By Sherry Harris
Grateful in Northern Virginia
A launch week can become a bit “all about me”. You end up writing blogs, posting links to your book, and checking the three “r’s” ranks, reviews, and ratings. But I wanted to put that all on hold for a bit today to talk about the Wickeds and other friends.
In June 2013 I wrote about how we (the Wickeds) met in a blog about the importance of networking. In mid-March of 2013 I realized going it alone as an author terrified me and reached out to Barb, Edith, Jessie, Julie, and Liz saying something like,
“Anyone interested in doing a blog?” I still have whiplash from what happened next. Liz’s first book Kneading to Die released in May 2013 and the group said let’s start the blog the first of May. As often I tell the Wickeds, the blog would still be an idea I was thinking about if it wasn’t for them.
Soon Sheila Connolly joined us for a monthly column. I love her way of looking at the world. Not to mention she has this awesome “dump” (or archeological dig) under her house where she’s found tons of china fragments among other things. Sheila also shares my love of chairs and collecting things.
Last January Kim Gray joined us with her monthly column “The Detective’s Daughter.” She had told us many of her stories over glasses of wine at various conferences. Kim can make me laugh even during the grimmest story — honestly, I was almost crying I was laughing so hard when she was describing getting robbed. I’m so thrilled she’s sharing her stories with us each month.
The Wickeds are so much more than blog mates. They hold my hand, cheer me on, slap me up side the virtual head when I need it (I tend to be a worrier). Barb recently gave up a day and a half of her busy life to help me with a bunch of computer stuff. We send each other a lot of emails. Here is a sample of our topics: Huge News, This Just In, Aargh!, Checking In, Boiled Over in Woman’s World, Title, ARCs!, Shh! Gift for Liz, Hermit Like Behavior, Ups and downs,Killing trees, By Golly It Works!, Goodreads Etiquette, Ready for Parole, Being Silly. I couldn’t be associated with a better group of women and I love you all.
In 2010 my husband and I left Massachusetts and moved back to northern Virginia. I missed my writing community and my many friends from the New England Chapter of Sisters in Crime. I knew there was a Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in Crime in this area. Every couple of months I’d look at their website and think, I ought to join. Finally, in 2012, I did. Walking into a room full of strangers is always a bit scary but fortunately Barb Goffman, Logan, and Carla Coupe were there to welcome me. As I continued to attend meetings I met more and more of the members and am so fortunate to have a wonderful writing community here too.
What would an author do without all the reviewers, bloggers, and commenters out there reading and reporting? If authors were super heroes, reviewers, bloggers, and commenters would be our sidekicks. I’m afraid I’ll forget to mention someone so I’m not going to list you individually. But these people read books and post reviews on their blogs or comment on blogs. They don’t get paid, they do it for their love of books. But they are a huge support to authors and help by spreading the word about our books.
Then there are my Delta Zeta sorority sisters. I know that the word “sorority” turns some people off because of stereotypes. I went to a small college in Missouri, we weren’t rich, we weren’t all blonds, and we weren’t snobby. What we were and are, is friends who can laugh at the stupid things we did when we were young and enjoy our limited time together as adults. Last September over fifty of us gathered in St. Charles, Missouri for a weekend of fun. I was overwhelmed with how happy my sisters were for me — I’m humbled by it. I use some of their names in different combinations for some of the characters in my books. And maybe I even borrow bits and pieces of their personalities but shh, I don’t want them to know.
And last but far from least are all the wonderful friends we’ve met in our moves around the country. Every move was hard but I don’t regret any of them because of the great people who came into my life. Also a big thank you to my family who supported my dream for years — oh so many years.
My heart is full today because of the many people that touched my life. Thank you.