Thursday, September 18, 2014

What We're #Writing @LucyBurdette


LUCY BURDETTE: DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS comes out on December 2, so I'm obviously not working on that. Other projects have surfaced of course...

In the early days of my marriage to John (when most things were still mysterious,) one of the biggest mysteries about my husband was this: What in the world he could possibly be discussing with his buddies over a 4 to 5 hour golf round several times a week?

So I asked him. What do you talk about?


His answer?

Relationships.

Even a new wife couldn't argue with that!

And that's what I'm writing about now in the sixth Key West food critic mystery, which will be called FATAL RESERVATIONS, and will come out next July. Hooray! Did I forget to mention that I signed a contract for two more books in the series?
 
Anyway, back in the third book, TOPPED CHEF, I thought I had figured out the relationships in Hayley Snow's life. But it turned out, I wasn't feeling the zing between her new detective boyfriend and her. So I looked around to see who else might come into the picture. And I've been heading in that direction ever since.

Until I got a fan email from Sue P. last week that made me question, well, everything…

I recently found this series and love it. I do have a complaint though. I was just getting interested to see how the romance would work out between Hayley and her detective. And you bring back his ex and she gets dumped! I was not a happy camper at this development. I still would like to see where this would go, more so than with her boss, which is where you seem to be leading. I think she needs a challenge and this is not her boss. Bring him back!! Just my opinion. Thanks.

So like I said, I'm puzzling over relationships…here's a snippet from FATAL RESERVATIONS:

Fifteen minutes later, I climbed the very steep steps to the Old City Hall building, an imposing red brick structure with ornate black railings and a bell tower. For a hundred years, the city commission had been meeting here on Greene Street, a half block from Sloppy Joe's bar and the chaos of Duval Street. I doubted that visitors had any idea how much city business was conducted while they swilled beer and shouted choruses of Buffet’s Margaritaville and Kenny Chesney’s Key West theme song No shirt, no shoes, no problems.


    The hall was cavernous, handsome, and clearly set out to differentiate the commissioners and city staff from any interested onlookers. A text from Wally buzzed in, reminding me to turn off the ringer on my cell phone. 


    Let me know outcome tomorrow? Mom's chemo was brutal today. I'm going to watch a marathon of Breaking Bad and then crash. See you a.m.at staff meeting.


    As my relationship with Wally took a turn for the better over the last couple of months, his mother’s health had taken a turn for the worse. In that sense, our new half-owner Palamina Wells had been a godsend. She was smart enough to step right in and run the day to day nitty-gritty details of Key Zest while Wally took care of his mom. She was also smart enough to recognize the attraction between me and Wally, and to remove me from reporting directly to him, so we could see where this love train might take us. 




All I can say is, stay tuned to see where this is going. And thanks Sue!

AND some more good news: I have a galley for DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS that I'd love to give away today. To be considered, leave your email and a comment about how you feel about love stories mixed in with your mysteries. (I only hope that one day I will be as good at this as Julia...)

56 comments:

Joan Emerson said...

Two more books . . . congratulations!
It's interesting that Sue had pretty much the same thought about Hayley and her detective as I did. I was a bit disappointed [well, a lot disappointed] when she got dumped . . . .
Anyway, it will be fun to see where it goes; I'm looking forward to reading "Fatal Reservations;" thanks for the tantalizing tidbit . . . .

Edith Maxwell said...

Wally? Hmm. Will have to go back and consider that. My memory of him is that he wasn't very attractive. I was disappointed when the detective dumped Hayley, too, but I'd never think to write an author and tell them which way to go. Can't wait to read the next book, Lucy.

RobinPS said...

I like the love stories mixed in with the mystery. Especially when the relationship develops through several books.

Valerie Cannata said...

I love the romances mixed in. The boss just seems too safe. I would enjoy seeing her torn between the two men; safety versus excitement.

SandyG265 said...

I think the romance mixed in with the mystery makes the characters more realistic.
sgiden at verizon dot net

Hallie Ephron said...

So glad to hear that I'm not the only one who second guesses myself.

Relationships. Huh. And I have to agree with Sue P. Her boss? Hmmm.

