It’s almost time to sing Auld Lang Syne and as I reflect over the blogs I’ve posted for 2016, I realize what an amazing year I’ve had on the Cozy Corner. I’ve had the incredible opportunity to interview authors whose experiences and careers are as varied as the mystery genre they write. Many thanks to Fresh Fiction and the generous writers who’ve graciously given me their time. But most of all, to the readers who click on the Cozy Corner to find out what’s new in the genre—thank you for making the past year awesome!
Take a moment and think about your best moments this year: The stranger who did something nice without a second thought. The store employee who went out of her way to help you. Remember that lunch you had with your colleagues. That movie you shared with your friends. That special night with the one you love. And don’t forget all those wonderful books that kept you up late at night, even if you did pay the price the next day. 😉
There are so many good things to reflect on from 2016. Forget the bad, yet be mindful of how you can make a difference in someone’s life today and tomorrow. Our journey is about our humanity. Share yours this season and look to 2017 with the enthusiasm it deserves—there are so many great stories we have yet to listen to, to see, to hear, to share—to live.
Here are a few of my favorite moments for 2016:
- February 2016 CC Dragon about her Helena Morris Mystery series—I adore this!
Kym: I Love Helena’s nickname—Hel—what made you give her that name and how does it fit her?
CC: Oh, it fits her. Hel isn’t afraid of anyone. She’s a martial arts instructor with multiple black belts. She can take care of herself and her sister (who has a stalker). She’s not your standard cozy mystery heroine…she was married to an FBI agent so she’s pretty fearless and connected. She packs a gun but doesn’t need it to beat up bad guys or punch a rock star who gets out of line.
- March 2016 Interview with Darcie Wilde (aka Sarah Zettel to cozy mystery readers) about her Rosalind Thorne Mystery, A Useful Woman—One of my favorite cozy authors!
Kym: This series is set in nineteenth century London. What drew you to that time period.
Sarah: I am a fan of Jane Austen, of course, and I admit I love Regency Romances, especially the great Georgette Heyer, and, as I’ve said I write Regencies myself. All this led me to do a lot of research on the time period, which in turn led me to the phenomenon of “silver fork novels,” which were a genre that got really popular around 1825. I started reading them, and found them a gold mine of cool ideas that were just waiting to be turned into novels.
- June 2016 Lorraine Bartlett (aka Lorna Barrett) TITLE WAVE, from her Booktown Mystery series. She has so many cozies—she rocks!
Kym: In my opinion secondary characters are the heart of a cozy and you’ve outdone most with Angelica. What is it about her that makes you like her as an author?
Lorraine: I love her. She’s the sister I never had. I could write about her for the rest of my life and never grow tired of her. When the first couple of books came out, I got a lot of complaints about her. I had a master plan for her, but I couldn’t pull it off in only one book; that wouldn’t have been realistic. She’s extremely complex, and kept a number of secrets from Tricia for a long time. It wasn’t so much that she wanted to keep Tricia in the dark about her past (and present), but that Tricia was so used to dismissing her sister as frivolous that she wasn’t open to knowing the truth about Angelica. Tricia always saw herself as the “successful” sister, to find out she wasn’t as successful in life as she thought, was quite a revelation.
- August 2016 Mary Kennedy, A PREMONITION OF MURDER, her Dream Club Mystery series—seriously a dream come true!
Kym: In your series, Ali and Taylor along with the rest of the dream club, solve homicides by interpreting dreams. Some readers love the possibility of the concept being transferred into real life; while others are skeptical. Do you believe dreams could be used to help police solve crimes?
Mary: I wish I knew the answer to that! I know there are cases in which psychics supposedly helped the police solve crimes, but I think these cases are mostly anecdotal. Taylor (the very pragmatic sister with the MBA) was initially very skeptical about whether clues in dreams could really be relevant to crime-solving, but as the series progresses, she is becoming a convert. Ali, of course, believes fervently in the power of dreams to shed light on events in our waking lives. And she is convinced that clues in dreams really do help solve murders.
- October 2016 with Rhys Bowen, Her Royal Spyness Mystery series—I LOVED this interview!
Kym: That would be an incredible visit! Is there a book in the Royal Spyness series that stands out for you, whether it be because of something that was going on in your life at the time you wrote it or a crime that really resonated with you at the time?
Rhys: I have to say that I loved the Twelve Clues of Christmas, not only because it was recreating my fantasy English country house Christmas, but because it was such a challenge to fit in all of the twelve clues and make them believable.
- December 2016: Charli Rae Warren—the leading lady in my Book Barn Mystery series and newest release, FATAL FICTION—because we have so much fun together;)
Kym: “Today I have the pleasure of sitting down with Charli Rae Warren in her hometown of Hazel Rock, Texas for an interview. Charli is a kindergarten teacher who came back to Hazel Rock after a twelve-year absence! She’s also an imaginary friend of mine who lurks in my brain and messes with my hair.”
Charli: “I beg to differ, you’re the one who’s constantly messing up my hair.”
Until next year, Happy Holidays! Now, get cozy and read on!
Look for my Holiday Giveaways on Fresh Fiction and enter for your chance to win a Princess pin—because that’s the only way you’ll want to cuddle up with an armadillo;)
Kym Roberts is a retired detective sergeant who looks for passion, mystery and suspense in every book she reads and writes. She can be found on the web kymroberts.com, on Facebook at Kym Roberts (author) and on Twitter @kymroberts911. Look for her new cozy mystery release, FATAL FICTION, A Book Barn Mystery available now and her romance release MISTLETOE AND LACE, The Hard Men of the Rockies Anthology from the authors of ChickSwagger.com!