The Road to Kelly’s Koffee Shop
It pretty much started with this little guy! I love dogs and I love to cook. A cozy mystery incorporating those two things felt like a natural thing for me to do. The problem was that no one else wanted me to write about dogs and food.
Here’s why. I’ve published several books in the suspense and mystery genres which have done well. Blue Coyote Motel, Coyote in Provence, and Cornered Coyote were all award winning, bestselling books. The thinking by my mentor and others was – “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” In other words, don’t change the genre because you’ll lose your reader base.
Their point was valid, but for one year I kept thinking about writing a cozy mystery. Early last October my husband I took a vacation through Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, and Sedona. Our son and daughter-in-law flew in from Seattle to spend some family time. I remember getting my iPad out early one morning while I was drinking coffee in bed in the hotel. I sketched out Kelly’s Koffee Shop and decided to write it when I got home. I started it the day after we returned and it just flowed. The characters dictated where the story was going and Rebel, based on my boxer dog above, was a big part of the book, along with family recipes which I included in the book.
So against the advice of mentors, I published the book, did some social media on it, and that was it. I’d done what I wanted to do – write a cozy mystery A week later it was on the Hot New Releases in Animal and Culinary on Amazon. Since then it’s consistently been at the top of the cozy lists! I started doing a Happy Dance and writing the next book in the series. Since my other books had done well, but not this well, I didn’t encounter any resistance when I told the naysayers that I was writing a new book, Murder at Jade Cove, with Rebel, a couple of puppies, and more food. This book did the same thing that Kelly’s did. Climbed right to the top of the charts!
Naturally, the characters told me they needed more exposure, so I began writing White Cloud Retreat which continues the story of Kelly, the amateur sleuth who owns Kelly’s Koffee Shop, the county sheriff she’s engaged to, Mike, Rebel, and a cast of quirky characters. Dogs, teens, boomers, and lots of food figure into the novels. Here’s a link to all my books: http://ow.ly/I6JSm
People always ask where I get my recipes and ask me if I really cook those things. Yep! Our family has always liked to eat and when my husband was a California Senator, we entertained a lot in our home. While I’ve never worked in a restaurant, I’ve taken a lot of cooking classes.
Although I’m not one of the characters in my books, per se, a lot of the experiences and places I’ve been are. Unfortunately, we had to say goodbye to Rebel this year, but we just bought a new little boxer puppy who will be joining us on Valentine’s Day. Rather appropriate I think! And what are we naming her? Why, Kelly, for Kelly’s Koffee Shop, of course!
Hope you enjoy the read as much as I enjoyed the write. And in case you haven’t seen her before, here’s our new Kelly! She’s the little fawn on in the back with her tongue hanging out of her mouth. How cute is she???