My writing life in 2012

Writing became a way to live with my son Paul's bipolar disorder and to survive his suicide as a result. However, I never dreamed it would become my way of life. I still cannot get through the day without writing something. However, in the last few years it has become more than a balm to ease the pain. It has become a joy and a way to meet and interact with some very wonderful writing friends. Like writing, I can never have enough Buddhas (Richard Stock photo) With that in mind, I thought I write down a few of the highlights of my writing life from 2012, starting with my first publisher's decision to go out of business. At first I was indeed devastated and then so angry. She closed down with four days warning and cut off our websites even before that. But the devastation and anger were very short lived. I reached out to a few writing friends especially Keith Alan Hamilton and got some suggestions about where to query. However, my dear friend and mentor Mark Shelmerdine came … [Read more...]

Book tour report

The first event was a National Association of Memoir Writers roundtable with Linda Joy Meyers on the subject of: Keeping Your Book Alive Part I and II: Advice for authors who Need a New Publisher; Low-cost/no-cost Marketing Ideas I sat with Mike O'Mary, owner and publisher at, while we talked about what to do if your publisher goes out of business and what it's like to "start over" with a new publisher. And as you probably know already the loss of my original publisher was a blessing in disguise. Mike and I met for the first time just before we went on the air, and he is the dream of Dream of Things. During the roundtable, Mike and I also talked about what it takes to promote your memoir in today's marketplace, including a variety of low-cost and no-cost ideas that any author can use to promote his/her book. Here's the link to this roundtable. Mike has a wealth of information about ways to promote your book. Mike orchestrated the next four book tour events for his other … [Read more...]

Suicide Prevention Day – Monday, September 10

In honor of Suicide Prevention Day, my publisher Mike O'Mary of Dream of Things is offering free Kindle copies of my memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On: A Mother's Memoir of Living with Her Son's Suicide and Surviving His Suicide. Here's what he says: Hello Friends! I have a couple of updates for you... First of all, next Monday, September 10, is Worldwide Suicide Prevention Day, and on September 8, 9 & 10, Amazon will be giving away free copies of the Kindle edition of Madeline Sharples' Leaving the Hall Light On. Madeline's memoir is an informative and inspiring story about the circumstances surrounding her son's suicide, and about how she and her family have been affected. Here's what Fran Edstrom of the American Association of Suicidology had to say: "Sharples tells it like it is, baring her soul to the reader. In doing so, she allows the reader to address and ponder the usually unspoken side of coping with mental illness and suicide. I recommend this book to sui … [Read more...]

My paperback launch is August 6

Since Dream of Things will launch the paperback edition of Leaving the Hall Light On: A Mother's Memoir of Living with Her Son's Bipolar Disorder and Surviving His Suicide this Monday, August 6, I thought I'd share the newest reviews posted on Amazon in the last three weeks. They are all five-star. I couldn't be happier about the wonderful response to my memoir. I hope these reviews will entice you to read the book yourselves. Madeline Sharples propels her readers through a startling emotional landscape of those left behind after suicide, in "Leaving the Hall Light on." Incredibly intimate and revealing¦.Her imagery, scenes, and movement through her family's recovery expertly nail the high art of the memoir.Ruth Belanger It took considerable courage to write this book. Madeline Sharples describes a path from guilt and grief to recovery. Life goes on but it requires personal fortitude. Anyone who has experienced the suicide of a family member will find Madeline's … [Read more...]