I posed this week’s topic: What kind of book would you like to write that you haven’t tried before?
I love to read most genres in the romance category, but the ones that usually keep me reading are those that contain some sort of mystery. And if a well-written mystery is part of a series, especially a cozy mystery series, I’m sure to look at more than one (if not all) of the installments. In my Goodreads Challenge review posts, I’ve described all of Jana DeLeon’s Miss Fortune Mystery series (seventeen books in all) and many of Donna Andrews’ Meg Langslow mysteries. So it follows that I’d like to write a cozy mystery myself.
The main protagonist would have to be someone with interests similar to mine, because that would be a character I can understand and write more about. Since several of my interests (sewing, scrapbooking, card-making) are pursued by more women than men, I suppose it would be easier to make that character a woman, although it might be interesting to have a male character who enjoys those hobbies. And that character would need a source of income, since I don’t understand much about the lifestyle of the independently wealthy. Again, I’d have to do a lot less research writing about a profession I know – so that person would need to be a teacher, a musician – or perhaps a music teacher.
Now, what sort of mysteries might a music teacher try to solve? The possibilities are endless. All sorts of disturbing things take place in schools (disgruntled parents, anxious students, drug abuse, parental abuse), and assuming the character also performs music after school, that person would have to go to various venues, dealing with all sorts of people with what might be described as an “artist’s temperament.” There are always issues amplified by a person’s ego – being selected for a solo part, for example, or occupying the concertmaster seat. Musical instruments are quite expensive, so when one goes missing or is damaged, that’s definitely a cause for alarm. And a soloist who gets ill, disappears, or dies just before a performance is always a disaster for the conductor.
Now that I’ve established that there are plenty of mysteries for my magnificent musician to solve, I’ll examine the ways my character might solve the case. If my character is a singer, then listening to song lyrics might provide a clue. Or perhaps the villain might be exposed as a fraud when singing incorrect lyrics or pronouncing foreign words incorrectly. For an instrumental musician sitting in the orchestra pit, there are all sorts of dark and spooky tunnels we have to navigate while making our way to our seats, and all sorts of secrets might be hidden behind those walls. Messages or weapons could be hidden inside the instruments (the sound would be distorted, of course), or the instrument cases. The catwalks in most theater and concert venues provide other places a villain might strike and escape, and any of the people who work there or are involved in a concert or theater production would be suspect.
The yearly NaNoWriMo challenge kicks off next month, and now I’m itching to start a new project. Hopefully I’ll be able to complete my current project so that I can start plotting out a new one to start on November 1st. Wish me luck!