Happy New Year with Sherry Thomas
Hi friends! As many of you know, Sherry Thomas is one of my favorite writers, and so I am always glad when she visits Read-A-Romance. :o) By the way, if you like fantasy, I loved The Burning Sky, and I haven’t gotten my ears on a copy of The Perilous Sea yet, but I’m on the hunt. I first heard she was working on a contemporary last fall when I had the honor of doing an interview with her for Kirkus. (If you’re interested, you can read it here.) The title will be out in a couple of months, how exciting is that? I had fun reading Sherry’s New Year’s post. I hope you do too! (And be sure to leave a comment. We’ll give away at least one book. xo) ~ Bobbi
Happy New Year! Are you an “I Love New Year’s Resolutions” person, or “I Resolve to Avoid Resolutions” kind of gal? If you like resolutions, do you have any set resolutions for this year? If no, do you do any special goal-setting or reflections at the start of a New Year?
I am a New-Year’s-Day-is-just-another-day kind of gal–and firmly of the view that if you can’t stick to resolutions started elsewhen during the year, you won’t be able to stick to New Year’s resolutions either.
So I don’t have anything new for 2015, just the same improvements that I’ve been trying to make. It did help that I managed to complete the first draft of my upcoming contemporary, The One in My Heart, pretty close to the beginning of the year, so I’ve been on track with my exercise goal of either doing an episode of Classical Stretch or spending an hour on the treadmill desk every day. (In fact, I am on the treadmill desk right now. I try to do my emails, social media, guest-blogging and such things walking at 2.3 miles an hour.)
A friend of mine once challenged me to come up with one word that encapsulated my goals/hopes for the coming year. I found the activity to be thought-provoking and empowering.
Mine is always self-discipline. Starting to cook dinner at eight means that by the time I finish, folks would have already fed themselves on leftovers. But cooking dinner at five produces nice, hot food for when people get hungry. Leaving laundry in the dryer means children are foraging in there in the morning for clean underpants. Sorting laundry on time prevents just that. There are tons of things in life you just have to do, might as well do them sooner rather than later.
Do you have any special rituals or traditions that you and/or your family do to celebrate the New Year? What is your favorite aspect of New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day?
No special traditions or rituals. But I do love calling my mother at midnight to wish her a very wonderful year. It’s a moment of great cheer and optimism.
Is there a book that you read every year at the beginning of January? Or Is there a book you are really looking forward to in the first few months of 2015?
Boy, am I missing rituals and traditions in my life! No, I don’t have a book that I reread every year at the beginning of January or any other set time. I am, however, currently slowly rereading The Lord of the Rings. I have a box of RITA books waiting for me—sometimes I discover real gems in there. And after I finish with all those books, I hope to get to The Rosie Project, which I’d heard so many good things about!
(Be sure to see the fun extras after Sherry’s bio.) xo
USA Today-bestselling author Sherry Thomas is one of the most acclaimed romance authors working today—and one of the first to be reviewed by the New York Times Book Review. Her books regularly receive starred reviews from trade publications and are frequently found on best-of-the-year lists. She is also a two-time winner of Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® Award.
English is Sherry’s 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. She enjoys digging down to the emotional core of stories. And when she is not writing, she thinks about the zen and zaniness of her profession, plays computer games with her sons, and reads as many fabulous books as she can find.
Sherry also writes young adult fantasy. The Immortal Heights, volume three of the Elemental Trilogy, releases fall 2015. And her first contemporary romance, The One in My Heart, will be out March 23, 2015.
You can and read learn more about Sherry’s books at her website, www.sherrythomas.com, and read an excerpt from The One in My Heart here. Meanwhile, I thought I’d share this fascinating tidbit about the book (also from Sherry Thomas’ site). A contemporary, first person POV Sherry Thomas romance. I can’t wait!
The Story about the Story
The cover is new and so is the title, but this is a story Sherry has been working on since spring of 2007, right after she turned in the first draft for DELICIOUS, almost a year before PRIVATE ARRANGEMENTS, her debut book, hit the shelves in March of 2008. The genesis of the idea could be traced directly to a contest put on by blogger Dionne Galace—Sherry vaguely remembers that participants were asked to write a couple hundred words about a first meeting between future lovers. There were maybe a dozen entries and frankly at least half of them were more exciting than what Sherry submitted: a woman weeping in the rain in the middle of the night and a man stopping by and asking if she would like some tiramisu. But the set-up intrigued Sherry, and she kept coming back to it, every time after she turned in a draft for a historical.
Why tiramisu? Probably because she was very hungry that year, writing her foodie historical romance. And around the time she started fleshing out the story, she attended a day-long financial statement analysis seminar and the gentleman who taught the seminar was from New York City, which gave her the idea of a setting in the Big Apple and the surrounding areas. (In the first iteration of the book, the heroine was a hot-shot financial analyst.)
Sherry loved this book. She luuuurrved it. The historicals she wrote in those years kicked her ass but good—so it was always with relief and anticipation that she returned to her little contemporary. Every line was a thrill and each chapter a fist pump. Imagine her dismay when her agent read it and hated it! How could anyone not love her perfect pride-and-joy?
That was in November of 2009. Early the next year, she would be struck by the one sentence that would beget her young adult fantasy. THE BURNING SKY and THE FITZHUGH TRILOGY took up just about all her time for the next two years. But at some point after that she began to revisit the contemporary. Her agent’s complaint had been that the story had no plot and no conflict. Sherry had come to reluctantly agree that it was true both aspects were lacking. But as was often the case with first drafts, the actual ingredients of the story were already there, obscured by the verbiage and ignored altogether.
She began to fiddle with the beginning, and to build the story back up around the newly discovered conflict. It is still the greatest pleasure to write. Sometimes she toys with the idea of never publishing the story, to let it always be her private playground. And then she comes to her senses. 🙂
By the way, the book has always been in first person, and Sherry is beyond content to experience the hero solely from the heroine’s POV.