A Cozy Thriller?
Have I inadvertently created a new sub-genre?
Pictured Left :
A novella, “One Night in the Hill Country.”
Universal Amazon link: myBook.to/ONITHC
“the intent of this blog is to incrementally build a body of thought that works toward integrating various topics, yoga, fitness, and the arts – it’s a process…”
“One Night in the Hill Country” –
A Cozy Thriller?
Category – Vermont
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I certainly didn’t (don’t) want to offend anyone. And I know mysteries already have a category called cozy mysteries, with lots of followers.
What’s happened though, is I’ve tried to peg my newest fiction piece, a novella titled “One Night in the Hill Country” – and what I’ve come up with is this:
I’m writing a cozy thriller!
Below, I show the process of how I (reluctantly) came to that conclusion.
I mean, really, isn’t it easier just being a thriller? (smiles)
First, This is a Thriller, Not a Mystery
“One Night in the Hill Country” features a woman protagonist, but also features the point-of-view of not only the villain, but supporting characters.
Even more essentially, as per this article, “In mystery novels the reader is only given information and clues as the protagonist learns them.”
As also pointed out in another article, “Thrillers have action.”
And, in a thriller, “the audience is waiting for something significant to happen. The protagonist’s job is to prevent the speeding bus from exploding, or the aliens from eating the crew.”
So I think it’s fairly safe to say, “One Night in the Hill Country” is a thriller.
So Why is My Work a “Cozy Thriller” ?
Wikipedia has a nice general article about cozy mysteries.
1) Though sex and violence is in my work, “sex and violence are [definitely] downplayed.”
2) “detectives in such stories are nearly always amateurs..and frequently women” – Sam (Samantha) was a police officer handling children in trauma, but not someone in the field directly fighting crime.
3) “typically have a contact on the police force” – Sam make contact with Sheriff Mike Sullivan, but wishes, once she and the four children with her are in deep trouble, she could be in “more” contact with him.
4) “The cozy mystery usually takes place in a town, village, or other community small” – this story is set in a small family vineyard in the Texas Hill Country, a short ways outside a small town.
5) “generally members of the community where the murder [crime] occurs, able to hide in plain sight, and their motives—greed, jealousy, revenge—are often rooted in events years, or even generations, old. – definitely fits the antagonist and his sister.
6) “supporting characters in cozy mysteries are often very broadly drawn and used as comic relief” – ditto several, but not all, of the supporting characters. – this then applies, inversely, as support for being a thriller.
“The precise boundaries of the sub-genre remain vague…”
And there are definite differences, which is why I think, in the case of “One Night in the Hill Country,” the work is Cozy Thriller.
Thriller Distinctions :
1) “The murderers in cozies are typically neither psychopaths nor serial killers, and, once unmasked, are usually taken into custody without violence.” – there is definitely a psychological thriller element to this work.
2) “supporting characters in cozy mysteries are often very broadly drawn and used as comic relief” – ditto several, but not all, of the supporting characters. – thus, this then applies, inversely, as support for being a thriller.
3) The murders take place off stage, and frequently involve relatively bloodless methods such as poisoning and falls from great heights. – violence is on-stage, though of a muted nature vs many thrillers.
4) The antagonist is known, and the problem is stopping that character from inflicting more harm.
5) Pace is quick and propelled structurally via short chapters, shifting locations, and multiple point-of-views.
I think there’s enough variation that, possibly, it’s quite valid to think a new niche may be in the works.
One that blends some of what’s a thriller, with what’s in a cozy mystery.
Or at least it’s interesting to think about (smiles).
Thanks so much!
For an eight chapter, 3000 word sample, please see my post : One Night in the Hill Country, a Thriller : 3000 Word Sample .
namaste´- con dios – god be with you
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