Author Archives: Madison Granger

Living Two Lives

When I got to the point of realizing I was actually going to publish a book, I decided to use a pen name, rather than my real name. Not for any enigmatic reason, rather a very simple one. I don’t care for my real name. Never did. My real name is very plain. To make matters worse, it’s spelled in the masculine form. Choosing Madison Granger was a decision I never regretted.

One of my closest friends has told me more than once that there’s a difference between Madison and me. He calls me by both names. I realize now there are subtle changes when in my ‘Madison’ persona.

This past week found me wishing I could be Madison all the time, living happily ever after in her world. Madison gets to write, interact with readers, and right now, is beaming with happiness from some incredible reviews on Save the Last Dance. Thank you, Kelli Smith and your Reviewer Roundup, for making that possible! Madison is in her happy place, working on the last short story to add to the anthology, To Kill a Demon. A Destiny Denied has been sent to the publisher, awaiting an April release.

The other me has to go to the day job to pay the bills. Such is life.

Till next week,

~Madison

2018 Brand

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Trying to Please Everyone

It can’t be done.

That should be the end of this week’s blog. Right? In all honesty, probably so. But, I can’t leave you hanging, wondering what’s going on in my world, can I?

I signed up once again to an online event known as The Reviewer Roundup. This is an awesome opportunity to garner much needed reviews for your books. The Roundup is split in two, first week for novellas, the second week is for novels. Readers enter, read the books, and leave honest reviews. Prizes are involved, and everyone has a great time. I love the idea. Like I said, this is not my first time at it. Kelli Smith is an awesome marketer, and I have always been thrilled with the results of her services, whether it be swag or events.

Reviewer Roundup 2018

The event has just started, and already there are reviews being posted for my novella, Save the Last Dance. So far, I’m more than pleased with them. What little criticism there is seems to be the same. The readers want more . . . more depth, more conflict, more background, more story. My initial reaction was It’s a novella! If I add all that, it will be a novel.

But I get what they’re saying. Believe me, I pay attention to those reviews. Those are the things that make me a better writer. My next work will be stronger for it. I’ll make sure there is more depth, conflict, and background. I know I can’t please everyone. Doesn’t stop me from trying.

Till next week,

~Madison

 

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A Sense of Accomplishment

When I got down to the final stages to have Save the Last Dance published, and A Destiny Denied edited, I was ahead of the game. Things had worked out where I had enough time to correct any errors, take my time with the final prep work, and have them on my publisher’s desk for publication. Save the Last Dance was released three weeks ahead of schedule. I have two more months until Destiny is released. When I got my edits back, I took my time with corrections, making countless passes trying to catch everything. This week I started formatting.

I’m the kind of person who learns by doing. As with anything, it gets easier after doing it enough times. Formatting has given me my fair share of grief. I’m not to the point where I can say I’ve got it mastered, either. But, I’m way closer than I’ve ever been. Getting the margins set is pretty easy. I simply copy from a cheat sheet I created when I formatted Eternal Embrace.

My bone of contention has always been the header and footer. To be honest, the header has been easy the last two times I did it. So, I think I can say “I’ve got this.” Not so much with the page numbers. For one, I don’t like Roman numerals on the front and back matter. I prefer the actual story to have page numbers, period. But, the page numbers can’t start on Chapter 1 . . . oh no, they have to start on the next page. So, you end up starting the book around page 12. Then, my battle begins. Each chapter is a section. Each section has to be linked to the previous one. So on, and so on. Coming home from work, I would try to format the damnable numbers. Only to have them out of order, scattered all over the place, or something else. Each night I would go back to square one, to try again the next day. I finally got a day off where I could focus solely on numbering the book. Lo and behold, the numbers lined up beautifully! Believe me, I hit save before I could lose it.

While I was on a roll, I even figured out how to increase the DPI on an image I was using. It’s been a good day! Even with all this, I’m going to go over the book a couple of more times before I send it on to my publisher. Since I have the time, I want it to be as close to perfect as it can be. If I did something wrong, I’ll still have time to fix it.

After that, I can get back to writing. Life is good.

