Ten Years Later with Sherry Harris #giveaway

The winner of my giveaway is FruitCrmble –look for an email from me!

Ten years! How is that possible? This month for our personal posts we are looking back to when we first interviewed each other. It was fun to look back at this early post where Barb interviewed me and see how things have changed or stayed the same! Look for a giveaway at the end of the post.

Hi All, Barb Ross here. We’re interrupting our week of pet-related posts in honor of Liz Mugavero’s release of Kneading to Die, a Pawsitively Organic Mystery, to bring you the last of our interviews with the bloggers at Wicked Cozy. Today, I interview Sherry Harris. If you’ve never had the pleasure of meeting Sherry–she’s a delight. As a military spouse, she’s mastered the art of making friends-though I suspect it’s a talent she was born with.

Herewith, the interview.

Sherry Harris
Sherry Harris

Above is the before picture and here is the ten years later!

When did you start writing?

I always had a wild imagination and remember writing stories about The Man from Uncle (Google it). I starred in the stories — Illya Kuryakin and Napoleon Solo were my guardians but I helped them save the world. I always had long, chestnut-colored hair and cornflower blue eyes in my stories.

Did I say that out loud? This is what happens when you first start blogging and have no idea what you’re doing. A friend and classmate recently reminded me that in sixth grade during a group writing project, I insisted someone had to die. Perhaps that was an early start on my crime writing career.

Who are your influences?

I loved the Bobbsey Twins and wanted to be Flossie, the blue-eyed, blonde younger and very mischievous twin. And of course I read Nancy Drew but she was a bit too serious for me. What made me want to write was the Maud Hart Lovelace Betsy/Tacy series. They start when Betsy is five and continue through her wedding. Betsy loves writing, and I wanted to be like Betsy. Lovelace’s characters are warm and I wanted to live in her world — small town Minnesota at the turn of the century.  As an adult Sara Paretsky, Sue Grafton, and Robert Parker.

I want to mention three women who weren’t published when I wrote this ten years ago: Kellye Garrett (her sassy voices and great plots captivate me), Cheryl Head (for her wonderful prose and fearless writing) and Jennifer J. Chow (delightful cozies). I keep thinking but what about Tracy Clark, Kristin Lepionka, Sandra SG Wong, Lori Rader-Day…I’ll stop but I don’t want to.

What’s your day job or career and how does that influence your writing?

Once upon a time in a land far, far away — Cheyenne, Wyoming — I was the Director of Marketing for a financial planning company. I loved writing print, radio and TV ads and articles for the newspaper and our newsletter. I think it taught me to be brief and honed my editing skills. Marrying an Air Force officer and the constant moves made having a career difficult which is why I started writing a novel.

Still no day job!

What’s your connection to New England?

I am the outsider looking in. Bob was assigned to Hanscom Air Force Base near Bedford, Concord, and Lexington, Massachusetts. None of us were particularly eager to move there but we ended up loving it. We lived on base for three years (shout out to my Offia girls) and then moved into Bedford for two. It was a sad day at our house when we left!

This is all still true! And we still miss living in New England.

What’s your favorite thing about New England?

I think you left an “s” off thing and meant to say favorite things. The people — don’t believe all those stories about New Englanders being cold and somber. I love the quirky accents, the funny way they pronounce things — Reading, Peabody, Quincy — nothing is as it appears. What they call things — carriages, pocket books and jug handles. The seafood, Italian food and Italian pastries — it might have been better if I hadn’t discovered them. The town commons with the white churches and soaring steeples.  Okay, I’ll stop — I could write an essay on why I love New England.

In addition to the above, I miss walks on the Minuteman Trail, visiting Orchard House where Louisa May Alcott wrote Little Women, and seeing the Wickeds more often. OH! And Bedford Farms Ice Cream!

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I, Sherry Harris, who just almost fell on a man while entering an elevator, took ballroom dance classes with Bob. And I was the teacher’s pet. He always picked me when it was time to demonstrate a step.

Sadly, I haven’t suddenly become more graceful. I banged my knee hard on a table at Malice Domestic last weekend.

What are you working on now?

A cozy set in the fictional town of Ellington, Massachusetts right outside of Hanscom Air Force Base.

