Edith here, happy to have Lynn Cahoon back with a new cozy release, Tea Cups and Carnage! Take it away, Lynn.
Finding Your Tribe
Let me just start by thanking the Wicked Cozy Authors (especially Edith Maxwell) for letting me come visit today. With that pleasantry out of the way, I want to talk about tribes.
I’ve been around a lot of tribes lately and have been thinking about the way the world works now. As a kid, I loved it when I found my first tribe in middle school. We could have been called The Three Girls who Loved to Read. We spent our lunch hours in the school library, unpacking new books, updating the card catalogue, and just enjoying being around so many books.
In high school, my tribe was the geeky band kids. We ate lunch together, hung out together, traveled together to band activities, and all read the mandatory book – The Lord of the Rings. I felt like part of a community. People who understood me and didn’t judge if I was just a little different than the popular kids. This group got me through a lot of bad years.
When I was in college, I never found that group or my tribe. I hooked up with my first husband sophomore year and he was possessive. I thought that was love. I was wrong.
In the workforce, I enjoyed the people I worked with, but kept my distance. As my son aged, I joined a local church and I found a new tribe. People who loved reading, theatre, and God. My husband was not amused.
After the divorce, I decided I wanted to play darts. When I hooked up with my new beau, he was deep into the dart world. (Yes, there really is such a thing.) This was fun and I became pretty good for a girl (not my words), but I felt like there was something missing.
When we moved to St. Louis, I found out I had breast cancer. Through the months of treatment, I did some soul searching to determine what I wanted to do with my life. Writing came back as the answer time after time.
I joined a local romance writer chapter (new tribe). Wrote a few books, finally got published in 2012 (publisher tribe and then off shoot tribe). And now I find myself re-visiting my tribes. I’ve joined Mystery Writers of America and have a great tribe in the Chicago area I’m just getting to know. I’ve met a lot of cozy authors and am building my tribe one conversation at a time. I have a tribe of readers who are wonderful to get to know and easy to talk to either on line or in person.
My new husband and I have a tribe of people who like to ride the trails out where we own property.
I’m surrounded by people who are part of one or more of my tribes and I’m loving the sense of community. As a young girl in rural Idaho, I always wanted to be part of something more. Now I am and I’m loving every moment of it.
Tribes are a big part of my writing as well. In the Tourist Trap mystery series, Jill and the South Cove gang are a community that cares about each other. A place where I’d love to live. In Tea Cups and Carnage, the tribe is made bigger with a new business being added to the fold.
Readers: So what about you? Do you have a tribe that gets you?
Tea Cups and Carnage
The quaint coastal town of South Cove, California, is all abuzz about the opening of a new specialty shop, Tea Hee. But as Coffee, Books, and More owner Jill Gardner is about to find out, there’s nothing cozy about murder . . . Shop owner Kathi Corbin says she came to South Cove to get away from her estranged family. But is she telling the truth? And did a sinister someone from her past follow her to South Cove? When a woman claiming to be Kathi’s sister starts making waves and a dead body is found in a local motel, Jill must step in to clear Kathi’s name–without getting herself in hot water.
Lynn Cahoon is the author of the NYT and USA Today bestselling Tourist Trap cozy mystery series. Guidebook to Murder, book 1 of the series won the Reader’s Crown for Mystery Fiction in 2015. She’s also the author of the soon to be released, Cat Latimer series, with the first book, A STORY TO KILL, releasing in mass market paperback September 2016.She lives in a small town like the ones she loves to write about with her husband and two fur babies. Sign up for her newsletter at http://www.lynncahoon.com
Thanks for joining us, Lynn! I have a couple of main tribes: these Wicked Cozy Authors form one of my most important one, and they’e all part of the wider tribe of Sisters in Crime, without which I never would have gotten publisher. Another is the Friends Meeting I’ve belonged to for twenty-seven years – my spiritual community and second family. What a blessing these groups are.
Good morning Edith. These sound like great tribes!
Thanks for having me over today Wickeds!
