Category Archives: A-Z Challenge 2016

T for Tea #A to Z Challenge

courtesy of Timeless Photography and
courtesy of Timeless Photography and

T was intended to stand for time and timeline as cozy mysteries are often set in the period when they started to become popular–the twenties and thirties.

And timelines are indispensable when planning the events and clues that lead to solving the mystery.

But today’s cozies often verge on the cute, with tea shops, restaurants and cafes being a favorite career move for the amateur detective cum heroine.

And tea time always seems to feature large in cozies from whatever period. The tea may vary from Earl Grey or Darjeeling nowadays with modern cozy characters preferring herbal teas like chamomile.

And the lead photo was an irresistible match for the most popular cozies around at the minute–the ones that appeal to animal-lovers. The tiny tyke here is redressing the balance after my giving the kitty cats their own blog entry.

R for Reviews #A to Z Challenge

girl with books
photo by stockimages at freedigitalphotos,net

Reviews are the lifeblood of all authors, not just Indie authors. With fifty plus reviews, Amazon increases its promotion of your book. So if you even just leave a one sentence review for a favorite author, you are helping make the book more visible to others.

The but is that Amazon can be suspicious of reviews left not only by family members but also by authors and editors and suspects a tie-in somewhere.

So R must also be for Reader. Always with every book you produce, ask yourself honestly Who will read this? Why do I write? 

If it’s just for your own satisfaction, that’s fine. But if you want to be read, you need to ask what the readers of your genre are looking for.

Q is for Quiz #A to Z Challenge

(Been having connection difficulties and only just managed to publish P after two days of trying so Quizis as yet only notes:)

signpost questions
illustration courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Quizzing your characters is a good way to find out the secrets that only they and the hidden recesses of your mind may  know.

They will not necessarily tell you the truth right away. Our brains love making patterns and finding the easiest way from A to B.  As a cozy mystery author, you realize the straight shortcut may be the fastest but you are trying to construct a maze of misdirection to  ensnare your reader. 🙂

Asking the right questions will let your characters help  with this. The classic  journalist’s questions are Who? What? Why? When? Where? and How? The signpost has added Which? and Whose?

They must all be answered. What the author has to decide is which questions and answers are most important for the telling of the story.