I’m happy to welcome a guest to my blog today. Dorte Hummelshoj Jakobsen is a Danish mystery writer whose characters are from the town of ‘Knavesborough’ – though by the sound of it they would be equally at home in Pitkirtly.
Now over to Dorte:
First, a warm thank you to Cecilia for inviting me to write a guest post about my Knavesborough mysteries. I really appreciate this opportunity to get in touch with British readers who appreciate traditional detective stories.
Writing cosy mysteries.
Years ago, when I was still trying to find a Danish publisher, I saw myself as a serious crime writer. I wrote a couple of Scandinavian mysteries, but despite much positive feedback from the editors, I wasn´t able to land a contract in a time of global crisis.
While waiting for a way out of the crisis I was stuck in, I participated in an online writing course which forced me to try my hand at very short texts. I realized that humour and irony were good ways of achieving the twists I wanted in order to make my pieces appear as full stories, not just pointless exercises. So that was how Arnold and Mildred Kickinbottom, my first ´Knavesborough´ characters, were born. My friends and my blog readers wanted more of the same, and one day the fully-fledged plot of “The Cosy Knave” just materialized in my brain in the course of two days.
Rhapsody Gershwin, the local vicar´s daughter, appeared on stage together with her sisters Psalmonella and Harmonia. And her father, the gentle and thoughtful Reverend Gershwin, of course. To solve serious crimes, a librarian needs help from the police force, and Rhapsody is very conveniently engaged to Constable Archibald Penrose. Penrose sees himself as the main protagonist, and we will let him believe that, but all readers of the Knavesborough stories know better. Because while Penrose is quiet and a bit cautious, trying his best to stick to the rules, Rhapsody is energetic and curious, and if a friend of hers is in danger, she is ready to risk almost anything.
I wrote the novel in around three months, which is extremely fast for someone like me (I suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and work part-time), and the writing process was so fun. There was never a day when I didn´t enjoy darting off to Knavesborough to see what my quirky villagers were up to.
My next novel will be a Scandinavian mystery which is darker and more realistic, but far from gory or hard-boiled. And after that? I hope I will be able to finish the second Gershwin and Penrose novel so I can publish it in the spring of 2013. Perhaps earlier than that, my shaky health permitting.
Here is a link to “The Knitting Club”, my first real Knavesborough story, and as part of my European relaunch of “The Cosy Knave” under the title “Murder deLight” I offer the full novel for £ 0.77 only throughout the month of June.
Link to The Knitting Club: