A Love Letter to the Crime Fiction Community

Dear Crime Fiction Community,

I love you. I love being part of this community and I love knowing you – even if it’s only virtually.

Yes, I get a little emotional every time a new book comes out. The release of The Gun Also Rises is no exception. It’s the sixth book in the Sarah Winston Garage Sale mystery series. I was shocked to get even one book published and here I am at six with more to come. But without the crime fiction community I’d only being writing for my own pleasure.

I love the authors I’ve met. They are generous, funny, talented, amazing people. So few of them have giant egos and so many of them are willing to lend a hand. And yes, I have to reflect for a moment – oh, no backstory – but I can’t let a release day go by without mentioning Julie Hennrikus, our chance meeting at the Malice Domestic banquet, and what a life changing event that was. And now our books are shelved next to each other in New Fiction! Trust me, we stood in many a line waiting to pitch to agents before this happened.

I met the other Wickeds along the way. We laugh, cry, bitch, moan, support, celebrate, retreat, email, and laugh some more. How lucky am I?!!!!

Being a member of Sisters in Crime has introduced me to so many people, made me work harder, and dig deeper. The members give so much and enrich my life.

Bloggers – thank you, thank you, thank you. None of you are getting paid and yet you spare the time to read my books and review them. You are heroes.

Readers – when Tagged for Death came out I was terrified that everyone would hate it. You didn’t—well, a few of you did but as Julie says that’s why there’s different colored refrigerators. You write me, became invested in my characters, and root for Sarah along with me.

So thank you, my lovely crime fiction community, for embracing me, lifting me up, and sharing this crazy author journey with me. Life would be bleak without you.


Best regards

Yours respectfully



Readers: What community lifts you up? Or just say hi! I’ll give away a copy of The Gun Also Rises to someone who leaves a comment.

100 Thoughts

  1. I love this series. I love how cozy authors are so active with the reader community . It’s one of the reasons I keep social media. Congrats on new book !

  2. How I love you guys! Reading is a part of my life. It cheers me up, takes me to places I can only dream about, makes me laugh out loud and cry. I feel like the characters in the books are friends and family. I always feel a tad sad when I read the last sentence, especially if the next book has not been written yet!
    I cannot tell you how much I love the art work on all of your books! Sometimes they are just beautiful, sometimes funny and some are a tad scary! Some, like this new one of yours, Sherry, brings back memories. It’s the typewriter, you see. My dad gave me one like it when I was 13 or 14. How I loved it! The sound of a typewriter is just the best thing! One of my favourite TV programmes was Murder, She Wrote. When Jessica would sit at her kitchen table, writing her books, I felt a connection, due to that typewriter!
    Well, I have babbled enough! I just wanted to say that all of you Wickeds, and your wonderful books, mean so much to me. Thank you.

  3. Congratulations on the new book…I can’t wait to read it! I have loved reading as long as I can remember. It’s amazing that I am able to interact with my favorite authors on social media.

  4. You made me weepy! That meeting was definitely fortuitous. We may have gotten where we are anyway, but I can’t imagine how. I know it wouldn’t have been as much fun. Love you lots my friend! Congratulations on the new book–can’t wait to dive in!

  5. Congratulations on the release of “The Gun Also Rises”. I have this one on my TBR list and can’t wait for the opportunity to read it.

    My small town community lifts me up. We moved to this small town of less than 3000 people almost two years ago. We were accepted as one of the locals right off. They are the best – always there to lend a hand or an ear. They greet you with a smile and sincerely ask how you have been doing. As the guy on Andy Griffith Show once said “This is my hometown!”
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  6. Hugs back and thanks for being you and so open to responding to your readers. Ya know, Sherry, it’s a two way street! Congrats on THE GUN ALSO RISES can’t wait to read it.

  7. What a great letter, Sherry. I feel much the same – and you’re one of the people who make this a great community for me. I remember talking to you at the airport back from Bouchercon one year and how encouraging you were. So you’re definitely paying it forward!

  8. Congratulations on the new release! So happy you have the crime fiction community to support you. I have the theater community here in Portland, OR – a community I’ve been a part of for 25+ years – for support and also a small close knit group of friends. They definitely color my world!

  9. It’s always exciting to meet up with Sarah Winston again! So glad to hear the series will be continuing.

    I am fortunate to have three very different communities that lift me up in very different ways. This blog is definitely one of them. I look forward to coming here every day and feel I know not only the Wickeds, but many of the regular participants, as well. I’m a member of AA which has a wonderful fellowship for support and fun. And I am a regular (for 11 years) on a forum of women most of whom are over 50 (or 60, or 70) who are from all over the US. Many of us have gotten together face-to-face over the years. That group is the support group of all time. Everything is talked about, no judgments are made, and the love is palpable.

  10. Sherry, it’s a mutual admiration society! I’m always telling others there is something so refreshing about a group if writers. Writing is such a solitary profession that I think we are each truly happy for each other’s successes. And congrats on the new release!!

  11. I have 2 main communities of support. Since I’m disabled with MS, my family supports me a lot—not financially, but helping with transportation, physical tasks that are hard for me, etc. I also belong to some online groups of people coping with chronic illness and/or pain. We support one another, allow venting w o judgment and lift one another up inspirationally, spiritually and informationally. Legallyblonde1961@yahoo. Com

  12. Hi and congrats on the release! The reading and writing community are so supportive. And the cozy and crime fiction communities are the best.

  13. I love how inclusive the cozy mystery Authors and community are and how there is so much sharing and support for each other. It’s really cool when, for example, you comment on an author’s Malice/Boucheron/Left Coast Crime nomination, and they reply, “Thanks so much! You should come to Malice/Boucheron/Left Coast Crime, so I can meet you.” It’s great how these events include fans ~ Congrats on The Gun Also Rises — I can’t wait to read it!

