Tuesday, July 03, 2018

The Insecure Writer's Support Group and Murder at the Marina

It’s time for another edition of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, founded by Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh.

We are posting a day early since Wednesday is the 4th of July here in the US.

The IWSG’s Twitter pitch party is July 19. You don’t want to miss this opportunity. We signed a wonderful book coming out this September, Bubba and Squirt’s Big Dig to China, from a #IWSGPit tweet.

Today’s question - What are your ultimate writing goals, and how have they changed over time (if at all)?

I started off with the goal of published author when I was 13. I’m now the author of 5 fiction and 2 non-fiction books.

While I still want to continue writing - and I am working on something now - my goals shifted to publisher. Now my goal is to help the authors we sign achieve their goals.

One of those authors is visiting today. She’s part of the IWSG anthology Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life and here to talk about her own book.

Murder at the Marina

One day, when we were living in Scotland, my husband announced that he wanted to sell everything we own, buy a sailboat, move aboard, and go cruising. I assumed he had developed some form of early dementia and changed the subject. Then he mentioned it again, and again, and again. Turns out this wasn't just a passing fancy. He was serious about this boating stuff and went on a number of sailing trips with his buddies, as well as crewing on boats in the Mediterranean.

When we moved to New Zealand, he was beside himself with excitement. Auckland is known as the “City of Sails” and it was here that he put his “Brainwash Ellen into Loving Sailing” campaign into operation. We chartered boats a few times and it turns out that it was kind of fun. Eventually, I suggested that we could save money by buying our own small sailboat, rather than chartering. That's when he declared his campaign to be a success. We were buying a sailboat and it was my idea.

My experience getting into sailing isn't unusual. Often, it's the guy in the relationship who dreams about getting a boat and the woman gradually warms to the idea over time (or doesn't). When I decided to write a cozy mystery series, I thought it would be fun to make the main character, Mollie McGhie, a reluctant sailor turned amateur sleuth. Her husband, Scooter, like mine, is obsessed with sailing, so obsessed that he thought presenting Mollie with a dilapidated sailboat for their wedding anniversary was a good idea. He couldn't have been more wrong.

I enjoyed writing about Mollie's reactions to the sailboat, her confusion over sailing terminology, and her experiences learning to sail, as well as have her meet the different types of characters you might encounter at a marina. You could say that there's a little bit of me in Mollie, especially when it comes to our love of chocolate. Although, I do draw the line at investigating murders.

Over the course of the series, Mollie will encounter other aspects of boating life that may not exactly be her cup of tea, while investigating mysterious happenings. Perhaps Scooter will suggest that they sell their house and all their belonging and move onto their boat full-time. Mollie may have to learn to cook on board in rough weather in a cramped, overheated galley. They may join in a regatta and sail to the Bahamas. Maybe something will go terribly wrong with their boat, requiring repairs while at sea. The possibilities are endless.

If you want to follow along as Mollie learns to sail and solves murders, the first book in the series, Murder at the Marina, is available now and the second book, Bodies in the Boatyard, will be released later this year.

MURDER AT THE MARINA BY ELLEN JACOBSON
Print ISBN 978-1-7321602-1-7
eBook ISBN 978-1-7321602-0-0
A Mollie McGhie Cozy Sailing Mystery #1

Mollie McGhie is hoping for diamonds for her tenth wedding anniversary. Instead, her husband presents her with a dilapidated sailboat. Just one problem—she doesn’t know anything about boats, nor does she want to.

When Mollie discovers someone murdered on board, she hopes it will convince her husband that owning a boat is a bad idea. Unfortunately, he’s more determined than ever to fix the boat up and set out to sea.

Mollie finds herself drawn into the tight-knit community living at Palm Tree Marina in Coconut Cove, a small town on the Florida coast. She uncovers a crime ring dealing in stolen marine equipment, investigates an alien abduction, eats way too many chocolate bars, adopts a cat, and learns far more about sailing than she ever wanted to.

Can Mollie discover who the murderer is before her nosiness gets her killed?


Ellen Jacobson writes mystery and sci-fi/fantasy stories. She is the author of the “Mollie McGhie Sailing Mystery” series. She lives on a sailboat with her husband, exploring the world from the water. When she isn't working on boat projects or seeking out deserted islands, she blogs about their adventures at The Cynical Sailor.


How has your ultimate writing goal changed? And what would you do if your husband got you a sailboat for your anniversary?