Till next week,

~Madison

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My Happy Place

My five days off rotation has finally arrived. I’m now in my happy place, contentedly sitting at my desk, finishing up edits for A Destiny Denied. I think I’ve tweaked all the over-used words, tightening the story into a better one. One more pass, then an oral read, and it’s onto formatting. Once I get all that done, I can get back to writing. You have no idea how much I’m looking forward to finishing what I’ve started!

My muse has lain dormant for what seems like ages, keeping silent while I coped with my hectic work schedule and the curves life keeps throwing at me. Now, she’s rousing from her nap, throwing little idea darts at me. I had to remind her that the order was out of whack. Falcon popped into my head, then a character from Heart of Stone. Sorry guys, get in line. Sully and Larke get the first round.

I have a schedule to stick to this time around. It’s going to be a busy year for me. I don’t feel that I’ve put too much on my plate, but in order to get everything done in time, I’m going to have to buckle down and get some serious writing in. It’s a personal challenge I relish. Writing soothes me, taking me to worlds of my own creation. I can leave my job and personal problems behind for a while, enjoying my characters and the lives I weave for them.

I hope you enjoy what’s coming.

Till next week,

~Madison

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Told you so . . .

I have a very good friend who started writing about the same time I did. He has quite a few completed manuscripts on his shelf, but is as of yet, unpublished. I don’t want to say I’m mentoring him, though he seems to see it as such. I view him as a fellow writer with whom I’m sharing my journey.

I’ve tried to explain the trials, frustrations, and triumphs of writing, editing, and publishing a book. In turn, he’s tried to understand. I know a lot of it went in one ear, and out the other. Now, he’s realizing I wasn’t kidding. His first manuscript has been edited, and he’s finding out what the agonizing process is all about. He’s beginning to understand what I was griping about.

The past few times we’ve spoken, it’s been pretty one-sided. He vents, I listen. Yes, there is a modicum of snickering on my part. I can’t help it. I think back to the aggravation and frustration I went through as I learned about POV’s, and how to apply it to my story. He heard me out, but I knew that he didn’t really get it. He gets it now. LOL I won’t go into the list of over-used words we weed out, searching for different ways to describe the same thing. It’s work; tedious, painstaking work. I also love it. I wish I was in the position to write full time.

I’m still going through my own edits whenever I get a free moment. Lately, there haven’t been many of them. Between work and helping out in the care of my sister, who is currently back in the hospital from complications of a hip replacement, I haven’t been able to come up for air. Hopefully, my sister will recover soon, and life will get back on track. Until then, I do what I can, when I can.

Till next week,

~Madison

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Breathe, focus, keep going . . .

This past week has the been full of set-backs, testing what little patience I have. My day job has been more trying than ever. Working on a Telemetry floor in a busy hospital is fast-paced to start off with. Add in the flu epidemic that’s raging across the company and we’ve found ourselves slammed with patients filling every room, with more waiting to get in. I’ve never looked so forward to having five days off to myself.

My sister recently had a hip replacement. Life throws in a curve ball, and I find myself at the Emergency room, then packing clothes to spend the next day and night with her. Of course, I packed my lap top, determined to continue working on edits. Needless to say, not much of that was accomplished. Such is life. It tends to undermine the best of intentions.

We all get set in our ways, set to a certain routine. I’m no different. I prefer working on my desktop computer. I do own a laptop, but I haven’t used it enough to be truly comfortable with it. Sitting for hours going through a manuscript, searching for errors is tedious. Doing it while in a different setting, on different equipment is distracting, at best. I am working, just not getting a lot accomplished. For someone like me, who adheres to schedules, it’s frustrating.

It will get done. I’m bound and determined to see that A Destiny Denied is the best it can be, and released on time. Then, I can move forward to my other projects. For now, I’m taking deep breaths and focusing on what’s in front of me. One step at a time . . .

Till next week,

~Madison

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A tweak here, a lot of polish there . . .

This week’s blog finds me still working on the edits of A Destiny Denied. Odds are, I’ll be here a while. As I tweak and polish I realize that, while not the most glamorous part of ‘writing a novel,’ it’s definitely one of the more important aspects.

