We’ll come back to that strange question in a minute – first I want to tell you that today is the sixth day of my book tour, and if you pop over to Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book you can read my guest post on where I get my ideas, and Dollycas’s lovely review of Murder at the Maples.
I’m really happy with the reviews I’ve had from the cozy mystery bloggers so far. I had no idea how the US market was going to react to a British writer trying to muscle in on a genre that is almost reverentially massive over there, but I do know that the Flora Lively series has many factors that make it a round peg in a square hole for some dedicated cozy readers. Many popular cozies have a strong craft, cooking, or animal-related hook to hang off (MatM doesn’t); most follow a fairly conventional whodunnit plot line, the keep-em-guessing till the end kind of set-up, while MatM has a different kind of twist in the tail (or should that be tale?). Then there’s the romance – Flora and Marshall’s will they?/won’t they? romantic subplot, along with Flora’s quest for love and stability, form a backdrop to the main drama – more so than in most cozy mysteries.
And then there’s all the other stuff that I can’t seem to help cramming into my fiction: the questions about life, love, guilt, regret, duty, hope, identity … I seem to be one of those writers who levers ‘big issues’ into the most innocuous genre – romantic comedies weren’t safe from it, and neither it seems is the cozy mystery 🙂
Which makes me wonder – is Murder at the Maples a cozy mystery at all? It is in the sense that it’s a mystery series with an amateur sleuth, and that the coziness comes from the lack of gore and gritty crime. But when I started to write the first Flora Lively book I had an idea that I was writing a kind of chick lit/mystery cross over, a new genre that I imagined I might call ‘myst-lit’. Flora could step comfortably into a romantic comedy – my kind of rom com, anyway, with bigger issues to explore. Adding in the mystery element – the series set-up – and you have a kind of ‘Bridget Jones meets Midsummer Murders’ thing going on 😉
So perhaps that’s how I should be marketing the book. But there are other problems this raises: the cover is certainly aimed at the cozy market, as is the title. So if I’ve got that wrong, I really should have noticed a fair while back in the process …
Okay, I’m going to shut up now. This is what it’s like inside my brain, guys – is it driving you insane yet? Thoughts and comments as always totally welcome, and meanwhile here is the rest of the tour which continues next week:
Today– Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book review and guest post
October 14 – Queen of All She Reads review and guest post
October 15 – Chloe Gets A Clue exclusive interview
October 16 – rantin’ ravin’ and reading review and guest post
October 17 – Brooke Blogs review and exclusive interview
October 18 – StoreyBook Reviews review
October 20 – A Chick Who Reads review
October 21 – THE SELF-TAUGHT COOK review
October 22 – Dru’s Book Musings guest post as Flora Lively herself!