Dreams Really DO Come True

   Sherry Foley  Chapter One

It was always another day, another dead body—until that body was someone you knew.

Detective Seth Banning paused at the bedroom doorway of the rundown duplex, his gaze fixed on the dead woman lying on the floor. He swallowed while his brain absorbed the shock. He squeezed his eyes shut and then opened them again.

She was still there. He would know that profile anywhere. Sheila Peterson. A woman he never expected to lay eyes on again alive, much less find dead. (Excerpt from SWITCHED IN DEATH by Sherry Foley)

I met Sherry Foley in the most unusual way…

     A few years ago my Northwest Houston Romance Chapter was hosting their annual Lone Star Conference, and like most chapters, this would be where we’d announce the winners of our Lone Star Writing Contest.

     I happened to be the Romantic Suspense coordinator that year, so only I knew a writer from Kansas City, named Sherry Foley, had won 1st Place.   Amazingly enough, she and a friend decided to travel all the way to Houston to attend our one day conference, their first writing conference ever!  I made sure they were invited to the Friday night pre-conference reception; a great casual way to meet the agents and editors we’d flown in for Saturday pitches.

      All during the Friday reception I kept asking fellow members, “Have you seen someone named Sherry Foley?” And finally an acquaintance of hers said, “Oh, their plane was delayed because of bad weather. She should be here soon.”

     Well, I never saw her that night and the next morning during registration I noticed she still hadn’t checked in!  Eventually I saw two travel-weary women slip into the conference and finally met Sherry and her friend, Liz. Here is their ghastly travel tale in Sherry’s own words:

     “We were supposed to fly from Kansas City to Houston on a straight flight. That flight was canceled and we had to get another flight out, which connected.  But then we had a five hour wait in Kansas City so we landed too late to catch the connecting flight.  

     We finally arrived in Houston…Hobby Airport, the WRONG airport. We rented a car and drove an hour north to the other airport to collect our bags (they had been tagged for this airport.) Of course our suitcases were nowhere in sight! Because of the late hour Baggage Claims was closed.

     So we drove straight to the hotel (still in our dress clothes for the Friday cocktail reception) to find we were locked out of the lobby.  Now it was after midnight. FYI, we were supposed to land in Houston at 2:30pm! 

     We buzzed the front desk, called the front desk from our cell phones…FINALLY the guy came to unlock the door and let us in.   We went straight to our room and crashed.  At the crack of dawn we got up, hurried back to the airport to get our luggage, got cleaned up and hurried to the meeting–we’d missed half the morning. Oh yeah, and as we tried to just sneak in unobtrusively, the only remaining seats were in the front row. How embarrassing!”

  You could tell they were both in REALLY bad moods and were trying to get beyond the catastrophes and get into the spirit of the conference. And anyone who’s experienced even half of these complications knows that’s hard! (Personally, I’d have thrown up my hands at the canceled flight and gone back home!)

     But they couldn’t have been more gracious, and eventually joked about the day-and-a-half it took to get to Houston for a one day conference. By this time I literally had to avoid her because I wanted to blurt out, “But you’ve won our contest!” just to turn the day around for her.

     Finally it was Lone Star Contest Awards time. I announced the 3rd place & 2nd place names and saw Sherry’s eyebrows knit in confusion. Then I said  “…and the 1st Place winner for Romantic Suspense is SHERRY FOLEY!”

   I kid you not- her eyes were as round as saucers and she looked at me like this had to be an evil trick to add to the horror she’d lived through that weekend.  (Turns out this was the very first contest she’d ever entered!) But then she smiled, and I honestly have never seen a smile quite like that. After moving mountains to get to Houston she stood to a thundering, whistling crowd and received her due as a Writer Extraordinaire.

   I present to you: my friend and debut author, Sherry Foley.

  Thanks for being here. I’m so thrilled we can showcase Switched in Death today! (Dear Blog Reader: It’s a chilling, fast paced novel with such a jaw dropping twist at the end it’ll leave you absolutely stunned. No joke.)

  Sherry, who are your favorite authors?

     Shannon K. Butcher, Linda Howard, Tami Hoag, Carla Neggers…the list is endless. 

When did you start writing romantic suspense?

     On my birthday, eight years ago and my book came out on my birthday this year.  How cool is that?!

How did you know this is what you wanted to do for a career?

     Always an avid reader, I thought it would be wonderful to grow up, be a writer, and give back to others.

     I placed first in a writing contest in high school and it made such an impact on me. 

