Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Viva La Difference!

I’m trying a new experiment. Recent changes in publishing have opened doors to writers looking to be published in unique ways. Years ago I traditionally published two cozy historical mysteries set on a showboat just before the turn of the century. The first one is STAGESTRUCK, the second is GRAVE REVIEW. I Always intended to write the third in the series and tie up loose ends, but never did. Now the first two in the series are self published for Kindle users and I’m working on the third, which I will self publish.
     I don’t intend to stop writing Harlequin Heartwarming books. I love writing for this series and feel I’ve found my niche in the sweet romance genre, but the mystery provides a fun challenge. And what a challenge it is! In romance, we writers emphasize the emotions, the ever changing connection between the hero and heroine until they reach their happily ever after. Getting the emotions just right isn’t easy as we try to stay in tune with the hero and heroine and produce characters the reader will want to know beginning with page one.
     Mystery is different. Plotting is the most important element. Characters are important, yes, but the mystery writer gets to play with good guys and bad guys and all sorts in between. The plot changes with the introduction of clues and new characters throughout the book. I think I can best show the difference in my two favorite genres by saying, “In a mystery, keep the reader guessing. In a romance, keep the reader hoping.”
     And for a real challenge, put a little mystery in the romance and a little romance in the mystery. It’s like a double-layered, two-flavor birthday cake. Oh, so yummy! 
     What is your favorite genre besides romance? I'd love to know.
     Happy reading, whatever you love most!
Cynthia





        

19 comments:

  1. I find myself reading a lot more mysteries these days. That's partly because I love authors like Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, and Donna Andrews. And partly because I really ONLY like the sweet (heartwarming) romances, and it's hard to find well-written, professionally edited, sweet romances, outside of the Harlequin Heartwarming line. Sadly, most of the self-publishing authors need to step up their game and pay for a good editor, and a good cover designer.

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    1. You're right, Heidi. We emphasize the importance of good editing whenever I'm on a panel about self pubbing. So necessary.

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  2. Best wishes with your mystery trilogy, Cynthia! I'm glad to hear you will continue to write wonderful Heartwarming stories.

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  3. I write romance, but when it comes to reading, I tend to read mysteries. That isn't because I don't enjoy romance novels--I really do! It's because when I'm hip deep in writing one romance and editing another I find it a little confusing to then read someone else's romance. So it's nice to sit down with a completely different genre. And mysteries are such fun!

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    1. I'll bet you guess the guilty party before the reveal, Patricia. I hardly ever do.

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  4. Cynthia, how exciting! I enjoy reading in every genre except horror (because they scare the bejeezus out me.) Mystery and romance are probably tied for my top reads. Like you, I enjoy it when the two are mixed together a bit. Congratulations and good luck!

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    1. Thanks, Carol. So much about publishing these days is really a crap shoot.

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  5. I like cozy mysteries and LOVE women's fiction, but I've gotten so picky it's hard to know what to read. I'll be giving yours a look--good luck with them!

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    1. Thank you Liz. I'm having fun switching genres for one book.

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  6. Cyn, how cool. So glad you have eggs in more than one basket. I like light mysteries. I can't read really scary murder stuff. I like suspense, adventure, Western, quite a few romance types except not super sexy. (maybe too old--ha) I also read nonfiction. Good luck on all of your writing projects.

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    1. Thanks Roz. I'm like you - can't get into the scary stuff or anything with too much overt violence. Keep it fun I say.

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  7. Cynthia - I love cozies, and I love the thought of historical mysteries. Am also crazy about riverboats, so have to find yours. I used to so enjoy the Cadfael (sp?) books so much, and was beside myself when PBS produced them for their mystery series. Good for you!

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    1. I need to watch more of the PBS mysteries. My friend told me yesterday about a good series called "Miss Fisher Mysteries." Tried to find it but no luck on my tv.

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  8. I LOOOOVE historicals. Can't write one, but they are my fav.

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  9. “In a mystery, keep the reader guessing. In a romance, keep the reader hoping.”
    Cynthia, what a great way to put it. I write romantic suspense as well as for Heartwarming and I like the change of pace a straight romance brings. I'm also going to try out the cozy mysteries soon.

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  10. Good luck on getting that third book out. I agree with your thoughts on combining mystery with romance.

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  11. I love a good mystery, historical fiction and just good contemporary fiction in addition to romance.

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  12. Your trilogy sounds amazing, Cynthia. I love a good mystery.

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