A Toast to My Fellow Nominees

I was speechless the night I got the call that From Beer to Eternity had been nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Contemporary novel. As I listened to the voicemail I started gasping—repeatedly. My husband came running out to see what was wrong, but nothing was wrong. It was absolutely beyond right.

After the call, I waited, wondering who would be nominated with me. Five days later the list came out and I couldn’t be happier to be nominated with this group of incredible authors and women.

Donna Andrews nominated for The Gift of the Magpie – I met Donna at a Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in Crime meeting about eight years ago. She’s a legend. I didn’t even have the courage to go over and say hello. As time I went on and I observed her at meetings, I came to love her sense of humor. I remember talking on the phone to Barb Goffman about something. Barb suggested I call Donna to find the answer. I said, “I can’t call DONNA ANDREWS.” I was still in complete awe.

As time passed I got to know Donna better and realized I really could call her. She helped me with a plot problem for my third book All Murders Final. I ended up helping her with two garage sales. Donna is a woman who would give you the shirt off your back if you asked her to and I love having her as a friend.

Ellen Byron nominated for Murder in the Bayou Boneyard – I met Ellen at Left Coast Crime in Phoenix, Arizona. Julie Hennrikus was up for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel that year. Many of the nominees – including Ellen – were there and they asked me to take a picture of them. How fortunate they did because Ellen became a friend after that.

Ellen stands out in any room with her beautiful hair and big, lovely personality. I liked her immediately. We’ve seen each other at conferences and gotten closer. I’ve loved watching her success as she received more and more nominations and awards for her books. I even got to meet her husband and in-laws when we gave Ellen a ride after Malice a few years ago. Once the Agatha list came out, Ellen called me to say congratulations (that is just so Ellen!) and we had an over-the-phone celebration. Ellen is a fierce advocate for other authors and generous with her time.

Louise Penny nominated for All the Devils are Here – ah, Louise I admire you from afar. I’ve been at several conferences Louise also attended. Whether she’s on a panel or receiving an award, Louise is always charming, funny, and her ease in front of a crowd is something I marvel at. Louise is an example of how to be a gracious author.

Lori Rader-Day nominated for The Lucky One – my first contact with Lori was via an email when Robin Burcell put us on the same debut author panel at the 2014 Left Coast Crime in Monterey. Lori moderated the panel and it became clear to me early on that she was smart, witty, and a take-no-prisoners woman. We stayed in touch and after one Malice Domestic, my husband and I gave Lori a ride to the airport via a car tour of the monuments in DC. I say we kidnapped her. We ended up in the middle of a demonstration and there was a LOT of traffic. We managed to get her to the airport on time–barely. (She forgave me. And Ellen aren’t you lucky that we delivered you promptly back to your family?!)

We stayed in touch and watched each other’s careers grow. When I became president of Sisters in Crime, I knew I wanted Lori to run to be my vice president. I was worried she’d say no and I didn’t have a backup plan. Thank heavens she said yes. All those traits I noticed when we were on the debut authors panel served her and Sisters in Crime  well when she was president and as she continues to serve as immediate past president. I’m the lucky one (see how I did that) to have Lori as a friend.

As you can tell, being nominated is thrilling, but to be nominated with this group of women, makes it even more special. So cheers to all of you. I’m lucky to know you. And cheers to all the 2020 nominees in all the categories. You can find the complete list here.

Readers: Do you like to read books that are on lists of awards?

55 Thoughts

  1. Hi Sherry. I just want to say Congratulations on your nomination. How wonderful! I’ve got From Beer to Eternity on my Kindle waiting to be read! I’m always on the lookout for new books to read, so when something comes highly recommended as in a nomination, it does capture my attention. Very well done!

  2. For the Agathas I read the short stories (pretty easy when they’re made available) and try to read the Best First. I read the Best Novel if I’m current with the series.

  3. Congratulations Sherry – and all the wonderful writers who have been nominated in all categories.

    I enjoy it when a book I have read is up for an award – by the time the awards come around, I’ve usually read them all – and loved them – so I’m in the peanut gallery and rooting for all!

  4. Congratulations, Sherry!!! I’m thrilled for you, especially since we’re Best First Novel sisters!

  5. What a stellar group of authors, Sherry! I am not a bit surprised you are among them.

    I’ve read all the nominated books in this category except Donna’s – and I still have time for that one. I’ve just finished reading all the Mary Higgins Clark nominees, too.

