By Liz, about to hit send on Tell Tail Heart! No, really, I mean it this time…
Hey, friends. I hope everyone survived–I mean enjoyed–Thanksgiving. We all know how this time of year can be for some people, right? Not everyone has those perfect, Hallmark-movie families and lives.
We talk a lot on this blog and in our circle about why people write and read cozies. We all agree there are lots of reasons–the tendency for justice to be served, the small towns we fall in love with and love to revisit–but for me, the one that stands out is the people. The families and the relationships. The closeness, the togetherness, whether it’s romantic relationships or family and friend relationships.
When I was in my twenties I went through a Nora Roberts phase. I read everything of hers I could get my hands on, and when I ran out, I re-read some of my favorites. I could usually deduce how the story would go, but it didn’t matter. I knew why I read those books – the family dynamics. Usually one of the main characters had a big Irish family, and the other main character/love interest didn’t have the same, so he or she was immediately welcomed into the new family. And of course the relationship was perfect after that first rocky phase that played into the tension of the storyline.
Because who doesn’t really want a happy ending, right? Even in a murder mystery or crime story?
I wanted to be a part of those families, those partnerships. And for the duration of the book, I could be. There was something so appealing about all of it – the warmth, the close-knit relationships, the honesty and the trust between the characters. It’s what kept me coming back to those books over and over.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but later when I began writing books seriously, I recognized that I wanted to create that same feeling in my own books. I wanted to create it not only for my readers, but for myself while I was writing. I wanted to feel like I was part of those relationships for 350 pages.
And I want people to feel that too – and to keep them coming back for more. So they know that, even if their holiday reality isn’t quite what they want it to be, they always have a place to go in the pages of a good story.
Readers, do you have a favorite author or series you go back to often? Why? Tell us in the comments below.
And, I’m giving away a JJ’s House of Purrs coffee mug to one commenter!