Summer Omnibus Update

What?  Summer was over a while ago?  Well, then you know how long I’ve been meaning to write this post–as in seriously, I must write it today, come hell or high water.   Guess I can now compliment myself on being immune to both hell and high water.  🙂

So let’s see, what all happened since I last posted.

RWA Orlando

It’s always fun to attend a RWA conference. But the highlight of my conference, without a doubt, was this:

The preparations leading up to the awards ceremony was the same as the year before.  I had a couple of commitments that left me about forty-five minutes to get ready.  I threw on my dress.  My roommate Kristyne did my make-up. My other roomie Shellee flat-ironed my hair.  (My hair, left to its own devices, is wavy.  And since it is never not left to its own devices, it was the first time I’d ever seen my hair completely straight.  I was thrilled to discover that I looked like a Hong Kong gangster’s moll–the expensive sort, of course!)  My other, other roomie Tracy, my bedmate actually, introduced me to the wonder that is the vibrating mascara applicator last year.  This year she did nothing to help me!  LOL, because Tracy, a first-time nominee, had to get her own gorgeous self ready for the event.

Right before I left my hotel room, I tore a small strip off the edge of a newspaper that’s been lying around.  I figured, just in case, I should jot down a few reminders of people I wanted to thank.

(I didn’t do this last year because last year I was nominated for PRIVATE ARRANGEMENTS, and had I won, you’d have heard me thank myself.  Seriously, somebody should give that speech, for all the writers out there who don’t give themselves quite enough credit.  Since PA was written on my own time, at my own instigation, without ever inconveniencing any family  members, I figured it was the only time in my career I could say, “And most importantly, I want to thank me for never giving up on me.  I would never be here if it weren’t for me!”   I’d have done it too–I can see Shellee, Kristyne, and Tracy all nodding their heads going, yep, she totally would have–except for the fact that my name didn’t get called!)

This time it did get called.

Even as Teresa Medeiros, the presenter for the historical category, read the list of nominees, I was scrutinizing the same list on my program and wondering if it was going to be Elizabeth Hoyt, Liz Carlyle, or a complete dark horse.  And then came the drumroll.

Until then I had no idea who it would be; my gut is usually dormant when it comes to such matters.  As soon as the drumroll started, however, I sort of knew.

Somebody hugged me from behind–my agent, as it later turned out.  And then I was upon that stage.  And I am totally mortified about it now, but as I was walking across to the podium, I heard my name shouted from  the back in the ballroom–and I waved.  Waved, like a beauty queen!  *dies of embarrassment*

The statuette is surprisingly heavy.  Perfect-for-braining-home-intruders heavy.  I pulled out my little piece of paper–reproduced below–and poured out my gratitude.  It can never be said enough that I needed all the help I could get on NOT QUITE A HUSBAND–on each book since PA, in fact–and if I look back and see only one pair of footprints, it was probably because my editor carried me.  And so the award was dedicated to her.

I did forget one line on the list–the line that said “everyone.”  So if you are reading this, I want to thank you–and thank you again–for everything.

I got my picture taken more times that night than at my wedding.  Drank a bit of champagne–and that’s not an euphemism but literally two sips.  And then went back to my room to hang with them what brung me, my wonderful roommies.

And then, I put on my headphones and listened to this song three times straight.  It is called, aptly enough, “Just for Tonight.”

This is a tough business. But it does have its occasional glorious moments.

(The video is incomplete. The full version does not allow embedding, but you can access it here.)

San Diego

I had the good fortune to spend five weeks in San Diego this summer.

His Hawtness was working there, the family joined him for some time before RWA.  On route to Orlando I dropped off the kids at their grandparents’.  From Orlando I went back to SD for a nice little grownups-only time with the honey.

I love San Diego.  True, I was shocked upon arrival that it is so arid–I was expecting a humid maritime climate, like my hometown in China, not taking into consideration Southern California’s proximity to the deserts.  But other than that, the weather could not have been more delightful, especially coming from the heat of a Texas summer.  (This year wasn’t quite as bad; last year we had 100 days over 100F.)

