A Book Store Miracle?

One of the best ways for a writer to improve is to read. And choosing books in your particular genre is a great place to start. On a recent trip to our local Barnes & Noble, I was happy to find an entire bookshelf dedicated to my genre: cozy mysteries. Not only that, but the top shelf had several culinary cozies facing front to allow their great covers to attract readers. For those unaware, I specialize in writing such tasty novels.

The marketing ploy worked. I spent more than a few dollars on this trip. The bad news was I could not take well-composed photos of the covers. The good news was the customers taking the books off the shelf were the reason my camera work was rushed. If you have to have a problem, too many customers is a good problem to have, I guess.

If you are looking for a good read or two, and you can’t wait until my novel is published, try one of these!

A Batter of Life and Death

A Batter of Life and Death

Cancans, Croissants, and Caskets

Cancans, Croissants, and Caskets

Dead Men Don't Eat Cookies

Dead Men Don’t Eat Cookies

Icing on the Corpse

Icing on the Corpse

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The Process of Writing

sometimes involves research; it always involves reading. So if you have been wondering where I have been lately, you’re correct – I’ve been in Mexico.

Mexico?

Yes, that Mexico. I had been finding the piles of snow very distracting, so thanks to some very good friends with a spare room in their condo, we took a week off from the real jobs and spent the past week enjoying margaritas on the beach as house guests two blocks away from the beach in Playa del Carmen, just south of Cancun.

In addition to trying my skill at napping in a hammock (I do this well once in, but getting out is another story,) I found time to read a few more chapters of Christopher Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey, a great textbook on the structure of the monomyth, or Hero’s Journey.

I couldn’t ignore my culinary research, so each day was spent searching out local or regional cuisine. And chocolate. As for the former, I’m talking Mayan specialties like Huarache de Nopal, a fabulous plate of nopal cactus smothered with mushrooms, squash blossoms, spinach, chaya and panela cheese.  The latter? Homemade chocolate mousse; excellent cake, petit fours galore and even modern versions of traditional Mayan chocolate drinks. For those who know me, we didn’t hit the Starbucks for a Cafe Mocha until the last day. That should tell you something about the variety of food and drink available in the little beach town. Recipes will be posted soon enough.

The novel? It has been getting some good reviews amongst the peer group. I am now drafting a second version, telling the story in first person instead of third. The first chapter has been met with much more enthusiasm. Is this a good move? Who knows. In the end I may have two full versions of the same story. But that’s okay. It’s all part of the process of writing.

I hope your writing is on track and where you want it to be. If not, maybe you need a “research trip.” May I suggest a little town on the Mexican Riviera? The sunrise is something to behold!

Sunrise at Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Sunrise at Playa del Carmen, Mexico