by Earl Staggs
KARI LEE TOWNSEND. . .
. . .lives in central New York with her understanding husband, her three busy boys, and her oh-so-dramatic daughter She is the National Bestselling Author, Agatha & RT Reviewer’s Choice Award nominee for her Fortune Teller Mystery series. Kari also writes romance under the name Kari Lee Harmon. Small towns, mystical elements, quirky characters and a few chuckles along the way are what her books are all about. To find out more about Kari and all of her books, check out her websites at: www.karileetownsend.com & www.karileeharmon.com
THE FORTUNE TELLER MYSTERIES
I love writing the Fortune Teller Mystery series. I spent 14 years trying to get published, 3 while having an agent. Finally, in 2009 my agent Christine Witthohn of Book Cents Literary Agency landed me a 3 book deal for a middle grade series. I was over the moon. Then just 5 short months later, she calls me up to tell me an editor friend of hers, Faith Black, was moving to Berkley Prime Crime from Avalon. She wanted to know if any of my agent’s clients had a cozy mystery to submit to her.
I had a mystery, but I didn’t think it was really a “cozy” mystery. We submitted it anyway just to see if it would work. The editor loved my voice and loved the story. However, she agreed. It wasn’t really a cozy. So she asked me a question I had heard over and over and over … “What else does she have?” The problem was, I didn’t have anything else. But since it had taken me so long to get published, I realized that answer wasn’t good enough anymore. I decided that from now on if I didn’t have something else, to simply come up with something else.
I scoured the Berkley site and wrote down all the cozy mystery themes they already had, and then I came up with 3 blurbs for ideas they didn’t have. My agent submitted the 3 blurbs to the editor and the editor picked the one she liked best. Then I wrote a 10 page synopsis and she bought the first 3 books in the series.
Then the fun began!
Be careful what you wish for, my people. Don’t get me wrong. I was over the moon, but now I had some major deadlines to meet. Let’s just say it’s been one wild ride ever since.
The biggest thing I learned from this is to always have “something else” in case an editor loves your voice. That’s huge all by itself, and you don’t want to blow your chance. So have backups or at least ideas in case they ask. Also, don’t be afraid to try something new. You never know what you might be good at if you don’t try. I started out writing romance, then women’s fiction, then young adult and middle grade, and finally cozy mysteries. As long as you stay true to what makes you “you,” then you’ll be fine. No matter what genre I’m writing in, you will always find some form of romance and a few laughs along the way. That is your brand … the rest is just the package you put it in.
I’m giving away a print copy of my latest book, TROUBLE IN THE TAROT, to one commenter, so don’t forget to chime in for a chance to win. To find out more about me and all of my books, check out my website at www.karileetownsend.com
TROUBLE IN THE TAROT
(book 3 of the Fortune Teller Mysteries – March 5, 2013)
For psychic Sunshine Meadows, sometimes fortunes can be deceiving…
Lately Sunny has been experiencing a period of big opportunity: her business in Divinity, New York, is thriving, and Detective Mitch Stone has finally agreed to take Sunny on a date. But thanks to her clairvoyant abilities, Sunny knows better than anyone that life deals out bad cards along with the good.
When Sunny agrees to read tarot cards at the annual summer Solstice Carnival, she meets her Granny Gert’s “arch nemesis,” Fiona Atwater, and is overcome by a vision of Fiona in a violent argument. Sunny knows trouble is brewing when Granny and Fiona start having squabbles all over town. But the fighting comes to a head when a local baker gets run over by a big white Cadillac—and Granny and Fiona are found at the crime scene.
Sunny knows she should step aside and let Mitch handle the investigating, but she’s not about to ignore her visions and leave her granny’s life in fate’s hands…