65 comments:

  1. Great that you are working on something else while promoting away.

    It would take an awful lot of convincing, and maybe bribery, to get me to live on a boat haha

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  2. Thank you so much for featuring Murder at the Marina today! I'll always be grateful for the support and encouragement you gave me as part of the Hero Lost anthology which helped kick off my writing journey and led to the publication of my first novel. :-)

    Cheers - Ellen

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  3. I am like you in that my goals have changed. I like helping other writers through my blog and I now have a busy job where I write all the time.

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  4. I love mysteries! Ellen's book sounds fantastic! It's wonderful that you are now helping writers achieve their goals.

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  5. Diane, I love your focus now. =)

    Ellen! Sometimes the best stories come from real life experience, eh? Loved this.

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  6. The most important thing is to find our passion and I think you've done it Diane. Congrats Ellen! I love your book :)

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  7. You are certainly writing what you know. Does Mollie end up with a cat named Simon?

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  8. And you got a great job with both the author and publisher hats on, Diane!

    Mollie sounds like a fabulous character - and the series sounds like tons fo fun!!

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  9. Hi,
    I have this anthology but I haven't gotten to her story yet. I have to read it now. Thanks for all you do to help authors who are published by your company. You've found the next stage of your life.

    All the best.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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  10. 13? I wish I'd got going that early. You've achieved an incredible amount.

    Great to see Ellie's book out there - I've been following her sailing adventures for a while, and it was nice to learn more about the background too!

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  11. You've accomplished a lot from the time you first set out to be published. Talent and a stick-to-it attitude has helped, I'm sure.

    Congratulations again to Ellen on her book. I look forward to reading it.

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  12. Hi Diane - you've done much for so many, having gained and learnt from your own experiences. I've been reading about Ellen's book ... cheers to you both - Hilary

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  13. I love the way you have done so much for so many authors, Diane! I really appreciate the work that you've done on the books you've published as a publisher, and the anthologies you've published for IWSG. It's inspiring and wonderful! Plus, I think you're a really cool author. Way to go with your goals!

    Ellen - I love hearing about your sailing adventures and how they contrast/compare with Mollie's.

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  14. Ellen, delighted to! I'm glad you pursued the publication of your book.

    Jemi, I have a busy one.

    Nick, I made all the big decisions in my life at that age.

    Tyrean, thank you.

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  15. Diane, it's great that you can do both writing and publishing.

    Ellen, your books sounds delightful. Good luck with it!

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  16. I still can't imagine living on a boat all year round. Enjoying your posts is as close as I'll ever get. ;-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  17. Your goals got bigger, for sure. If my husband bought a sailboat, I would take him to the doctor.

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  18. You definitely are helping other authors with their goals, Diane!

    Congrats to Ellen!

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  19. Congratulations on your latest book, Ellen. Sounds like a great read.
    Thank you, Diane, for the interest you take in your authors. You are the best.

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  20. Heh, I know I'm safe from the boating option. Water has always been out to kill my husband, whether it's in a liquid form, or ice, or snow... He's almost died several times now, and the fault can usually be pegged on water. At least the sailboat turned out well for you!

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  21. Being a publisher sounds great, though I have a hard time focusing on anything but writing :)

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  22. Hi, Ellen! You're everywhere today :) Your book sounds like a really fun read. Love the cover, too. I'm looking forward to reading it.

    Waving to Diane :)

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  23. I can imagine sailing for a few hours, but to live on a boat? Now that would be challenging! I bet it makes for a great read though.

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  24. What a fun premise for a cozy mystery series!

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  25. I love how much you help others, Diane. It's very inspiring to see.

    I enjoy being on a boat but I don't think it's something I could do full time. :)

    Elsie

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  26. Thank you, Beverly.

    Waving to Carol!

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  27. Thanks for our support. I am getting close.

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  28. It's encouraging to hear about your goal to help authors achieve their goals, Diane. It was fun to see Ellen's book featured. She's on my list! I hope that you've had a good IWSG Day!

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  29. Congrats to Ellen.

    I've heard you're a fabulous publisher! And what a great goal to promote and help authors!!!

    Happy 4th.

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  30. Congrats on achieving your goals! If my husband gave me a sailboat, I'd sell it.

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  31. Mollie sounds wonderful. I'm putting her on my TBR list.
    Congrats Ellen. I love the cover too.

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  32. Happy July to you Diane. Murder At The Marina appears to be a great book.
    I wish it every success.

    Yvonne.

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  33. It's great you've met your writing goals.

    How would I feel if my husband got me a sailboat for our anniversary? Ecstatic. To actually have a husband. (I'm single.)

