The Chicks are thrilled to welcome the talented, prolific, and super-lovely author Julie Anne Lindsey to the blog today. She shares a wonderful post about her passion for cozies. Read on and then share what you love about them!
Confessions of a Cozy Mystery Writing Addict
Thank you so much to Ellen and the Chicks for inviting me over today! Chatting about cozies, inspiration, craft and content is one of my favorite things to do. It’s basically my only hobby (unless food and wine count) and it’s brought me to many of my dearest friends.
As you can imagine, choosing a topic wasn’t easy. Where to begin? There’s so much to say! So much to LOVE!
In true Julie form, I overthought on the matter for about a week before the dim little lightbulb in my brain finally flickered on. And I realized this IS my subject. My love of heroines, humor and homicide. Hijinks and red herrings. So I put together a list of the five things I love most about cozy mysteries and being a cozy mystery author.
- Amateur sleuths. Gal next door fun? Yes, please!
I love writing everyday women. Just out there living their best lives. Being real. Having flaws. And making it all work. Featuring one (or a handful) of these characters in my series is my way of celebrating other flawed humans with insecurities and big mouths, or bad hair and poor decision skills. We’re all lovable, even on our not-so-lovable days. And if we can love these heroines, bless their hearts, out there poking bears and provoking homicidal maniacs, while running an adorable shop and loving on their family, friends and community, then we can love ourselves too. Even when we forget to pick up our youngest from play practice, or send a pack of Oreos as our contribution to the bake sale.
2. Escapism at its finest – Can you say $10 vacation to anywhere?
Travel is kind of a bummer right now, but cozy mysteries take place in the absolute best locations. And for the cost of a download, a paperback, or audio file – or a free library rental, travel lovers can find themselves in New Orleans, Scotland or a seaside café faster than I can finish this blog post.
Thanks to all my cozy mystery writing, I’ve traveled to small town, rural West Virginia (my Cider Shop Mysteries), Georgia (my Bonnie & Clyde Mysteries), the Outer Banks (my Seaside Café Mysteries as Bree Baker), and historic Mistletoe, Maine (my Christmas Tree Farm Mysteries as Jacqueline Frost) just this year. And it’s only March! AND those are just the places I’ve written. I’ve been to a dozen more on the pages of my favorite authors.
3. Brain Food
I got hooked on reading cozies when my kids were small and my brain was mush. I watched endless episodes of Dora the Explorer and Blues Clues. I answered questions like why are boogies green? I cried daily over student loan payments for degrees I didn’t need to solve a FIVE piece toy puzzle 74 times.
Then, one day at the bookmobile, while the kids rented the same pile of board books. Again. I took a chance and grabbed a brightly colored paperback with a punny title and an oddly menacing knife stuck in a cake, or pie or cupcake – and I met an absolutely ordinary character who found herself in an extraordinary predicament. Her big heart and nose had put a killer on her tail.
I’m here to tell you I laughed until my side hurt. I snorted. I let the kids watch Dora while I put clues together as fast as I could, trying to beat the heroine to naming the killer. And I liked that mental challenge A LOT.
I borrowed a dozen more cozies from the bookmobile the following week.
About a year later, I started writing similar stories in the hopes of giving another tired mind something fun to work on too
I love food. All foods. Fancy foods. Junk foods. I’m an indiscriminate eater. I’ll try anything. I want to. Please share. And I devour every delectable word related to food in these charming books. I’m a hot mess in the kitchen, but I still read the recipes – and create them for my stories. I dream about the ganache and goulash, pork pies and petite fours. I’ve purchased more than one cozy based on the cover’s food imagine alone. That is no joke.
It’s too easy to feel alone. There are unlimited reasons to withdraw from our friends, family and life. And it’s just as easy to feel lonely in a crowd. But cozy mystery communities are the kind anyone would want to belong to. Families there are loving. Friends are true. Neighbors support neighbors. The streets are safe (unless you’re the installment’s victim, or the series’ heroine). I dream of belonging to similar towns and circles. And while I’m writing or reading these books, I do!
6. Bonus Reason: Justice is Served
Maybe it’s the mama in me, but I like to see a bully get their just desserts – and I already told you how much I personally love desserts. Plus I love to see goodness prevail. Life can sometimes be unfair and occasionally a real bummer, but not in cozy mysteries, or at least, not for long.
I love knowing the heroine will be okay. She will go on, stronger and wiser. The killer will be punished, and all will be well. These endings give me incredible satisfaction and hope for my world and future.
I do my best to include these six things in every cozy I write, and it’s my hope that my love of this genre shines on every page. Also that my readers find that love, that escape and the laughter they’re looking for.
Readers what’s your favorite thing about cozies?
SYNOPSIS: In the seventh and final book of Bree Baker’s critically acclaimed Seaside Café Mystery series, Pleading the Fish, Everly Swan’s wedding plans are upended by a dead body. She’ll have to run her teashop, find a dress, and catch a murderer all before she can walk down the aisle!
Café owner and amateur sleuth Everly Swan, like every Swan woman before her, is cursed in love. The only problem? Her fiancé Detective Grady Hayes has something to say about it―he doesn’t believe in magic and is determined to prove the curse wrong so they can spend their lives together. Everly wishes it could be so simple!
It feels like a sign when a historian looking into Swan history is found dead in an antique wishing well, and Everly fears the curse is spreading. Grady takes the case, looking to find justice and prove the curse wrong, while Everly does a bit of investigating on her own. Big change is coming for Everly and her friends, but with mysterious strangers lurking about and someone leaving increasingly threatening messages for the happy couple, Everly’s not sure she’ll get her happily-ever-after!
ABOUT JULIE: Julie Anne Lindsey is an award-winning and bestselling author of mystery and romantic suspense. She’s published more than forty novels since her debut in 2013 and currently writes series as herself, as well as under multiple pen names for various publishers, including Kensington, Harlequin, Sourcebooks and Crooked Lane Books. When she’s not writing the stories that keep her up at night, Julie stays busy in Kent, Ohio with her husband and three amazing kids. Today she hopes to make someone smile. One day she plans to change the world. Learn more about Julie at julieannelindsey.com