  6. I like to read the list of nominees and am happy to find out that I’ve read some of the books and/or my favorite authors made the list. Congrats to all the nominees!!!!

  7. Congratulations on the nomination!

    Fabulous group of authors with awesome books all on my TBR list.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  8. Congratulations on your nomination!! I’ll add these books to my reading list for sure!

  9. Congratulations on the nomination, Sherry! And it’s great to learn how you have become friends/worked with several of these wonderful ladies.

    Since I usually go to Left Coast Crime and Bouchercon, I try to read as many of the award nominees as possible. Easier for LCC since I have often read most of the nominees already. I have to do more catch-up reading for Bouchercon’s Anthony nominees.

    As for this year’s Agatha Contemporary Novel nominees, I have already enjoyed reading them all. It would be such a hard decision to vote for just 1 book. Can we have a 5-way tie?

      1. Sherry, I agree there are too many lists. Too many books, too little time. The Agatha, Anthonys and Leftys are nominated by readers/attendees so it’s not a huge surprise that I have read most of them. But each year, many of the Edgars nominees are books that I have never heard of/read.

  10. Once again, Congratulations Sherry. I’m weird as I only read books that I want to read and if it happens to be an award list, then I’m doubly happy for the nominees. Lucky for me, I’ve read four of the five books.

  11. Congratulations! I try but don’t always read all the nominees. That said I do read everything by Donna, Ellen, and you. Deciding who to vote for is so difficult, I wish you all could win.

  12. Congrats to you, Sherry, and all the nominees. What an amazing group! Cheers!

  13. Every title in this list is stellar! Congratulations to all the nominees.

    I usually read a book pre-publication, so awards aren’t a factor in my choices.

    Good luck to all!

  14. Sherry, congratulations on your Agatha nomination for FROM BEER TO ETERNITY! It is richly deserved because obviously I’ve read the book and quite enjoyed it.

    And this post was a nice tip of the cap to your fellow nominees.

    You asked if I read the books that are on awards lists and sadly, I really don’t have the chance to do that much. Even being really tight with the whole pick-and-choose, there’s so many awards these days that there are too many options, and not enough cash or time, for me to really get a chance to read many books by authors I haven’t read before.

    Now, once in a while I do but its fewer and further between than I’d probably like. And I usually have to wait for the books that were published in hardcover to come out in paperback. By that time, most everyone else has already read said books so I’m way behind the curve.

    Generally, I check the awards lists to see which authors, whose books I’ve read or have in my TBR piles already, got nominated so I know who to congratulate. And momentarily feel part of the cool kids club for having read at least one award nominee.

  15. What a lovely post. But that doesn’t surprise me considering that you are such a lovely person. I hope you’re having a great day, and once again, congratulations!

  16. Congratulations to Sherry and all the Agatha Best Contemporary nominees! I was bummed about virtual Malice, but this stellar list has perked me right up.

  17. Sherry, What a well deserved honor for you! I believe I have read all of your books and enjoyed each one. I do sometimes read books from award lists, but most of the time I read books that are suggested here at The Wickeds and recently have discovered Dru’s Musings (which I found out about here) and get book ideas there, too. I am very happy for you!

  18. I’m excited when a book I’ve already read & loved is nominated for an award, sometimes I look to the lists to search out a new read. Congrats on your nomination!

  19. I truly enjoyed the kidnapping! It’s such an honor to among these writers, and to be nominated with you, Sherry! A five-way tie sounds perfect.

  20. Congratulations, Sherry!!! So deserving. If I had nothing else to do but read, I still would never have enough time to read all the books I would like. But, I’ve read all of your books, and many of Ellen’s and Donna’s. Good luck and keep on writing those wonderful stories.

  21. Sherry!!! Thank you so much for this wonderful post. I’m so honored to share the category with you, as well as Donna, Lori, and Louise. You are the. BEST!! xoxoxo

  22. Congratulations to you! So many wonderful women! I do enjoy reading books that have been nominated. Congrats again!

  23. Nope; I just read your ARCs as I can get to them. From Beer to Eternity is somewhere in the queue. Back to the (momentarily) 8,083 unread emails…

  24. Congratulations Sherry. I read From Beer to Eternity and really enjoyed it, so I am not surprised to see it nominated. I don’t necessarily read books that on on an awards list, but if it is already on my radar and I haven’t gotten to it yet, then I will read it soon after I hear.

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