Wednesday, November 04, 2009

IMHO welcomes Sherry Thomas!


IMHO is delighted to welcome our first guest host for Novemeber to celebrate this month's theme in honor of Thanksgiving. That theme is, as you might expect, "Giving Thanks," and our guest is Sherry Thomas.

Sherry burst onto the scene with Private Arrangements, a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2008, as well as being honored with RITA® nominations for Best First Book and Best Historical Romance. Her sophomore book, Delicious, was a Library Journal Best Romance of 2008. The All About Romance 13th Annual Reader Poll voted Sherry as the Best Debut Author of 2008. Lisa Kleypas calls her “the most powerfully original historical romance author working today,” and I'd have to agree.

I first encountered Sherry's work when I asked her to participate in IMHO's summer 2009 RITA® extravaganza giveaway, and I was floored by Private Arrangements. I discovered that dry wit, emotion, and sensual storytelling with an edge are the hallmark of a Sherry Thomas book. I immediately bought and devoured her next two books (thank goodness for Kindle) within a week.

Sherry's story is all the more interesting given that English is her second language--she has come a long way from the days when she made her laborious way through Rosemary Roger's Sweet Savage Love with an English-Chinese dictionary. If you haven't had a chance to read her work yet, run, don't walk, to your nearest bookstore and demand Sherry Thomas' books!

Her most current release, Not Quite a Husband, is in stores now, with a fourth novel, His at Night, due out in May 2010. Sherry will put Not Quite a Husband in the "Giving Thanks" tote bag for one lucky person to win.
IMHO: As I said, Sherry, I'm excited to have you visit with us at IMHO today. Tell us what you are giving thanks for this year.

ST: Thank you, TJ. There are many, many things about my job as a romance writer for which I am humbly grateful. The (mostly) fun work, the flexible hours, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing a story go from an idea to a finished product.

But I think not enough has—or can ever be—said about the greatest benefit of writing romance: the girlfriends.

My fellow romance writers make for awesome and kick-ass girlfriends. They are all crazy—in some way—so I don’t have to explain my own crazy. They understand the soaring bliss of writing well, the hair-tearing frustration of writing badly, and the disaster-aftermath state of the house when I am three days from my deadline.

The legendary Paul Newman once said of his wife Joanne Woodward, “She is the last of the great broads.” Much as I hate to ever disagree on anything with Paul Newman, I have to say he probably hadn’t met many romance writers. Because boy, do we count among our numbers some fabulous broads: tough, generous, and hilarious women who are great role models and—yes, of course—marvelous girlfriends.

What of the non-broads, the less immediately commanding presences? They are equally wonderful and equally fascinating. To know them is to discover ferocious wit that hides under a shy smile, whimsy that belies a seemingly no-nonsense surface, and warmth enough to counter a nuclear winter.

Writing is a fantastic pursuit and a fantastic profession, but it is not an easy one. There are disappointments at every turn and even the writers with the strongest confidence in themselves waver and doubt. Which is what makes a network of friends, working in the same trenches, facing the same pressures, so valuable. We share writing tips, we share market knowledge, we share time-management strategy. We share things about our children’s various insanities that make us laugh so hard we tear up. And when it’s crunch time and we have to look good, we share mascaras, hair gels, and bobby pins.

I don’t know all romance writers. I don’t even know 1/100 of all romance writers out there. But the ones I’m fortunate enough to know, whether they are published or not yet published, have made for delightful and steadfast friends. And they are people I never would have met if I hadn’t made the insane decision eleven years ago to start writing a romance.

So in this thanksgiving season, I am grateful for all my lovely romance-writing girlfriends. It has been an honor and a privilege sharing the ups and downs of this career with you. I have lived richer for your camaraderie, written better for your sage advice, and looked prettier for your styling expertise.

Vive la femme.

IMHO: *wiping tear away from eye* I couldn't have said it better, Sherry. My writing girlfriends are the best I've ever had. I love my non-writing friends, too, don't get me wrong, but my writing friends "get it."  Thanks for sharing your gratitude with us today.

Remember, folks, this month when you leave comments for our guests, you'll be playing for not one, but two tote bags of thankfulness. Our first tote is the "Giving Thanks" tote filled with signed books from this month's guest hosts, an autographed copy of my historical romance, THE PROMISE, and a $20 gift card from Barnes & Noble.