So huh and hmmm. When I was writing a series, the romance was key. Can't wait to see how you resolve this, Lucy dear.

Laura said...

I'm okay with relationship stuff mixed in with the mystery (ies). Probably more realistic that way.

lauraalbert@hotmail.com

Michelle said...

I am so glad that there will be 2 more books!!! I too was a bit upset that the detective dumped Hayley. I like a little romance mixed with my mysteries also. For some odd reasons I like it when they are torn between two men. Gives the chance for the relationship to grow through each new book.

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Yes Julia does it so well!

And someone asked me once if I could write a mystery WITHOUT romance. "Not if the characters are real people," I said. (Right? Is YOUR life without romance? I mean--even NO romance is romance--because you're thinking about it.)

But then someone asked if I could write a romance without a mystery. "I don't think so, I said. "Without a mystery, what would the people DO?

(Which is actually pretty funny.)

And HURRAY for more Hayley! Remember, life doesn't happen quickly-so now you have more time to figure it out..and we will all have fun with you finding out what happens to her!

Susan Elia MacNeal said...

Julia does it well and you do, too!

Personally, I love a little relationship mixed into my thrillers and mysteries....

Alicia said...

I like a bit of romance but the mystery is usually still the 'best' part.

Harbinger said...

Glad to hear more books in this series are on the way. I love a love story mixed in with the mystery, but only as secondary to the mystery.
In a series, I really look for character development over the course of several books. I was seeing Wally as more of a friend and support system for Hayley. But, sometimes the best love relationships grow for a warm friendship. I'm will to wait and see...
harbingerdc @ gmail.com

Nancy said...

I love a little romance in a mystery, or more than a little, well...much more. Ha! Just getting that figured out, myself. There could be a complete shift in the way Haley sees her boss. Time and you will tell.

Sara Grotz said...

I like a little romance mixed in, so long as the mystery is the main point. I am pretty open to reading anything so long as it's written well.

storytellermary said...

I love the balance of relationships (friends, family, and romantic) with the mystery. It adds flavor, and gives motivation for the risks taken on others' behalf. I also appreciate subtle romance . . . too many details make me feel like a voyeur. I also love the food! It's much like real life . . . I can hardly wait for this new book! Congratulations on contract for MORE! ;-)

Mary Sutton said...

Congrats on more books, Lucy. Well deserved.

I love a good romantic subplot with my mysteries. Absolutely lends intrigue and makes the characters real.

Karen in Ohio said...

Isn't this the contract where you're writing two more "musteries"? Either way, it's fantastic news.

Boss relationships make me squirm, too. In fact, I watched a little of a new TV show last night, and in addition to ridiculously inaccurate crime details (the DNA results, which came back in a day, didn't show the difference between male and female. Which a first-year Microbiology student could spot), the show ended with the detective's estranged husband taking over as her boss. Huh?

But romance is the most important part of life, and makes the world go 'round, as the saying goes. How can you have any kind of story without it? It would be like trying to remove the chlorophyll from the grass. Impossible.

Libby Dodd said...

Your contract extended for more books?! Fantastic!
As to romance--as long as it doesn't take over as the main focus or turn the female character into someone who can't function without "her man".
Let's keep those women strong!

Kathy Lynn Emerson said...

I'm a great fan, both in real life and in my fiction, of falling in love with and marrying someone who is also your best friend. That said, when Liss in my Liss MacCrimmon series chose neighbor/friend/not-a-cop Dan over state trooper Gordon, I had more than one reader tell me she shouldn't have married the "boring" one. Since I wanted to be able to write about a sleuthing couple working together, I didn't (and don't) agree. Besides, if a female sleuth is going to have to deal with murder and mayhem on a regular basis, doesn't she deserve a less stressful home life?

Libby Dodd said...

Ooops Forgot my email libbydodd at comcast dot net

FChurch said...

My favorite mysteries are those with romantic relationships, I'd have to say. What I enjoy most are the ways those relationships change and develop because of the mystery. In other words, dealing with the crime--and dealing with the person(s) caught up investigating the crime--affects everyone involved. Sometimes relationships fall by the wayside (like your detective and Hayley), sometimes they are strengthened, but always they are tested. And we'll get to watch those relationships develop over two more books! Yay!