Oh, how this makes me smile! I had a three book contract for the Garage Sale mysteries, then two more, two more, and two more! I love that series and how Sarah Winston grew and I was so lucky that my editor wanted me to write a second series! And I have more ideas than time to write.

Why cozies? Do you write anything additionally?

I don’t like to read graphic violence and skip those scenes so cozies work for me. I still haven’t given up on my gemology series set in Seattle. I consider that stack of rejection letters a challenge.

I think maybe I have given up on my gemology series even though it has some great characters. I have a sweet romance out on submission — so please send up your good thoughts and prayers that it sells.

If you were stranded on a desert island what five literary figures dead or alive would you want with you and what meal would you feed them appetizer, dinner, dessert, drinks?

First of all, if I was stranded on a desert island I wouldn’t be thinking about what dinner to fix for literary figures. I can barely cook with a stove and electricity. But I would want Maud Hart Lovelace, Jane Austen, Janet Evanovich, Sue Grafton and oh, I’ll throw in a male for good measure — Robert Parker. For food, I can only hope Cafe Luigi’s in Bedford, Massachusetts will airdrop calamari, shrimp verdicchio and a nice chianti. Then Mike’s Pastry will drop a selection of Italian pastries. And right after that a cruise ship — preferably the Queen Mary II — will rescue all of us.

I guess taking The Wickeds isn’t allowed, but I do love spending time with them. Okay, so I’m keeping Maud Hart Lovelace on the list since she inspired my writing. And Jane Austen, but I’m adding Eleanor Taylor Bland, Kellye Garrett, Olivia Blacke. All are fabulous authors!

What are your top five books in your to be read pile?

I’m reading Kati Marton’s memoir Paris, A Love Story — not a typical read for me but a friend recommended it. Next up are Sour Apples by Sheila Connolly, The Hit by David Baldacci, There Was an Old Woman by Hallie Ephron and Death in Four Courses by Lucy Burdette and Don’t Get Mad Get Even by Barb Goffman.

I confess I have no recollection of reading Paris, A Love Story! I’m reading The Librarian of Crooked Lane. Next up are Red London by Alma Katsu, Partners in Crime by Alisha Rai, and Jessie’s Murder on the Home Front!

Readers: Tell me what you’re reading or just say hi for a chance to win a copy of any of books. If you have them all, I’ll send one to a friend or relative!

81 Thoughts

  1. For a change of pace, I’m reading A Witch’s Guide to Fake Dating a Demon by Sarah Hawley. It’s a fun read- oh, and I live in Reading!

  2. Keep ’em coming, Sherry. Kudos for sticking with your creative efforts!

  3. I love this Sherry – sorry about your knee (said as a person who can trip on air)! You have done so much to lift up other authors in your ten years, as SINC president and past president, and right through to this post. Thank you – I cherish our friendship.

  4. Born and raised in new jersey and Maine I love the lighthouses.

  5. Isn’t it funny how 10 years is a long time but not a long time! Right now, I’m reading The Mission Inn-Possible – A Cozy Mysteries Box Set by Rosie A. Point.

  6. Congratulations to you and the rest of the Wickeds on 10 years! I’m currently reading Death at the Finish Line by Alexis Morgan. Visiting New England is on my bucket list. I spent a few days in Vermont years ago, but I didn’t have enough time to explore any other states.

  7. I lived in Billerica, not too far from Hanscom before retiring to Florida. I do get homesick every now and then. I go back once or twice a year to visit my granddaughters. I love New England but we got tired of the snow and ice. Love the heat. Thank you for the chance at your giveaway. pgenest57 at aol dot com

  8. Hi! I can’t imagine living all over the country, I’ve never lived more than 20 miles from the hospital I was born in, LOL

  9. Congrats on 10 years! I am currently reading Sinister Revenge by Alyssa Maxwell.

  10. Sending up positive thoughts that your sweet romance is a raving success. Love your books so keep them coming!

    For now I’ll be starting MURDER SERVED NEAT by Michelle Hillen Klump today.

    Thank you for the wonderful chance to win one of your books. Sharing and hoping!
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  11. What a fun post. Best wishes on the romance. As for books, in hardcopy I just finished No Plan B and am starting Happy Place. Audio I’m in the middle of Fateful Words.

