For mystery/thriller week I am doing multiple things during this week. In this post D.E. Haggerty is doing a guest post. Here it is!
How I ended up writing a cozy mystery series in a bakery
When I wrote my first cozy mystery, Murder, Mystery & Dating Mayhem, I wasn’t actually intending to write a mystery – let alone a cozy mystery. I didn’t even know what a cozy mystery was at the time! I started out writing a chick lit novel, but then someone ended up dead. And the characters absolutely insisted the death was murder! The story quickly turned into a mystery after that revelation. I just happened to add a group of old ladies who liked to knit into the mix of characters. I had no idea this was a typical cozy mystery setting.
Readers asked me to turn one of the characters of Murder, Mystery & Dating Mayhem into a second book and soon the Gray-Haired Knitting Detectives series was born. And it was fun! I enjoy a bit of humor with my mystery and so I added tons of whacky situations to the books. When the series finished, I decided to try my hand at another cozy mystery series.
This time around I did know what a cozy mystery was. Right off the bat I wanted to use a ‘typical’ cozy setting – some type of craft. I had received several questions from readers about knitting with the Gray-Haired Knitting Detectives, but I’m not much of a knitter and couldn’t answer the most basic of questions. For my new series, I needed to choose a craft I knew something about.
I’m not crafty. To be perfectly honest – I’m a bit of a klutz and have two right hands. Oh sure, I know how to sew. My mother believes that every woman should know how to sew. She’s a bit old-fashioned, which isn’t so strange as I’m not the youngest chicken anymore. I tried doing more crafty things when I was in college and couldn’t afford to buy Christmas presents. I would knit or whatever while working at my lifeguard job at 5 a.m. I did not receive any enthusiastic responses to gifts that year.
One thing I do know how to do is bake. I used to own a Bed & Breakfast in the Eifel region of Germany. The region is very touristy and full of B&Bs and guest houses. One way I tried to distinguish myself was by having fresh homemade bread and muffins at breakfast every morning. I also baked something sweet for afternoon tea on the weekends and holidays.
When looking at my lack of ‘crafting’ talent, it was clear that something to do with baking was the only way for me to go. Cupcake bakeries are trendy at the moment and cupcakes are just delicious. Put those two together and before I knew it Callie’s Cakes, the setting of my Death by Cupcake series, was born.
Dena (aka D.E. Haggerty)
Writer, blogger and book addict
I hope you enjoyed this post and I will see you guys soon!