     I won my scholarship to college in acting and I landed some great parts, but I didn’t party and I was told if I was ever going to make it I was going to need to change that.  It was a confusing time.  I didn’t want to be an English major and teach or go into Journalism.  I just wanted to write, but didn’t know what genre.  

     I decided to drop out of drama and of course, I lost my scholarship.  Along the way, I married the man I fell in love with in 7th grade and from there we were busy with life and having a family.  Still, the dream was never very far away.

Detective Seth Banning searches for one of the most heinous serial killers of all time. Seth is desperate to find the sadistic murderer who takes his female victims two at a time, and switches their heads. Elaina von Hagan is on the run from the drug trafficking father she has exposed. As she and Seth begin a relationship, she becomes a target for the serial killer’s deranged ritual. The stakes have never been higher for Seth as Elaina is taken, and the stage is set for a gruesome showdown between good and evil. 

-SWITCHED IN DEATH

What do you bring to this (fabulously chilling) serial killer story that makes it different than others out there? 

     The early 60’s was a time when everyone had two parents and divorce was still a whispered word. I was an oddity being raised by my grandmother, a woman who delighted in dressing me from eras past. She had other…serious issues, but she made sure my bruises were always in unseen places. Poked fun of by my peers, miserable at “home”, I escaped between the pages of books and pretended I was someone else.

     My fictional life was full of fun and laughter. Safe. The serial killer in SWITCHED IN DEATH was bullied by peers too, but never found an outlet.  Bottled rage can do some heinous things when unleashed….

    Wow! That was nakedly honest, and my heart goes out to you, Sherry. I know you’ve worked hard on getting your work noticed in this crazy industry. This story is a multiple contest finalist and winner and you have pitched and queried it for years. So tell us how you got “discovered”. 

     A year ago, I decided I was ready to try and seek publication, well, that and my mentor threatened me.  (laughs)  I sent out query letters, received a few rejections, and then saw an article from Winter Goose Publication that drew me. 

Available now!

     I sent them my query letter, synopsis and first three chapters. Something told me they were going to ask for a full. They did.  I had this feeling that they would want me to sign.  They did and I didn’t hesitate, which was odd, because they were a new start-up publishing company and I am so not a risk taker.

     I still had a total peace about it. I signed. Within the next few weeks I had two agents want to rep me and I had to inform them I’d already signed. I was amazed at how I wasn’t upset but felt  I’d done the right thing.  I’ve not regretted my decision for a moment. 

 What’s in your writing future?   (I know the answer, but tell everyone else!)

     A CAPTIVE HEART will be released in November.  It’s the first of three in the Heart Series. And I’m currently working on a detective series. 

  Name a book you’ve read that changed your life.

     HEARTBREAKER by Linda Howard. I wanted to write characters like that and have readers emotionally connect with them. 

What’s your writing habit? (How long each day? Are you a plotter/pantster? And is there a secret magic pill that I can take and become published too?)

     I write full-time now.  I start out traveling across the social media sites and spend a little time in each area.  I try to write 4,000 words a day or more.

     I’m a total pantster.  I think up the start to a story and then create characters I think can handle the storyline. I follow them around and take notes.  They always surprise me what they come up with. 

   The Switched in Death plot is pretty creepy–(yeah, I know, I’ve mentioned that before!) What scares YOU?

      The thought of being buried alive terrifies me. My grandmother told me a story of when her mother was young and working the cemetery bell ringing shift.

     They would always tie a string on the finger of the “dead” to have in case the person woke up.  

     One did on her shift.  They got the man out alive. That story haunts me to this day. 

  Eeew! (Just wait until you read the May 8th blog featuring Amanda Stevens, aka: The Graveyard Queen!)

  Let’s end on a light note! What food can’t you say no to?

   A good pot of chili.

 
“Sherry Foley has always had a wild imagination which she has used to craft inspired pieces of fiction that often border on the disturbing. While her creative mind races forward, she keeps her feet planted in Missouri with her husband and three teenage children.”
 -Winter Goose Publishing
 

SWITCHED IN DEATH is available now at Amazon:  http://tinyurl.com/78lv7r5

Please visit Sherry at www.SherryFoley.com

Facebook:  http://tinyurl.com/7kkxj8w

Goodreads

Leave a question or comment for Sherry Foley and be eligible to receive a copy of her e-book, Switched in Death! One winner will be announced Thursday, April 28th.

About Sarah Andre

Romantic Suspense That Keeps You Up All Night! I live in sunny FL, love daydreaming, reading and chocolate. I write in the wee hours of the morning before my helpless hubby and 2 male Pomeranian pups awaken with their demands. :) My debut LOCKED, LOADED and LYING is available now.