In addition, in the weeks preceding Thanksgiving day, I will be posting "thank you" notes from some of my previous guest hosts from 2009 in which they share with us what they are thankful for, and then on Thanksgiving Day, I'll award the "Thank-y! Thank-y!" tote bag containing Random Freebie books donated by a few of IMHO's guest authors. Comments on any posts throughout the contest periods make you eligible to win either tote. See my contest rules for more.

So be sure to leave a comment for Sherry, say hello and whether you've had a chance to read her books, and tell her what you are most thankful for this year.

TJB


40 comments:

Linda Henderson said...

I have a lot of things to be thankful for but the biggest one is the health of my new granddaughter. She was born at 23 weeks and spent 4 months in the NICU. We have been very blessed with her. She was 1 pound 2.7 ounces and 11 1/2 inches long at birth and she is now 7 pounds 5 ounces and 19 inches long. She is doing great. So I give thanks for her this year.

Carol L. said...

Good morning T.J. and Sherry,
Sherry, I love your writing. Not Quite a Husband was a great read. Thank you. I am thankful that my 22 year old is in remission from Osteo-Sarcoma (bone cancer) and spent 11 and a half months as an in-patient to receive chemo. I thank God everyday when I look at her and realize she survived and is a very health girl now.
Carol L.
Lucky4750@aol.com

Sherry Thomas said...

Linda,

My goodness. I'm so glad your granddaughter is doing well. My good friend Tracy Wolff had two preemies and whenever she talks about those scary first months everybody would have tears streaming down their faces. Her kids are big and rambunctious now. Wish you tons of joyful times ahead with your grandbaby.

Carol,

That must have been so tough and heartbreaking to see her go through that. A whole year of chemo, I can barely imagine that. I've tears in my eyes just thinking about it. I'm so happy for you that she is healthy and doing well. I'm going to give my kids an extra hug tonight.

Keri Ford said...

Sherry, that's wonderfully said. Without my writing girlfriends, I would have pulled out all my hair long ago and never stopped biting my nails.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

It's not just romance writers, but most writers who are wonderful. I'm with you, Sherry.

No need to enter me, TJ. I'm dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I've got this posted at Win a Book for you.

Vicky said...

Nice post - and yes, my writing friends are very dear to me. It's great to have others who understand what this writing life is like.

jcp said...

I'm thankful to have my health.

QLady48 said...

Hi Sherry, nice blog!! I have not read any of your books, yet!! They sound very good and I will track them down now. I'm always on the prowl for authors who are new to me. You are very lucky to have found such good writer friends. Sounds like that is a blessing for you. My family and I are always thankful for no major health issues. Continued success to you!! Thanks, Sue

Margay said...

Hi, Sherry, I know how important writing friends are - I have some pretty kick-ass writer friends, too. I am in the midst of reading Private Arrangements and I have really enjoyed what I've read so far. I can't wait to finish this book and go on to the others!

What I'm most thankful for this year is that my older daughter is in college, studying to be a nurse, and although I miss her terribly, she is doing well.

Margay

Virginia said...

Hi Sherry, I have not read your books yet but I do have one on my TBR pile. I think I may just read it next! Your books sound awesome and I have heard a lot about them. Thanks for sharing!

cheryl c said...

Sherry, your first 2 books PRIVATE ARRANGEMENTS and DELICIOUS are 2 of my favorite books, and they are on my keeper shelf. NOT QUITE A HUSBAND is close to the top of my TBR pile, too. So, I must say that I love your writing!

I am thankful for family, good health, and a steady income during tough economic times.

Booklover1335 said...

Hi Sherry,
I picked up Delicious recently because everyone I know who has read it raved about it...I began to think I was missing out on a good thing.

Congrats on your success as a romance writer, and I will definitely be looking for your new releases :)

Anthea Lawson said...

Hi Sherry! Glad to know when your 4th book will be out - I do love your writing~

I'm thankful for my husband and co-author, who is man enough to embrace his feminine side and write romance novels with me. Even though he's not 'one of the girls' he's there for the ride, and I couldn't ask for better!

M. said...

My thanksgiving was last month (Canadians celebrate mid-October), but this month I'm thankful for all the great, inspiring posts on the NaNoWriMo boards and other Wrimos who encourage me that yes, I can do it, I can write 50,000 fresh new words in 30 days and call myself a novelist!

