Monday, July 2, 2012

Guest Post: Kari Lee Townsend

Kari Lee Townsend's latest cozy

What is a Cozy Mystery anyway?

When I first started writing mysteries, I didn’t have any clue there were so many different kinds. Cozy mysteries, soft boiled mysteries, hard boiled mysteries, thrillers, etc. It was a little overwhelming, but once I did a little homework, it wasn’t so bad.

I chose to write cozy mysteries because I love everything about the word “cozy.”

Cozy mysteries are usually set in a small town. Or if they aren’t in a small town, then they revolve around a small area like the theater or some area that feels like a small community. The small town almost becomes a character itself. A place you would want to visit with quaint aspects like the shops and maybe a park or some unique touristy things to do. Readers love to keep revisiting places they know and love.

Cozy mysteries are all about the characters. The regulars who live and work in the quaint town you’ve created. They grow and evolve and form relationships that readers want to keep reading about. That’s what I love about a series. You get to keep up with what’s happening in these characters’ lives. Root for them when they’re down, cheer them on when they up, fear for them when they’re in trouble. You become invested in them almost as if they are real. And with some cozy series running so long, you really feel like you’ve known them for years because … well … you have!

I love romance in a cozy because the best part of a romance for me is the chemistry between the couple. In a cozy, everything too steamy takes place off screen so to speak. The only thing you see on the page is the chemistry, and well, okay a little bit of heat, but nothing that would make your granny blush.

The same goes for violence and swearing. We get the best aspects of trying to figure out whodunit without having to see the actual violence itself. That too takes place off screen, and we are simply left with the clues and suspects to work it all out. There can still be danger and your lead can still be in jeopardy, but you can rest assured nothing too scary will happen. For me, that’s the perfect type of book. Great characters, a perfect setting, a bit of romance, an interesting mystery to solve and a touch of suspense. I, for one, hope to be writing cozy mysteries for a very long time.

National Bestselling Author, RT Reader’s Choice Award & Agatha Nominee Kari Lee Townsend lives in Central New York with her very understanding husband, her three busy boys, and her oh-so-dramatic daughter, who keep her grounded and make everything she does worthwhile…not to mention provide her with loads of material for her books. Kari is a longtime lover of reading and writing, with a masters in English education, who spends her days trying to figure out whodunit. Funny how no one at home will confess any more than the characters in her mysteries!
Kari writes fun and exciting stories for any age, set in small towns, with mystical elements and quirky characters as Kari Lee Townsend. Kari also writes romantic comedies and women’s fiction with the same sense of humor and quirky characters as Kari Lee Harmon.  To find out more about Kari and all her books go to