Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Kari's Kave: Turn on the Heat!

It's that time of year!
Time to turn on the heat. I work at home all day, so I sit a lot. Not good for the circulation. I know, I know...I'm supposed to get up every hour and move. But sometimes I get on a roll and forget. Not good for the back, either.
The next thing you know, I'm freezing!!!
Now that the temps are dropping outside, it's time to turn on the heat. I hate the thought of turning on the heat because that means that summer is over and snow is coming soon. I caved in this week and turned it on anyway.
It got me thinking about what I write....mysteries!
How does turning on the heat relate to mysteries you might ask?
Well, I am neck deep in my edits for Corpse in the Crystal Ball. One of the things I have to do is tone down the amount of "heat" I turned on in this book :-) What can I say? The romance side of me shines through no matter what I write.
Don't get me wrong, my editor loves my characters and the romance that's growing between them. It's just "cozy" readers can be very particular about what they want in their mysteries. In fact, there are some people who don't think romance should be in a cozy mystery at all. While others love romance in their mystery. The trend I'm seeing is a number of cozies with romance in them becoming the norm and very popular. I love romance in anything :-)
While sex has to be off page, sexual tension does not. However, it can be easy to make things a bit too sexy! And yet our very own Liz Lipperman has to amp up her romance. LOL ... imagine if we wrote a book would probably be perfect!
So tell me, what's your take on the whole "turning up the heat" in mysteries? Do you like your mysteries with romance in them or without? Inquiring minds want to know.


Kari Lee Townsend said...'s so "cozy" in my house right now :-)

Cassy Pickard said...

Kari: My heat went on this morning, too. The heat in the house, that is. As for what I enjoy in a mystery- I like some sexual tension. It doesn't have to be a true romance but I like reading about characters who are real. And, romance, sexual tension, attraction, confusion (add what else you want) is all a part of the characters being normal. I also think the boundaries of the genres are becoming fuzzy. Miss Marple isn't always the only choice. And, your numbers certainly show you have a wonderful following who agree with you!

Liz Lipperman said...

I'm laughing because Kari and I share the same editor, and I am also knee deep in edits for BEEF STOLEN-OFF. I was also told to "turn down the heat" but in a different way. Apparently, my humor about sex is a little too much for cozy readers. Funny, she says, but needs toned down.

But here's something interesting. My love interest only shows up once in Book 2. She wants me to add another scene with him!! I hadn't even planned on having him show up for Book 3, but she suggested I find a way. When I mentioned that I thought mystery readers didn't want too much romance, here's her response.

I don’t think there’s any problem at all having romance in the mystery. If you look at most of our cozies you will see that there is almost always a romance involved as well and people will keep coming back for more to find out what happens.

So, there you have it. More romance--less talking about it!!

And for the record, I just got dinged over at Amazon for this very reason. Good writer, the reviewer said, but she couldn't even finish the book after Alex showed up. So, different strokes.

Kari Lee Townsend said...

Awww thanks Cassy :-)

And yeah, I think the lines are blurring as well. But in a good way! I personally love a bit of romance because, like you said, it makes them human.

Kari Lee Townsend said...

OMG Liz, don't even get me started on some reviewers! I've learned to just accept that what some do NOT like in their mystery, others love! I'm sticking to those who love it :-)

Cassy Pickard said...

The whole conversation about reviews is truly interesting. There is never any way whatsoever we'll make everyone happy. There's a good article in the latest Writer's Digest- an interview with James Lee Burke. Talk about a successful author! He describes his hundreds of rejections, how he can't stand reviews, how he just keeps writing, and how it's all turned out well. He has one funny line where he says he used to take all his rejection letters, throw them in a shoebox, and then plan on the day he could autograph them and auction them off.

You don't have that challenge, Kari. You're already THERE! xxox

Anita Clenney said...

I'm still fighting turning on the hear in the house. I don't want to pay the bill. But I'm cold natured so it won't be long until I cave.

As for heat in mysteries...I think romance is like salt for your food. It gives any genre a little extra kick. But I agree that there are a lot of readers who just don't want romance, so I will try to be careful with the cozy that I'm writing, which is on the back burner at the moment. But I'm a line blurrer. I love straddling genres, so there will be a little romance happening there.

Lindsay said...

Yes, I think there can be romance in a mystery, if that's what the author wants. And it seems in cozys that's a requirement. Tension on the page but everything else behind closed doors works.
It also depends on the characters and the story what if anything goes on between the main characters.

Kari Lee Townsend said...

Stay warm, Anita!

Kari Lee Townsend said...

Right on, Lindsay...

Kari Lee Townsend said... more pass and I'm done with my edits for Corpse!


Especially since I haven't even started book 3!

Mish said...

I like the sexual tension. I like the flirting and the attraction. I don't like reading about the interlude, but if they enter the bedroom and shut the door and the chapter ends and the next chapter starts the next morning that's cool. Did I say that right? Anyway, I think this is a new genre of "cozy", just like paranormal. If some don't like it then they can read something else.

Kari Lee Townsend said...

Thanks for stopping by, Mish :-) And I agree, it's all a matter of taste. Those who like romance, will like the new romanctic cozies. Those who don't, will simply choose not to read those.