My name is Katherine Clark, and in 2008, I received my Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. My work is on the mystery genre, specifically, in my dissertation, I wrote about the value of cozies to the mystery world. This blog is going to be about many things: writing, tips for writing when you don’t feel like it, and grammar tips that I have shared with students for over 20 years of teaching, but most importantly, it will be a blog about the process of turning my dissertation into a book.
I am about to complete the first draft of my book. I have a friend, Mark W. Schumann, who reads all the crappy drafts of my chapters. He helped me out (and that is way understated) with all the technical aspects of creating the dissertation. He is also a terrific reader and writer. After he gives his OK on my drafts, I send them to the women I call in my head and in print, The Four Readers: Barbara Burgess Van Aken, Shelby King, Kirsten Komara, and Sheila Strong. These women have amazing skills. Barbara and Kirsten are also Ph.D.s in English and writers themselves; Shelby is a former student of mine and a mystery lover, and one of the brightest people I know; Sheila is a professional editor working for a governmental body in Canada that investigates air accidents. I am so lucky to have their help and encouragement.
So what you will find in these blog posts, Dear Reader, is commentary on cozies that didn’t quite fit in my book. I’ll share with you how I keep going when I don’t feel like it, and how I intend on pitching the book to literary agents and publishers.
This blog is for novice mystery writers who want to know how to break into the cozy subgenre, and it is for mystery readers who love cozies and want to know about the behind the scenes of the mystery world. This is also for readers who are simply interested in issues of genre. And it is for writers of any genre who just want some simple (and not so simple) exercises and advice to help them with writing.