Monday, October 29, 2012

What I've Learned My First Day of Being Self-Employed

I learned quite a few things today, this my first day as a self-employed individual working from home. I would like to share those with you. ;o)

  1. I suck at the June Cleaver bit. In my insane moment of wanting to do something nice for my family by baking cookies, I discovered the hard way that my potholder had a hole in it. Yes, I cursed like a drunken sailor when I took the cookie sheet out of the oven.
  2. Don't lay down on the sofa to do a plot revision while you've got the TV on to some show titled "Notorious". You WILL have nightmares!
  3. Just because I'm home, doesn't necessarily mean I have to catch up on laundry. It takes away from writing.
  4. Although I don't make a very good June Cleaver, the smile of surprise on my son's eyes when he walked through the front door and discovered homemade chocolate chocolate chip cookies is  priceless. 
  5. Remind son not to get used to homemade cookies every day or even every week. ;o)
  6. Do not turn on the TV just to see what kind of shows I've been missing all these years. I'm now comfortable knowing I've not missed anything other than the cooking shows. Too distracting. Thank Goodness for DVR though. I did like that 10 Dollar Meals show. Now have it set to record. 
  7. Just because I'm home doesn't mean I can or should make three pots of coffee before 1:00. Even though its decaf, it still goes through you like regular!
  8. Just because friends send me twitter messages or Facebook messages doesn't mean I have to immediately answer. Tomorrow, phone and internet will be off until I've written 3,000 words. ;o)
  9. But the most important thing I've learned is that I really, really like being home! 


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hometown Newspaper...a nice surprise

I was contacted by a journalist from the Monmouth Review Atlas on Friday. She asked if we could do a little Q & A for the Saturday edition. Thinking this would be a little story on their back page, I said sure! ;o)  Imagine my surprise when I started getting texts, Facebook Messages and picture messages yesterday morning telling me that the story was on the front page!

You can view the story by clicking here. 

Hometown Paper

I'm still amazed at the amount of people interested in my stories. Not just those that read them, but others who are interested in the why and how of my writing process. Anyone who knows me, knows that I'm a pantster. I don't use outlines, very few notecards, or any thing that would even remotely be considered organized.

I was surprised and honored by the journalist's request. I mean really, I'm not Julie Garwood for crying out loud! But it was fun and it made my mother very happy so there you go! ;o)

I'm looking forward to tomorrow morning, my first full day as a self-employed author. Again, I thank you all for your support and kind word.

Remember, if you can dream it, you can achieve it!


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Words to live by....

I love Pinterest! Tonight I discovered a few quotes that I wanted to share with you...

First Saturday as Self-Employed Individual

My husband and I had a wonderful time last night in Springfield. My husband is an instructor at the local apprenticeship school. He teaches young men how to be excellent carpenters. Last night was their graduation dinner. The food was amazing, they had Jack Daniels available  and sinful chocolate cake!

I met more of his friends and 'brothers'. I also met one of the graduating apprentices and his wife. They were the most delightful young couple! It turns out he is quite Scottish! He plays the drums in a pipe and drum band and they attend local highland games and events. They actually bought the copy of Findley's Lass that I had with me!

So it was a beautiful evening filled with great food, really nice and funny people, and making new friends. Yesterday was one of those hectic days that started at 5:00 a.m. and didn't end until 1:00 a.m! So much happened yesterday! At 12:01 p.m. I walked out of the little insurance office as an author.

I realized this morning when the sun broke through the window of our hotel room, that this was my first Saturday morning as a self-employed individual. I've been unemployed before and that always left me feeling desperate; when one in unemployed, one needs to find a means to make a living and do it quickly! Its a very scary feeling being unemployed, not knowing where your next job or paycheck is going to come from or how your going to pay the bills and feed the kids.  I never enjoyed being unemployed.

But being completely, 100%, happily self-employed is an all together different feeling. I don't feel desperate, I feel at peace. Happy. Content. In charge. In control. I know that win, lose, or draw, it is all up to me. I feel like I've taken control of my own destiny.

The speaker at the graduation ceremony last night didn't give a typical speech filled with, "You're going to go out into the real world and conquer it and be amazing and perfect." You know what I mean, the typical graduation speech.  This guy was different. He basically told the graduates that they'd been given a gift and it was up to each of them to decide what they wanted to do with it. They were in charge of how far they could go and don't let anyone tell you that you can't do something. I was very impressed with him.

I am in control of my future. I won't let anyone tell me that I can't do something. I spent way too many years listening to those voices in my head that said I couldn't. I'd fail. No one is interested in what you have to say.

