THE CHOSEN ONE ~ by Kristine Raymond
I’m a romance author. Historical western, contemporary, even a little erotic; romance is my genre. So, imagine my surprise – and frankly, horror – when I awoke one morning with the idea for a mystery rolling around in my brain. At first, I wasn’t sure of the intricacies of the story. Would it be a thriller? A police procedural? Crime fiction? I sat down, opened a new Word doc, began typing, and that’s when it became clear – cozy mystery. The genre had chosen me.
Writing a cozy mystery is worlds apart from penning a romance, but I dove in, repeatedly reminding myself that the focus of the story was not the romantic interaction between my main character and her love interest, but rather the clues and intrigue leading the pair to solve the mystery. And that’s where the fun began. As a new-to-me genre, I harbored no preconceived notions about how to write the story; instead, I allowed the words to tumble onto the page at will, each one building on the next to thicken the plot and guide the characters to discover not only the who, but the why, how, and where.
On the subject of characters, their development in my cozy mystery – it’s titled Finn-agled, by the way – came about differently than how I usually create them. I’d explain it if I could, but even as an author, I don’t know exactly how to put into words the process. They simply originated in my brain in their own unique way and demanded that I bring them alive on the page. They’re pesky, that way.
If interrogated, and under threat of never again being allowed access to my Netflix password, I’d admit that certain aspects of Finn Bartusiak’s personality (she’s the main character and star of the show) mirror my own. She lives in a seaside town (I grew up three miles from the ocean), she’s quirky, fiercely loyal to those she loves, her hair frizzes in humid weather, and she has more than her share of ‘squirrel’ moments.
What was I saying?
Oh, right; our similarities. Like Finn, I adore a great pierogi – though I’m only half-Polish and she’s full-blooded – and we both own Basset Hounds who are follicly-challenged. And, while the most complex mystery I’ve ever solved was locating my keys, I like to think that should one present itself, I’d be up to the challenge. How hard can it be?
To my faithful readers who love romance, not to worry. My romantic streak is firmly intact (I have several ideas for future romance stories floating around in my gray matter), but now that cozies have taken hold, it’s safe to say they’re not going anywhere either.
After all, the genre did choose me. 😊
A secret message hidden inside of an antique wooden box, an unidentified dead body, and a mother determined to marry her off to the high school crush whom she hasn’t seen since…well…high school. There’s no doubt about it; Finn Bartusiak’s life in the seaside town of Port New is about to get interesting.
Coming into possession of a 19th-century, bronze and mahogany writing box under somewhat suspicious circumstances, Finn’s accidental discovery of a coded note leads her and Spencer Dane, bestselling novelist and love of her life (though he doesn’t know it yet), on a quest to unravel the mystery behind the jumble of letters. But they’re not the only ones interested in the cryptic message. There’s a con man on their trail, and he’ll stop at nothing, including murder, to claim the ‘treasure’ for himself.
Buy link – https://books2read.com/finnagled
It wasn’t until later in life that Kristine Raymond figured out what she wanted to be when she grew up, an epiphany that occurred in 2013 when she sat down and began writing her first book. Sixteen books in multiple genres later, she’s added the title of podcasting host to her resume, thus assuring that she will never be idle.
When a spare moment does present itself, she fills it by navigating the publishing and promotional side of the business. When not doing that, she spends time with her husband and furbabies (not necessarily in that order), reads, or binge-watches Netflix.
Find out more about Kristine on her website at www.kristineraymond.com and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and BookBub.
And for links to podcast episodes, guest posts, and other great stuff, check out Word Play with Kristine Raymond at www.wordplaypodcast.com.