Branching Out as an Author?

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!


About Patricia Kiyono

During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level. She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her five children, nine grandchildren (so far), and great-granddaughters. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures. Check out her sweet historical contemporary romances at her Amazon author page:
This entry was posted in Books, cozy mystery, goals, Mystery stories, Patricia Kiyono, Preparing for writing, The Author Life, What if, writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Branching Out as an Author?

  1. I wish you GREAT luck. I keep saying, “Well, many next year”, since I got more done during a slight challenge than I have most of the time. I think I need someone to keep spurring me, but then, well, family first here and there seems to be more and more going on when I expect less and less.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      You do seem to have more than your share of challenges, Tonette! Hope things calm down for you so that you can spend time on things you choose.


  2. Jeff Salter says:

    wow — from the setup you’ve just outlined here, I’m eager to read this new story of yours.
    Now sit down and WRITE it!!!


  3. Mysteries is one of my favorites to read. But I add mystery to my genre of Romance Suspense. It keeps the reader turning pages to figure out the answers. Suspense and mystery go hand in hand for the most part.

    What I’d really like to try is fantasy. Since working on the stories for my collection of short stories to come out this holiday, which include four fantasies out of the ten stories, my interest is stirred. Especially if the fantasy has anything to do with Ireland.

    Best wishes on your new project.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      I enjoy reading fantasy, but I’m afraid I’m too literal. My imagination doesn’t seem quite that stretchy, but I admire those who do come up with these scenarios. And having spent a week in Ireland, I agree that’s a fabulous setting. Thanks so much for stopping in!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Diana Stout says:

    You and I share the same desire of the mystery genre. I thought I had started a series and had three chapters done. Imagine my surprise to discover I wrote the entire first book 25 years ago! A project I’m returning to… soon. Can’t wait to see what you do with a mystery!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      What a coincidence! Good luck to you, too – returning to a project that’s been put away so long sounds like quite a challenge. Thanks for stopping in!


  5. Best of luck! I hope you are able to start on something new for Nano. I would love to read a mystery that you write.


  6. Elaine Cantrell says:

    I’d sure read your cozy mystery. I love the idea.


  7. diana-lloyd says:

    I’ve always wanted to write a time-travel romance. When I first tackled it, I didn’t have the skill to do it justice so I set it aside. Hoping to get back to it one day. Best of luck with your mystery – Happy writing!

    Liked by 1 person

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