I was so delighted when Vicki Delany said that she’d come and visit the blog today. She’s a very prolific writer but, as she’ll explain in this post, she has a longer writing history than many of us know.
Having Fun Again
By Vicki Delany
I started my writing career writing standalone novels of psychological suspense, what’s now so hugely popular under the label of domestic suspense; I then wrote an eight novel police procedural series. In between those I wrote a historical series set in the Klondike Gold Rush and novellas for adult literary.
And now I’m writing cozies. Why the change?
About six years ago, I was starting to get a bit… shall we say burned out? I was seriously thinking about giving up writing. I can’t really say why, maybe I wasn’t having fun with it any more. Tough stuff, even fictionally, is difficult to deal with sometimes.
Then I was asked by Kim Lionetti of Bookends if I’d like to try my hand at the Lighthouse Library series work-for-hire Berkley was offering.
Sure, thought I. Might as well. I gave it a go, got the contract, and I’ve never looked back.
Because I found that writing could be fun again. I love writing cozies. One thing led to another and I’m now writing FOUR cozy series. I write the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series, the Year Round Christmas series, and the Tea by the Sea books as Vicki Delany, and the Lighthouse Library series is still ongoing under the pen name of Eva Gates. That’s three or four books a year. I approach every day (well, almost every day) excited to get back to the computer and the story.
The word I often use for the cozies I write is FUN. They should be fun for the author and fun for the reader. Not all cozies are humorous, but I hope mine are. Writing humour, I’ve found, makes me smile.
Cozies are intended to be nothing more than an entertaining read. You won’t learn many lessons about the human condition, no one is suffering from angst or threating to kill themselves because of depression. No PTSD. No terrorist attacks or serial killers. Just people with friends and lovers and community. And the occasional enemy. And a murder of course.
Cozy mysteries are not trying to make an important statement about the human condition, or hoping to change the world. A cozy mystery tells a story that attempts to be entertaining, that’s about people much like us (or like us if we were prettier, or smarter, or younger!) and our friends and family.
Cozy mysteries are about real people living real lives (except for that pesky murder bit), although writ large. Everything is exaggerated. The nosy neighbour is nosier, the ditzy friend is ditzier, the mean girl is meaner. And the handsome man is, well, handsomer. Even better if there are two of them.
The covers and the titles of cozies themselves are intended to bring a smile to your face. Take a look at the covers below, and I bet they have that effect on you!
Readers who enjoy cozies often tell me they read them to escape from the real world. Particularly in these strange times, they need that escape. Cozy mysteries really are an escape.
Dear Reader I’d be interested to know if you are a cozy reader. If so, what do you like about them and if not, why not?
Vicki is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers and a national bestseller in the U.S. She has written more forty books: clever cozies to Gothic thrillers to gritty police procedurals, to historical fiction and novellas for adult literacy. She is currently writing four cozy mystery series: the Tea by the Sea mysteries for Kensington, the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series for Crooked Lane Books, the Year Round Christmas mysteries for Penguin Random House, and the Lighthouse Library series (as Eva Gates) for Crooked Lane.
Vicki is a past president of the Crime Writers of Canada and co-founder and organizer of the Women Killing It Crime Writing Festival. She is the 2019 recipient of the Derrick Murdoch award for contributions to Canadian crime writing. Vicki lives in Prince Edward County, Ontario. Find Vicki at www.vickidelany.com, www.facebook.com/evagatesauthor Twitter: @vickidelany Instragram: vicki.delany
Vicki Delany’s latest books are A DEATH LONG OVERDUE, the 7th Lighthouse Library book, written under the pen name of Eva Gates, and DYING IN A WINTER WONDERLAND, the fifth in the Year Round Christmas series.