Posted on April 24, 2012, in Author Interview and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 63 Comments.

  1. Welcome Sherry! Thanks again for letting us celebrate your debut novel.

    What do you do to relax- watch the CSI/Law and Order type TV shows, sit-coms, reality shows or read?

    • Sarah, Thank you for all your hard work on putting this together for me. It’s great to be here. Yes, to all of those shows and
      don’t forget CASTLE!!!! I’m an avid reader and have purchased several books after learning about there here. You ladies do such a great job!

  2. Wow, Sherry. What an amazing journey, both to Houston and in your writing career. And you’ve certainly plenty other intersting tales to tell. I’m terribly excited for you.
    Best of luck!

    Jenn!

  3. Amazing story (your book and your own!) and interview. Nice to meet you.

  4. Welcome, Sherry. I LOVED your story and can’t wait to Switched in Death. Stories like yours are always an inspiration!

  5. A powerful interview. It gives me more insight into the job of writing. I’m hooked already by the short snippets of the book you’ve given us. Intriguing.

    • Hi Patti,
      Thanks for stopping by! I agree, Sherry has an incredibly interesting history…The poster child for “sheer determination.” It’s why the Blog Interview is called ‘Dreams Really Do Come True!’

    • Hi Patti, Thank you for commenting. The job of a writer isn’t an easy one but it is a worthy one. I enjoy showing up to the page every day and seeing what happens. I never know the end of the story ahead of time so I’m driven to get to THE END to find out. Glad you liked the excerpt. My husband just started reading the book yesterday. He’s never read anything of mine yet. Boy, is he in for a shock! 🙂 Thanks again for posting.

  6. I’m glad to hear that you got something after the hellish trip you had coming to our conference! Congratulations on your first publication and I’m so happy that we played a small part in your journey. The book sounds amazing and I can see why you won!!

    • Hey girl!
      Thank you for commenting today! Sherry still has a warm spot for our Northwest Houston chapter, even with all that travel drama, LOL!

    • Stacey, I’m glad I finally made it too! The only times I had been to Texas at all was just to swap planes. I’ve been back since then as it was so wonderful and each time has been a great experience! Your chapter had more than “a small part” in my journey. What a great group you have! I had hit a very low time in my wriitng career. I’d been writing awhile and several of my friends, one who had been a GH finalist, had given up writing. They were fading away all around me and I was writing slower and slower. My first contest, placing first, and everyone being so wonderful in your chapter really recharged me. My visit there was just HUGE to my turning a corner and making today possible. Thank you!

  7. Thanks for joining us today Sherry! I’m thinking The Bell Ringing Shift would make a great title for a very creepy read. 🙂

    • Ooo! You’re right, Rachel. Very Edgar Allen Poe.

    • Hi Rachel, Feel free to use it. ((shivers)) I can assure you I won’t have use for it. My first job was working in a morgue (long story) and having bodies “expire” air from their lungs or muscle jerk was enough for me. Those things show up in my writing but being placed in a casket and waking up is not on my list to write about. I like to sleep too much at night. Thank you for the Twitter posts today to help me gain exposure here. My connecting with readers is very important to me. Thanks for commenting.

  8. Great interview Sarah. Shelly, I’m so glad you finally joined us at nwhrwa. We may not be easy to find, but we’re lots of fun when you get here.

    • Thanks Susan!
      Hope your first book sales are phenomenal too!

    • Susan, NWHRWA is a fun group. Liz and I had a blast. We were even invited out for dinner with your group and the agents. We laughed and laughed and soon the traveling troubles were a distant memory. Liz and I have talked about that trip more than any of the others we’ve taken together. I’m glad you liked the interview. This is all still new to me after being a stay at home mom for almost 21 years. Take care.

  9. Great excerpt, great interview. Congrats on your first sale and … happy birthday! 🙂

    • :::waving at Deanne::: So great to see you here!

      Hugs

    • Hi Deeanne (2012 RITA finalist!!)
      Thanks for stopping by today!

    • Deeanne, Thank you! I started writing 8 years ago on my birthday and to be able to live my dream out loud on this birthday was very poetic. I’ve had an incredible time and I’m so excited to see where this leads. I’m 4 book clubs down and 1 more next week to go. As I said in a previous post, everyone has a story, but I hope mine can help others to keep going and not give up until they too can live their dream out loud.