Barb Ross said...

I'm fascinated by this topic, because it's something I think abut a lot. Personally, I like an amateur sleuth where the boyfriend is not the cop, because that's been done and done really well so many times before. I like it when men and women have other kinds of non-romantic relationships. I think those friendships can be fascinating.

Michelle Gross said...

I enjoy some romantic interest in the mysteries I read. It just adds another element to the story and makes the characters more real.

Mommies lil loves said...

Romantic cozy mysteries are my favorite and there are honestly not enough out there written like this. I love the romance,mystery, humorous stories all rolled into one!
msrgerber@gmail.com

Karen B said...

Romance in a mystery - ABSOLUTELY!!
kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

Daniele said...

Romance is fine in a mystery, but I dislike (dare I say hate) the trend to have series long love triangles. Looking forward to reading many more food critic cozies.
dmskrug3 at hotmail dot com

skkorman said...

I like love stories thrown in with the mysteries, as long as they don't make up too much of the story!

skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

Mark Baker said...

ARC? I'm interested! carstairs38 at gmail

I don't mind a little romance with my mystery as long as it is balanced as the sub-plot of the story.

Most of the time, you know who the love interest is supposed to be and you wait to see them get there. Or there is a love triangle that is never resolved.

I actually appreciated the fact that your series didn't go the expected way (detective boyfriend which is the case in 90% of the books) at least so far. If you do wind up there, it's been a much more interesting journey.

Sue Farrell said...

I enjoy a little love story in my mysteries as long as there is no graphic sex.
suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

Barbara T. said...

I like romance along with the mystery. Love is a part of living.

Jake said...

mystery and romance with a little humor always gives my reading time a bit of adrenalin. Look forward to your up coming books. go with your own instincts with your characters there will always be someone second guessing. hesitate to leave email address as get spam when do. Jake

PK the Bookeemonster said...

I like some romance in a mystery but I'm always afraid of the "Moonlighting" syndrome after they finally get together. Some "will they or won't they" situations go on for too long (*cough* Evanovich *cough*). A couple of examples of the romance thing working that come to my mind are Teresa Grant's Malcolm and Suzanne Rannoch where they are already married -- for convenience initially -- and then fall in love or JD Robb's later books where they are married and have bumps along the way but love is always there.

Lucy Burdette aka Roberta Isleib said...

thanks to everyone for weighing in--sounds like most of you are in the "a little romance" camp--love Karen's line:

It would be like trying to remove the chlorophyll from the grass.

Lucy Burdette aka Roberta Isleib said...

And FChurch--totally with you, the relationships and people in them should be changed by the crimes they see and solve. Otherwise they are robots...

I might have been on the romance vs mystery panel with you Hank--I'm a trained psychologist and yet none of my characters in 3 series have ended up with a happy match. Maybe Hayley can change that?

Pat D said...

One of the most enjoyable things about a series is watching the main character's relationships grow, shrink, surge, and so forth. It adds so much to the story. After all, the emotional life affects the sleuthing life!
Can't wait for the new one Lucy!

Pat D said...

Kathy Lynn Emerson: one of the fun parts about the Liss/Gordon relationship was his bossiness and orneriness. One rooted to see her "tame" him to some extant!

Anonymous said...

Romances are fine mixed in with mysteries, otherwise the book would be a tad boring.
Becky Prazak
rjprazak6@gmail.com

Patricia T said...

Nothing wrong with a little romance, in a cozy mystery.
Where a relationship is going is a mystery, too.
What I like about cozies, though, you don't get embarrassed...like some romance novels.
Good luck working out Hayley's relationship(s).

patucker54 at aol dot com

Sherry Harris said...

I like romance in my mysteries. I can't wait to find out what is going on with Haley!

Jenny H, Mystery Most Cozy said...

I don't mind a little romance with my mysteries if it doesn't actually become a romance with very little mystery. Relationships are a normal part of any story, but I just don't like it when they completely overtake the mystery part.

Sue F said...

I thought he was a little too strict and up imaginative for her. She needs someone with more soul.