Personally, I cringe when I read a book that’s full of errors. How did they miss that? Did no one edit this? Truth be known, it’s almost impossible to catch all the mistakes before a book is published. My own books are guilty of these oversights, as well. Though, I am happy to say, the lapses are less with each book.

So, I will painstakingly go through each page searching for and correcting errors, missed punctuation, and overused words. Hopefully, once I’m done, I’ll have a story I’m proud to share with all of you.

In the meantime, I’d like to share the cover for A Destiny Denied with you. Victoria Miller has once again done an incredible job on covers for my Kindred series.

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Till next week,

~Madison

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Getting Back on Track

My mother used to tell me to be careful how you spent New Year’s Day because you would spend the rest of the year doing the same. I shrugged it aside as an old wives’ tale, going about my business. Today, I wonder if there was a kernel of truth in the old saying. New Year’s Day was a lazy day for me. It was cold. My kids stayed up the night before, so were sleeping in. I read a lot, doing little else. That evening we fixed dinner, and the girls helped me move the boxes of Christmas decorations into the attic.

This slow start on New Years seems to be dragging along. I’m giving the arctic cold front some blame to my laziness. I’m not used to this kind of cold. My bed is warm and comfy. I have a ton of books on my Kindle app. I’m good.

But, I have things I need to do. I’ve got to put the polish on a manuscript to get it ready for release. I have stories I need to finish. Oh wait, there’s Lucifer on Hulu. I’ve been meaning to watch that. Even this blog is being written today, instead of earlier in the week, like I usually do.

It’s time to buckle down. I’m not wasting time in 2018. There are too many things I want to accomplish. Guess I better get on that.

Till next week,

~Madison

2018 LOGO

My Final Post . . . for 2017

The end of the year has come. I, for one, will not be sorry to see it go. This year was a rough one for me. I’m hoping 2018 will be better, at the very least, gentler. I could use some good mojo.

I did get in touch with my publisher to discuss plans for the coming year. It’s now official. A Destiny Denied is slated for release in April, To Kill A Demon, the Chronicles of Sully and Larke will be published in August, and Heart of Stone will make its appearance in December. Now that I’ve said the words, I must write the words. In addition to these, I need to finish Blindsided so that it will be ready for 2019. Looks like the new year will see my rear firmly planted in the chair. I might need to invest in a comfy cushion. 😉

May the coming year bring you abundant blessings.

Till next year,

~Madison

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Put your ego in your pocket . . .

When I was writing Phoenix Rising I was given the best advice I would receive, “Put your ego in your pocket.” This jewel of wisdom comes back to haunt me every time I work on revisions. I’ve started on the edits for A Destiny Denied. According to my editor, I’m going to drive her to drink with my excessive use of the word “and.” She’s a lover of good Scotch, so I seriously doubt I’ll drive her to drink, though I may make an alcoholic out of her. I guess I slammed her good this time around. She did the final read for Save the Last Dance, then edited A Destiny Denied. Between the two books, there were a lot of “ands” to be fixed. The good news is that it’s a lesson learned. I’ll be watching for that particular problem, correcting it as I go, from now on.

Overusing words is a common enough problem. My editor brought one particular word to my attention. While searching for it, I found another one that practically dotted the page. I keep a notepad handy, making a list of those that need to be trimmed to acceptable times used. It’s a tedious process, but valuable in the long run. We all want our story to be the best it can be. I’ve mentioned before that Thesaurus.com is one of my best friends. It still holds true. There are many ways to describe the same thing. There’s no crime in turning to an aid for help. Whatever works for you is my mantra. Luckily, I have the time to fix my story to be a really good one. There’s no rushing to meet the deadline. It’s a nice feeling.

I’ve got plans to release two more books in 2018. Which means I need to focus on writing more. This past year was filled with a lot of setbacks. I’m still here, more determined than ever to make this writing gig work. I never started this to get rich or famous. I’m too practical for that. What I have found out about myself is that I love to write, weaving a dream onto the pages, turning it into a story that people will enjoy reading. Those of you that have shared my journey, I thank you. Stick around, there’s more to come.

Merry Christmas to you and yours. May your holiday be filled with friends, family, love, and much laughter!

Till next week,

~Madison

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