Writing the Mystery Novel

Has anyone ever been on one of Lois Maddox’s ‘Relax and Write’ weekends?


Mystery (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m feeling excited because I’ve just booked ‘Writing the Mystery Novel’ with Eileen Robertson, in Leeds. It’s a birthday present from my mum (I had a big birthday a couple of weeks ago) and I’m really looking forward to it –  even though it’s not until October.

A fellow Midlands writer, David Gough, has just been on a ‘Discover Travel Writing’ course with Lois’ organisation and gave me a glowing report about it.

So why did I choose mystery novel-writing? Two reasons:

  • I enjoy crime/thriller/mystery novels and most of my TV viewing is in the same genre – anything from the ‘cosy’ crime of Midsomer Murders through New Tricks to the grittier Scandinavian dramas of The Killing and Wallander.
  • I saw some interesting statistics on BookBub (a site which advertises special offer e-books to thousands of email subscribers). These showed that many more of their readers are interested in buying mysteries and thrillers than any other genre. At the time of writing they have 410,000 subscribers interested in these  types of books compared to Romance, which is the next largest genre at 310,000 subscribers. If you’re interested in how other genres fare, have a look here.

I know that I won’t come back from Leeds a fully fledged mystery novelist but I hope to be inspired both by the course itself and the chance to mix with other writers (as well as having the chance to stay in what is described as 4-star venue).

Roll on October!

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  1. #1 by Wendy Clarke on March 28, 2013 - 9:53 am

    I’ve always though that mystery writing must be really hard – all those loose ends to tie up! I will be interested to hear how you get on. Hope you enjoy it and a happy belated birthday!

    • #2 by Sally Jenkins on March 28, 2013 - 1:59 pm

      Thanks, Wendy! (I must admit I hadn’t thought about having to keep track of loose ends and red herrings!)

  2. #3 by Tracy Fells on March 28, 2013 - 2:33 pm

    Sounds a good course Sally. Look forward to your write-up later this year! I’ve just had a mystery serial pitch rejected by PF, so sounds just the course for me!!

    • #4 by Sally Jenkins on March 28, 2013 - 4:58 pm

      I had a WW serial rejected recently, Tracy, that had a crime/mystery theme – so hopefully I’ll get an idea of where I’m going wrong!

  3. #5 by Helen Lowry on March 28, 2013 - 8:38 pm

    Hi Sally
    I’ve been on a couple of courses with Lois and they’ve been very good and I’ve learnt a lot. The last one was at Weetwood and the food is excellent! I was thinking of going on the Mystery one as well. Might see you there!

    • #6 by Sally Jenkins on March 29, 2013 - 10:48 am

      Helen – do let me know if you decide to go!

  4. #7 by womagwriter on March 28, 2013 - 8:42 pm

    Enjoy the course! I have met Lois and Eileen on a writers’ conference, and have read one of Eileen’s books which I thought was brilliant (Miss Maguire is Missing).

    • #8 by Sally Jenkins on March 29, 2013 - 10:49 am

      I haven’t read any of Eileen’s books yet, Womag. Will have to get round to it before October …

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