What’s Next?

News Flash: The winner of Leslie Karst’s book is Sarah H – Sarah, please contact Leslie at ljkarst at gmail dot com. Congratulations!

By Sherry feeling rested in Northern Virginia

Monday afternoon around 4:30 I sent off I Know What You Bid Last Summer to my editor at Kensington. It is the fifth book in the Sarah Winston Garage Sale series. Usually this is cause for much celebration around the house, but this time I was just plain old tired. Barbara Ross generously had a margarita in celebration for me down in Key West (thanks for taking one for the team)! But I sat on the couch wondering what was next. This was the last book I was under contract for so Tuesday was going to be a blank page for me for the first time since 2013. I stayed up late – late enough to watch the late night shows and then read for a while.img_2704-1

I slept in Tuesday morning – until 9:22! I felt happy, excited even, when I woke up. I walked into the kitchen and found my daughter had gone to Starbucks and left me a cup of chai on the counter. A little bit later she made me breakfast too. Thank you, Elizabeth!

I started doing things I’d been putting off. I made a hair appointment, sorted the laundry, and tackled the piles in my office. It was so warm out I opened the window in my office. I decided to pull out the manuscript for the gemology mystery series I’d worked on for years (YEARS!) but hadn’t ever sold. I sent the first three chapters off to independent editor Barb Goffman. Why you ask? I’m so close to them – even after not looking at them for a long time — that I knew they needed another set of eyes. I started thinking about all the other book ideas swirling through my head and tried to figure out which one to tackle first.

My daughter and I watched part of the Patriot’s Super Bowl parade on TV. I walked our dog Lily. Maybe it was the warm weather or maybe it was the unknown ahead of me but everything seemed to kind of glow. Oh, heck maybe it was sleeping in after working intensely for the last few weeks. (Confession: I never did get any laundry done.)

img_2710Around three the phone rang. It was my agent, John Talbot. He had news! Good news! Kensington wants two more Sarah books. A couple of weeks ago I shared several ideas for the series with my editor. However, with the publishing industry in a bit of upheaval you just never know what will happen. After I finished dancing around and shrieking, my husband called on his way home from work. I told him we were going out to celebrate.

We stopped by Paradise Springs Winery in Clifton, Virginia and did a wine tasting.


Then we had dinner at an Italian restaurant which seemed appropriate given Sarah’s love for DiNapoli’s and Italian food. Today it’s back to plotting (good heavens did I just say the “p” word? Has the pantster in me been converted?)! I have a concept for the next book (one I love) but I have to figure out who dies and why. Oh, joy!

Readers: What do you do after you finish a big project?

75 Thoughts

  1. Congratulations on getting the opportunity to write two more Sarah books for Kensington!! Very happy for you.
    After I finish a big project we usually go out to dinner, or I might buy a little something for myself. Nothing crazy, just a little something to congratulate myself.

  2. So happy for you! Hooray for the wine! Screw the laundry! I usually take my husband to dinner, then take a couple of weeks to clear the decks of the neglected stuff that piles up during the race to deadline and plan my next book–the beginning and the end. The middle is strictly pantser.

  3. So happy for you, Sherry – and not surprised at all! I try to celebrate when I get good news – but I know I don’t always take enough to really luxuriate in the success – because that next project is always looming.

  4. Yay! Just yay! More Sarah is a very good thing. I’m so happy for you and for me (because I get to read more Sarah books).

    Don’t ever let go of those Gen mystery books. Now may not be the time for them but I know the right time will come.


  5. Congratulations! I’m so happy to hear there will be more Sarah books. I love the series!

  6. Congratulations, Sherry. That’s terrific news. I’m so pleased for you. Now get to work. You have new deadlines.

  7. Sherry, such wonderful news! Contact me closer to pub date for Sarah 5 a guest slot on the crime review blog.
    When I send off, after that moment of elation, I want to call it back and revise some more! But I usually give myself a day off, just as you did, and then turn to the other series. Jotting notes and ideas for one series while working in the other means there is always a project to plunge into~ But only after ice cream!

