Falling Into Mystery

One more day until the new book comes out! My original plan was to release it in March. It’s set in late February, so I thought that timing would fit well. Unfortunately, it was nowhere near ready at that time. But I think it’s appropriate to be unleashing mysteries upon the world in the fall because that’s when I usually think about reading mysteries. I’m a seasonal sort of reader. Although I will mix things up throughout the year, depending on what I’m interested in reading at the time, what books are coming out, and what series I’m into, generally I read romance and women’s fiction in the summer, mysteries in the fall, and epic fantasy in the winter. I don’t seem to have a book preference for spring.

I think maybe it’s that association with spookiness and death that makes me turn to mysteries in the fall. There’s a hint of darkness even to a light mystery because it’s about crime. That fits well with fall. A fall night is a good time to curl up with a cup of tea and a mystery novel. Even when the book takes place in other times of year, my brain tends to decorate the scene with autumn leaves.

It is possible that I’m especially prone to thinking of English cozy mysteries in the fall because both times I’ve been to England, it was in October. My mental image of English villages has autumn colors and a hint of wood smoke in the air.

Oddly enough, this is about the only series I’ve written that doesn’t start around the fall. I guess I think of that season as a time for new beginnings, going back to the start of a school year. I also tend to start writing new series in the fall. With this one, I did do that, even as I was writing about February.

I’m probably not going to be reading many mysteries this fall because I generally don’t read the genre I’m currently writing, and I started writing book 3 in this series yesterday. I’ll read that kind of book before I start writing or between books, but I don’t want to risk absorbing anyone else’s style while I’m writing. I did go on a mystery movie binge last weekend, though. I rewatched Knives Out (which has a lovely autumn setting), then watched One for the Money, which was based on the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. I’m way behind on books in that series, but at one point I’d read enough to contribute an essay about them to a book. I’d heard bad things about the movie, but I thought it was a pretty faithful adaptation, and the casting worked well for me. It’s a pity they didn’t get to do more so that they could have highlighted all the fun supporting characters who were barely introduced in the first movie.

I’m hoping people discover my new series, though I’m a little worried because there haven’t been that many pre-orders. I’m playing the long game here, with the idea of building as I go and increase awareness, so I’ll try not to fret over it.

4 Responses to “Falling Into Mystery”

  1. Renske

    I never pre-order ebooks, but just buy them on the first day. Does it make a difference if it was a pre-order?

    • Shanna Swendson

      For me, not so much. I just fret because I’m prone to worrying. For a book from a major publisher, it can help if there are a lot of pre-orders. That tells the publisher that there may be a lot of interest, and they might actually do something to promote it. The stores might also order more copies.

  2. Erin

    Have you ever offered ARCs through NetGalley? That can often help you find new readers & generate buzz, especially from librarians & booksellers.

    • Shanna Swendson

      I did NetGalley for some of the Enchanted, Inc. books, with mixed results. Most of the “reviewers” who requested galleys were of the variety whose bio just said something like “I love to read,” and all they had was a blog that hadn’t been updated in six months. In this case, putting out ARCs would have delayed release of the book. I’d have had to give time for people to read it before the release date, or there wouldn’t have been much point in doing ARCs. There’s also a bad piracy problem there, with NetGalley being how a lot of books are uploaded to filesharing sites before the book is even on sale.

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