Wicked Wednesday — Favorite Author Moment

It’s Wicked Wednesday again. So, Wickeds, do you have a moment that stands out in your journey to being a published author? One of those things that made you do a happy dance or almost brought you to tears?

Liz: There have been so many amazing moments – signing a contract, hitting send on that first manuscript, seeing your book in print the first time. But for me, the first time I got an email from a reader saying they’d read and enjoyed my book sent me over the moon. That’s why we do this, right? So people can escape their own worlds for a little bit and get some enjoyment out of what we created. Hearing that I hit the mark was the best feeling ever.

Edith: I know that feeling, Liz! And it’s amazing. For me I’ll say how incredible it was Speakingthat established, multi-published, generous authors like Kate Flora, Julia Spencer-Fleming, Hank Phillippi Ryan, and (our own accomplice) Sheila Connolly agreed to blurb my very first book, Speaking of Murder, written as Tace Baker (Barking Rain Press, 2012). I was stunned, tearful, and so gratified that these successful busy women would not only take time to read the book but also craft a compelling endorsement. Kate’s included: “This charming traditional mystery debut is just the ticket for those relishing a contemporary puzzler.” Color me died and gone to heaven. And now I have to chance to pay it forward.

Jessie: I would say my moment was when I stood in my kitchen, having just opened my very first carton of my very first book, Live Free or Die, and hearing one of my children ask for a copy of his own that he wished for me to autograph. My family has been such a part of my journey to publication and having him there to share the moment, and to make it all the sweeter with his request, was magical.

Sherry: One big moment was when someone recognized me out in the wild (note to self brush hair and teeth before going out of the house maybe even slap on some makeup). Getting the call that Tagged for Death was nominated for best first novel was another biggie. I’m pretty sure I just babbled, Oh, my god, really? over and over for five minutes. And then it’s the total strangers reaching out to say they like my books — that will never get old.

Barb: One moment that always makes me chuckle came this summer. I was at a author day at the lovely Beyond the Sea bookstore in Lincolnville Beach, Maine. Katherine Hall Page was on my right, and Tess Gerritsen was behind me. A woman burst through the shop door and shouted, “Barbara Ross! You are the person I have come 1000 miles to see!” She was from the midwest, but was vacationing in Maine. She’d talked her husband into staying an extra day and moving to a hotel in a nearby city so she could meet me! I almost fell through the floor. But then I wondered–what can I do in the next five minutes to make it worthwhile for this woman? I signed her books and posed for a photo with her and gave her a hug. I hope she thought it was all worth it. I know it made my day–month–year.

DSC_0015Julie: I am so blessed to be on a path that my Wicked Cozy sisters have forged ahead of me. I wouldn’t be on this particular road without them, and I am forever grateful. Along the journey, I had advice, celebrations of milestones, and support. But my favorite “this is real” moment was on release day for Just Killing Time, October 6. There were dozens of people there, from all facets of my life. Family, friends, former students, work colleagues. Also present, so many of my writer friends. Mentors (three of them in this picture–Hank Phillippi Ryan, Hallie Ephron, and Kate Flora), sat down front, near my parents, offering support. Edith Maxwell helped my sister set up, and put bookmarks on every chair. There were so many Sisters in Crime we could have had a meeting. It was a great night, and it celebrated a great moment. So hard to believe it was only three months ago!

Readers: Do you have an experience where you were recognized for something?

35 Thoughts

  1. I read all the Wickeds and enjoy them greatly…why wouldn’t I? Please keep writing.

    1. I have only Clammed Up and Boiled Over in large print. I assume they didn’t sell well enough for the large print publisher to continue. I wondered at the time if ebooks, with their ability to blow up the print size, and audiobooks were killing the large print sales,

  2. One of my all-time favorite moments was when a group of us (including Edith!) were in Vermont this past summer and made a journey to the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester there. Two women behind the front counter said, “You’re Sheila Connolly?” Uh, yes, I think so–my picture is in the books. They were practically jumping up and down with excitement. I seem to sell well in Vermont. If you’re ever in the area, visit the store–they have a great mystery section, and an entire shelf or two devoted to cozies.

    1. I was their Mystery Group’s guest speaker this September and LOVE that bookstore! I found everyone well read in Crime Fiction, super nice and very interested in a writer’s process. (I spent hours there after my talk shopping!)
      Of course, I can say that about all of the Wickeds, too!

  3. Edith, the fun of being a writer is so many moments of joy, like pearls to be strung. At Crime Bake this year, a woman came up and said how she’d met me the previous year, and how much she liked my work. Wonderful to hear, and a reward for all the struggles.

  4. Back in 2002, I was attending Left Coast Crime, which was here in LA. I’d just started reviewing the year before, and I was only reviewing at Amazon at the time. I went up to meet Jerrilyn Farmer (I still wish she’d write more!), she took one look at my name tag and said, “Now there’s a name I recognize.” I’d devoured her first four books in the previous year and left glowing reviews for them. It was the first time I’d had an author recognize me or mention my reviews to me. It made my day.

    Of course, there have been other moments since then. Showing up in acknowledgements unexpectedly. Showing up as a character, both as a surprise and knowing it was coming. And last year when I was quoted in a blurb for the first time in Sherry’s second book. Those were all huge thrills for me.

    1. Those are great, Mark. Maybe we should do a post on our most amazing author moment, meeting an idol. For me, it was Ruth Rendell. I’ll say no more.

  5. Going way back to 1990s, sending out some poems (by mail) to a journal called Oxygen in San Francisco. Many months later, an envelope arrived: a note from the publisher, 3 copies of the journal and a check.
    Per word, those short poems remain among my highest earners.

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