Saturday, July 21, 2012

How a Mistake Turned Into A Friendship

*** Update 7/22/12 *** Winner of A Witch Before Dying via Random.org is comment #32. Congratulations, Debbie. Please send your postal address to booksbyheather@gmail.com and I'll get your prize in the mail! If I don't hear from you in a week, I'll choose another winner. ***

 

***Scroll to the bottom to see how you can win an early autographed copy of A WITCH BEFORE DYING, my new release coming out August 7th!***

Waaaaay back when, a long, long time ago, I was waiting for my first mystery, A HOE LOT OF TROUBLE,  to come out. I’d been eagerly anticipating the galley copies of the story (now called pass pages, which is basically just the last look-through of the pages for mistakes before they go to print) to arrive when a package from the publisher came in the mail.

I tore into the package and found...the galleys for Death byDeep Dish Pie by Sharon Short.

Huh.

I quickly sent a note off to my editor, who admitted her assistant mixed things up a bit. Turns out forty minutes north of me, Sharon (who I'd never met before) was having her own package-ripping moment, only to find the galleys for HOE.

Somehow or another, it was decided that Sharon and I should just meet up and swap our copies instead of shipping back to NYC, then having them ship them back. So, we met up, swapped, and have been the closest of friends since. That was eight years ago.

We’ve both had highs and lows in our careers and our personal lives, and it’s always nice to have a friend who understands both those worlds. A few years ago, Sharon decided to focus her writing on another genre (mainstream fiction), which pretty much meant starting over, which is never easy, but Sharon handled it with grace and her ever-present humor.

And now all that hard work is paying off. Her book club novel, MY ONE SQUARE INCH OF ALASKA, debuts in February. As someone who’s read an early copy of this story, I can tell you, it’s good. Really good.


From Sharon’s website:

“This coming-of-age 'book club' novel is about a pair of siblings in a gritty 1953 paper mill town in Ohio, yearning to break free of the strictures of their family, their times, and their town. When Donna's little brother Will decides that he wants to earn a deed to one square inch of the Alaskan Territory through a cereal company and TV show promotion, Donna at first finds his quest childish. But when he becomes ill, she decides to help him fulfill his quest... and his dream to actually visit his land. In so doing, she learns to reconnect with her own dreams and to understand how the unfulfilled dreams of those around her impacted her family's life and tragic past. This is a novel from my heart, about the power of dreams, and how believing in them can set us free.”

Did I mention how good it was? So. Good.

I’m thrilled for Sharon, and I can’t wait to hear what all of you think of the story, too. If you loved Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt, you’ll love this book.

To celebrate Sharon’s good news—and the way we met—I’m giving away a bound galley copy of A WITCH BEFORE DYING. All you have to do is leave a comment with the title of the book you’re reading right now. Simple. I’ll randomly pick a winner at 8 PM (EST) tomorrow night and then update  this post with the name of the winner, so check back tomorrow night!

Good luck and happy reading!