    1. I went for a lot of years to events as readers. My first Malice i was standing in line to get seated for lunch and the woman in front of me turned and asked me to join her and her friend. She was author Lee Harris and a lovely woman and talented writer.

  14. People who spend all day killing people are some of the kindest, most generous people you will ever meet. Who knew?

    Seriously, I love being part of our community. It truly is a wonderful experience.

    But I’m going to confess something. My reasons for blogging are purely selfish. I am trying to help people find authors I love. Why? So they will get contracts to write more books. That way, I will have more of their wonderful books to read. See, it really is all about me.

    1. Oh Mark! I couldn’t agree more!

      One of the first authors I got to know was Lindsey Davis who writes the Marcus Didius Falco and Flavia Alba mysteries set in ancient Rome. One of the best fan letters she shared on her website was one from a devoted reader who exhorted her to “write faster.”

      Yes, that’s a bit of selfishness that I suspect none of those authors would criticize us for having. We are greedy and avaricious when it comes to wanting more wonderful books to read. Is it a sin to be proud of a sin? Does that make me Wicked too? I hope so!

  15. Hi Sherry,

    I couldn’t agree more about community and the generosity of spirit of the cozy mystery community in general. Knowing you and the other Wickeds, some in person, some virtually, has enriched me more than I know how to express.

    And who is that author with the giant ego you were talking about? Maybe I’ve just been lucky, but I haven’t yet met him or her. Even the ones who are ENTITLED to have big egos (and I’m specifically thinking about one who is a Number-One-on-the-New-York-Times-Bestsellers-List author .. I’m sure most of you can guess who I mean) expresses the same feelings of astonishment and gratitude to be where she is today.

    But that community is so embracing and actually ANXIOUS to be helpful that it never ceases to astonish and warm me.

    I’m very thankful for all of you here on the Wickeds – both the authors and the readers. Like many of those who wrote responses earlier today, I’m thankful for all you write. You give me great pleasure in so many ways. Your characters become very real .. rather like a second family … and like getting that newsletter in the Christmas card each year, I’m anxious to find out what’s been going on in the other branches of my family. And I’m thankful for the readers who post here. It’s very warming to have so many friends who share my love for these six wonderful authors (as well as their guest blogger compatriots), and it always means that the day will begin for me in a wonderful way.

    Congratulations of the new book. I always pre-order your books as soon as Amazon announces them (something I’d urge everybody here to do as well), so it’s wonderful to open up my Kindle and find a new “Christmas Letter” waiting for me.

  16. Lovely letter, Sherry. I have read and met so many mystery authors who are great ambassadors for the community, including you and all the Wickeds! Love reading your series, and am looking forward to reading “The Gun Also Rises”.

  17. I really enjoy the garage sales books with Sarah. I need to check out your new series. I look forward to the newest garage sale book.

  18. Beautiful, dear Sherry! Every word you wrote is true about this lovely community. So glad to be a part of it and to have met you. xoxo The other shari

  19. I can really relate to this series – can’t wait to read it. Filed for divorce at 38, love garage sales. Thank you for the contest.

  20. I love it when you ,the authors,write in sight into your lives. It is nice to see you are human just like us overcoming daily life obstacles. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Congrats on your new release! I have a great group of neighbors. This is the first apartment building I’ve lived in that I’ve actually gotten to know my neighbors. Usually you just say hi to your neighbors in passing, but not this group. We help each other out, have dinners, go to events, etc.

  22. What nice words! I was just thinking today about my work co-workers. It was my first full day back after being out with the crud, and I was really touched by some of the people who commented that I seemed like myself again.

  23. I love your books and all the Wicked’s books. I read this blog and some other mystery blogs and follow some authors on Facebook. I like that we talk about books and food and other things, and I recognize a lot of the regular contributors. I don’t have much real family left so I cherish my friends, church family, and book family.

  24. What a gift you and the Wickeds are to the mystery community. Not a puffed-up ego among you, but wow! ya’ll can write. I met each of you when you were about to or had just published your first books and before the Wickeds collectively came to be. It has been a treat to follow your careers and read all of your books. I look forward to many more! Happy Writing! 🙂 🙂

  25. You’re a gem! You and the Wickeds are wonderful! I am so happy I found you all! You all work hard at what you do, but it’s more than just that, you all seem to love what you do, to me that makes a big difference! Keep up the grand work! Congrats on your new book and I’m excited ..hoping when I go to mother’s, I’ll have time to get to the bookstore to get it! I live in a small town, the closest bookstore is 50 miles away! And on the blogs/bloggers that tout authors books, I say Yay and I thank them, that’s how I found y’all 🙂

  26. Sherry, you shouldn’t be shocked to be releasing your sixth book. You’ve written a really good series filled with characters I want to know more about and interesting situations. So well done that I’ve read all of the previous books and experienced a real burst of happiness when I saw on Twitter that there was a new book out. I’ll be buying it and hoping that many more books will be coming. Thanks for hours of reading pleasure.

  27. I felt an immediate connection to you and found out later you were from Iowa. I love your books and reading your posts. Congratulations on your new book.

  28. The Wickeds community lifts me up! Since I discovered this group a few months ago I have felt connected to a terrific group of writers and readers. I don’t always have time every single day to keep up with the website and blog, but I do go back and play catch up when I can. So, Wickeds, thanks for all hard work you put into them! Renee

  29. Hello, I was intrigued by your post. I myself love writing crime stories. I work in a low income community where a lot of kids make bad decision. I am a instructional aide at a school and I see a lot of kids that need help and support. I hope one day I can have my own classroom and teach these kids creativity. There have great talent and it shouldn’t be wasted. Good post!

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