Age, knowledge, wisdom and an amazing husband has changed all that! I no longer doubt myself or my capabilities. I know that I can pretty much do anything if I just put my mind to it. And the only way that I'll ever fail at anything is if I don't try.

So that is how I spent the first few minutes of my first Saturday morning as a self-employed author: contemplating the gifts I've been given and my future.

I am blessed. Blessed beyond anything that makes sense to me. I have the best readers in the world too! You are all just the best and I know that a tremendous amount of my success is owed to each of you. Thank you all!

So my advice to anyone contemplating a big change in their life is this: just do it. Don't let the negative voices in your head hold you back any longer. Go for it. If you're surrounded by negative people, get rid of them. And by that I mean, surround yourself with positive people! You only get one life people. Make the most of it. Seek happiness and joy where you can find it and embrace those good, kind, wonderful people in your life. Pay it forward, be kind to others. I find that if you help others fulfill their dreams you'll find yourself fulfilling some of your own!

Have a beautiful rest of your weekend!


Friday, October 26, 2012

T Minus Four Hours....

Today is my last day at my 'day job'! I cannot express enough "Thank You's" to my readers!!! None of this would be possible without you.

It also would not be possible were it not for Amazon and it's KDP program. Because of all of you, my dreams of becoming a full time author are now coming to fruition.

Starting at 12:01 p.m. today, when asked what I do for a living, I will be able to say (with a big SMILE!!) that I am an author. You have no idea just how awesome this moment in my life is. Its right up there with giving birth to my children and marrying the love of my life, Kevin.

So thank you, thank you, thank you! I owe each of you an eternal debt of gratitude and thanks.

With love and thanks,


Monday, October 22, 2012


We all get the occasional 'bad review' on our writing. I LOVE honest, thoughtful comments on my books. I'm smart enough to know that the only person who thinks I'm perfect is my mother, so I know not everyone is going to love everything that I write. ;o) I love honest critiques, honest insights and opinions. Even if you didn't like a particular character, or the flow, or whatever, I love to hear w
hy a reader didn't care for something. I've actually learned quite a bit from those types of reviews/insights/opinions and I do appreciate them.

However, the same cannot be said for 'troll's. You know who I'm talking about...people who troll the internet and write REALLY awful stuff, untruthful stuff, and you can tell from what they've written about your work that they haven't even read it. There are just some people who aren't happy unless they're making someone else miserable.

Now, with that said, you'll see a brand new 1 star review on Findley's Lass today. I am just curious...if you don't like a book, do you really read it all the way through? Don't you usually know by the first few pages, or at least the end of the first chapter or two if you'll be able to continue on with it? I just find it odd that if you find a book that bad, why would you continue to read it? Just curious! ;o) I can usually tell by end of first few pages. And yes, I have returned books that were bad before. No, I'm not upset about the review, I just found it quite odd.

I'd love to know what you think. ;o)



November Book Signing

On Saturday, November 3, 2012 from 1 to 3 p.m. I'll be at the Stone Alley Bookstore on Seminary Street in Galesburg, IL. I look forward to meeting readers, signing copies of Findley's Lass  and Laiden's Daughter, and seeing old friends! I look forward to seeing you there!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Things That Make Me Happy....

I'm having one of those happy, happy days...the kind of day where my mind is clear, focused, and I'm able to see just how great life is and can be. One of those days where I think, "It's probably not right to be this blissfully happy!"

But I am. Can't help it. Today, I'm able to clearly see all the blessings the Good Lord has bestowed upon me. Just why he has, I don't have a clue. I must have done something really spectacular in another life because I can't see what I've done in this one to deserve all that I have.

We all have bad days. We even have some really horrific, terrible, heartbreaking things that happen. Trust me, I haven't always been this content, this happy, this appreciative of my blessings. The list of crappy stuff that's happened in my life is pretty long. But I don't like to dwell on those things. Instead, I choose to remain focused on the here and now. The past is past and you can't undo it, no matter how hard we wish that we could.

I'm compiling a list of things that make me happy. I'd love to hear what makes you happy! I find that it is different from person to person and that is one of the really cool things about life. Please feel free to post below!

Things That Make Me Happy
(In no particular order, just as the thought comes to me!)