Nicole Viallet said...

Firstly, I am just so excited to get to read more books by you.. loving that. In regards to romance of special relationships in mystery boooks, I say bring it on. I find that authors tend to bring the personality of the "promiment" player to that relationship and it adds to the story ! I love it!

Amy said...

Hey, I'm sure Hanley will end up with the right guy eventually. I just love the journey and the mysteries along the way.

Amy said...

Spell check goof. That's Haley.

Julia said...

Lucy, you're making me blush!

I think you did a wonderful job with Haley and Nate, but I don't think you should ever discount the pleasures of the love triangle! Having two handsome suitors vying for the heroine's hand (and other parts) can amp up the suspense for readers, I think. Will A find out about B? Will B one-up A's efforts to win her heart? Who will she choose?

Just don't let it drag on for 19 - 20 - 21 books and counting!

Kathy Hartzler said...

I am so excited to read your two new books!
I do enjoy a bit of romance in my mysteries-it gives a certain dimension to the characters that adds a touch of spice. Your characters are so real and I always look forward to Haley's family antics!

Lucy Burdette aka Roberta Isleib said...

If only it would drag on for 19 books LOL. I'm happy, no thrilled, to have seven!

Thank you Nicole and Pat and Sherry! and Sue I'm afraid you're right, he's a little stodgy. Sigh. We'll see where they take me...

Denise Ann said...

I do have to echo -- Julia is amazing -- I respond on a very physical level!!
Yes, Hayley needs some good lovin' and I think her boss will work out -- he has depth and a fun streak.
I CAN'T WAIT so I should be the one to win.
terry.df at gmail.com

Kathy Reel said...

I'm writing this comment after four wonderful days in your Key West, Lucy. I love romance in mysteries! I have to admit that I wanted the romance with the detective to work out, as it was a challenging one, but I think Wally can work out. It would ne nice to see a competition for Haley's heart.

The email you need for the book is Kathy502@aol.com. Keeping fingers crossed.

Anonymous said...

Jamey Myers
I like the mix of mystery and romance! Add some tension, humor, family, and the mix adds up to a cozy, "it could happen" recipe for success.
jameymyers@att.net

susan said...

I like it! I read somewhere that a romance makes a perfect subplot for a mystery. It made me wonder what we'd use for subplots if romance was outlawed. Congrats on the new contract!
ssnbawin@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

The blog was great! I didn't even sound stupid! It made my heart sing to know I wasn't alone in my thoughts about Hayley's romance! I, also, saw Wally as developing into a brother-type to vent with and to offer support. We all need a guy 'best' friend to get that sexes point of view. I had thought Bransford was a bit scared off because Hayley was so opposite of his ex-wife, so he was being very slow about it. And when the ex came back, it was easy for him to go with the familiar. Think he'll regret this.

But the characters are yours and they speak to you about where they are going. I will still be a fan!!

Congrats on the new book deal!

Sue P.

Grandma Cootie said...

Two more, wow! I can't wait for December as it is. I like to have a little love and romance mixed in with the mystery, but it's okay if someone gets dumped here and there to keep it interesting. Sometimes in some series it's become awkward (and maybe a little dull) when the focus is more on developing the relationship than solving the crime.

Lucy Burdette aka Roberta Isleib said...

Thanks again everyone for the interesting comments. Love getting your takes...

The galley this time goes to Mark Baker--Yoda chose his name, randomly of course, because a cat doesn't care...

Susan said...

I like romance and mysteries. What I don't like are romantic triangles that never resolve because after awhile not sure anyone cares. Smithsusanl at gmail dot com

Robyn Gleason said...

I am SO excited you are continuing this series! I LOVE these characters. I SO enjoyed the last book...they just get better and better! I was just SO moved and into the story with the whole family involved. I was a little surprised Haley & her detective split but there are a LOT of fish in the sea...I LOVE your humor mixed with the descriptions of the food...I can TASTE some of that stuff and every time I finish one of your books I tell my husband we need to visit ALL the cool things I have read about! I think you have a wonderful balance of ALL the things I like in a book! Thanks! I can't WAIT until December! :)