When I am writing obsessively, as I am now, when one of my cozy mysteries has me captive in an “alternate universe”, the world blurs and I can see my characters and the settings as well as, in the case of my foodie-lover cozies, smell and taste the great food coming out of the kitchens. India Street is a Nantucket caterer, graduate of the Johnson and Wales Institute of Culinary Art ( I think they recently altered that name a bit) in trendy, beautiful, historical and also au courant Providence, Rhode Island who went home to Nantucket to start her own business. On the other hand, Liz Ogilvie-Smythe is a British expat “refugee from a wealthy family” who took a summer course at the Cordon Bleu while at Oxford studying archaeology and, after a near-fatal bout with malaria, changed her course to become an innkeeper in Provincetown out on the tip of Cape Cod.
Was it Ernest Hemingway who cautioned writers–write what you know? The best advice a writer can ever get and internalize. I know Cape Cod, Nantucket, Provence, London, and more recently, Puerto Rico. I also know and love food. I love to cook. Hey, I love to food shop! So, I write about strong women (did I mention that I am a strong woman?) who love art, food, travel, beauty and problem solving. In addition, since I have been fortunate in that I have lived in, studied in and visited some absolutely gorgeous, historically, culturally and artistically magnificent places, I write about them. When I am writing, I am there. Totally there. I hope my readers can appreciate that as I really try to write with my painter’s eye flowing through my fast-typing fingers.
Have you read a good mystery lately?