It’s getting cold here in New England! Time to get cozy! Cozy mystery that is!! Stephen from First Rule Publicity has given me the opportunity to introduce today’s author, Ms. Abigail Keam!!!
Abigail Keam is an award-winning author who writes the Josiah Reynolds mystery series about a beekeeper turned sleuth.
Death By A HoneyBee won the 2010 Gold Medal Award for Women’s Lit from Reader’s Favorite and was a Finalist of the USA BOOK NEWS-Best Books of 2011. Death By Drowning won the 2011 Gold Medal Award for Best Mystery Sleuth and also was placed on the USA BOOK NEWS-Best Books of 2011.
HOW SHOULD MYSTERY AUTHORS WRITE?
To tell an individual the proper procedure to write a novel is like telling a human the correct way to make love. There is no correct way. It is just what feels natural and good.
Some authors write twenty pages a day while others plod out one.
Some authors write every day. Others write when the mood hits them. Just go with your gut feeling. Do what’s right for you.
Break The Rules
Introduce New Characters
I do things like introduce new characters in the last chapter of the book. A big no-no. The reason I can justify this is that I don’t look at each book in my Josiah Reynolds mystery series as stand-alones, but rather a continuation of the story line. Only the mystery in each book is complete, but Josiah Reynolds’ life continues from book to book.
Keep The Fat Out
Another thing I do is keep my stories short. It is best to leave the stage with the audience wanting more. Don’t overwrite or your readers will tire of your work.
Add A Little Hot Sauce
If you are writing a series, turn things upside down in your novels. Do the unexpected with your characters. Be careful though. Changing too much like killing off a favorite character can cause a backlash among your readers. Just sprinkle hot sauce rather than pour it on.
Don’t Always Solve The Mystery
When writing a series, you must keep the reader interested. In other words, keep them on their toes. I don’t always solve the murders in my stories or I turn the murder upside down in another book – whom the reader thought to be the murderer in one book turns out to be the wrong person in another book as I double-back on the plot.
Because even a beloved mystery series can become stale if the same formula is used in every novel. I have seen this with Sue Grafton’s books. I love Sue Grafton and her shamus, Kinsey Milhone and think the Alphabet series is fabulous, but I have started noticing that fan are tiring by reading unflattering reviews on Amazon. That never used to happen.
I think Agatha Christie, the Queen of Crime, was able to avoid such unkind criticism because each of her books and series was so different. Ten Little Indians is so different from a book like The Mirror Crack’d.
So keep your stories fresh.
Flaws And Your Sleuth
Your sleuth, regardless if he/she is a professional or amateur, should have a flaw or a conflict his/her nature in order to have depth. The only sleuth that is sweet/good and gets away with it book after book is Nancy Drew.
Sleuths that enjoy a long publishing life are those who keep the reader intrigued such as Sherlock Homes. Why is he still so fascinating to us? Because we love his intellect and his rudeness. Also we are curious about his mysterious sexuality. Is Sherlock heterosexual, homosexual or just bored with sex? Does he want to “canoodle” with Watson?
Miss Marple? Well, she is a busy-body – sort of the Mary Worth of death. Oh dear. You don’t know who Mary Worth is? Look her up. Miss Marple is always watching or listening to private conversations. That would put any neighbor on edge.
Kinsey Milhone is a loner, unable to commit. She reminds me of a skittish cat. Kinsey also prides herself on lying. Still Kinsey is a fascinating shamus and a person who I would like to know personally.
My sleuth, Josiah Reynolds, has serious health problems and is prone to complaining. She sometimes uses bad judgment. She is fat and middle-aged, but that is what my readers love about her. She comes off the pages as a real person.
I have given you just a few tips. Some may even be useful. Good luck with your writing and I hope to read your books in the future.
Abigail Keam is the author of “Death By A HoneyBee” and “Death By Drowning”. Both books were listed as Finalists on the USA BOOK NEWS “Best Book List 2011”. “Death By Bourbon” is her new book. www.abigailkeam.com
ABOUT THE BOOK
Life takes a dramatic turn for Josiah when she witnesses a death at an engagement party for guess who . . . Matt. Matt? Yes Matt.
Charming socialite Addison DeWitt falls into a fit after taking a sip of bourbon. That would be upsetting enough but Josiah is sure it is murder. However, no one will believe her except for Lady Elsmere and Meriah Caldwell, the famous mystery writer. The three of them conspire to bring the murderer to justice. It turns out that the suspect is always three steps ahead of them.
To make matters worse, Josiah’s daughter, Asa, decides to move to London, Franklin leaves town and Jake starts singing a different turn. Josiah doubts her ability to meet the future alone. Maybe it’s time to sell the Butterfly and move to Florida with the rest of the old folks.
“Abigail Keam writes with vision and understanding. Her tale is fresh and original…after all…what could beekeeping and murder have in common? Readers will have no trouble being drawn into this charming mystery. Keam leaves the reader yearning for more. DEATH BY DROWNING is an excellent second effort by Ms. Keam. Characters and action are well wrought, and the plot sizzles.”
Midwest Book Review, Shelley Glodowski, Senior Reviewer, July 8th 2011
“Ms. Keam’s writing is more like lyrical prose, leaving the readers wanting to know more of Josiah’s life and clamoring for the next book. This can be read as a stand-alone book, but I highly recommend reading the first book – DEATH BY A HONEYBEE.” BOBBI’S BOOK NOOK, JULY 30TH, 2011
Amazon Purchase links: PB EBook
THANKS TO AUTHOR ABIGAIL KEAM, I HAVE ONE (1) SIGNED
COPY OF THIS BOOK. U.S. AND CANADA RESIDENTS ONLY.
AND TWO (2) EBOOK EDITIONS (.mobi or ePub). OPEN TO ALL.
CLICK HERE TO BRING YOU TO THE
CMASH READS GIVEAWAY ENTRY PAGE.
Tour Wide Giveaway!
A tour wide giveaway is being offered, which features a grand prize of a set of all four of Abigail’s books, signed, plus 3 8oz honeys from Abigail’s very own been hives! 2 signed copies of Death By Bourbon have been made available for a pair of runner-up prizes.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
No items that I receive
are ever sold…they are kept by me,
or given to family and/or friends.
I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or
Barnes & Noble. I am an IndieBound affliate.
I am providing link(s) solely for visitors
that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.