I am a huge fan of Lea Wait’s Mainely Needlepoint series so I am very excited to have her agree to do an interview for my cozy mystery event.
What made you pick the cozy mystery genre?
I picked writing cozies because they were in my comfort zone. I don’t write “really cozy” – no talking cats or broad humor or sweetness and light. I’ve dealt with a number of serious issues in my two current mystery series (the Mainely Needlepoint series and the Shadows Antique Print series). But since I’m not an expert on police investigating or law. I chose to write about people who were also not law and order professionals. Each mystery sub-genre has its strengths and weaknesses, but I feel comfortable writing traditional mysteries.
I very much enjoy your Mainely Needlepoint series. You are good with making fun and interesting characters even if there is no talking cat! 🙂
Any advice for someone who would like to write a cozy?
Read, read, read! That’s my advice for anyone who wants to write in any genre. Interested in writing a cozy? You should read a lot of cozies. You need to know what’s already been written, what the styles and conventions are, and whether you’re in it for the long term, since cozies are generally written in series. And don’t forget to include a cat!
What a cat, no dog! 🙁 I am partial to dogs but I have read my share of cat cozies and it does seem to be a must! 🙂
Who are some of your favorite cozy authors?
So many! Kaitlyn Dunnett and Barbara Ross who also write mysteries set in Maine. Susan Wittig Albert. Margaret Maron and Louise Penny, both of whom have major characters who are law enforcement professionals, but whose books otherwise fall within the “cozy” guidelines. Sheila Connolly. Edith Maxwell. Maddy Hunter. And so many more!
There are so many great cozy authors out there I know it’s hard to choose. I am going to have to check out some of these authors you mentioned as I don’t know them all.
I’m an “in bed” reader. I’m most comfortable propped up against my pillows, putting the day behind me, and entering a fictional world before I turn off my light at night. My cat sometimes curls up with me, but she’s more interested in rubbing herself against the book I’m reading (usually I read books in print rather than digitally) and then plopping down on my stomach and going to sleep than in hearing about the plot.
Oh, I am a “in bed” reader too! I love getting all comfy in my bed and reading it’s really soothing and helps me sleep.
Tell us about your latest cozy.
THREAD THE HALLS is set on the coast of Maine, during Christmas week. A Hollywood actress who bought a home in Haven Harbor earlier in the series has announced she’s coming home for Christmas, bringing with her the co-star, director and writers of the movie she’s making. Angie Curtis, my protagonist, is dating the star’s son, so she gets involved with preparing for the visit. Everything goes well until … a body is found in the snow in back of the now-decorated mansion. Christmas carols, Santa, heavy snow, a Christmas festival and Christmas expectations versus realities should keep readers guessing about the secrets behind wreathed doors. And – good news for those who haven’t read other books in the series! I always assume readers don’t know “what happened before,” and catch them up fast with any important information.
My next book? The first under a new name! Cornelia Kidd’s DEATH AND A POT OF CHOWDER: A MAINE MURDER MYSTERY, the first in a new series, will be published in June … it’s about two sisters who meet as adults on a Maine island and, of course, bond over solving a crime. And, as my first culinary mystery, yes, it includes recipes! It can be pre-ordered now.
I really enjoyed Thread the Halls and it looks like I have a new series to check out!! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by Lea!