Across the books and in person.

Welcome! Since I write two English mystery series, I thought it would be fun to chat about that. And about England. Specifically, Derbyshire, since that is the county I know the best. If you have questions about my books, about mysteries or your own writing, or want to know something about England -- perhaps you're planning a visit -- I'd love to talk with you. Let's start chatting, shall we?

Derbyshire VIllage

Derbyshire VIllage

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Need for Good Pennameship

This may be an historical moment.  Not only have I finally decided on the occupation of my third series character, but also I have decided to write the series under a pen name.  Having done neither before (write a cozy series or write under a pseudonym), I am not sure how I will feel abandoning Taylor, Graham and McLaren even for those several months it will take me to write the cozy mystery.  Especially since I will be writing it as Sally Maybry or Jessica Jones or some other person.  There's a certain sense of Being Yourself when you write -- it's an extension of your soul, mind and physical experience.  In this new cozy series, even if I write about playing a keyboard instrument or guitar, or ruminate upon bird watching or baking scones, at least I, Jo Hiestand, have done that.  That is not foreign.  That is an extension of 'me.'  But when Sally Maybry or Jessica Jones or whomever writes about those same things, it will feel odd, I know, because the name on the book cover won't be Jo Hiestand.  Who is this Jessica Jones?  What's her background and who are her friends?  What authority does she have writing about baking scones or feeding groundhogs?  Of course I will get used to the other person I will 'become,' but it may take a few books to be comfortable with my other self.  I hope those of you who know me can help keep Jessica on the straight and narrow until she figures out who she is.

The series will be set in Missouri -- another historical action!  I have the town name and county thought out, know what it looks like, etc.  Now I have to figure out my character's husband's name.  I do know his occupation, so things are progressing!

I have a vague idea of the first book's plot, but have to shove all this on the back burner, as I need to write book 3 in the McLaren Case mysteries.  I just realized a day or so ago that my publisher will need book 3 around January, as I have signed the contract for book 2!!!  Wake up, Jo....   So McLaren's third book gets priority right now.  Then, on to my first cozy when McLaren is finished.

Anyway, I know this is not momentous news, like 'The title of my next book is...' but writing a cozy is completely new for me, as is the use of a pseudonym.  I hope both work out to all our satisfaction!

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