went with the ‘publish in a hurry’ option. That worked out fine. The biggest thing for me, though, was the relief I felt in knowing the book was done.

I took a couple of weeks off and when it came time to start a new book, I decided I needed to branch out. It made sense to write something that wasn’t tied to my series, giving me an option to fall back on, in case circumstances outside our control caused a delay. I love reading romantic suspense, and wanted to try something different just for the fun of writing. I wasn’t even sure I’d ever publish the book, but my beta readers have assured me it’s readable.

I still can’t devote every spare second of every day to writing like I had been, but we’re getting our feet back under us again. Buddy only runs away and hides once every ten days when we go to do a belly poke for his continuous monitor. Most of the time he’s pretty chill about it all, although he does cry occasionally and wishes his diagnosis on an older brother. Meal times are getting easier to deal with. We have lists of recipes with carb counts worked out, and things are mostly just part of the routine. My phone is full of photos of nutrition labels, but that’s so normal here we don’t think anything of it until it occurs to us that not many people save nutrition label pictures.

It’s still a work in progress and I’m letting myself take a night or two or three off between writing if I want to—whatever helps keep writing fun. Because I write more and write better when it’s fun than I do otherwise. Hopefully soon I’ll be back to writing full-time, but for now, I’m slowly working my way through…

The Serendipitous Adventures of Maddison Case. The story of Maddie, a young woman going about her normal, everyday life where the only remarkable thing that’s happened in who-knows-how-long is Maddie finally standing up to her sister. But a chance encounter in the shadows sweeps her into a world of intrigue and… we’ll find out what happens after that when the story is finished. 😉

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