As a subscriber to my Book Blast, you are the first to get a sneak peek at the book covers for my new series. Ta da!
You’ll recognize the covers of Broken Windows and Déjà Who? as similar to the first two books of my “Keyhole Mystery” series. What’s going on here?
The text of Broken Windows and Déjà Who? is not changing, but I’m rebranding my “Keyhole Mysteries” as the “Art Spotlight Mysteries.” Why?
The new design does three things:
- The similarity of design identifies them better as part of a series.
- The new title for the series does a better job of presenting the main plot line.
- The design style fits a lighthearted mystery.
Why didn’t I do this in the first place?
Writing is a process. Now that I’m finishing the third in the series, I can see things I couldn’t see when I had finished the first.
As I wrote Broken Windows, about 2010, I began to recognize that the mystery genre had broken into several new genres. Suspense promises readers lots of action and cliff hangers. Chase scenes and shoot-outs keep readers on the edge of their seats. Mysteries are more about character development and solving the mystery puzzle. Cozy mysteries had just made their debut. These light-hearted novels often feature cats or crafts of some kind.
Where did I fit into that picture? When watching a movie, I found myself falling asleep during car chases. Gore was definitely out for my books, but many cozies seemed too shallow to be meaningful. Most Christian novels seemed to feature broken, immature believers recovering from some deep sin in their past. Where were Christian novels I could identify with? I wanted to write about ordinary characters who were fairly mature Christians, challenged to live by a high standard of Christ-like conduct. And I had to ask myself why almost all mysteries, even Christian ones, feature murder as their main mystery.
I ended up with Broken Windows, a mystery centered around four single young adults who were struggling with career choices and finding God’s will for their lives. For the most part it fit the light-hearted nature of a cozy, but it did deal with some serious issues. With a male protagonist leading readers into the world of car guys and professional art, I wanted to avoid some of the girly issues that turn men away from cozy mysteries. Broken Windows helps the reader discover new worlds along with the characters. They enter the world of handicapped people, art professionals, and graffiti art. I made Broken Windows Book One in the “Keyhole Mysteries” with the tagline: Discover New Worlds.
In Book Two, Déjà Who?, Jordan and Zophie enter the world of international students in Minneapolis. They encounter the new world of forgery as they have to distinguish real from fake. But I began to realize that the most obvious common thread for the series would be art rather than the worlds the characters were discovering.
Now that I’m getting ready to launch I Scream and I realize that the series needs to be rebranded as art mystery. As a result, I plan to change the name of my series to the “Art Spotlight Mysteries” as I launch Book Three and change the cover design as well. The stories of the first two novels haven’t changed, but they will work better as a series this way.
When can I buy I Scream?
Soon. Right now beta readers are reading the book. I hope to launch this book before Thanksgiving, in time for Christmas. You’ll get more details in future Book Blasts.