So great to see you hear again, Lynn! I don’t know what I’d do without the Wickeds! I feel lucky to have had a lot of tribes, high school friends, sorority sisters who I still see, military wives, and my writing friends. I’m blessed.
Definitely blessed. 🙂
Nice to see you here. We must share a number of tribes (how many writer subset tribes are there?) I’d add people who are interested in family history, their own or others’. Get us started and we start babbling about connections and our greatest achievements in overcoming brick walls. I think I’ve decided it’s an Irish trait as well–the Drinagh postman walked in today as I was scraping paint and proceeded to review everyone for miles around, including a variety of my relatives. (But he and I are not related.) I didn’t even have to ask.
Now that you own an Irish home, that should be a completely new tribe. 🙂
Thanks, Lynn, for an interesting and thought-provoking post. I read somewhere that individuals need at least three social outlets/groups/tribes to be well grounded. Perhaps having three keeps you from being too invested in one and enables you to mix with a wider variety of people. I’m truly thankful for the tribe of writers I’ve met through SINC and the online Guppies.
I, too, was a member of the band in high school. It was the perfect tribe to be in, and I’m so glad that they had an opening for a non-musically trained cymbal player so I could join.
Three tribes to be grounded, Grace. That is interesting.
I like that. It’s a balance thing. The tripod.
Nice to meet a fellow band geek!
First of all, hi Lynn, and welcome back. I have been hearing great things about the Tourist Trap Mysteries and have added Tea Cups and Carnage to my TBR list.
For most of my adult life, I had the usual tribes–my work tribe, the neighborhood tribe (mostly centered around the kids schools and activities) and a family tribe. (In addition to my own family, my husband comes from a large Italian family who all live within a couple of hours drive. There’s no getting away from it, that group, extended to include some mothers-in-law and cousins-in-law is a tribe.)
Now I have my writing tribes–the Wicked Cozys, the Maine Crime Writers, and the larger world of Sisters in Crime New England, MWA New England, Crime Bake and Grub Street. It’s true that when you don’t have a work tribe, because you sit alone at a desk all day, you really, really need a group that “gets” you.
Thanks for the add Barbara! I actually still have a work tribe (team) since I haven’t left the day situation. Love your big Italian tribe.
So I’m wondering why we started using tribe to describe a circle of friends. And when that change happened. I’ve heard it plenty in the last few years, but I’m suddenly wondering about that. Funny how the mind works.
I’m so all over the place with interests that I have to find many different tribes. Ultimate Frisbee, mud runs, Disney, cozy mysteries, TV….
I’m not sure of the answer Mark, but it’s a great question. My mom always called my sister’s family, the tribe. Mostly because of the size of the group. Which is hilarious when you think my mom had two more kids than my sister did. And yes, it may be politically incorrect in that usage, but we do have a bit of South Dakota Sioux in our blood.
I would definitly call my friends a tribe. When we all started working together, we all had been hired around the same time. Our department had gone through a large hiring binge, we had this group of young’uns all working together on midnights. Over our 20 years, even tho we took on different positions that broke up our posse, we still did everything together, at work and out of work. And now we are all (but for 1 or 2) retired and we still spend a lot of time together. We understand each other, have similar interests, and support each other.
Love your tribe Margaret! I still have friends from different jobs I’ve held.
Lynn, love this. I totally understand that search for a tribe and to feel like you belong somewhere. Luckily for both of us, we’re writers – which is a tribe in and of itself. I don’t know what I’d do without my Wicked sisters. Thanks for stopping by today!
Thanks for having me!
I have a few tribes. First are my fellow music geeks, and there are a couple of sub-tribes there — musical theatre geeks and Celtic music aficionados. Then there’s my Cat Fancy tribe. Although I no longer show cats, they still include me. My fellow book lovers comprise a very large tribe that helps keep me informed and excited about books.
Lynn, really enjoy your books. I’ve read most of them and just added “Tea Cups And Carnage” to my TBR pile.
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