I have been writing for a very long time. It took me 14 years to sell my first book, and along the way, I learned a lot of things. The most important lesson was to not be afraid to try something new. I started out writing romances because that is what I loved to read. I tried to sell romantic comedy and then chick lit and then women’s fiction, but I was always just behind the trend. I kept hearing editors say they loved my voice and writing style, but they were oversaturated with that type of book or those types of books just didn’t sell anymore. And they always asked what else did I have?
That’s when a light bulb went off in my brain.
Instead of moping and thinking, well, nothing. I started having my agent ask exactly what they needed and then coming up with something specifically for them. I’m not saying write something you hate to write, but how do you know you hate it if you don’t try it? My teen superhero series was sold that way, and so was my mystery series. I had no idea there were so many kinds of mysteries out there until someone had a book with an adorable cover. I thought it was a romance, but it wasn’t. It was a cozy mystery with romance in it, and it was funny! Everything I write has humor and romance in it. As long as I can do that, then I’m a happy camper. The mystery part was an added bonus.
A whole new world opened up to me. Stories with fabulous characters, cool settings, and many of them had romance and humor in them. The only thing different than what I was already doing was the fact that they had a mystery to be solved. That, and a few “things” had to take place off screen J So I started reading a few and discovered that I loved them. When my agent mentioned an editor at Berkley was looking for a new cozy mystery series, I pushed my fears aside (loving them and actually being able to write them are two very different things) and decided to go for it. I scoured their site and wrote down every theme they had, and then I came up with 3 themes that they didn’t. My agent presented all three to the editor, who then picked the one she loved, and I wrote a proposal specifically for her. She loved it and bought the first three books of my Fortune Teller Mystery series.
I was terrified I wouldn’t be able to actually pull off a mystery, but I did and I was thrilled with the result. I am having a blast writing this series. Who knew that I would end up loving to write these types of books the best? My point is that you shouldn’t let fear hold you back from trying something new because you never know what you might love to do and be good at. So tell me, have you ever stepped out of your comfort zone and tried something new? Inquiring minds want to know.
Remember, all comments to Kari’s post, and all June posts, puts your name in the hat for ABM’s Summer Solstice Bash Prize Giveaway! Check out the contest page for all the details.
After clearing her name as the prime suspect in a murder, Sunny Meadows hopes she can finally enjoy some serenity in the idyllic town of Divinity in upstate New York. She’d also like a second chance with Detective Mitch Stone. But when Mitch’s gorgeous ex-girlfriend Isabel Gonzales shows up, Sunny’s not sure she can compete. Then Isabel mysteriously disappears. When the police turn to Sunny for help, her visions lead to the discovery of Isabel’s corpse in the woods. Before she died, Isabel scrawled a message in the dirt implicating Mitch in her murder. Now Sunny must help the man she’s falling in love with as she sets out to find the real killer. But this time Sunny’s clairvoyant abilities might not save her—as what she doesn’t see can hurt her…
National Bestselling Author, RT Reader’s Choice Award & Agatha Nominee Kari Lee Townsend lives in Central New York with her very understanding husband, her three busy boys, and her oh-so-dramatic daughter, who keep her grounded and make everything she does worthwhile…not to mention provide her with loads of material for her books. Kari is a longtime lover of reading and writing, with a masters in English education, who spends her days trying to figure out whodunit. Funny how no one at home will confess any more than the characters in her mysteries!
Kari writes fun and exciting stories for any age, set in small towns, with mystical elements and quirky characters as Kari Lee Townsend. Kari also writes romantic comedies and women’s fiction with the same sense of humor and quirky characters as Kari Lee Harmon.
To find out more about Kari and all her books go to www.karileetownsend.com or click on the links below:
National Bestselling Author of The Fortune Teller Mysteries
TEMPEST IN THE TEA LEAVES 4 1/2 Starred RT Review
Best Amateur Sleuth of 2011 RT Reviewers’ Choice Nominee
Best First Novel Agatha Award Nominee
CORPSE IN THE CRYSTAL BALL – June 2012 (preorder now)