No need to enter my name (I already have NQAH), just dropped by to say I'm glad Sherry decided to be a writer.

Maya (who is waiting for more kittens with key supporting roles)

Gail said...

May is a long way off....
As for being thankful I would have to say for my family, good friends and good books :)

Sherry Thomas said...

Keri,

Glad you have your hair and your nail intact. Girlfriends, essential for looks. :-)

Susan,

Thanks for spreading news of the contest.

Vicky,

Writing friends rock, don't they?

JCP,

I totally agree. Everything is so much harder without good health.

Sue,

Thanks for your interest in my books. I too, am very thankful that my children are healthy and energetic.

Margay,

I hope you enjoy the rest of Private Arrangements as well. :-)

And congrats on your daughter. I hope she has a great career in nursing.

Virginia,

I do hope the in-the-TBR book you have of mine will prove to be a worthwhile read. :-) I always get a little nervous when readers tell me they have my book(s) in the pile.

Cheryl c,

Oh my goodness, you mentioned it. Regular income, so important and steadying in these uncertain times.

So glad you enjoyed PA & D. Hope NQAH continue the streak for you.

Booklover1335,

Lol, I'm very partial toward DELICIOUS so I must commend your reading buddies on their exquisite taste.

Thanks for deciding to give it a try and hope it does not disappoint.

Anthea,

Hello and thank you!

I am in absolute agreement w/r/t your husband. From everything you've said, he sounds like such a sweetheart. And I hereby nominate him as a honorary writing girlfriend. Hear hear! :-)

Maya,

Thank you. And best of luck with NaNoWriMo, may you blow it out of the water!

As for kittens, isn't it past time Icanhascheezburger hooked up with Harlequin? :-P

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed reading the comments. And I like reading Sherry's books.
Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving. I am thankful that the traditional meal includes turkey instead of liver
JOY
JWIsley(at)aol(dot)com

joder said...

I'm very thankful to my parents for sticking by me and pushing me to live life to the fullest after I became a quadraplegic at the age of 4. Even though the doctors told them to give me up to the state since they could have more children (this was the early 70s so they weren't as open minded back then). And even though it was a huge financial burden they have continued to stick with me.

joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

Jane said...

What a lovely post. I'm thankful we'll be able to sit down with the family and have a nice meal.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

I so enjoyed this post and, like you I consider some my brightest blessings to be my writing friends. When I lost my daughter to cancer seven years ago, it was my writing friends who held me up, put me back together again and continue to understand. They KNOW feelings and know how to keep you sane in the hard times. You can't buy that kind of friendship and I am so thankful and grateful to be part of the writing community if for no other reason than the friendships.

etirv said...

Aloha, Sherry! So nice to see you here and what a sweet tribute to your romance writer friends! You already know how much I admire your writing.

This year has been tremendously challenging for me so I'm grateful for routine and those moments of normalcy.

delilah0180(at)yahoo(dot)com

Sherry Thomas said...

Gail,

May is quite close--if you have a book coming out in May and you are still revising it, as I'm doing at the moment. :-)

Joy,

LOL, that is indeed something to be thankful if liver is not your dish.

(I actually don't mind liver, but I'm pretty sure I don't want to see an 18 pound liver.) :-)

And thank you for reading me.

Joder,

You have brought tears to my eyes. You have wonderful parents and they have embodied love in the most beautiful way possible.

Thank you for sharing your story.

Jane,

Thank you. And here's to a fab meal with your family then.

Paisley,

I'm so sorry for your loss and I'm so glad you had your friends when you needed friends the most. Having friends means we don't have to walk through life alone. And when life hobbles us, friends carry us along until we can land on our feet again.

Friendship, in other words, is love spelled with a few extra letters.

Etirv,

Aloha. (Just saying aloha makes me miss Oahu. Sigh. One day I hope to organize a girlfriends trip to the North Shore.)

I hope you will have nothing but moments of comforting routine and normalcy in the coming year, with only the occasional excitement you want and none of the anxieties you don't want.

As the French say, Bon Courage!

Book Video Productions said...

Ms. Sherry Thomas, I have to say thank you to YOU for deciding to become a writer. I discovered you courtesy of TJ during the RITA Extravaganza, and couldn't be happier. I've read your three books and am anxiously waiting for the fourth (even tho it will be a long wait!) Wonderful and clever writing. So, "thenky-thenky" for being you! :)

Sherry Thomas said...

