Monday, April 11, 2011

Monday's Writing Tip: Trying to Break in? Try Writing a Cozy Mystery!

"Cozy mysteries have become a booming business."

The publishing world becomes more competitive every day.  Breaking into romance fiction is even getting more difficult.  But have you ever considered writing a Cozy Mystery?

According to Wikipedia, Cozy Mysteries are a subgenre of crime fiction in which sex and violence are downplayed or treated humorously. The term was first coined in the late 20th century when various writers produced work in an attempt to re-creating the Golden Age of Detective Fiction.

I didn't even know what one was until I attended the OVRWA monthly meeting over the weekend.  The program featured Cozy Mystery writers Duffy Brown (aka Dianne Castell) and Heather Webber.

Duffy Brown said that if you can't keep the mystery out of your romance, and can't keep the romance out of your mystery, you should try writing a cozy mystery.  And Heather Webber mentioned that breaking into this market is easier than trying to break into romance.  In addition, you don't have to write all those explicit love scenes!

For more information on this subgenre, visit  The author of this site says:
I find that most of the cozy mysteries that I read take place in a small, picturesque town or village, with characters who I could envision having as neighbors or friends. (Of course, once I find out who the killer is, I wouldn't particularly want that person living next to me!) They are usually not zany people, although an eccentric or two might lurk here and there.  On the whole, they are usually normal, every day characters you might have known at one time in your life.  Cozies don't usually involve a lot of gory details or explicit "adult situations," either.
Does writing a Cozy Mystery sound like something you'd like to try? Thanks for visiting!


Old Kitty said...

Oooh kind of like "Murder She Wrote" - that I used to watch religiously - it was reliable and yeah, cozy!

Thanks for the link and intro to this genre - I don't think I can pull one off - as I guess my writing is too heavy handed. Maybe I just need to lighten up a little!!!! Take care

Maria McKenzie said...

I'm a little heavy handed, too! I'm going to try one so I'll be lightening up;).

Myne Whitman said...

This might be something to try. Romance and mystery, hmm...

Maria McKenzie said...

Why not:)?

Carol Riggs said...

Yeah! I think if I ever wrote a mystery, I'd do a cozy mystery rather than a straight-up one. Less violence, less explicitness. Then again, even tho mystery isn't my genre per se, I tend often to have mysterious elements in my novels. Clues to be solved, things to figure out. Comes from reading Nancy Drew novels as a child perhaps. ;o)

Have a great week, Maria!

Maria McKenzie said...

I used to hate to read until I discovered Nancy Drew!

William Kendall said...

I'm not sure it would be my genre, but I hadn't heard of it before.

Maria McKenzie said...

I'd never heard of it either! The stories have more of an appeal toward women, but I'm told men read them too. But I don't know if any men are writing them:).