by Fran Rizer
My name is Fran, and I write... cozies?
I didn't start out that way, and I didn't flounder around with other subgenres then decide to have protagonists "trip" over clues while I rounded up recipes and knitting patterns for them.
Actually, I do know how to knit. My knitting experience goes back to my divorce. I thought it would be appropriate for me to knit an afghan. My friend Linda taught me to knit. When I completed a twelve-inch square, I decided that wasn't for me. She taught me to crochet. I did about three granny squares and decided I'd rather go dancing. I buy my quilts and afghans ready-made, and I still love dancing.
I've written and sold articles to magazines since I was seventeen. Among my sales were
The writers' group I frequented kept telling me, "You've been published a lot, but fiction is different. It's a hard nut to crack." So I got cracking, wrote my first fiction story, "Positive Proof," and entered it into the Augusta, Georgia, Festival of Arts Fiction Contest. I won $500 and an invitation to read it at the awards contest. That was fun, but I never even tried to sell it, just went back to magazine articles.
With those instructions, I wrote A Tisket, a Tasket, a Fancy Stolen Casket and simultaneously queried five agents. My first choice took the book and sold three of the series to Berkley Prime Crime.
Some folks believe all cozies are destined to be mass market paperbacks. I know many who're published first as hardback. When I signed with Berkley, my agent asked if I wanted to go for a hardback contract. Being an old Beatles fan, all I wanted was to be a paperback writer, and that's still what I want though my grandson is happy that all four Callies are on Nook and Kindle.
Now, about those recipes. There are no recipes in my books, but I do put them on my webpage. Why? Because I want to. A lot of my friends read and collect recipe books. I don't because I'm one of those "pinch of this, pinch of that" cooks, and when I want a specific recipe, I go to the Internet, but if recipes are fun for me and my readers, why not? (There are
Can you see what's wrong? I write horror, and it's labeled erotica. I write cozies, and they're labeled Mainstream Mystery. I have a serial killer thriller coming out under a pseudonym, but who knows how it'll be classified?
Help! Is there a twelve-step program for those of us who aren't living in the sixties trying to find ourselves but for those of us who don't know where we're going or what we're writing?