We went to the beach.  We hiked.  I wrote in a public library with a spectacular view of the ocean.  I visited my jewel of a critique partner, Janine, and the awesome Bettie Sharpe in LA–sprinting like mad to catch my train back to SD because we were having so much fun.  They in turn visited me in SD.

And, of course, His Hawtness and I stumbled upon a clothing-optional beach. (Janine and Bettie, it was where we did not go down to the beach.) Imagine, it was near twilight, we were having this wonderful walk on this largely empty beach that goes on for miles and miles.  There were a few people fishing, some joggers, others on an evening constitutional–perfect normalcy, if you will.   And all of a sudden I blurted, “Is that man not wearing anything?”

It was exciting stuff, let me tell you, even though I kept my eyes averted from the dangly bits–and not out of modesty either, but so as not to laugh. Anyway, nude beach! This suburban soccer mom has never seen one before.  And now she has.

Thank you, San Diego. 🙂

Latest Foreign Covers


Spanish paperback DELICIOUS


For a while there, I thought there was no more to say after foreign covers, and then of course, I had to smack my forehead.

I am writing a new trilogy for Berkley.  The schedule pub dates are May, June, and September of 2012.  From now to end of next year I have to produce three books.  I’ve never had such tight deadlines before.  Send speedy vibes my way!

Jersey Shore

I am going to give my chemistry workshop–which has totally become my workhorse presentation–at NJRWA’s Put Your Heart in a Book conference Oct 22-24. I am very excited about it, not only because I’ve never been to New Jersey–or a big regional conference, for that matter–but also because I am going to room with Meredith, whom I haven’t seen since RWA D.C.

I am going to attempt to shame her into writing an update blog post, so we know what she’s been up to. Wish me good luck! 🙂

24 thoughts on “Summer Omnibus Update”

  1. Great post, even if it is autumn already. And even in October, I am still kicking myself for not attending the Orlando RWA! How often does my wonderful crit partner and friend win a RITA statuette? ::kicks self again::

    I had such a great time when you were here in LA and when Bettie and I visited you in San Diego. The only thing missing was Meredith. But since you will be seeing her in New Jersey — have a great time, both of you, and speedy writing vibes to you both!

  2. OK: 1) Will the delights of foreign covers never end? How can they be so universally lovely? Why don’t our covers look like that? Why??

    2) That is a daunting and impressive publication schedule. I feel stressed out (vicariously) and then excited (selfishly) by prospect of the one-two-three punch of Sherry Thomas novels… If I can get one (academic) book pitch off to publishers by next July, I will feel endlessly relieved, so I can only contemplate with awe the yogic mastery it takes to complete three actual books on a compact schedule.

    3) San Diego! So lovely! If only D’s work hadn’t whisked us off to Honolulu for the last half of the summer, I would have been in that neck of the woods as well. (I feel like there is something vaguely immoral about the wistful tone with which I typed that last sentence. There shouldn’t be “if onlys” when Hawai’i is involved.)

    • Ariel,
      1) I think it’s in part because in other places of the world there is no such thing as a separate romance genre. If I think about the Chinese romantic fiction of my youth, the same writer can write a happy ending for one book, a bittersweet one for the next, and an outright tragedy for the third. Also, Jane of Dear Author once posted on the mantitty cover that while she’d been deceived by other kind of covers that were actually historical fiction masquerading as romance, she’d never been mistaken in a mantitty cover. I think more or less the same goies for the clinch.

      2) Yes, someone has nailed my balls to the wall. And that somebody is of course me. 🙂 Best of luck w/ your academic books.

      3) It is indeed a sacrilege to put “if only” before any portion of Hawaii. We were in Honolulu briefly in the summer of 2009 and I was actually infatuated enough to think of retiring there, which has never happened anywhere else.

  3. Glad you enjoyed San Diego! This summer was even nicer than usual, very mild. Blacks Beach, eh? I’ve been there but didn’t see any nudists, darn it. I should go again.

