Friday, November 9, 2007

Cozying up to Killer Hobbies: Part Two

First, a note to all my friends…

My web site,, was “down” earlier this week, due to some strange gremlin that infected the cyber layer of the atmosphere. My poor beleaguered webmaster tried to explain the whole thing to me. But I hear technical jargon the way a dog hears reproachful instructions; it’s all “Blah, blah, blah.”

Anyway, if the web site is down when you try to navigate to it, keep trying. I believe the god of cyberspace has finally stopped throwing thunderbolts my way.

Feedback about Killer Hobbies

I got feedback from last week’s question about what people like/don’t like about cozy mysteries that are set around a hobby theme.

Boy, did I get feedback.

The good news

Huzzah! People love hobby-oriented mystery series! Judging from the emails and chat, they are wildly popular.

The also-good news (but not for everyone)

Pity the poor hobby mystery-ist who commits any of the following sins:

· Overloads the book with hobby content, at the expense of a good story
· “Top loads” the book with too much information, like all-you-never-wanted-to-know about music boxes.
· Laces the tale with hobby jargon that the nonhobbyist can't understand,
· Bores the reader (this, I might add, is a global sin that is not unique to hobby-oriented mysteries).

Some quotes from the blog-o-sphere

A big THANK YOU to everyone who took the time to reply to my request for feedback! Here are some samples:

“I find that my reading needs are for de-stressing and relaxation, as well as pleasure. I (enjoy) well-written cozies. [I like…Linda O'Johnstons'-- she writes about a wide variety of animal pets [canines, felines, birds, ferrets, & far],...want to read more of hers as well as a couple other authors' work I've been fortunate enough to read...]. I have a Monica Ferris book awaiting me. I look forward to another .”

“…I like Monica Ferris' and Maggie Sefton's books set in yarn/embroidery supplies shops, but it may be the manager aspects of running the shop is even more interesting than the craft.”

“…if I care about the protagonist, I enjoy reading about the things that are important in her (or his) life. I like Spenser's little descriptions of how he whips up a little omelet, for instance; and also enjoy Susan's questioning whether they can really mean you have to stir something "constantly" for THAT LONG. They don't intrude, but that's how people's lives really are in my universe. We eat, we work, we crochet, we solve mysteries. Except for the solving mysteries part, in my case.”

“…it is the story I tend to remember rather than the crafting, so for the sake of anybody who is not au fait with the hobby, it is best to keep the parts dealing with it to the minimum. Also, it is a good idea if the subject is presented as if to beginners for the same reason!”


Linda O. Johnston said...

Wow, that's great feedback, Kathryn. It makes those of us who weave hobbies (or family, in my case!) into our stories want to write even more of them!

Kathryn Lilley said...

Thanks, Linda! I received many emails and chat responses, too many to include in this post. I'll have to compile them all into a "white paper" for hobby-mystery writers, lol!

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Wow. What terrific feedback. Thanks, Kathryn, for sharing.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Wow. What terrific feedback. Thanks, Kathryn, for sharing.

Camille Minichino said...

Yes, I joined CrimeSpace just in time. Thanks Kathryn. I'm rattling on more about this is my blog on Saturday.