Readers have more of an impact on writers than they think. On the last two blog posts I’ve written about the book I’m working on now, a straight mystery, I’ve gotten comments on Facebook, asking if I’m still going to write another Jazzi and Ansel cozy. Those commenters have no idea how good they make me feel!
I love Jazzi and Ansel, even though Kensington dropped me as a writer. And yes, I plan to write more books in their series. But I have to admit, being dropped made me doubt myself. Lyrical Press did their best to promote me. They paid for BookBub ads and had me as a guest on the Between the Chapters blog they host. I felt like part of their family, cared for. But I didn’t sell enough books, and publishers are a business. So they moved on to try someone new, someone who might make more money for them. I understand that.
But I still love Jazzi and Ansel. And cozies. But it did make me think maybe I needed to up my game and to try something else, too. That’s why I’m writing POSED IN DEATH. I’m trying not to go too dark. I’m not even sure I can anymore. I’m a wimp when it comes to dark these days. But I did want to focus more on the mystery and less on the characters” lives. No warm stuff with families and friends. But even then, a little seeped in. And I added a romance. Who knows if it’s not still too soft?
But when I finish Posed In Death, I’m going to start my next Jazzi book, the eighth, BODY IN THE BUICK. I even have the plot points started, and I’m excited about it. Jazzi finds out she’s pregnant, and of course, Ansel is thrilled. I felt like a beast when I was pregnant, so healthy I didn’t know what to do with myself and the bigger I got, the better I bowled on my teachers’ bowling league. Jazzi will keep feeling better, too, and Ansel and Jerod will worry about everything she does. . . .
I’m over halfway through my current draft, but it usually takes me three months to write a Jazzi, so I won’t have a new book for a while, but I WILL have one. Don’t give up on me. I’m just experimenting a little now, a little unsure of myself. That’s why I wrote A Cut Above, a new cozy series. But Jazzi is still one of my loves. And I’m still writing her.