In Our Words, Inc.
Tales of life, love and forgiveness that transcend space, time, and even the grave.
SHERRY ISAAC is the winner of The Alice Munro short story contest with The Forgetting in 2009. Her work appears online and in print with her first collection of shorts, Storyteller, debuting this month.
PICKPOCKET IN PARIS
Short Story Excerpt
Abby turned to leave then swiveled on her heel. She laid her hand on the mark’s arm. “About that coffee?”
His eyes lit up. “Oui?”
She let her fingers caress the back of his hand, the blonde hairs stirring under her touch. “What if we made it a drink? Later? A glass of wine? There’s a bar at my hotel...”
Abby let the suggestion fall. He picked it up in a heartbeat, even after betraying her to the city, a ginger waif who’d lost her way.
He smiled and edged closer. Perfect. She stepped in meet him, her plump breasts thrust gently forward as if serving them on a platter. After agreeing on the time and place, Abby’s fingers traced their way down his left arm, lingered at his wrist. “Bye,” she bid him, the word barely more than breath yet heavy with the weight of a promise already broken.
She turned and made her way through the morning crowd of pedestrians. A few meters later, she ducked into a doorway and peered after him. Sure enough, he looked back.
A tinge of regret tip-toed through her heart. He was handsome. And he smelled so good. Still, she had people to rob, wallets to lift. She checked the time on the gold watch that had slid so easily from his wrist to her own.
Some labels were worth knowing.
~ ~ ~ THE SHORT & SWEET OF IT ~ ~ ~
ANGI: How often to you get lost in a story?
SHERRY: Not as often as I’d like. A few years ago I started to read outside my usual picks, authors I’d never read before and other genres, and started to keep track of what I read. 2008 was my personal best--I got lost in over 30 stories that year! I’m writing more, and that means I’m reading less. My dream vacation is my backyard with a stack of paperbacks!
ANGI: What’s the first book you remember reading?
SHERRY: There was a book about a racehorse, Old Bones, and a non-fiction on the life of Helen Keller that read like fiction. The first book that made an impact was ‘Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret’ by Judy Blume.
ANGI: What’s your favorite “love” word?
SHERRY: More wine? No, that’s two words.
ANGI: Can you tell us about a real-life hero you’ve met? SHERRY: Son #2, when he was about 9 or 10, was with some friends. I was collecting our mail and from where I stood he couldn’t see me. There was a mentally challenged man that lived on our street. Some of my son’s friends made fun of him, as nice kids do when they are trying to impress the crowd. My son stood between the boys and the man, explained that God made this man slow to teach us to be kind.
ANGI: What’s your favorite fairy tale?
SHERRY: Cinderella. Odds are stacked against her, she could give up and fall into the role of victim. Instead her attitude shines, she makes the best of what she has, she has faith, and when things get tough, she doesn’t crumble. Locked in the dungeon, she found a way out, and wasn’t too stubborn to ask for help from the mice and birds when she needed it. And glass slippers? That girl is all about the shoes!
ANGI: What’s your favorite cartoon character?
SHERRY: Scooby Doo. He’s kooky, but honest and true. What I aspire to be. (I’ve got the kooky already covered.)
Regulars on GLIAS know that SCOOBY DOO is my all-time favorite --I knew you were a woman of great taste, Sherry!
ANGI: What turns you off like nothing else?
ANGI: Is there a playlist you’d recommend for reading your latest release?
SHERRY: Whoa. Gotta put on my thinking cap. It’s a collection, so definitely a variety. Let’s see... A little prohibition-era jazz for A Love of Reading. The Bee Gees, Abba and Queen for Blue Velvet. Smooth Criminal (Michael Jackson) and Would I Lie To You (Eurythmics) for A Pickpocket in Paris. The musical score from the movie Sense & Sensibility starring Keira Knightley for As It Should Be. When I said variety, I meant variety.
ANGI: Where do you read and how often?
SHERRY: I always have a book with me so where could be anywhere. In the doctor’s waiting room, in the car between appointments (safely parked with e-brake engaged). Choice places to read is in the big comfy chair beside the fireplace, on my front porch or propped up in bed with a cup of Earl Grey.
ANGI: What sound or noise do you love?
SHERRY: Birds chirping outside my window as I awake. My husband’s voice when he’s sleepy and vulnerable. My singing voice is FANTASTIC in the shower.
ANGI: Fairy Tale or Action Adventure?
SHERRY: Why can’t I have both?
ANGI: What was the first story you remember writing?
SHERRY: As in a non-assignment? In grade seven (age 12) I had an exchange teacher from the UK, Mrs. Hurring. Loved her accent. Loved her. I became enamored with all things British, and in geography learned that the English channel was, what was it? 26 miles wide? That sparked my first story idea about 2 sisters, 12 and 8, who go to the English coast for a family picnic. Their dingy drifted from shore and they ended up in France. Had no idea what they would do once they got there--and no idea what I’d gotten myself into trying to write a novel--so I didn’t get very far. Hmm. Not a bad premise.
ANGI: What’s your favorite movie of all time?
SHERRY: Princess Bride. It has everything, I tell you. Everything. Humor. Gallantry. Romance. Honor. Vengeance. Justice. True love. Fairy tale/action/adventure (see answer above).
ANGI: Who’s your favorite villain?
SHERRY: It’s a toss up between Wile E Coyote and Yosemite Sam.
ANGI: Be honest, when reading...do you put yourself in the heroine’s role?
SHERRY: YES! If I were Claire, I’d have brought Jamie Fraser through the stones with me. And, I’d have brought him to Canada before the war broke out, but that’s my Canadian showing.
ANGI: Is writing or story-telling easier for you?
SHERRY: To me, writing and storytelling are the same thing. Even if I’m writing non-fiction--a blog post, a review, an article--I’m telling a story. Sometimes the story is true, like a Christmas letter to family, and sometimes it’s fiction, which, for me, anyway, is always littered with nuggets of truth.
ANGI: What’s something you’d like to tell your fans?
SHERRY: Storyteller will make a great gift so buy lots and lots of copies! Seriously, though, I write the kinds of stories I like to read, or hear. I like ghost stories that make me shiver in fear, in wonder or both. I like stories that make me think. I like stories that make me cheer for the underdog. I like stories that elicit emotion, be it falling in love with the hero, or feeling sad when a good story ends, not because the ending wasn’t happy, but because the story is over. If those are the kinds of stories you like, then look no further.
ANGI’S GOTTA ASK: So Sherry, which of the stories in the book is your favorite and why?
SHERRY ‘S GOTTA ANSWER: Smiling here. I was asked this question the other day. My answer is the same, but different. Same: Depends on the day you ask. Different: A Pickpocket in Paris. Why: There is just something so darn fun about Abby. I love her sense of adventure and her uninhibited spirit. She’s a criminal, but a sweet one. I love the way it ends, but the hero is just so tantalizing, and her lusty craving so strong (and hilarious), there just has to be more. I’ve always felt there is a book to follow, and that this short story is really chapter one.
GOT A QUESTION YOU’D LIKE TO ASK YOUR FANS?
Does anyone have a good salsa recipe? And on my Wildflower blog I feature fellow authors. Anyone you’d like to see featured?
YOU CAN FIND SHERRY on her website. Contact her by email: firstname.lastname@example.org OR visit her blogs: Wildflower & Romance & Beyond.