Book Video Productions,

Lol, thank you! It's so very kind of you. Thank you for reading me and thank you for beginning my day with a big smile.

TJ Bennett said...

Sherry, thanks for being such a wonderful and charming guest. We've loved having you, and are indeed THANKFUL you could take the time to drop by.

IMHO readers, feel free to continue to leave your comments for Sherry for a chance to win the "Giving Thanks" tote containing Sherry's book, as well as books by all our authors. In addition, you'll be eligible to win the second tote of Random Freebies we're giving away on Thanksgiving day.

And drop in next Wednesday when Tracy Madison, author of the Gypsy Magic series, tells us what she is "Giving Thanks" for this year.

TJB

Judy said...

Another book to be added to my TBR lis! I am thankful for all the authors that make life enjoyable. Please, all of you keep writing.

Mariee said...

I recently read Private Arrangements and loved it!

I'm thankful for my sisters, my husband and our new wonderful house.

Debby said...

Hi Sherry, I have read your books and they are wonderful. I have always wondered how much input you have into cover selection

librarypat said...

It is hard for people to understand the bond that forms between people who are following the same path. There is a closeness and shared understanding of where the other has been, is, and is headed. There is a very special kinship. Not everyone is lucky enough to have these kind of relationships. I'm very happy that you both do.
We went to an Air Force unit reunion this past month. It was a small unit and we only get to see most of them every two years. It is a special group and it is always like we haven't been apart for over 20 years. We have all gone our separate ways, but will always be good friends.

Maureen said...

I am most thankful for my family and our health. I haven't had a chance to read Sherry Thomas' books but they look very good and I will have to put her on my list.

Pat Cochran said...

Hi, Sherry,

I am thankful for faith, family,
and friends. They support and
uphold you in good times and in times that are not so wonderful.
God is so good to me in bestowing
these special blessings on my life!

Pat Cochran

photoquest said...

I have alot to be thankful for this year! After 19 years of marriage we bought a beach house,we had always dreamed of that and I'm thankful my dad of 80 years old servive a 11 month coarse of problems from surgury that almost cost him his life 1 being the MRSA infection. Both of our girls are doing great in school with their grades. We both still have both our parents. I have a new best friend her name is Chloie (our pug) and none of us so far has got the swine flu.
photoquest(at)bellsouth(dot)net

Virginia C said...

Hi, Sherry! I visited your website and signed up for your newsletter. Thanks for the tips about Tracy Wolff's recipes! Your stories are written with your own unique romantic style, and the book covers are gorgeous! The yellow-gold shade on His at Night is beautiful!

gcwhiskas at aol dot com

carolsnotebook said...

Great post - thank goodness for wonderful, supportive girlfriends.
This year I'm thankful I have a job, there are a lot of people who don't.

dyockman said...

I found this article late, but wanted to say that I am grateful there are new authors coming out every day! It is wonderful to have the chance to meet the characters running around in their heads!

CherylS22 said...

Hi Sherry,

I haven't had the pleasure of reading any of your books. However, I'm adding them to my TBR list because they look so good.

As far as what I'm thankful for, I'm thankful that I have a close-knit family that are all relatively healthy at this point in time.

Cheryl

Carol M said...

I just received a copy of Private Arrangements and I'm looking forward to reading it!

I'm thankful for my good health and that my family is healthy and doing well. At the moment everyone has a job and I'm thankful for that.

mittens0831 at aol dot com

Amber E. said...

Hi Sherry! Congratulations on all your success. I love your books, and already can't wait tell the release of your next one.

I'm grateful for my family and for their health. I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving.

robynl said...

I don't know your work at all but know of you now at least. Glad I stopped by.

I am thankful for finishing my 25 Radiation treatments for breast cancer; I am thankful for family and that we will be together this weekend at one of my sister's.

yourstrulee(at)sasktel(dot)net

jacabur1 said...

I am new to Ms. Thomas, glad to have found her on the interview... I am thankful for my health, life is fragile and precious and thankful for my wonderful loving family and my beautiful happy and love able furry babies who are the children of my heart with wet noses and beady eyes and 4 legs....

Happy Thanksgiving today everyone....

jacabur2008@gmail.com