  10. Yes, Happy Birthday, Sherry! Thanks for joining us at Kiss and Thrill! I am so intrigued by your excerpt — this book is going right to the top of my to be read pile.

    Wonderful interview Sarah and Sherry.

    Hugs,
    Diana

  11. Sarah Elle Emm

    Sherry, I am a self-proclaimed ‘chicken,’ glued to table-tops when a mouse invades my kitchen, but I am so excited about you as a writer and intrigued by your novel…I can’t wait to add, ‘Switched in Death’ to my shelf. Great interview & great to visit this very cool site! 🙂

    • Thanks for stopping by, Sarah! We K&T girls loved to hear our site described as ‘cool!’

      I had a recent “chicken” scare on a plane…felt something creepy crawly on my ankle as the flight attendant was doing her ‘how to buckle a seatbelt’ speech. I glanced down and saw a dark blob on my bare leg and, thinking it was a cockroach, began kicking and stamping in my seat. Poor passenger next to me probably thought I was having a seizure. Turns out it was a moth…but still. I’m very proud I didn’t interrupt the pre-flight announcement with the blood-curdling scream that was lodged in my throat.

      • Sarah: I’m proud of you. I probably would have screamed!

      • Sarah Elle Emm

        I also admire you for not screaming, Sarah! A moth would have ensured a scream from me. The last ‘scary’ movie I saw, which was NOT by choice, was The Mothman Prophecies, and it still terrifies me to this day when I see a moth. Due to one year in a cockroach INFESTED apartment in Mexico, cockroaches, I can handle. (This is sad, but true.) 🙂 My husband thinks I am certifiably loca, and I am inclined to agree. You are obviously a brave, sensible, and well-balanced woman. I’m working on it, lol. 🙂

    • Sarah, Thanks for the laugh. I no likie mice, spiders or snakes AT ALL. However, a severed head or two… 😉 All in the name of fiction my dear. Umm…if you do become my reader-it might be a good idea to lock the doors before reading. Oh, there’s a lot of quirky humor in the book as well. The next door neighbor provides quite a bit of comedy relief. She’s the kind of person we all know and laugh inwardly the moment we lay eyes on her. Thank you for coming to this “very cool site” and sharing.

      • Sarah Elle Emm

        Sherry, I am taking your advice and locking the doors! Don’t even get me started on snakes! I married a snake charmer. They find me everywhere I go with him. I have had two snakes INSIDE of my living room in different houses since I got hitched to him. Still can’t believe I won!!!! Hopefully, that neighbor gets me through this. 🙂

  12. I was one of the other RS finalists in that contest, Sherry, and I remember thinking as the winners were announced–That woman deserves to win after what it took her to get here!

    Congratulations on your release! Can’t wait to read it!

  13. Congratulations on everything, Sherry!!
    Your story is prof positive people would and should move mountains to get to TEXAS. It’s so worth it once you get here! LOL!
    Very nice to meet you. I wish I had been at the conference to see that smile when your name was announced.
    NWHRWA is an awesome chapter and another reason why more authors should migrate to Texas… hey… what a great idea. We could use another amazing award winning author in our midst!
    Just food for thought! 😉
    Once again, congratulations and good luck with Switched in Death and all your future releases!

    • Thanks for such heartfelt well-wishes, Robin! So very typical of the NWH chapter. I appreciate you stopping by.

    • Hi Robin, Thank you for such kind words. I’ve seen your name across my cyber travels and it’s great to finally connect with you. Yes, TEXAS is a great state. I was so impressed. Take care and Happy Writing to you!

  14. Amazing, insightful interview. Congratulations, good luck, and I am so proud.

    • Hi Shelly,
      Thanks for stoping by, we’re proud of her too. Publishing novels is a hard career!

    • Thank you, Shelly! I’m glad you enjoyed the interview. Whew! Just because one MIGHT be able to write a story does not mean they are automatically a computer genius, tax wiz kid, a natural at interviews…oh..the list is endless. All good problems to have. My life sure has changed in two months and I’m loving the journey. Meeting supportive people like you is a pleasure. Take care!

  15. Congratulations on your debut, Sherry! I’m going to sleep with the light on when I read SWITCHED. 🙂 Do you ever scare yourself with your scenarios?

    • Krista, Good question! Umm..without giving anything away…YES! There is one scene in SWITCHED that I had to research to see if the idea in my head was medically possibly. Sadly, it is! I wrote the scene in what I thought was very realistic. It disturbed me, and as I write a lot late at night, I had to put in a DVD and watch I LOVE LUCY for some silly humor and get my mind off of it.

