Hi there guys and dolls! As a cozy mystery series writer, the author wears many hats — murderer, victim, researcher, storyteller, innocently accused bystander and, as I discovered, town planner.
For STRANGLED BY SILK, I started with two main places — Poppy Cove, where my heroines meet and greet their clientele and inadvertently get involved in murder and Stearns Academy, where the murder victim is found. Then as the story developed, the questions popped up. Santa Lucia is fictional, although loosely based on Santa Barbara and the time period was the 50`s, so what would be there? Who would work where? Where would the characters play? During the time period, consumerism was very big, so a downtown shopping core was very important, as was leisure time, so creating social gathering places such as the Yacht Club and the Wharf were natural settings.
Cozies are usually set in friendly places, such as small towns, countrysides and even big city neighborhoods, and a couple of things they all have in common is detail and description. The more I kibbutz with other cozy writers, the more I learn that we all have our favorite haunts and places in our towns. Maps, either roughly sketched or graphed out in minute detail, are our keys to keeping our real or imaginary dominions straight. It’s all part of the joy of telling the tales.
Barbara Jean Coast