by Deb Baker, guest blogger
(Everyone who leaves a comment for Deb this weekend will be entered in a drawing for a free copy of her new book. Check back Sunday night at the end of the comments thread for the name of the winner!)
Thanks to my friends at Poe’s Deadly Daughters for hosting me. I’m on a blog tour to promote the launch of Ding Dong Dead, which hit the shelves last week. This is the seventh book I’ve completed. Whew! Time flies when you’re busy!
I’d like to jump into the dialogue about mystery subgenres and the definition of cozy mysteries that we’re all trying to nail down. Not that I’m going to cause anything but more confusion.
When the professional book world (agents, editors, etc) labeled my first mystery as a cozy, I was bewildered. Wasn’t a cozy an English whodunit with tea and crumpets and feathery hats? I had written a story about the Michigan Upper Peninsula—trucks, beer, baseball caps. It’s a cozy, they insisted. No gratuitous sex, no onstage violence, no swearing other than an occasional ‘for cripes sake’.
By the time I wrote the Dolls To Die For series I knew what I was.
Okay, I wrote cozies. Cool.
It was clear in my mind.
Or so I thought.
Because when the Berkley team got together to brainstorm a title and cover for Ding Dong Dead they changed the rules on me.
This isn’t really a cozy, my editor said. Let’s leave ‘doll’ out of the title and keep the doll graphics to a minimum.
Hunh? If it’s not a cozy, what is it? The cover’s still ‘cute’ like a cozy. Granted, I’ve taken some liberties. For example, the story is told in multiple points of view. Lots of them, not just two or three. Peering inside other characters’ minds does ratchet up the tension a little, but I doubt that anyone will ever call this book a suspense.
So I’m back to bewildered.
Am I on the fence between mystery genres? Shouldn’t I stay on one side or the other? Should I care? And who makes up these rules anyway?
In the meantime, I’ll continue to write my stories, some in first person, some in third, these in multiple POVs, and you can label me however you want.
To celebrate the release of Ding Dong Dead, I’m running a contest for a $50 gift certificate to the bookstore of your choice! Here’s how to win. Get a copy of Ding Dong Dead, read it, go to my website (http://www.debbakerbooks.com) before January 15th. Correctly answer three easy questions pertaining to the book. You will be entered into the drawing, which will take place at noon on January 15th. Winner will be notified through email and announced on my homepage. Good luck!