They truly are the life of your book. They are, in my opinion, what makes the different between a good book and a great book—the thing that makes readers seek out your books series or otherwise again and again…building that lifelong fan Mary Higgins Clark built in me. In addition to her work as a cozy mystery writer, she also pens romances for Harlequin American under the name, Laura Bradford.
For more information, visit her website: www. Her earlier books are still my favorites.
I'm curious. How do you juggle writing mysteries AND sweet romances for Harlequin? Do you consider yourself a fast writer?
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Good question, Shirley. The romance aspect was not something I saw coming. I'd had an idea for a mystery, but when I tried to plot it through in my mind, none of the characters wanted to die.
Instead, they begged me to write a love story which I resisted. Eventually, I gave it a go and sold it first time out. While writing that book, I realized I enjoyed the sweet romance and so I wrote another As far as juggling the two, I'll write whatever mystery is due first. Then, I'll move to a romance if I have a contract already in place or a proposal for a new one.
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If I stay on top of everything, it happens. As for the fast writer question, no, not really. It's more that I thrive under deadlines a throwback to my newspaper days, no doubt.
And I write relatively clean from the start. Great article and Mary Higgins Clark is one of my all-time favorite authors. I have your latest mystery ready to take its turn to be read. Thanks for the reminder about character. A mystery writer can become so absorbed in plot and turning points.
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I heard her speak at a conference and she seemed a warm and down-to-earth person. Hi Elizabeth: I enjoy reading cozies. Mary Higgins Clark first drew me into the genre, now I'm a dedicated fan. Thanks for blogging for us. Will be looking for your mysteries. Shirley, I'm not sure if I've settled into a true pattern in terms of books per year yet Actual writing wise? I'm finishing up my third for the year right now. Dru, I can't wait to hear what you think of the latest book! Thanks for stopping by, Pauline and "Rather Be Writing" cute name!!!
I just checked Amazon for the Kindle editions of your books and it's not available. Will they be available for the Kindle later on? In your Sewing Circle mysteries, not only does your protagonist grow from one book to the next, but your supporting cast grows as well. In your latest, Rose plays a key role. Do some of your characters push for more page time, and how do you balance that with a need to keep all your characters in play? Shirley, all three are available in Kindle.
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You can find a kindle link there. JWR, I like to try and bring a different member of the circle forward in each book, though, in all honesty, there is one sometimes two that tend to elbow their way to the front regardless of my "plans.
Even though I have such a huge age range in these books, I can find common threads that bind many of them together outside the sewing kids, grandkids, other hobbies, etc. When I center the mystery around one of those threads as I do in book April , it really utilizes many players at one time! That was fun. Elizabeth, I, too, love M.
Vernon Love Story, and her children's book, Ghost Ship. I also enjoy Tony Hillerman's mysteries--own about half of his. I'm looking forward to adding yours to my bookshelves. Your advice about building characters is, of course, right on. I'm also envious that you write "clean. Thanks for posting on our blog--it's been enjoyable.
I've just finished judging an RWA contest. When I judge, I look for books that 'stick with me'.
Before I make any comments on the entry, I read the entry and then put it aside for a couple days. It always comes back to wanting to know more about the characters and how they're going to find their resolution. I hope lots of readers and writers take your post to heart. Thank you. What are the key elements of a cozy mystery and must they involve a cat? You had a great cover artist? Hope your book signing went well last weekend!
I thought of a couple more?
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I, too, write in different genres. Do you think it's imperative to use a pen name if you write in different genres? Do you go by Elizabeth, Laura or both? I'll have to get that Mary Higgins Clark book you referred to--as well as your own beautiful books. BTW, do you sew?
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Is that how you came up with the sewing mystery series? Finally, we've recently had a real-life horrific murder in my family, so while I enjoy writing suspense, I'll no longer write gory scenes. Are cozy mysteries less gory? What types of death usually occur? How many hours a day do you write?
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