Sunday, September 18, 2016

Writing a Holiday Themed Mystery

There are pros and cons to writing a holiday themed mystery. As a reader, I enjoy reading seasonal novels in the season in which they take place. Who doesn’t love a good Halloween mystery in October or a Christmas mystery in December? And, as a writer, I believe the potential for sales is greater if a holiday book is released at the appropriate time of year. Or, just before Christmas, which is the best time to sell books. However, it doesn’t always work out that way.

A couple of weeks ago, I sent my fifth Malone mystery, Marnie Malone, to my publisher for his consideration. The book takes place before and on Valentine’s Day (my favorite holiday) and, if my publisher accepts my book, he has promised to do everything he can to see that it’s released before the holiday. But, I’m not his only author and I know that may or may not be a possibility.

This is not the first time I’ve found myself in this situation. My first Malone mystery, Mixed Messages, which takes place at Halloween, was published in April. Not exactly good timing but that’s just the way it happened. The sequel, Unfinished Business, is a Christmas mystery and, although the book was scheduled to come out in early 2013, my publisher worked very hard to see that it was released in November.

The timing for the next two books was much better. Desperate Deeds takes place around Easter and it was published in April and Mistaken Identity, a Fourth of July mystery, came out in June. But, here we go again with the fifth book. Due to delays in my writing schedule, which I talked about in a post a couple of weeks ago, there are no guarantees that Marnie Malone will be available before February 14th. But I’ve crossed my fingers that it will.

As a reader and/or writer, what are your thoughts on the subject?