Liz here, and I’m so happy to welcome one of my very first friends in the writing community – Cheryl Hollon, whose fabulous debut is coming out in September! I’ve known Cheryl since we were eager beginners, looking anxiously ahead to the days when we would join the ranks of published authors. I particularly remember one pitch practice session out by the pool at Sleuthfest, where Cheryl relentlessly had me revising and re-delivering my pitch. (Thank goodness I ultimately didn’t have to sell books from a pitch session!) But I was grateful to have such a helpful, patient, and wise friend. And now I get to help her celebrate her first novel milestone, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Here’s a summary of Pane and Suffering:
To solve her father’s murder and save the family-owned glass shop, Savannah Webb must shatter a killer’s carefully constructed façade. . .
After Savannah’s father dies unexpectedly of a heart attack, she drops everything to return home to St. Petersburg, Florida, to settle his affairs–including the fate of the beloved, family-owned glass shop. Savannah intends to hand over ownership to her father’s trusted assistant and fellow glass expert, Hugh Trevor, but soon discovers the master craftsman also dead of an apparent heart attack.
As if the coincidence of the two deaths wasn’t suspicious enough, Savannah discovers a note her father left for her in his shop, warning her that she is in danger. With the local police unconvinced, it’s up to Savannah to piece together the encoded clues left behind by her father. And when her father’s apprentice is accused of the murders, Savannah is more desperate than ever to crack the case before the killer seizes a window of opportunity to cut her out of the picture. . .
Take it away, Cheryl!
This has been a year of firsts for me as a debut mystery author. The first contract – first advance payment – first cover – first conference panel – and now my first blog! I am honored that I’m here today on Wicked Cozy Writers.
Liz Mugavero and I met at my first New England Crime Bake. We had become friends after participating in a manuscript swap organized by the Guppies Chapter (Great Unpublished) of Sisters in Crime. That first time your manuscript goes out into the world without your caring fingers in control is a scary occasion. I was in the best of hands with Liz. She was encouraging and supportive in her guiding remarks that improved that oh-such-a-beginner’s manuscript. After I learned a mountain of lessons, I put it away to work on the next mystery. This one caught the eye of my literary agency and eventually captured the attention of my agent.
Writing for a traditional publisher is an interesting mix of both solitary and collaborative efforts. The number of people who are working on bringing my first book to life is staggering. I met my wonderful editor, Mercedes Fernandez, who was kind enough to give me a tour of the offices of Kensington Publishing. What a treat!
One delight to share is how other authors have been wildly generous with their time and support. In fact, on the back of the paperback are quotations from Liz Mugavero and Sheila Connolly. It thrills me to my toes every time I see their names.
Although I’ve survived thus far, the ultimate firsts are yet to come. I’m anxious to experience my first review – first release day – first launch party – and finally the first book signing at my local independent, Haslam’s Book Store, located in the Grand Central District of St. Petersburg, FL, down the street from my fictional Webb’s Glass Shop.
Readers, what’s your best first? Leave a comment below!
Pane and Suffering releases Sept. 29th. You can find out more about Cheryl and her books at