      I’ve attended four book clubs now and at every one of them someone has asked about that particular scene and loved to hate it. 🙂

      Now, that is not to say my book is too strong or dwells on morbid scenes, just the one spot. I don’t want to give off that idea. And, true to my Sherry humor..there is heaps of quirky laughs for when the reader needs to catch their breath between killings. Peggy Lucille is quite a character. She’s who I want to be when I grow up.

      Krista, I appreciate your taking the time to post.

      -Sherry

  16. Great interview!!! Congratulations, Sherry!!! So happy for you and your success!!!!

    • HI Tess,
      Why thank you! I’m thrilled to have been asked for an interview.
      Everyone has been so kind to spread the word. My Twitter following has risen by 31 people so far today!
      I appreciate your kind words.
      Take care.

  17. Hi Sherry! Thanks so much for joining us on Kiss and Thrill and for being such a great guest. Wonderful interview, Sarah!

    Sherry I can only imaging your conversation with your husband after he reads your work for the first time….you’ll have to come back and share his reaction!

    • Hi Carey,
      I have loved every moment of being here today and the chance to meet so many great people!
      Sarah has done such a great job in preparing all of this for me. I can’t thank her enough!!! (Yet another blessing that came out of my trip to Texas in meeting her.)
      I’m very curious as to what my husband will have to say when he finishes the book too. I’m sure after it’s all said and done he will be taking credit for all of my romantic scenes. MEN! 😀
      Nice to chat with you.

  18. Congratulations on your debut, Sherry! Thanks so much for joining us here to celebrate. I’m glad your heinous trip to Houston ended with a high note.

    I gotta say you totally creeped me out with the string around the finger thing… 😉

    • Gwen,
      Thank you!
      I know! I was only 11 years old when my grandmother told me that story. I had bad dreams about it but never wanted to tell her and make her feel bad. Since then, I have learned that Bell Watchers use to be the thing in the Victorian days because often people would wake up a day or so later. They had to bury the bodies by the third day because of sanitary safety. Ewwww.
      So, they had string tied to the finger of the body and if by chance they woke up they could pull the string and the bell would sound above ground.
      They figured all of this out AFTER grave robbers dug up coffins to rade for jewels. They would see claw marks….
      My nightmares stemmed from worrying that with my luck the string would break…
      OKAY, more than you wanted to know I’m sure.
      My book is not that scary.
      Thanks for your post!

  19. Congratulations Sherry! I couldn’t wait to win it, i had to buy it. Honestly he best read ever.

    • Ross,
      THANK YOU for being my reader!! I’m glad you enjoyed the story.
      Please, feel free to tell a friend. =)
      Past all social medias today, word of mouth is still the greatest tool.
      A CAPTIVE HEART releases in November. I hope you’ll keep it in mind.
      Thank you again.

  20. What a great interview! Sherry, congratulations on all you’ve accomplished. How cool to win the Lone Star Contest Award after such a horrendous trip to Houston! Have added both books to my wish list.

    • HI Karen,
      Thank you!!! I appreciate your wanting to be one of my readers. I’m excited. If you do read them I would love to hear from you and see what you thought. I can so take a critique. You have to learn to have a Teflon skin in this business.
      Hearing from readers is a huge learning experience for an author wanting to deliver the goods to readers.
      I would love your help.
      Take care and thanks for stoppy by to comment.

  21. What a great story and a wonderful opportunity to get to know Sherry better. I am such a big fan, honestly. Switched in Death is a fantastic book and is just the beginning of great things to come for Sherry. I am so excited to see Sherry getting what she deserves… complete awesomeness. Love you Sherry!

  22. Jessica,
    Aww. Thank you for stopping by! You’re such a wonderful cheerleader.
    I love you too!
    (((Hugs)))

  23. Whoa, that’s a totally chilling premise for a book… I’m so reading it! Probably with the lights on. And perhaps never leaving my house again 🙂

    Congrats on the publication! Looking forward to reading it– and many more!

    • Hi Cris,
      It has scary moments. I actually think the most chilling is how a person can convince themselves that they are justfied in their actions. It blows me away that forty some odd years later Charles Manson shows no remorse and if he had a chance to relive it he is quoted as saying he would do things the same.
      Oh, and incidently, Manson’s Facebook following is rapidly.
      I hope if you do purchase SWITCHED IN DEATH you’ll do okay. If you have trouble sleeping, email me, I’ll probably be up writing. 😀
      Thanks for stopping by and the well wishes!
      -Sherry

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