I didn’t think my agent would like my latest book, and I was right. She passed on it. It’s a thriller, but it doesn’t follow the rules. It has “nice” moments in it, too. It’s not relentlessly building tension. It doesn’t fit the mold.
Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes, I like a well-written thriller, but I like cozies more. Sneaking some cozy into a thriller muddled the mix, but it’s what I wanted to do. So I did. And I was pretty sure that was going to mean I’d have to self-publish it. And I was right.
I respect the need for rules in writing. When a reader picks up a thriller, that’s what they want to read. To sell, the writer has to deliver whatever he labeled his manuscript and make it his own AND write it as well or better than the writers who are already selling in that genre. It surprised me when an editor told me that. Until then, I thought I was competing with new writers in the field, but when I thought about it, I was competing for a space in that genre against everyone who was writing it. That’s not a bad thing. It just means that my work had to be as good as theirs without mimicking it.
For Posed In Death, I knew I wanted to write a mystery/thriller. Sometimes, in an expanding market, a writer can bend the rules and still sell. In a tight market, it’s trickier. That means editors will probably turn down your work, but that doesn’t mean that readers won’t like it. Readers are more willing to blend genres. They don’t have to stick a title in a category to market it and make it sell. Anyway, I wanted to write something darker than a cozy, and I can now share POSED IN DEATH. If you try it, I hope you like it.