Things got busy lately. I didn’t realize how busy until I sat down to write a new blog and looked at the date of the last one I posted. It was scheduled for May 13th. That means I missed an entire WEEK of blogging. I don’t even go that long between posts when I’m on vacation. I don’t know what to say. Time flew.
I’ve been trying really hard to write a chapter a day on the new straight mystery I started, and I’ve done a decent job of that. I made it up to 32,000 words today. Not quite half, but I’m getting there. I’ve read the first two chapters to my writers’ group, and they like it. I was aiming for a Louis Kincaid type feel, but it’s not going to happen. Laurel’s story isn’t going to be a cozy, but I just couldn’t muster up the oomph to come up with an unusual, emotionally charged crime. I loved the first Kincaid book I read. He was a new cop, and the department he was hired into was hiding a dark secret. Color me intrigued. The second book was about a progression of killings from a man who was very black, to one who was lighter, etc. Each victim was a lighter shade than the one before. Louis is a very light black man. Guess who’s next in line? Interesting. Each book I’ve read, though, has upped the ante on the cringe-worthiness of the crimes committed until I’m to the point, I’m hoping the next book is just a strong mystery and doesn’t push me too far. The last book came close. So I decided to write a strong mystery with only a little shock value. Just enough to titillate:)
HH and I relax at the end of the day by watching TV. First, the news–and that can be depressing. And then Wheel of Fortune, because HH is hooked on it. And finally, a show or two. We turn the TV off at 10:00 or 10:30 and I pick up a book to read and HH picks up his tablet. I won’t even pretend it’s for anything more than surfing. Tonight, though, we watched a Hometown Takeover that we’d recorded, and watching that show made me homesick for Jazzi and Ansel and their house flipping and cozy feel. When I finish Laurel and Nick’s book, I have a decent outline for their next mystery. Switching back and forth from a straight mystery to a cozy will give me balance–a gritty crime followed by murders ala family style.
I’m a little worried about trying a straight mystery. I downloaded the free book, How To Market A Book, by Ricardo Fayet from Reedsy. Amazon.com: How to Market a Book: Overperform in a Crowded Market (Reedsy Marketing Guides Book 1) eBook: Fayet, Ricardo: Kindle Store He recommends sticking to your niche and writing a series. I know he’s right. I’m a fan of many mystery writers, and they don’t muck about changing genres. They find what works for them and stay in that lane. I like Lynn Cahoon’s Tourist Trap mysteries. Yes, she writes a few different series, but they’re all COZIES. I auto-buy Anna Lee Huber’s Lady Darby series, and yes, she has another series, too, but it’s still historical mysteries. When readers like your work, why tempt fate?
I wrote some paranormal mysteries, the Raven and Hester series, but they had a cozy feel, so I didn’t push the boundaries too much with those. I just added a little magic. And some battles. In Muddy River, every supernatural works together. Vampires help shifters who help witches, and a demon watches over the entire area. In their community, their biggest threat is humans, so they stick together–like family.
In the marketing book by Ricardo Fayet, he stresses that the most important things in marketing a book is a wonderful cover that hints at what kind of book you wrote, a great blurb, and choosing the right tags and categories so people can find it. A great title doesn’t hurt. For the moment, the working title for my manuscript is VOLUNTEERING FOR TROUBLE, but it’s not good enough. It sounds too lightweight. It sounds too much like a cozy. A title should give the reader an idea of what lies between your book’s covers. I need a cover that has a darker, more sinister mood, too. I want readers to look at the book and KNOW it’s not another cozy. .
Anyway, I’ve been writing and working on marketing, and life intruded, and I really didn’t realize eight days had passed since my last blog. I have a feeling summer’s going to be even busier, but I’ll try to keep track of everything. In the meantime, hope you’re enjoying the warm weather! Happy reading, writing, and. . . whatever.