Good morning all you Diamonds in Fiction fans. This week I want to again introduce you to one of my favorite authors in the whole world—JULIE COSGROVE!!!!
Besides being good friends, I am a super fan of this talented and magnificent author!
Julie, I’m delighted to be able to feature today not only you, but the first book of your latest cozy mystery series WORD HAS IT! From the first sentence I knew this was the crème de la crème I’d been waiting for. Welcome to the Diamond Mine dear friend!
The editor in chief then contracted me to write two sequels, then three romance novellas over the next three years, and after that the four-book series called the Bunco Biddies Mysteries between 2015-2018. The Bunco Biddies novels are set in a 55 plus community and features 12 senior women who share recipes, play dice games, and solve a few crimes along the way. They are light-hearted but each features a social awareness issue, as do all my fictional works. I want to entertain but also hope my readers leave with knowledge of ways they can act, pray, and support nonprofit organizations that help people in tough situations. Jesus always met people in the middle of their messes and I believe we are called to follow in His footsteps.
Anyway, Prism was sold to a larger publishing house, so I decide to contract with a new publisher, Write Integrity Press, whose editor-in-chief I’d met through American Christian Fiction Writers. At her request, I wrote three new cozy mysteries (my genre of choice to read and write) under the Relatively Seeking Mysteries―One Leaf Too Many, Fallen Leaf, and Leaf Me Alone. These featured three thirty-something friends who delve into genealogies and discover family secrets some don’t want revealed. They were written following the Hallmark formula, which is so popular.
But my heart remained with senior sleuths, so Write Integrity Press approved and contracted six books in the Wordplay Mysteries. Word Has It is the first one. Books two and three are in various stages of editing and I am starting to write book four.
But fiction has always been my secret passion so I gave it a try. A professor friend of my sister’s read Focused and said I had potential but needed to hone my craft. I spent the next few years attending writer’s workshops and conferences, and also reading “how to write faith-based fiction” books. Like most newbie writers, I wrote many drafts during those early years until a publisher picked me up.
I have always loved mysteries, and after I wrote the suspense and romances for Prism, my sister asked me why I didn’t write what I loved. Prism had never published that genre but gave me a shot with Dumpster Dicing, the first Bunco Biddies Mystery. It won Best Cozy Mystery in Texas 2017, and by then I had been contracted to write the rest in the series. I have been writing cozies ever since.
I think it would be hard to, for example, write historical romances and then switch to sci-fi or fantasy. Genres that far apart rarely have carry-over audiences. I do know some mystery writers who write various genres under several pen names, though. Still, it take a lot of marketing efforts to keep your name in front of so many audiences.
For those new Diamond Mine followers, can you share just a few words about how God called you to write? Did you always know you were meant to write?
Now, I know the Holy Spirit “sits on my shoulders” when I get in my writing zone. Still working full-time, I must carve out writing time on weekends. I get antsy when I feel that prompting in my soul. My family understands when that happens, I am not available unless it is an emergency. Often times, I’ll sit down at the computer with a cuppa in the morning and then look up, astonished that it is after supper time. I am a panster, which means I have a vague idea of the overall plot but create the twists and turns as I go.
As I write, I marvel at where the Spirit leads me. Unraveling the mystery along with my main character is so much fun. I wouldn’t write any other way. By God’s merciful grace, the plot seems to always resolve, red herrings and all. That is when I know I have been steadily in His will.
Word Gets Around, In Other Words, Away with Words, A Loss for Words, Hang on Every Word
To wrap this up, I always like to ask successful authors to share a word of encouragement or a “get outta Dodge” comment for all new writers joining us today.
Jesus’ followers had to learn from Him in order to serve Him well, therefore so must you. Keep an open mind and heart as you grow your talent. Don’t let pride get in the way and do not let the devil steal your joy!