  8. How wonderful! And bless John Talbot for doing exactly what an agent is supposed to do (fight for you!), and bless Kensington for adopting a lot of orphaned cozies.

    Hmm, that gemology series sounds interesting . . . Nice to have something in your back pocket for occasions like this.

  9. I am really, really, really happy for you, Sherry!!!!! Please do not kill off Stella Wild. Just let me know if bribe money is required.

  10. Wow! More garage sales! Happy Dance!

    For me when I finish a project, a bit of sound sleeping and a quiet date with some coffee and a good book is my traditional way to celebrate.

  11. Happy dancing for you! What great news. Also great to read above that Stella is safe – I love Stella!
    That Gem series intrigues me. Fingers crossed that it finds a good home so I can read it. Hugs from CT!

  12. Congratulations, Sherry! My celebrating such news involves 1) cleaning my desk and 2) drinking champagne. Plus – of course — a lot of smiles and thank yous to the two Johns (you know who they are!)

  13. Congrats on finishing the book, and for getting an extension for two more! You are truly loved. When I was in college (as an adult), I would get a big presentation finished, the semester would end and I would walk around the house looking for something to do. I felt lost even tho’ I worked full time and had a family. But it never took long to get involved in something I had been putting off, and the next thing I knew it was time for school again. This went on for 9 1/2 years until I got my degree.

    1. Congratulations on getting your degree with a full time job and family! I finished my degree after my daughter was born but was a stay at home mom.

  14. That’s awesome! Also inspiring. I usually just move on to the next project, but after hearing about your celebration, I’m going to start doing the same. I bet I could cruise through more projects if I knew something good was my reward. =)

  15. Congratulations, Sherry! I think a nice Italian dinner and wine sounds great.

    For me, it’s usually chocolate and kicking back for at least a day with a good book. Until I ramp up the next project, that is (which usually doesn’t take long).

  16. Yay! Two more books! When I finish a project, there’s usually a list of things to do that got put off during the project. Oh, and writing. That’s always a hope anyway.

  17. Huge congrats!!!! I’m so thrilled there will be more Sarah coming my way. Funny to think about you now being under congrats for books 6 and 7 when book four doesn’t come out for another couple of months.

  18. Congratulations, Sherry, both on turning in the book and on the new deal! Celebrating our successes and milestones is so important, even if it’s just buying yourself flowers. When I finish working with the publisher’s editing process, I buy myself a small piece of art — and I get to go shopping next week!

  19. Congratulations, Sherry! More Sarah books is a reason for all of us to celebrate! When I finish a big project I also tend to do loads of laundry, make appointments that have been forgotten, and spend some time enjoying myself by tackling a new knitting project.

  20. So happy for you, Sherry, and for us readers that we will get to read at least two more Sarah books! Your downtime was very brief. And I liked the way you celebrated the news.

  21. Congratulations, Sherry. I’ll have a glass of wine for you at dinner tonight. I hate that about the publishing industry–that you are always kept on pins and needles. I used to have that when I was an adjunct at a college. They always waited forever to count sections of students and let you know if you still had a job. Your story is coming out with “happily ever after.” That is wonderful.

  22. Congrats on continuing your series!.When I finish a big project, I will celebrate either.by going out to and/or buying myself a book I’ve been wanting to read.

  23. I am so happy that there will be more books in this series. I love this series and to know that I have 4 new books to look forward to is awesome!!! Congratulations Sherry!!

    1. Thank you so much, Brain! I did a double take when you said four more since I just turned in the fifth one. It feels like the fourth and fifth should all ready be out there!

  24. I am beyond thrilled that your series will continue! I just am so happy for you! I can’t tell you how delighted I am — several of my favorite series have been “deep sixed” and my dismay is still palpable. Great news for this dreary Friday in Chicago.

  25. You know that I live your NE Patriots parade photo, I am sure of that. I had over 80 pictures taken of my TV of the parade. A Super Fan does stuff like that right, Sherry?

    Looking forward to your upcoming book!!!!


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