Cozy Authors & Social Media

It seems to me that mystery books by cozy authors have become more and more popular among readers in the last few years. I am one of those readers and I love escaping to another world or hovering temporarily in a favorite character’s life where discoveries are made, problems are solved and often humor and lighthearted banter is exchanged. I enjoy pondering a good puzzle, perhaps learning something new, and knowing all will be wrapped up in the end for the protagonist(s). It’s comfort food to me.

I guess the key word here is “escape.” My experience with that word comes from a more than twenty-year career in the entertainment business as a belly dancer, doing mostly “belly-grams” to celebrate special occasions like a birthdays, anniversaries, get-wells, fare-wells, even family reunions. When I arrived on my job site, before I even left my car, I was in character and remained so until I returned home. Every detail was considered important to me, from my freshly laundered elaborate costumes to exciting Middle Eastern music on my boom box, and from immaculate fingernails to my beguiling smile. My 10 minute surprise dance routine was designed to involve many spectators beside the Guest of Honor, so no-one felt left out and it was conducted with class and meant to be good clean fun for all.

All through my career every time I left my house for any reason, I was aware there might be people (past or potential) who would see me and form an impression, so I always made sure I had my make-up on and my hair washed and clothing presentable. As it turned out, there were many, many times I was glad I had gotten in that habit, because I lived in a smaller city and worked full time and eventually became well known. I was proud of my reputation and had worked very hard to gain respect.

With all that said, since I’ve gone to a lot of writers’ conventions and conferences, I’ve met quite a few authors and many of them write cozies. The opinions I formed about these writers came from hearing them speak, perhaps on convention panels, and by reading their books. And often I associated them with their characters.

In days gone by, it used to be popular for authors to have their own website. Now days, group websites seem even more popular along with social media like Facebook. I follow authors through Goodreads and Amazon, but don’t have much time to go to Facebook unless there is a book giveaway by a specific author or authors. Twitter is just too much for me. I’m with Betty White!

Yesterday, I was visiting the website of one of my favorite authors, Molly Greene, and she wrote something that really spoke to me. She said, “Social media is a tough road right now, with the world upended and chaotic, and folks are understandably distraught and upset much of the time.”  This sentence explains so well why I read cozies. It’s the escape thing, so well said!

So I’ve actually been shocked lately to visit some of my favorite cozy writers’ Facebook pages for a giveaway offer or something, only to feel my escape mode splintering and being destroyed by negative remarks that have nothing to do with writing, cozy books or anything about their characters. I want to ESCAPE, not be drawn back into chaos. It’s become so upsetting to me, I’m thinking of dropping a couple of my favorite cozy authors for this very reason. Years ago I had an editor tell me that a certain sentence wording or something-or-other pulled them right out of my story. It’s the same thing. I feel yanked out of my cozy mood and thrust back into the “world and its troubles.” Authors are entertainers too, and I want to be entertained!

Am I alone? Are there others who feel this way, too? Let me know by leaving a comment below. If you can’t see the comments area, go up and click the title of the blog and it will refresh the page for comments. And have a comfortable, happy, cozy day.

 

Coco Ihle is the author of SHE HAD TO KNOW, an atmospheric traditional mystery set mainly in Scotland. Join her here each 11th of the month.

7 Comments

Filed under books, fiction, marketing, musings, writing

7 responses to “Cozy Authors & Social Media

  1. It’s the reason I never read author bios when I was younger; I didn’t want the real person to take me from my escape. But I wanted to write, and the internet let me meet such amazing, encouraging people, yourself included. But, like you, I still don’t want to be dragged out of my escape, so I bury myself in reading and writing and wonder if I ought to be more e- social so I can encourage someone else.

    • Thank you, Sheila, for your comment. I’ve just read the first three comments and I see we are all escape artists. That is comforting to me, to know I’m not the only one who feels the need. And I think we all agree we balance our real and escape worlds to keep us in a happy, peaceful and useful mode to benefit ourselves and others. I’ve always thought you have a good balance with or without social media. Keep on reading and writing!

  2. Pat

    Coco, I thoroughly enjoyed your blog. I also enjoy reading; my other “escape” and “comfort” that removes me from everyday happenings is viewing photos of my vacations or events in my life.
    Pat

    • Thank you, Pat, for your kind words. I know something about your escape into photography through your blog posts. It’s always such a pleasure to share your journeys through your words and photos! And what adventures you’ve had!

  3. Susan Coggins

    We all need to escape the chaos of social media. I have chosen to not participate in any of it. My last time on Facebook was during the past election. I could not tolerate the negative, mean remarks by many on both sides of the issues. I am much happier in “my world” of pleasant people, fun activities, and a good book.

    • I understand what you are saying, Susan. I’ve felt the same way. My original motive for using Facebook came into being when my book was published and that continues, but I’ve connected with some friends also and try to always find fun, interesting and uplifting things to post on my page. Also, my granddaughter and grandson use facebook and I want to keep up with what they are doing and experiencing. I forget to check my messages though, too often. I’m better at emailing. Thanks so much for reading and commenting on my post. Happy escaping!

  4. I agree. It’s hard to find a balance. I go to social media for fun, encouragement and interaction with people who live too far away for me to otherwise spend time with. It’s sad when it gets taken over my mean, political comments.

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