  1. My husband. 99.9999% of the time, I find him utterly charming, adorable, sexy, smart, funny, sexy, sweet....We won't discuss the .000001 when I don't find him thus. 
  2. My kids. Even when they're driving me nuts, I still find I love them, no matter what. They can make me laugh and usually at the most inappropriate of times! 
  3. My grandkids! They're God's payment for not killing my kids when they were teenagers! My grandkids are smart, adorable, funny, precious and practically perfect in every way!
  4. My family, both the one I was born into and the one I married into. No two families could be more dissimilar yet have many things in common such as love of family, faith, and country. 
  5. coffee. The smell of it as it brews first thing in the morning and the way the light shines in through the kitchen window and casts umpteen different shades of brown across the counter and walls! 
  6. Jack Daniels. 
  7. Chocolate cake
  8. Weight Watcher's Breakfast Quesadillas
  9. My living room with its red wood floors, gold drapes, funky lamps & furniture. Its just so pretty!
  10. Rainy days in October...they leave me feeling peaceful.
  11. Mashed potatoes. 
  12. writing
  13. friends
  14. comfy blue jeans and warm sweaters
  15. PURSES! -- hello my name is Suzan and I have an addiction for purses. 
  16. My red coffee cup
  17. My mom's wicked sense of humor
  18. My aunts and uncles
  19. My cousins' musical talents...which I'm quite envious of! But the sounds of their guitars, voices, harmonicas, drums & mandolins, especially when they play near the camp fire, its one of the most happy & precious of times.
  20. The colors of autumn: deep oranges, golds, reds, greens, favorites
  21. John Wayne movies on a Sunday afternoon
  22. Reading a really good book
  23. My 'online' author their generosity, faith, and humor!

So what things make YOU happy?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Book Launching Party -- Sucess!

The party was beyond anything that I could have imagined or hope for! ;o) There were people there that I didn't even know! I actually asked my husband, "Do you know those people?" He said, "No." I remember looking at him and asking, "I wonder why they're here?" He gave me one of those, oh, I've married a really nice girl who is just a tad on the goofy side, but I love her anyway, kind of looks! ;o) I was just so caught up in the night, and guests, and all the fun we were having that there were times it seemed surreal. ;o)

I'm posting pictures for those of you who could not make it. I can't thank everyone enough! We had over 75 people come out to help us celebrate the successful launching of Findley's Lass! 
Aunt Marilyn, my Mamma, me, and Aunt Jerry!

The cake! It was beautiful & delicious!

Me with my cousin Sharon. She's such a sweetie!
Me with fellow author, Cecilia Were! She's a beautiful woman!

Me with niece, Belinda. Yes, I'm drinking a double shot of Jack Daniels! 
My best friend, Shelley and I. Even sitting down, I'm an Amazon woman compared to Tiny Shelley!

Kevin, our son Mike, and I. (He hated the dress clothes!
A shot of the room

Kevin and I with our cover models! My son-in-law and daughter. She's just as beautiful in person! And yes, his arms are just as nice! ;o)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Something new at Amazon

So yesterday morning I received a tweet regarding "Author Ranking"...had no idea what they were talking about. So I hopped over to Amazon to take a look and WOW! It was such a surprise and I felt so very honored and yes, I cried! ;o) Happy tears of course!

Not only does Amazon rank our books according to sales, popularity, and reviews, they now rank the authors themselves. Please don't ask me the logarithms on this because honestly, I don't know. I believe the biggest factor is sales, but other than that, no clue how they figure it out. I think that if I tried my head would implode! lol

So they rank the top 100 authors based on sales and other unknown factors. It was such a sweet and happy surprise to see that I was ranked #19 in Historical Fiction! Out of all the authors I was #19.  WOW!

I am also ranked #37 for Historical Romance authors.


I'm up there with Diana Gabaldon, Julie Garwood, Lisa Kleypas, Courtney Milan, and many others.


I look back at these past ten months and I am still amazed at how well received my stories are. I can't find the words to express my gratitude and humble thanks to each of you. I would not be here if it weren't for you! Thank you all so very, very much! You're all a very important part of this dream of mine that is quickly being fulfilled! I'm sending you all great big hugs and virtual chocolates! You're all wonderful and I just love you all to pieces!

Thank you!! Have a beautiful day!


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Men in Kilts!

Why do we love men in kilts?? Is it the fact that we get to see nice legs? Nah, we can see nice legs in a pair of shorts. Is it the image on honorable, hunky, strong, masculine Highlanders that immediately comes to mind when we think of a man in a kilt? I think that's why I like them! Posting some pictures of men in kilts for your 'eye candy' today! ;o)

If you've got your own 'man in a kilt' image you'd like to share, send me an email! ;o)

I'd love to hear what you think! ;o)


PS: This first image? It's how I envision Findley in Findley's Lass! ;o)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

I Think This is What Winning the Lottery Feels Like...