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  34. It's wonderful that you've been able to achieve your goals of being an author and publisher. I am extremely grateful that you selected Bubba and Squirt's Big Dig to China from the Twitter pitch. You're giving me a chance to make my dreams come true. Thank you!

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  35. I liked your writing goals and I love your publishing goals.

    5 fiction and 2 non-fiction books is super!

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  36. Your first goal was set at 13 years old? Wow, Diane!
    You knew, even then, that you wanted to be published? That's awesome! And look how far you've come? I'm so impressed.

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  37. You're good to always meet your goals!

    If my husband got me a sailboat for an anniversary, I'd go stock up on Bonine like crazy. :) Congratulations on the release, Ellen!

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  38. That book sounds so charming. Perfect for a vacation read.

    Methinks your authors are very lucky you've turned your goals toward your publishing biz.

    Happy 4th!

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  39. Ellen, I love that you do what most of us only dream of AND the premise of your book. Wishing you many sails...er sales:)
    Happy 4th, Di.

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  40. Congratulations on the book. Living on a boat sounds wonderful free and romantic, lol. I know lot harder than it sounds but rewarding. Happy IWSG!

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  41. Murder at the Marina sounds intriguing. I do have the occasional fantasy about living on a boat, but that's all it is, a fantasy.
    Glad you find the time for your own writing when you're so busy with your publishing/promoting biz.

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  42. Cathrina, thank you.

    Liz - LOL!

    Sherry, you wrote an excellent story that so many are going to love.

    Thank you, Michelle. I set 4 big goals at that age and accomplished all of them.

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  43. Best wishes to Ellen and Murder at the Marina. Sounds like a great summertime read.

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  44. Many thanks to everyone for their kind words about the release of Murder at the Marina :-)

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  45. I got busy and forgot to write a post for IWSG this month. My goals are ever changing, but mostly, its just getting another story idea completed. Perhaps some day I will write something I can submit to DLP :)

    Thanks for all your encouragement and dedication to us authors Diane.

    And congrats on the release Ellen. Love the cover.

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  46. I didn't know your dream of wanting to get published began when you were 13. That sounds like me. :) I was 12 when I started and dreamed of getting published.

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  47. Ellen, your books - the current one and the future ones - sound like a fascinating series.
    Diane - thanks for helping us, writers.

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  48. You have more than succeeded in helping other authors achieve their goals. Kudos.

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  49. Ellen, I love your story and the premise for your book too!

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  50. You've always wanted to write and being a publisher, as well, is a good part of the plan. Congratulations!

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  51. Chrys, I set that goal and 3 others at that age. I managed to hit all 4 of them.

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  52. I loved Murder at the Marina so much, I devoured it in one sitting. What a fabulous book! I highly recommend it.

    As for the sailboat, I don't have a husband, but if I did and he had the sense of adventure (and the funds) to make it work, I'd happily go along for the ride...sail? As long as the kitties could ride shotgun.

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  53. Achieving objectives gives one meaning, purpose and eventual fulfilment when the last page is written. Well done!

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  54. I'm looking forward to the IWSGPit. Congrats to Ellen!

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  55. Hope your day is productive and your evening pleasant:)

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  56. Twitter pitch? That sounds great. Thanks for all you do to get our work out there.

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  57. Congrats to Ellen! I loved her book. And wonderful that you're helping authors reach their goals. :)

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  58. Dolorah, that would be great if you did.

    JH, kitties must always ride shotgun.

    Sandra, busy today, that's for sure.

    Jay, it's this Thursday - I hope you have something to pitch.

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  59. Congratulations on achieving your goals! The story sounds thrilling!

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  60. I love the concept of Ellen's book! It sounds like a lot of fun and I can't wait to read it!

    Best of luck with your own writing. My goals have shifted a little over the years. Right now, my goal is to start crafting a query for a novel ... after I get feedback from my readers. And I've started another book so I guess I can add "finish novel #2" to that list!

    Enjoy your Summer!
    ~Jen

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  61. Just stopped by to say hey. You have got lots of irons in the fire. Hope you get some great twitter pitches tomorrow.

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  62. Good luck today to all involved. How many pitches are you getting?

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  63. Hi Diane,

    Here I am and once again, beyond fashionably late!

    Fascinating article, as per usual. "Murder at the Marina", looks like a great read.

    Yes, even though I've only arrived like 17 days after you posted, I'll share your post anyway.

    Take good care, Diane.

    Gary

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