The awesome co-hosts for the May 3 posting of the IWSG are Joylene Nowell Butler, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Meka James, Diane Burton, Victoria Marie Lees, and M Louise Barbour!
May 3 question – When you are working on a story, what inspires you? (Remember, the question is optional!)
May Day! May Day! I’m writing a cozy mystery, a genre I’ve never attempted before. I am a word nerd, a lifelong learner, and love a challenge, so I’m all in!
I attended a local writers’ group about six months ago. The speaker was a cozy mystery writer, a genre I’d never considered. I took plenty of notes because she made good points to add to my writing growth.
I wasn’t a reading fan of the genre either, though I have several friends who are. One of them, who was present that day, seated beside me, whispered in my ear about midway through the presentation, “Your small-town protagonists would be perfect for a cozy mystery.”
- the setting is a small town populated by a standard crew of characters
- one of the middle-aged ladies is an awesome cook
- my novels are humorous and loaded with PG charm
- the female protagonists are hyper-involved in the community and would be prodigious snoops, er sleuths
- my novels seldom have ‘messy’ on the page, critiqued for not having enough conflict by thriller writing fanatics
- sex is seldom mentioned and the characters are not highly profane
- My novel series’ intent is to entertain and one of my writerly strengths is empathy.
To be clear, complete, and concise, Cozies have many of the same rules as cocktail party conversation: Don’t talk (write) about politics, religion, or anything potentially divisive (rules that a certain crowd has forgotten – alas) Someone dies in a cozy mystery and an amateur sleuth sets out to nab the killer, often outside of law enforcement rules and reach. Readers of this genre have a high preference for low angst, though they love to problem-solve via clues, red herrings, and such. That is, cozy mystery readers want to be involved in the hunt.