  12. Right now I’m reading the Bakeshop Mysteries by Ellie Alexander. I’m on “Live and Let Pie” at the moment. Since you like New England (I do too) , you might enjoy the Gray Whale Inn series by Karen MacInerney. They’re cozies set on an island in Maine.

  13. How fun to see what was going on ten years ago. I am currently reading the Knit & Nibble series by Peggy Ehrhart. I am on Book 7.

  14. It’s been wonderful reading all your books throughout the ten years. Congratulations! If I win a copy, I will happily share it with my followers.

  15. Hi Sherry! What a great intro interview! I’m glad I got to spend so many years reading Sarah Winston’s story. I still miss her. Fingers crossed for the sweet romance. I bet it finds a home soon and is a runaway success.

    What am I reading? Just finished Liz Miliron’s The Truth We Hide. Fabulous book, and am in the middle of Bill Tracy’s Lost in the Fifties. Highly recommend it. Especially if you are boomer with a city/rural background. So much resonates.

  16. Loved reading this! Sending it out to the universe that you sell the romance. It couldn’t happen to kinder, more generous and more talented author.

  17. I’m currently reading The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood for book group & loving it. Just picked up Mastering the Art of French Murder by Colleen Cambridge & had a lovely visit with Colleen – can’t wait to get started!

  18. Congratulations! I’m reading a book about Princess Diana. A Royal Duty by Paul Burrell.

  19. I am not reading the cozy I have switched to World War II historical fiction. “Beyond the Tracks”. Michael Reit

  20. Hi,Sherry! I recently read Delivering the Truth by Maddie Day and have ordered the next book, Called to Justice, from my library. It will be there in a couple of days! I love the Wickeds and am grateful that their books provide me with many hours of reading pleasure. Thank you very much!

  21. Love the Then and Now interviews. Some things really don’t change, do they? I am reading Ellen Byron’s Fatal Cajun Festival.

  22. Yesterday, I finished IF I HAD A HAMMER by Teresa Trent, so today, I’ll be digging into A NOVEL DISGUISE by Samantha Hastings. (No need to enter me in the giveaway.)

    1. Oh, and the fact that I visited so many of the spots you talked about in my whirlwind tour of the Boston area made me smile. I would love to go back when I had more time.

  23. I love the interview and definitely understand the Man from U.N.C.L.E. dreams. Illya was my guy, along with James Darren from Time Tunnel. I wrote many a script in my head. I loved your Garage Sale series and mourned its loss. I also enjoy Chloe Jackson and hope there is a new one coming soon.

  24. I love your Chloe Jackson sea glass series and many of the other Wickeds books. I enjoy so many different cozy authors.Right now I’m reading Poaching Is Puzzling by Daryl Wood Gerber. I wish I had more time to just sit and read but life keeps getting in the way of that. LOL
    Keep writing Sherry. I’ll be looking forward to seeing the picture ten more years from now when we look back!

  25. I’m currently reading The Witch and the Dead By: Heather Blake.

  26. Congratulations on 10 years! I’m currently reading “The London Senance Society”.

  27. Congratulations on ten years! Currently reading Victoria Thompson’s Murder On Bedford Street.

  28. So many books, so little time and I keep buying them. I just finished Lynn Cahoon’s Tourist Trap’s A Vacation to Die For and am reading Lynn Cahoon’s Cat Latimer’s Sconed to Death as I was behind on these. When done, I send them to my best friend to read as she buys some and sends them to me and then I send them a back and she keeps them in her library. Next, I am reading your Chloe Jackson’s Rum and Choke. Lots of fun. I was sad when the garage sale mysteries ended and without knowing what happened to Sarah.

  29. Hi Sherry! I’m currently reading To the Tome of Murder by Lauren Elliott. I would love to win a paperback copy Rum & Coke.

  30. I am currently reading Afternoon Tea and a Murder Mystery by Jennifer Lynn Roche. I am enjoying it so far.

  31. I just finished HIDDEN BENEATH by Barbara Ross. Excellent book. Now I’m reading MOREWOOD FAMILY RULES by HelenKay Dimon.

  32. Hi! I would love to read Paris – A Love Story! I will have to add that one to my ever-growing list of reads.

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