    Looking forward to the trilogy.

    • Hi Jill,

      The first time we went it was a Sunday evening and there were only a few lonely nudists. The second time, holy smoke, the beach was literally crawling with them, including some women. Second time was a bright and lovely Thursday, midday.

      Now you know when to go. 🙂

  4. Congrats on you much deserved RITA! I’m sad that there’s no book by you to look forward to in 2011. But yay to the back-to back-to back releases in 2012! I’m also sending speedy writing vibes your way.

    I I

  5. I was thrilled to see you win, Sherry! Always rooting for you. Thanks for mentioning the New Jersey conference–I won’t be there, but I think they make their sessions available for downloading. I would love to be able to hear your chemistry workshop sans fire alarm and evacuation.

    Actually, I was looking back at my notes from that presentation just this week, and wondering if there were any Victorian term for “blue balls.” A 19th century phrase search on Google Books only found innocent references to toys. 😉

    Thanks for the update. Meredith?

    • I hope you will find the chemistry workshop improved. I’ve given it four times since then and tweaked with each presentation.

      And what are you doing to your poor hero? (But of course he should have blue balls, that’s part and parcel of being a man.) 🙂

      Sorry can’t help you on the specific Victorian slang, but it shouldn’t be that hard–ha–to to get across the idea of a man pained by desire, so to speak. 😛

  6. Yah for the new series! Boo that we have to wait so long for it! It’s great that you had such a terrific summer (living vicariously is a hobby of mine). And be sure to let us know if the NJRWA posts your workshop on line. Will Meredith be acting as your lovely assistant?

  7. Sherry, I knew all along you’d win a RITA for NQAH. But I still ‘yahooo’ed aloud when I spot your name on RWA winner announcement 😉

  8. Congrats on the massively overdue Rita! I’m very excited to meet/hear you at NJRW this month, you and Meredith both. So excited that I signed up to be moderators for both workshops to guarantee a chance to be a fangrll nonpareil. No, you won’t have to bring a TRO, I’m just saying – v. excited! Also, they’re I will likely be totting well-read copies of PA and DUKE OF SHADOWS, respectively.

    I’ve been to San Diego once as a teenager, but absolutely loved it. Sounds like you had a marvelous time, well deserved after your fantastic win.

    Three books in one year – what. you didn’t feel challenged enough already? Seriously, looking forward to each one.

    Congrats again!

    • Good you commented, K2. This will remind me to put a few of the remaining shea butter tins in my luggage, for a moderator gift. 🙂

      Look forward to seeing you in a few days!

  9. Congratulations on the Rita and welcome back. We have 3 books to look forward to next year. At the end of that time, you’ll have to do a blog on whether your publisher wanting 3 books is a wonderful career achievement or the path to burn-out. I can’t imagine a more pressure-induced situation than knowing you have to submit 3 completed novels in short order. It seems more and more publishers want to release back-to-back books.

    • Hi Kim,

      I have three books to write next year, but they won’t go on the shelves until 2012. I am definitely going to do a retrospective on how I managed, though at the moment I feel pretty invigorated. I’ll write the first books side by side instead of back to back, so that will give me a little break from each book from time to time.

      As for pressure, lol, while I’m not impervious to pressure, I’m fairly mellow and pressure doesn’t get to me very easily. Let’s hope I keep my zen for the next 14 months!

  10. Sherry, congratulations on all your wonderful news — RITA, beautiful books, first nude beach, and a new book deal! That’s quite a whammy of a blog post. So happy for you, and looking forward to your trilogy in 2012!

  11. OMG 3 books in one year!! So excited… except for the fact there will be no Sherry Thomas books for the next 2 years T-T

    Congrats on the RITA!!

    I just reread Not Quite a Husband too!

    • Thank you. Thank you. And thank you again.

      I need to finish rereading NQAH myself, btw, have been compiling an errata list but went to California for the summer and didn’t finish the job.

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