Can you tell us a little bit about your latest book? When did it come out? Where can we get it?
Well, they all came out at about the same time, but at the moment my romantic fantasy, Once Upon a Western Way, needs a bit of a boost, so I’ll tell you about that one. It was originally published back in April of 2012, distributed through Smashwords as an e-book for Nook, Kindle, iPhone, etc. It’s now available as a paperback and audio book as well. You can find it at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, iTunes, Audible, Kobo, and probably a few places I forgot! You can also order personalized autographed copies from my Square Store.
This story stemmed from a game that my best friend and I used to play as children. My family moved to Michigan when I was beginning fifth grade, and the only young people close to my age were boys, so I formed a friendship with “the boy next door”. His dad even built us a treehouse fort in a strong tree just at the edge of where the woods met the “mowed” part of my family’s property. (Yes, I was a major tomboy…) Thus, the character of Joseph was born, using some of the best qualities of my best friend. It was actually he who created the “Western Empire”. The character of Susan came about through my dreams and she embodied the qualities that I wished (at the time) that I had.
I’ve been writing since grade school. I think it was fourth grade, we had a teacher who would come around every day and leave a squiggle on our notebook paper. Our assignment was to finish the squiggle into some kind of drawing and then write a story about it. I also took a creative writing class in high school, and had an English teacher take me to a Young Writers’ Conference sometime during my high school years. I took photography as well in high school, and I worked for the school newspaper. I was awarded the National Quill and Scroll Society award for best photo in a high school newspaper. I actually began writing Once Upon a Western Way in high school, where I would come to class every day and my class mates would want to know did I have any new pages to share with them today. We passed parts of my story around for the better part of two years!
My favorite authors have to be Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb, Kay Hooper, Patricia Cornwall. These ladies always write about strong female characters and that makes me feel an instant connection to those characters.
My “home office” is half of my dining room table, which doesn’t really get used for much else. The kids might use it for eating breakfast in the morning, and that’s about it. So I’ve taken over a section of the room. I have a rolling computer chair, which is more comfortable than sitting on the chairs that came with our table. I have access to a plug where I can charge my stuff, and a TV so I can have some background noise. But I mostly do my writing on a tablet with a detachable keyboard, so I can actually write anywhere. The majority of my mornings is reserved for doing marketing, maintaining my website, and other marketing things. The evening is when I do most of my writing, often after everyone else has gone to bed and the house is quiet. I’m also at my most creative, I believe, later in the day. Often I can be found still writing at three a.m.!
The very best words of advice I can give any author, or aspiring author, is to not give up! I grew up in a household that didn’t often encourage my creativity, but I had several teachers who encouraged me. I first submitted Once Upon a Western Way to publishers on my own, then hired an agent for a year to submit it for me, all with no luck. Often, I wouldn’t even get the courtesy of a rejection letter. My point of all of this is that, even though it may not be possible for someone to publish now, just stick around and persevere! You never know what opportunities may come up in the future!
Young Susan finds herself moved far away from her childhood home, and betrothed to the prince of a neighboring kingdom. She vows to hate her new husband, but when a destructive force destroys their homes and families when they are young adults, he is the only one she can turn to.
Joseph fell in love with her the moment their eyes first met. But her prickly attitude told him that he would have to work hard to win her over. And when circumstances threw them together, he would give his own blood to keep her safe.
Together, are they strong enough to defeat the most unlikely of foes, and free their people from slavery? Or will they simply vanish into the hourglass of time, two small grains of sand lost forever to history?
Marguerite Madden, called Markie by friends and family, was born August 19, 1975, in Midland, Texas. She grew up in the small town of Flushing, Michigan. While in high school, she took creative writing and was a photographer for the school newspaper. In 1993, she won the National Quill and Scroll Society award for best photo in a high school paper. She began writing her first novel, Once Upon a Western Way, while still attending school.
Markie is now married with two teenage daughters, three rescue dogs, and her horse, Athena, who is featured on the cover of her horse care guide, Keeping a Backyard Horse. She tried many times over the years to publish her novel, first on her own, and then hiring a literary agent, all without success. In early 2012, after getting her first smart phone and e-reader application, Nook, she discovered the world of self-publishing through a website called Smashwords. She finally published Once Upon a Western Way through this distributor in April, 2012.
In the late spring of 2013, Markie came down with a mysterious illness, which was ultimately diagnosed as leukemia (AML specifically). She underwent a rigorous treatment of chemotherapy, during which, at one point, her life was endangered. While she was hospitalized, an old high school friend who is also a published author reconnected with her. Since cancer and the treatment of cancer forced her out of the traditional workforce, Markie turned her attention back to the world of writing.
By December of 2014, Markie was the successful publisher of three books, her first published work, Once Upon a Western Way, now available in print as well as e-format, as well as a self-help guide to horse care, Keeping a Backyard Horse, available in print and e-format, and her cancer memoir, My Butterfly Cancer, available in print, e-format, and audiobook. Her other two will soon be available in audiobook format as well. Markie has founded Metamorph Publishing, in order to publish her own books, and she is now working with two other independent authors as well.
Currently, Markie lives in the small town of Fisk, Missouri, with her family, her dogs, and her horse. She is still writing and is working on a crime/paranormal series called The Undead Unit Series. Book one of the series, Fang and Claw, is expected to be available in late summer or fall of 2015. You can find her at her website: https://metamorphpublishing.com.