Welcome to our guest, Sherry Harris.
Thank you for having me on Writers Who Kill! I get asked lots of questions about publishing and my career, so I picked a few to answer here.
What was it like to have your first book published?
Thrilling and terrifying. After years of dreaming about being published, to have it finally happen was unbelievable! But about two weeks before the publication of my first book Tagged for Death, I started having a lot of anxiety. What if everyone hated it? Maybe I could buy all the copies and no one would ever read it. Well, duh, that’s not going to work. I can’t buy all the ebook copies. It felt like I was about to take my baby out into the world for the first time, and I was worried someone would say, “Did you see the nose on that thing?” or “Boy, that is one ugly baby!”
However, going to the bookstore and seeing it on the shelf? Sheer joy. My husband and daughter went with me and there was screaming involved. Enough that a couple of people came over. One bought my book and I signed it for her.
Is the publishing world anything like you thought it would be?
It has many more ups and downs than I dreamed were possible. I’ve seen author friends’ wonderful series cancelled for no apparent reason. I’ve heard tales of shady agents and terrible contracts. Publishers cancel lines or go out of business with no warning. It’s tough out there. I’m grateful for every book that comes out.
How much money do you make?
I used to say I make enough to live in a cardboard box under a bridge. Now I say I could live in a nicer box under a nicer bridge. If my husband didn’t have a good job and didn’t support my career, I couldn’t write full time. Most authors don’t make enough to live on.
Do you read your reviews?
I do. I wish I could stay away but it’s like the Sirens calling sailors to their rocky shores.
What about bad reviews?
My first few were devastating. My daughter painted me a saying: You can have the sweetest, juiciest peach, but not everyone likes peaches. So if you ever see me muttering, “Not everyone likes peaches,” you know I read a bad review. To be honest, now I don’t usually mind them, some have valid points. What I don’t like are the ones who are mean for no reason or inaccurate. Read the whole book if you are going to leave a bad review.
Who comes up with your titles?
My editor and I work on them together. Sometimes we duke it out – he wins.
Who is your favorite author?
I know too many and could never pick just one.
What do you read?
I tend to read darker than I write. I’ve never figured out what that is about. I read mostly crime fiction with a bit of women’s fiction if I need a palate cleanser. I also read nonfiction that is applicable for research.
Have you ever been rejected?
Many times! I have a stack of rejection letters that I keep to remind me of where I’ve been and how hard it is to get published. You have to develop a thick skin to be in this business. Rejection is part of the process. I just kept working at my craft—taking classes, going to conferences, reading books on writing. I still do because I always want the next book to be better than the last one.
Let’s Fake a Deal just came out and Sell Low, Sweet Harriet comes out on December 31, 2019. Both are part of the Sarah Winston Garage Sale mysteries. Also, the first book in a new series, From Beer to Eternity, A Chloe Jackson Sand Dollar Saloon mystery comes out in August of 2020. It’s set in a bar on the white, sandy beaches of the panhandle of Florida. And that’s a story for another day.
About Sherry Harris
Sherry Harris is the Agatha Award nominated author of the Sarah Winston Garage Sale mystery
In her spare time Sherry loves reading and is a patent holding inventor. Sherry, her husband, and guard dog Lily are living in northern Virginia until they figure out where they want to move to next.