Why do you write cozy mysteries?
I love telling stories with a large cast of characters who interact with each other and can keep coming back with each story. When I wrote romance, I had large families who kept coming back into the next book. And I understand the need to kill someone a little more than understanding the craziness of love.
Please tell us about your book. What ideas or images inspired this novel?
Fatality by Firelight is the second book in the Cat Latimer series. I knew I wanted to get to know the community she lives in (Aspen Hills) more in this book. Starting the book with a ski trip to the Little Ski Hill allowed me to use my own experiences with a small, local ski resort like the one near my hometown. But as I wrote more about Aspen Hills, I realized the town had a secret. A really big one. And that pulled everything together. It’s also the second book in the mystery arc around Cat’s ex-husband’s death. Which means I needed to add to the reader’s knowledge about his life and his death without solving that mystery.
Do you have an ideal reader in mind when you write? If so, please describe that reader.
I don’t really have an ideal reader. I was surprised when I went to my first library event and found who was reading the Tourist Trap series. Not who I thought was my core fan group, at all. So now, I focus on telling a story with an ending I would be satisfied in (which means some kind of HEA even if it’s not a romance. I want a satisfying conclusion. Not like the ending of Halloween.)
Please describe your writing routine.
I write in chunks. My goal is to write 2000 words a week day. Since I work a day job still, I have to break that up into sections. I get up at 5, write before work, maybe write at lunch, and then finish my goal after I get home. If I don’t hit my 10,000 words for the week, I have to work the weekend. Honestly, I write most weekends too. Although I am trying to have a no-guilt Sunday.
What advice do you give new writers just starting out?
The best advice I got as a new writer is to finish the book. So many people get stuck on the introduction because there are contests and critique groups for the start. Reworking the front chapters before you know what your story really is becomes a waste of time. You may throw away all of those pages when you find out you started in the wrong place. Finish the book, then go back for revisions.
More about Fatality by Firelight:
Cat Latimer’s Colorado bed-and-breakfast plays host to writers from all over. But murder is distinctly unwelcome…
To kick off a winter writing retreat, Cat and her handyman boyfriend, Seth, escort the aspiring authors to a nearby ski resort, hoping some fresh cold air will wake up their creative muses. But instead of hitting the slopes, they hit the bar — and before long, a tipsy romance novelist named Christina is keeping herself warm with a local ski bum who might have neglected to tell her about his upcoming wedding.
Next thing Cat knows, her uncle, the town sheriff, informs her that the young man’s been found dead in a hot tub — and Christina shows up crying and covered in blood. Now, between a murder mystery, the theft of a rare Hemingway edition, and the arrival of a black-clad stranger in snowy Aspen Hills, Cat’s afraid everything’s going downhill.
Grab your copy here: Amazon
Lynn Cahoon is the author of the NYT and USA Today best-selling Tourist Trap cozy mystery series. Guidebook to Murder, book 1 of the series won the Reader’s Crown for Mystery Fiction in 2015. She’s also pens the recently released, Cat Latimer series. A Story To Kill, book 1, came out in mass market paperback September 2016. She lives in a small town like the ones she loves to write about with her husband and two fur babies.
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