June 05, 2009

STEP AWAY FROM THE STETSON

Well, we're all about westerns here on Bustles and Spurs, right?
WRONG
Not today.
Because I've stepped away from the Stetson for one sweet moment and written a contemporary cozy mystery. And that's what I want to talk about today.
Nosy in Nebraska
Released June 1st.


And I baby sat recently for my granddaughter Elle. So, trying to pick which of those was most important to write about.......well, that's a killer. Because while it is true that I worked thousands of hours, chained to a computer, the sun rose and set without notice while I was immersed in plot, character, murder, fear of mice and caffeine, and all that is very important, still,
Elle's really cute.So the book Nosy in Nebraska contains three books. The books first released in a book club my publisher has for cozy mysteries. They were really nice to let me in on it because contemporary cozy mysteries aren't really my thing. I write historical westerns in case you didn't know. BUT I really think of myself as a writer of romantic comedy. THAT is my genre. The fact that the romantic comedy lands in Texas in 1880, is just incidental.
So, Nosy in Nebraska is romantic comedy for sure. Still, be warned if you read it, no one at any time in this book, pushes the front of their Stetson back with one thumb and says, "I reckon this is shootin' trouble, little missy."
So it's important that you know what you're getting into with this book.
But...is it MORE important than the fact that Elle seems to be getting a little SLEEPY?
I don't THINK so!I wrote Nosy in Nebraska with pretty much two things in mind.
ONE...that Algona, Iowa is the Home of the World's Largest Cheeto.
(I am NOT making that up) .
TWO...that I have a nice list of quirks that I've never used in a book before...personal quirks. Why make quirks UP if I have my own.
So Of Mice. . .and Murder has, as the heroine, a woman who is terrified of mice. And she just happens to be living in Melnik, Nebraska, The Home of the World Largest Field Mouse. (see I couldn't copy Algona exactly, right?) So that's Of Mice. . .and Murder...the first book of three short cozy mystery, romantic comedies in Nosy in Nebraska.
And I worked really hard on that book. I'd never written a cozy mystery before, so I had a steep learning curve and I HATE learning, such a nuisance and my head is somewhat atrophed from age so it's painful for me.
But did all that hard work equate to the hard work of rocking poor sleepy little Elle?
I mean a grandma has to have her priorities, you know? Then the next book, Pride and Pestilence, I needed a new murder. This isn't all that convenient because there really aren't many murders in small town Nebraska. So we're sort of pushing the envelope of reality here. Of course the story is set in a town full of quirky characters who adore a really large field mouse, so reality has already been sacrificed, so sure, let's kill off someone else.

I found out something about myself writing these books.
(horrible to find out new things, I'm in a comfortable spot with my current self-image, sure I'm lying to myself but I'm happy doing that so why change? Denial is a beautiful thing).
What I found out is, I really hate killing off good people. It just makes me feel bad.
So, I created CREEPY people to kill off.
Seemed like the right thing to do. I could just snap them like twigs.
In Pride and Pestilence I went with the shy, insomniac bookworm historical society museum curator as my heroine. Another one of my quirks, the book worm, the social dork, also I'm an insomniac. My heroine was just so happy sitting in her museum full of artifacts and books--late at night. Re-reading The Count of Monte Cristo and contemplating revenge.
So, in my writing I'm dealing with murder, vengeance, comedy, True Love, and a giant mouse, but when Elle goes limp in my arms and I get to hug her close and brush my cheek against her soft, sweet smelling face, and hold her dimpled little hand, well a whole novel full of laughter and drama could just pass me by without notice.
I cropped the picture above so tightly because it created a sense of intimacy, warmth, love, peace and beauty....also, I could cut off my extra chin without expense or pain.
If only real life was so easy! And the final book in the anthology, is--The Miceman Cometh.
This has a heroine who is an anthropologist...also a klutz. Trust me the part of my personality that is reflected in Dr. Madeline Stuart is NOT the highly educated scientist. I chose an anthropologist because I think it's a funny field of study because nobody really knows what it is (or maybe I just don't) and they mix it up with archeology and I saw some opportunity for comedy there. I have a niece, Heidi, who is an anthropologist and I could ask her some questions, learn about this misunderstood field and shed the light of truth.
I COULD have done that.
Instead, I just made stuff up.
But it's NICE to know I could.
By the way, Heidi is as gracful as a butterfly wafting on a summer breeze.
Maddy tripping over her pant leg and tumbling down stairs ...alllllll me.
So yes, it's true and important that I'm bringing light into the darkness of anthropology, but look how completely asleep Elle is, she is so CUTE. That is so much more fun and important than anthropology and science and even a murder mystery.It occurs to me as I write this that you all hang around Bustles & Spurs because you like western romance...that's the whole point right? So, as a salute to the true interests of our beloved readers at B & S, I did get this one picture of Elle and her Aunt Shelly, in cowboy hats.
I think that's enough to unite us all.
Can't we all just get along?
I will leave you with a bit of math so this entire blog is about education,literature and cuteness.

Nosy in Nebraska + Grandma + Elle = Bliss.
http://www.maryconnealy.com/

7 comments:

brendalottakamaggiebrendan said...

You've just brightened my gloomy day with your post and pictures of your precious granddaughter.

Mary Connealy said...

Hi brendalottakamaggiebrendan. Great name. :)
I promise to return to westerns when next I visit Bustles and Spurs. :)

CherryBlossomMJ said...

So cute! 8 weeks and I'll have my own baby to hold. *sigh* Going to read Nosy in Nebraska as soon as I finish Paper Roses... very difficult and making me lose interest in PR because I just want to read NiN!!

Mary Connealy said...

Montana Rose is coming in July, CherryBlossom. I'll be back at Bustles and Spurs to talk about COWBOYS! Which is as it should be.

Hope the sidestep into cozy mysteries isn't too jarring to you all. :)

flchen1 said...

What a super cutie, Mary! I always love seeing photos of Elle! ;) And I think there was something about a book in there somewhere... ;)

Linda W. said...

'Nosy' sounds like a great book! Need to read that one!

Your granddaughter is such a sweety! Thanks for the adorable pics! The last one (4th also) is so touching. Total sweetness of a baby-so vulnerable.

Molly Noble Bull said...

Your granddaughter is so cute.
Love,
Molly