I used to write mystery short stories. I’m a lifelong fan of Agatha Christie. And my daughter, Holly, used to read most of my manuscripts before I sent them off. She still reads a lot of them, and she enjoys my stabs at urban fantasy, but she started to bug me to write a good, old Agatha-style cozy again. She said she missed reading the types of stories I used to create.
The thing is, since I’ve started writing urban fantasies, I yearn for a touch of magic in my plots, so I squirmed and protested. But she wouldn’t take no for an answer, so I played with the idea of adding supernatural elements to a nice, cozy murder. And not just any murder. I decided to try my hand at a locked room mystery. Nothing mundane like a latch that automatically falls when the killer shuts the door behind him, either. I wanted a murder where the crime is committed and solved by a paranormal.
I have to admit, killing an evil warlock in his own living room was a lot of fun. Trying to decide how someone got past all of his magic wards was even better. And doing it all in a short format–I gave myself 40 pages–was the icing on the cake. Holly was right. I’d missed writing short, and I’d missed writing mysteries. So this summer, I’ve given myself permission to write as many 40-page stories as I can get done. It’s my treat to myself. And to Holly. And hopefully, other readers might like them too.