“Now What?”

A few years ago a friend asked me a question. “When you finish the Double Cousins Series you aren’t going to be one of those authors that grieve the loss of your characters are you?”

“Probably,” I answered, without a pause. After all, these kids have been “part of my life” since 1999. That’s longer than some of my nieces and nephews. I had no clue when I created Max, Carly, and the rest of the cousins, that they would become so special to me. But they are.

So, that brings up another question. Now that the series is complete, will I just sit around feeling sad?

Or, am I going to remember the question Grandma Jones always asked me when I called after a rejection, or a delay. “Now what?”

Grandma and me with the book!

I think I’ll do that. So, what’s next? I’m so glad you asked! Here is a little bit of a sneak peek at some of the ideas in the queue.

  • First, I am writing a devotional to go with each of the Double Cousins books. These devotions will feature—you guessed it—Max, Carly, and the gang. They are intended to use alongside or independent of the books. I am quite excited about this project.
  • Next, I want to continue the Nearly Twins Mystery Series. This series is set in the South and the first book, The Nearly Twins and the Secret in the Mason Jar, was released in 2016. It is set in Saluda, NC. I have not decided, for sure, where the next mystery will be set but I am leaning toward either Elizabethton TN, or Linville/Crossnore NC.
  • Thirdly, I am planning a picture book telling a story about Grandpa Jones. This was my original dream when I started the writing life.
  • And finally, I have one more project that involves YOU! Last Spring, we presented the first Double Cousins Read Along on Facebook. In January, I will host another one. I’ve debated whether I should use the newest release, The Double Cousins and the Mystery of the Sod Schoolhouse, or go with the second book and continue chronologically. After much thought, I’ve decided to stick with their order and do book two this time. So, in January, we will read The Double Cousins and the Mystery of the Torn Map. I will release the dates soon, so stay tuned. If you don’t have this book, they are available online, through your local bookstore, or from me.

This week I worked hard to learn and successfully install a sign-up button on my website for both the blog and the newsletter. Go to MiriamJonesBradley.com and sign up!

I would love to hear from you in the comment section of the blog! Let me know which idea is your favorite and why.

A Moment to Bask in the Joy

A couple of weeks ago three boxes of the Double Cousins and the Mystery of the Sod Schoolhouse showed up on my porch. It was an exciting day, very exciting!

But, the excitement was tempered by the fact that I was still recovering from recent foot surgery. Now, however, my mind is kicking into gear and I’m ready to get excited about this. But, I’m a little befuddled.

After all, how on earth did I go from this: 

To this?

I’m not kidding. The realization that I’ve written an entire mystery series—“kind of like Trixie Belden Mysteries, only Christian”, my lifelong dream—has me experiencing a bit of disbelief.

One day, when I was fretting about the fact that I needed to get cracking on marketing for this book, a good friend said this: “Maybe you should just take a moment and bask in the realization that you wrote an entire series.”

Indeed.

So, this morning my husband moved the three boxes of books off of the piano bench and into the guest bedroom so we could take the above photo. And I basked a little as I stood there gazing at the books.

The first book was a dream, something I honestly never thought I would finish. After all, I had a lot of dreams which I never completed.

But God.

God wouldn’t let me give up on this one. He used nieces, nephews, grandparents, writer friends, cousins, and my husband to push me ahead. And miracle of miracles, I finished it and we published it, just in time for Grandma Jones to see it before she went to heaven in 2009.

Grandma and me with the book!

By then, I realized that I would have to write another book about Max and Carly. And another. And so it happened. But getting to my goal of seven? Not sure I really saw it happening. But, idea by idea, book by book, and word by word I kept going. And here I am eleven years later with a completed series.

The Double Cousins Mystery Series.

I’ve been reading a lot while recovering from surgery. I think I’ll pick up this series and read it from beginning to end. After all, it won’t hurt to bask a little more in what God helped me do.

 

The Double Cousins Mysteries are all available through the usual sources. To order directly from the author email me at miriamjonesbradley@gmail.com