By Sherry — feeling happy in Northern Virginia
The winner of this giveaway is Lori Smanski! Look for an email from me! Monday, December 2nd was the fifth anniversary of the release of my first book Tagged for Death. It doesn’t seem possible that it’s been five years and that my eighth book, Sell Low, Sweet Harriet will be out on December 31. Look for a giveaway at the end of the post.
It truly seems like only yesterday (it was actually December 2012) when I found an email in my inbox from Barbara Ross on a Monday morning saying “my agent is looking for someone to write a garage sale themed cozy series for Kensington.” Barb went on to say something like “if you don’t know anything about garage sales watch a couple of those shows on HGTV.”
Garage sales? I LOVE garage sales. My house is full of things from garage sales, flea markets, and antique stores. But write a book about them? I’d been working on a series set in Seattle. My protagonist was a gemologist. I’d actually pitched the idea to Barb’s agent three weeks before at Crime Bake, but he wasn’t interested. I wrote Barb back saying I’d have to think about it.
I woke up the next morning and thought I have to try. I found the email I wrote Barb that morning:
I’m terrified but yes let’s proceed. I don’t want to let you down or John. I’ve been racked with doubts about my writing abilities. But I’ve also been thinking about characters and settings and complications all morning. How in the winter she can hit thrift shops and church sales and indoor flea markets. I’d already made her 38. I have an opening line. And yes I think she will turn it into a career. Thank you so much for even thinking of me. Your terrified friend! Sherry
By that afternoon I was in touch with John Talbot. He said that he needed a proposal fast. I had no idea what “fast” meant in the publishing world. But by Friday afternoon I sent in a 36 page proposal that included the first three chapters of Tagged for Death. The story and characters poured out of me like they’d been waiting in the wings for me to notice them. If only all writing was like that. John asked me to make a couple of changes but by early the next week the proposal was in the hands of Gary Goldstein, the editor at Kensington who wanted the series.
Pins and needles for the next six weeks. I didn’t know that the publishing industry more or less shut down over the holidays. By early February I had a three book deal with Kensington. I’d like to say and the rest is history, but it’s been full of fits and bumps and starts. Ups and downs. Highs and lows. But what a wonderful ride it’s been. Thanks to all of you – especially the Wickeds – for being there with me.
I’m giving away a copy of one of my paperback books or the first six ebooks to celebrate. Leave a comment for a chance to win.