Saturday, June 25, 2011

Writing in a Vacuum

No, not a Hoover.

Speaking of old vacuums, just for a moment. Long ago when I was in my first apartment, I got from somewhere one of those hideous old heavy cannisters, you know the ones. The design was actually beautiful; it had a teal steel body and fabric hose and lots of chrome. Trouble was, it didn't suck. It actually left MORE dirt on the carpet than when I started.

But that's not the kind of vacuum I'm talking about.

I've been super fortunate in signing a three book deal for the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries, and I am now writing book 2, working title Bowled Over. I'll have book 3 done by the end of the year. Now, writing a series, when you are carrying the same main characters all the way through, requires a character arc, some kind of logical progression in the characters' lives. I love that part of the job.

However... it is very much about writing in a vacuum. I have almost zero input from others on how the characters work. All I can do, at this point, is make their lives logical, interesting and move them forward.

So... what is important to you, as a reader, or writer, about the character arc in your favorite mystery series? When there is a love interest, do you want the love to move forward quickly, or do you not want a resolution too quickly? What about love triangles... love them or loathe them?

I'm interested!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

New Killer Characters post: The Glorious Fourth!

Hi all... I'm deep in final edits for Bowled Over, Book Two of the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries series, and it covers the Fourth of July. I'm looking up vintage potato salad recipes, and my characters are watching fireworks, among other things, soooo... you will understand this next bit!

Come on over to Killer Characters today, where Jaymie Leighton discusses the different way Canadians and Americans celebrate their countries' birth!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Animals in Mysteries: The Poll Results

Well, the poll is over, and it appears you like animals, you really do!

Love 'em, especially when they help solve the crime.
  9 (64%)
They're fine, as long as they don't act too human, like helping to solve the crime.
  4 (28%)
Animals just get in the way of the plot.
  0 (0%)
It's not important to me either way.
  1 (7%)

Votes: 14
Thanks all, for taking part in the poll!!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Animals in Mysteries

I've read a lot of mysteries over the years, and among them have been hundreds that feature animals as characters. Dominant among these are cats and dogs, of course, but cats seem to have the edge in cozy mysteries.

I wonder why? Personally, I do love both dogs and cats, but have two cats right now. I'd love to have a dog, too, but they just seem to take more work than cats. Dogs have to be walked; cats, not so much. And maybe that explains one of the reasons cats are so common in mysteries. Cats can be there in the story when you want them, and mysteriously glide away when you don't. I always wonder what happens to the animals while the protagonist is out solving crimes; are they lonely? Does she have a dog walker for the pooch? Maybe that's just me and my hyper-sensitivity to responsibility.

Anyway, when I started to create the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series, I decided that Jaymie would have one of each, Denver the tabby, and Hoppy, the Yorkie mix. I'd love a Yorkie, and maybe someday I will get one.

What made me think of this was Avery Aames blog entry today, over at Killer Characters. It is from the viewpoint of Rags, Charlotte's cat, and I love that! Check it out:

But first... because I'm curious... take my poll, to the right of this blog entry. What do YOU think of animals in mystery novels???