The cozy mystery updates are going to be put on hold for a while, folks. The biggest reason for this is that I’ve decided to completely re-tool everything I’ve written in the past 15 months.
You may or may not know that I had originally published three cozy mystery novellas featuring the same four main characters in the same town in Texas. Following the self-publication of those three cozies, I re-wrote some of the details, such as deleting references to a “club” name that the four ladies had created for their exploits and made some of the clues and scenes in the second story a little tighter. I then published all three in one book together with a new title, Too Nosy To Retire.
Following the completion of that project, I started a new series set in New Mexico with two new main characters, also cozy mystery stories. I self-published the first book in the series and have gotten to chapter five in the second story before deciding to completely shift gears. The first book in this series is called Deadly Desert Dealings.
I have not decided exactly what I want to do yet. Do I want to have separate novellas that make up a series or do I want to publish full length books incorporating the multiple stories in one book? As you may know, most cozy mysteries are usually of shorter length and consist of multiple books with the same characters. There are some authors I’ve read that have anywhere from ten to thirty books in the same series. The books are usually quick reading and not too lengthy.
In deciding what direction I want to go and in wanting to improve the stories and writing as much as possible, I’ve downloaded some tools that I will be using as I work on the stories this year. One of those is Plottr, an application that let’s you pick from various storyline templates to set up your plots, subplots, characters, etc. I think this is a very straightforward, easy to use, program but am finding it more complicated in trying to place already written plots into a new book outline. Just takes a lot of brain power and more thinking than I like to use. 😉 Plottr is $99 for a lifetime subscription.
I’m already using Scrivener because it makes it very easy to take one document and compile it for ebook publishing or for pdf or traditional printing. This has worked well for files I upload to KDP publishing. It’s a rather complicated program though and I just barely scratch the surface with using it to it’s full potential. A Scrivener subscription is $49.
Finally, I just recently discovered a web site called ProWritingAid that analyzes your writing for readability, grammar, style, etc. You can use it for free for up to 500 words. Otherwise it’s about $80 a year. I know there are other so-called “grammar-checkers” out there that other people use and some even swear by.
The blog will continue with occasional essays about the genre of Cozy Mystery but won’t necessarily be excerpts from my writing. If you love cozy mystery, can’t get enough, and can afford a Kindle Unlimited subscription (about $10 a month), you will have almost endless stories to choose from. I read about two or three new ones a week and haven’t run out yet in over five years.
Not all authors put their books out on Kindle Unlimited for free but enough do that I haven’t been lacking ever in reading material. I have some authors that I go back to again and again because they will put out new series or a new book in a series every couple months. I will profile some of those in future blog posts.
Finally, if you love the genre of Cozy Mystery and like to write yourself, feel free to email a “guest blog post” for consideration for publication here. Take care and I hope everyone has a safe and healthy 2021.