Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!
Hello, I am Maggie Aldrich, award-winning indie author, avid reader, yogi, foodie, wife, mother, and lover of all things Nebraska. I am a fairly new author, having published my first book, It’s All Greek to Me, (always 99 cents on Amazon) in the summer of 2018. My most recent book, The Naked Truth ($3.99 on Amazon, but on sale for $1.99 Sept 8th-15th, 2019), was published just this past summer and received 5 stars from Readers’ Favorite. I write romcomsteries, er, humorous romantic mysteries. Both of my books are part of The Emily Potens Mysteries Series, but don’t let the word “mysteries” fool you. While yes, they are mysteries, you will find plenty of romance and humor in them as well. I am currently working on another book in the series, as well as branching out into speculative fiction.
What inspires/inspired your creativity?
I tend to be a person who creates mountains out of molehills. I have—how shall I say it—an overactive imagination. My mom used to say to me, “You should write down the crazy scenarios you’re always making up in your head.” One day, I did. And so my writing career began.
How do you deal with creative block?
Whenever I find myself unable to write, I go back over my written material and edit. That usually spurs changes and new ideas and makes me fall in love with my book all over again.
What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?
Not using a real editor is a HUGE mistake many indie authors make. An editor does not have to be ridiculously expensive. Shop around. But do use one. Also, use a professional cover artist. Some will be willing to use your own images, or already have a subscription to stock image sites, but do get a pro to put together your cover.
Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?
Titles need to be catchy and short. Easier said than done sometimes, but no one wants to read, “The Girl Who Lost Everything and Had to Become a Sorority Mom”, but they might want to read “It’s All Greek to Me” (yes, I am using my own title as an example here!) To choose a good cover, look around at covers in your genre. Keep your cover similar to what you see. For example, if you write romantic comedies, you probably don’t want a serious picture on the cover, unless the title is in a fun, quirky font to tone down the seriousness of the image. Something major on your cover (image, font) needs to convey your genre. Covers sell books. I am fortunate enough to have found a cover artist that I LOVE. I have a budget for my books, and she fits within that budget. She is easy to work with and responds quickly.
How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?
Oy, I used to obsess about reviews, and to a point, I still do. However, reviews are subjective, and that’s what we all need to remember. Also, probably 0.1% of my readers even leave a review! It’s frustrating, but people are busy. I’m guilty of not writing reviews for sure. I’ve only had a couple of negative reviews (fortunately!!) and they do really get to me, but I generally try to remember that those people probably do not normally read the genre in which I write. Or maybe they were having a bad day. Or maybe they’re internet trolls that get giddy at the idea of trying to irritate others. Who knows. But really, my obsession with reading reviews has slowly abated. I do still LOVE the 5-star, author-worship reviews, however. Who wouldn’t ?!?
What were the best, worst and most surprising things you encountered during the entire process of completing your book(s)?
The best thing was finishing the first novel, publishing it, and knowing that I WROTE A BOOK!! How many people can say that? Well, lots of people can, but in the grand scheme of things, we are a small percentage. The worst thing was learning the process. I researched other indie authors like Joanna Penn, Tom Corson-Knowles, and Chris Fox, who share a wealth of information regarding self-publishing. My second book wasn’t nearly as painful since I had the process down. I was most surprised by the number of groups out there filled with people like me, i.e. Facebook groups for writers of certain genres, etc. There are great support groups out there if you look for them, and an amazing number of people are willing to provide guidance and feedback.
Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?
I’d say I balance the two. When I first started writing, I probably tended toward personal satisfaction. But based on feedback, my second book was aimed more at serving my readers. Especially since I hadn’t intended on writing a series in the first place. My first book was going to be a stand-alone until people wanted more…
What are your plans for future books?
I have two books in the works right now. One is a continuation of the Emily Potens Mysteries Series. The other is a piece of speculative fiction about a mother and daughter who have a tempestuous relationship in 2017. After a bad day that ends in a full-fledged blowout, both go to bed wishing for other things, only to wake up realizing you should watch what you wish for…
Tell us some quirky facts about yourself
I have a loose bone in my elbow that can be heard rattling around when I shake it (eeeeewww!! I know!!!)
For some other quirky facts, I asked my husband. He says I cannot cook a meal without dirtying at least 50% of the dishes in the kitchen, and that my pinkie finger provides balance to the universe. (Apparently, I use it quite religiously when eating sandwiches and drinking anything. I do not deny that, so it must be true. )
Links to my books are as follows: