Monday, March 23, 2015

Joyce Ann Brown, Guest Author



My guest this week is Joyce Ann Brown, who writes cozy mysteries which include a cat named Sylvester. I think you'll enjoy this post. After reading it, I know I've got to try this series. A landlady and a "psycho" cat should be quite entertaining. Welcome, Joyce!

 
 The Evolution of My Cozy Feline Mysteries


 “The sound of three ominous organ notes reverberated throughout Marni’s body and made her shudder. She stopped with a gasp, bent over, and clutched her knees in the middle of the Trolley Track Trail…”
The mystery writing class during which I wrote those words was one in a series of creative writing courses and workshops for me. I enrolled in it with a friend who wanted to write children’s mysteries. I’ve wanted to be a writer since high school days, and mysteries have always been one of my favorite reading genres. Marriage, career, kids, lack of confidence, lack of training—you know the drill. For years my writing was restricted to articles for journals and newsletters, recording secretary notes for organizations, and stories for my students.
I wrote a children’s book when my own kids were little. Then I made half-hearted attempts to get it published, not knowing enough to look for an agent or hire an editor. After a few rejections, the story went into a drawer, and I went back to my job as a teacher and, later, a school librarian.
In my mystery writing class, classmates praised my efforts.
The story is mysterious from the very beginning. It’s well-written. It makes me want to read more. You need to continue writing.
I became hooked. Intrigued. Absorbed in the process. I took more creative writing classes. Before the mystery-writing class, I hadn’t considered writing in that genre. Sure, I love to read thrillers, detective stories, mystery/romance, and cozy mysteries, all set in interesting towns, neighborhoods, or exciting foreign locations with cunning characters that surprise me. Cozy mysteries and their amateur sleuths, with various occupations and tendencies to get pulled into crime-solving, have always attracted my sense of adventure for the commonplace person. 

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Joyce+Ann+Brown
 
For my cozy mystery, I chose a landlady as the main character, because that’s an occupation familiar to me. The plot of my first book is based upon two unusual stories. One was told to me by a tenant of one of the duplexes I own. She told me about her upbringing by a hippie mother and grandparents and about her boyfriend who left for a job in the Virgin Islands. The story needed to be told, and I like to help the needy.
The mystery took shape—a tenant who turns up missing and a landlady who begins searching and discovers accusations of grand theft and murder. But the story, being cozy, needed humor and some domestic side stories. It was my good fortune to have a friend tell me the story of a cat she called “psycho.” Her mischievous cat, she told me, had once saved her life. That may be a little strong, but that’s the way I interpreted the story.
I have cats. Cats are funny and inscrutable. I’ve witnessed dozens of cat antics over the years. Sylvester, nicknamed Psycho Cat, became the landlady’s mischief-maker and clue-finder. He’s a small but important component of each book.

Find out more about CATastrophicConnections and FURtiveInvestigation, the first two books of my Psycho Cat and the Landlady Mysteries on my website: http://joyceannbrown.com . You can find my Psycho Cat and the Landlady Mysteries on Amazon.com.
Please like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, and connect on Google+. Follow my blogs: http://retirementchoicescozymystery.wordpress.com/ and http://hikingkctrails.wordpress.com /. 



CLICK HERE to visit Marja McGraw's website
CLICK HERE for a quick trip to Amazon.com 

Looking for something different and maybe just a little quirky? Try How Now Purple Cow - A Bogey Man Mystery and find out how purple cows and elderly spies relate to each other.


 

12 comments:

  1. Joyce,
    I enjoyed your post. What a clever idea for a cozy mystery series! I'll have to check out your books.

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  2. Thank you, Patricia. The Kansas City landlady was a natural for me. The series doesn't need to be read in order.

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  3. Your journey is familiar to me since it's my journey too! I've come to this game late so really enjoy finding out how others have worked out "the drill" as you call it. Smart to use a career and setting you're familiar with to launch a series because then everything around you feeds your imagination. Congrats on the series!!

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    1. Thanks. Many of us who have started writing books late are lucky to have years of experiences to draw upon for ideas and understanding. I wish you a great career.

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  4. Love your concept for a mystery series. I had cats for many years, and always enjoyed their antics. We once had a cat named Kamikaze who got into all kinds of trouble. I'll have to put your books on my TBR list.

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    1. Cats are fun. They seem mysterious.

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  5. Great post! My favorite line: "The story needed to be told, and I like to help the needy."

    Heading to Amazon right now to check out your work. Keep writing!

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    1. Now, aren't you nice to quote my blog post?You are all set to enjoy good stories.

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  6. Love your titles! Purrfect! Much success and your books are now on my TBR list, Joyce.

    Madeline

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  7. Hi, it was really interesting to read your story about how you became an author ...as well as how you got the ideas for your series :-) Will definitely check out your books soon...!

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  8. Thank you, M.M. and Ramla. I wish I had one of your names as an author. Mine is so ordinary. Yes, the series is fun, and I love to write. It's so nice of you to be encouraging.

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    1. You are welcome :-) And your name is great...! :-) It reminds me of joy and happiness ...and also of 'Anne Of Green Gables' ...who is one of my all-time favourite characters in fiction...! :-)

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