Years ago, when I was going through some really, really bad times in my life, I used to lay in bed and imagine what it would be like if I won the lottery. I'd dream about how my life would change, about all the good things I could do, and how I could help my family while helping myself. In those daydreaming moments, I could feel the joyful sensation such a life-altering moment would bring.  Just thinking about it would make my toes all tingly and bring a smile to my face.

That is how I'm feeling today...tingly toes, a smile on my face, a joyful hum in my heart. No, I've not won the lottery per se. I've won a much bigger one: life's lottery.

I have the best husband -- he spoils me beyond reason and I don't even ask for anything! He treats me like a queen and loves me without question. He adores me and I, him. He's awnry (for those of you outside of the tri-county area, it's like a positive version of ornery -- funny, playful, feisty, energetic, smartallecky, and rotten, but in a good way.

I've got some really good kids -- even if they are rotten little buggers sometimes. I've got the most adorable grandchildren. The oldest of which is just as stubborn as her grandpa, but so cute you only want to thump grandpa on his head! She's 6, bouncy, cute, funny and as smart as a tack! The middle granddaughter is a 4 year old sweetie pie who makes you laugh because of the funny things she says, and the youngest, who is two, and my only grandson, is so full of hugs, kisses, and he likes to smell your hair when you hug him!

I've got a great family, wonderful in-laws, and a bushelful of really, really good friends.

I've got a beautiful home, even though there isn't a room in it that is 100% finished. I'm married to a carpenter. Its the same as 'the cobbler's children have no shoes'. ;o) It's only 890 square feet, but it is by far the most beautiful home I've ever lived in. (I think its partly because my husband is a phenomenal carpenter and its filled with lots of love and laughter!)

And I get to write. I get to write and publish all those stories that have been floating around in my head all these years. It used to be that my stories were my means of escape. Escaping all of the not-so-fun things that were happening in my life. I could withdraw into my own mind and create wonderful places, people, and events. I could create bad guys (who were often based on real life people) and I could get even with them. ;o) In my mental dodging of the real world, I was able to solve and overcome any obstacle. There was nothing that I couldn't fix or escape from. There was peace and tranquility.

I look at those times and events in my life now, as blessings. Although at the time, when I was going through those things, they certainly didn't feel like blessings. More like a baptism by fire or walking barefoot across cockleburs. Painful, hard to understand, awkward, embarrassing, humiliating, traumatic, heartbreaking moments. But now, when I look back on them, I think that I was lucky to have gone through them.

Why? Because I know those moments made me who I am today. Even the really ugly moments. They also help me appreciate my life now, more than I probably would have had always been blessed with this happy life I now have.

So I sit here, looking out my windows at the beautiful maple tree with leaves that are just turning gold, and I feel happy. Content. Loved. Cherished. Blessed. But most of all, amazed.  I must have done something in a previously life, something really spectacular and awesome. Because for the life of me, I can't figure out what I've done in this one to deserve all these blessings that I have.

I am humbled and amazed at the outpouring of readers who've contacted me and told me how much they loved my stories. I'm completely amazed by the fact that I do get to give up my day job and write full time. My mind is boggled when someone stops me on the street and recognizes me as 'that author lady'.

I owe it all to the people who read my books. Without them, I wouldn't be able to give up the day job. I wouldn't be able to help my family. I wouldn't be able to share these mental escapades that rattle through my brain. I wouldn't be able to stay at home or pay for my mom's medications. I wouldn't be able to repay old debts.

Oh, I'd still feel blessed and happy with all that I have outside of writing! I'd still feel the same way about my husband, kids, grandkids, family, our little house, and all of my friends.

Writing adds something to my life. Something that I am often times at a loss for words to try to explain. So thank you, dear readers, for believing in me, for buying my books, for your kind words of encouragement, for all that you do. You're the most important part of this current journey that I am on. I  wouldn't have been able to take it without you.

So yes, I'm pretty sure this toe-tingling, happy, content, amazing and blessed feeling is what it would be like to win the lottery. Oh, maybe not as 'big bang' as actually winning it. And of course, there would be a butt-load more money involved. But this? This life I have? Its just as thrilling, just as amazing, and just as wonderful.

I just had an ah-hah! moment!  I am living the happily ever after! Cool.

Suzan Tisdale

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Drum Roll Please!

Findley's Lass is now available at Barnes and Noble! Yes!!!
You can click here to purchase it via their website!

This is such an exciting day!!! Thank you all so very much for your kind words and support. Sending special hugs to each and every one of you. ;o)