Mom by day. Woman of mystery - cozy mysteries, that is - by night.
Writing Cozy Mysteries with Heart
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Saturday, December 24, 2016
Meet Cozy Mystery Author Frankie Bow
Frankie's amazing office view
1. Tell me about your writing process. Are you an outliner, a "pantser", or a hybrid of both?
Some details might change between the outline and the finished product, but I'm basically a plotter. It would be very hard for me to write a mystery without some planning.
2. What's your writing schedule like?
My ideal schedule is that I wake up and have an uninterrupted hour to work while my brain is fresh. My actual schedule is me grabbing bits of time where I can.
3. Do you have word count goals or chapter goals for your writing sessions?
I try for a thousand words a day.
4. Where do you do the majority of your writing?
Hawaii is warm year-round, so when it's not raining I can take my laptop to a coffee shop and sit at an outdoor table.
5. Do you have any writing rituals?
I like to have a cup of a legal psychoactive substance nearby when I write: coffee in the morning, wine at night.
6. What programs do you use to work on your manuscript?
Plain old Microsoft Word with the navigation pane turned on.
7. What genres do you most enjoy reading?
Aside from mysteries, I like 20th-century British humor: Sarah Caudwell, P.G. Wodehouse, E.F. Benson, and E.M. Delafield, for example.
8. How do you celebrate a completed book?
Bite my nails and wait for the reviews to come in. I suppose that's not very festive.
9. Which of your characters is the most like you or someone you know?
I wrote Professor Molly to be a little over the top. She's eccentric, neurotic, and socially awkward, kind of a female Felix Unger. Naturally, everyone assumes she's me.
Probably the most universal character is Linda Wilson from the Student Retention Office. Linda is that incurious and innumerate administrator who "fixes" problems by pretending they don't exist. When Mencken said, "there is always an easy solution to every human problem--neat, plausible, and wrong," he might have added, "and Linda Wilson will impose it on your department."
10. Where do you see yourself in ten years? Will you still be writing?
I hope so! The publishing industry has changed so much in the last ten years, I'm looking forward to seeing what the next ten will bring. Maybe dictation software that works the first time?
11. Knowing what you know now about publishing, what advice would you give to new writers?
Read widely in your genre so you know what the conventions and cliches are; and seek out great prose, because your writing will reflect what you are reading.