Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Week #3 of The Next Big Thing: Genre

Second mystery in the series
featuring the amazing Charlie Chan,
Detective-Sergeant of the Honolulu Police
The Plan:
***Answer the ten questions below about a current Work In Progress.

***Tag five other writers (five awesome writers whose work you want us to watch) and link their blogs so we can all hop over and check them out! It’s that simple.

I’ve chosen to answer one question per week with the best intentions of having my novel published by the time I post the final question.

Question #3 of The Next Big Thing:

TNBT: What genre does your book fall under?

GAIL: I’ve always been a fan of stories that fall under the category of Mysteries and its many subgenres: Detective stories, Crime Fiction, Thrillers, Suspense, Police Procedurals, and the Traditional Cozy. There wasn’t much I didn’t consider “Mystery” at the time. I wouldn’t have made a very good librarian.

The novels I signed out of my home town library, back when, always included murder: on-scene, off-stage, imagined or heart-stopping fact. The characters enthralled me with their colorful personalities. Their authors blessed them with such unique names as Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, Mrs. Dalloway, Dr. Jekyll, Don Quixote, Jean Valjean, Philip Marlowe, and Charlie Chan.

Later, while the plots still included mystery and murder, the protagonists’ names changed to Kinsey Millhone, Jason Bourne, Anna Pigeon, Lucas Davenport, V.I. Warshawski, Harry Bosch, Irene Kelly, Maura Isles and Jane Rizzoli. In recent years, I've added Lei Teixera and Louise Golden and Pepper Bibeau.

My novels are Mysteries, though they don’t necessarily follow all the rules. If you’ve read the rules on writing mystery novels, then you know it is okay to bend them when it comes to setting, sex of hero (no, not the abstinence or practice of), and two-character per scene limit.

The subgenre of the Pepper Bibeau Mysteries, by my definition, is Soft-Core Investigator, as opposed to Hard-Core Detective. Early in the novel Different in Degree, aka WIP, insurance investigator Pepper Bibeau hastily explains to someone asking for her help: “I’m not a detective or a private investigator. My job is to straighten out complications of insurance claims.” Somehow, though, Pepper’s investigations always lead her into the dark recesses of murder.

Next week’s question: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

And now, five awesome writers whose work you want to watch:

Alison Bruce @alisonebruce

Stella Atrium @SAtrium

Richard Weatherly @richweatherly43

Cynthia Meyers-Hanson @Hanson8046 @mchanson714

J. A. Schneider @JoyceSchneider1

Questions for The Next Big Thing Interview

What is the working title of your book?
Where did the idea for the book come from?
What genre does your book fall under?
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
What other books within your genre would you compare this story to?
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?


  1. Thank you for producing and sharing such an informative blog!

  2. Mahalo for cheating on the rules. You've given us so much more by doing so. You've got me anticipating the next in the series. Just like the Pepper books. Hmmm.

  3. Thank you for visiting today, Richard. I see you live in Georgia. I hope you are enjoying warm weather.

    Lara, bending the rules is so much fun!

  4. Thanks for including me on your awesome list. I love those questions. I might tackle them myself.

  5. Enjoyed your interview on Morgan Bailey's site also, Alison.


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