When I tell friends that I finished Muddy River Mystery One and put it on Amazon, they ask, “What is it?”
Well, a mystery. That’s in the title. Muddy River is the town on the Ohio River that the supernaturals settled. They found a nice, hilly, secluded area in southwest Indiana, far from mortals, to call home.
“The supernatural?” they ask.
Yup, witches, vampires, shapeshifters, and demons, among others. Most friends know that I used to write urban fantasy. And now I’m writing mysteries. So I decided to combine the two. Sort of like the Babet and Prosper novellas that I used to write. Prosper was a bearshifter and his partner on the force, Hatchet, was a Druid.
I like writing about Druids. Of course, I jazz them up a bit. My Druids can call on lightning to strike and their tattoos are alive and writhe when they’re angry. It’s Prosper and Hatchet’s job to solve crimes committed by supernaturals who break the rules.
Prosper teams with Babet, a witch, to solve a murder. In Muddy River, Raven Black–a fire demon–teams with Hester Wand– a witch–to solve the deaths of thirteen young witches who were just starting their own coven. Of course–no suprise here–while they work together, they fall for each other.
“Oh, a paranormal romance!” someone says.
“No, wrong emphasis. A paranormal romance has the romance as the story’s main focus. Raven and Hester’s relationship is more of a subplot. The mystery forms the main plotline in my story.”
“Why is it different than an urban fantasy? You started with those.”
“Urban fantasies are about the bad guys, usually evil, bumping heads with the good guys–the protagonist and his friends. The battles escalate until it’s life or death at the end of the book. This book, even though it has a few battles, is about solving the mystery.”
This is when my friends usually scratch their heads. But fellow writers–they’ll understand. The main plot line is what distinguishes one kind of story from another. And this story is …a mystery with a romance subplot in a world peopled by Fae, Druids, witches, vampires, shifters, and one banshee. And it was really fun to write! As fun as Babet and Prosper.
A close friend and fellow writer still looks at me, bewildered. “But why? Your cozy mysteries are doing so well.”
All writers know that it’s dangerous to switch genres. People who read cozy mysteries might not want anything to do with a fire demon for an enforcer.
Well, I didn’t know how well The Body in the Attic would sell when I started my second series, did I? It came as a wonderful, happy surprise. But I’m not sure it would have made a lot of difference. I tend to lose interest if I read one author, one genre, over and over again, back to back. Sorry to say, but that holds true of my writing, too. I really do love the cozy mysteries I write, but I need to change it up once in a while, or else my writing goes flat.
I have no idea if I can find success with Muddy River, but I’d written three cozies, and I needed a witch or two to break things up. And it worked. I’m ready to dig into serious rewrites for Jazzi and Ansel’s fourth book now.
Whatever you’re writing, whatever your writing habits, have a great week of it!