Category Archives: Uncategorized

P for Plethora #A to Z Challenge

cartoon characters
courtesy of iosphere and

A plethora of Ps flock to mind that would be helpful when thinking about the cozy mystery.

We have already touched briefly on writing practice as either a plotter  or a pantser.

The plotter may sound disturbingly like a plodder but is anything but. Plotting is simply a way to accelerate the writing process by creating a plan to follow.

Points of View

Then there is the business of point of view–through whose eyes is the reader seeing the story? Recent cozies often adopt a first person point of view where the main character tells the story–“Little did I realize what was lying behind the library door…”

Earlier cozies more often used third person and even had a more relaxed attitude to point of view. “Head hopping,” jumping from character to character, all with their own points of view, is fine provided it is skilfully done and the readers always know whose point of view they’re seeing.

The author, too, may have a point of view and we do see this in earlier examples of the genre. Nowadays publishers and editors have strict rules. No more than two points of view in a chapter. No head hopping. No omniscient author…

But, as we all know, a skillful author can break the rules judiciously and this can be very effective. Agatha Christie is not renowned for a strict adherence to the unwritten rules of point of view.

And then there’s P for


Hercule Poirot, the funny little Belgian detective, stars in so many Agatha Christie novels. His character traits, both likable and unlikable, endear him to his fans.

Interestingly he is an immigrant and a refugee–as topical in today’s political world as he was in the aftermath of the Second World War.

N for New Ideas #A to Z Challenge

Alli ethical author campaign
Alli ethical author campaign

New ideas are always challenging but with publishing in an exciting state of change, it is important to keep abreast of developments. Whether you support Indie or traditional publishing, you need to know what is happening if you are serious about making writing your career.

New to me was the ethical author agreement which you can sign up to at the Alliance of Independent Authors.

As a reader, you are also involved in the new roads that publishers and retailers are traveling. Find out how your joining Kindle Unlimited could affect the future of publishing in general.

Find out how leaving your trad publisher to go into self-publishing could in the end affect your finances.

New One Day Online Conferences

The first of the three Indie Alliance 24 hour conferences, this one attached to the London Book Fair, wound up this morning. And it was packed full of news and new news of interest to all booklovers, authors and prospective authors.

You may no longer be able to participate in real time but the blog at has links to pdfs, videos and podcasts of the whole 24-hour event.

The next online conference, this time attached to BookExpo America in Chicago, starts on May 14.

New Trends in Publishing

Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords, has spearheaded the self-publishing revolution from the start, giving authors the chance to e-publish and sell their books independently.

His talk on the Ten Trends Driving the Future of Publishing contained interesting insights and comparisons between publishing past, present and a possible future.

It also answers the “find out” questions I posed earlier.

Over To You

Are you a fan of online conferences? Do you support Indie publishing, traditional publishing, or both? Please let me know in the comments. The link button is at the top of the post.


M for Miss Marple #A to Z Challenge

older lady with mobile
photo by Ambro courtesy of

Just think how Agatha Christie’s plots might have panned out had Miss Marple had a mobile phone. Or if she could have whipped out a tablet instead of her knitting. Or if she had studied the psychology of her neighbors while working out in the gym instead of doing a spot of gentle gardening.

Her insights could, of course, have been curtailed by not having access to domestic help to keep her abreast of all the latest gossip. And her time might have been more limited by having to trot off to work in the charity shop two or three times a week.

And as for those not so long ago medical men who still had time to pay leisurely home calls and chat to inquisitive little old ladies–well, we can only dream.