In this month's edition of "Help a Writer Sister (pronouced sis-tah) Out", I present you with a mystery. Who is Patricia Rockwell? Hmm. Very mysterious.
Interviewer: Patricia Rockwell, can you tell us about your two cozy mysteries—SOUNDS OF MURDER and FM FOR MURDER?
Answer: Yes, these are the first two books in my Pamela Barnes acoustic mystery series. Pamela is a Psychology professor and acoustics expert and she is drawn into the investigation of various murders that have a “sound” component because of her knowledge and expertise in this field.
Interviewer: Sound? That’s a rather strange hook for a mystery.
Answer: Yes. In many cozy mysteries, the amateur sleuth often has an occupation or hobby that allows the character to use their knowledge to solve a crime. As far as I know, no other cozy mystery author has an amateur sleuth who uses acoustics to solve crimes. Actually, one critic told me that I’d never find more than a few plot lines where sound could be a viable clue to a murder, but I’m writing my fourth Pamela Barnes’ book at the moment and I’m still imagining more plots with sound.
Interviewer: Patricia, not only do you write cozy mysteries but you also publish cozy mysteries with your company Cozy Cat Press. Why this fascination with cozy mysteries?
Answer: I’ve always loved reading mysteries ever since I was a child and read every Nancy Drew I could get. I guess I’ve always loved what are called cozy mysteries. However, it wasn’t until the last few years when I retired from my career as a college professor and started writing, that I actually realized that the specific type of mystery I like to read—and write—had a name—cozy mystery. I just know that I have always preferred mysteries where the emphasis is on the detecting and the solving of a puzzle—not on the main character getting out of jeopardy. In truth, whenever I read mysteries of the thriller variety, when I come to segments that involve chase scenes or fights or a character trying to avoid some sort of catastrophe—I skip ahead to what I consider the more interesting parts of the book. I guess that’s why I like Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes, and the array of wonderful cozy mystery writers today who focus on the “figuring things out” aspect of mysteries.
Interviewer: So, does that mean that none of your characters ever meets an untimely end?
Answer: Oh, no! Murders occur in my books. They just happen to characters whom the reader doesn’t care about much—or at least I hope they don’t care about them.
Interviewer: Would you say, then, that in cozy mysteries that character is more important than plot?
Answer: No, I wouldn’t say that. I’d say they are both equally important.
Interviewer: You say you are retired from a career as a teacher. I bet you have incorporated some of your job experiences in your books, haven’t you?
|Jinkies! Another mystery solved!|