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Author Topic: BOO! Mine has a ghost.  (Read 18672 times)

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scotfiddle

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BOO! Mine has a ghost.
« on: June 09, 2010, 08:55:20 PM »

Hey,

How would I define a mystery that is basically a cozy, but has a ghost in it? Is it a cozy or is it a paranormal?
There are two mysteries in the book. One is a present day murder, the other is the disappearance of a young girl
not long after The Civil War. The protag is trying to solve both.

What do you think?

Karen
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CathyJ

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Re: BOO! Mine has a ghost.
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2010, 11:29:52 AM »

Do you really need a one-word description?  There are lots of cozies with paranormal elements.  What's wrong with something like "cozy with a ghost"?

Cathy
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scotfiddle

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Re: BOO! Mine has a ghost.
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2010, 07:00:04 PM »

I pitched it to an agent like that and she grimaced but I don't know if she just didn't like the
paranormal element, the fact that it was cross-genre or if her seat was uncomfortable.  :)

This pitching stuff is kind of new to me, so I just wondered if there was a better way to pigen-
hole the story.

Thanks Cathy,
Karen
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Kelly K.

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Re: BOO! Mine has a ghost.
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2010, 09:45:08 PM »

How about calling it a paranoral mystery, and then going on to explain that it is also a cozy?
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scotfiddle

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Re: BOO! Mine has a ghost.
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2010, 10:29:41 PM »

That might be the best way to do it. I don't really HAVE to call it a cozy, though it
has a lot of cozy elements. When you say "paranormal" do agents these days just assume that
it's about vampires?
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Elena

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Re: BOO! Mine has a ghost.
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2010, 11:33:25 AM »

There is a cozy series with a ghost who helps the MC solve the mysteries written by Nancy Atherton. You might want to give one a glance. They are listed as mystery - cozy. Nothing about paranormal.

Elena
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scotfiddle

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Re: BOO! Mine has a ghost.
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2010, 02:25:20 PM »

Thanks Elana,

I haven't read any Nancy Atherton, but I have seen her books in the cozy section of the store. I'll pick one up next time I go.
It seems like paranormal has more to do with vampires, werewolves and zombies than just plain old ghosts.
I'd consider ghosts paranormal, but maybe the publishing world doesn't.
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dhparker

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Re: BOO! Mine has a ghost.
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2010, 10:41:44 AM »

I can't wait to read your book, Karen!  I wonder if the publishing world is so over-stuffed with vampires, werewolves and zombies that they have forgotten there's anything else out there.

The three I have with fantasy elements I call "fairy-tale mysteries".  One of those has a ghost, but also some ties to Celtic myth. 

Supernatural is a synonym for paranormal.  "Cozy mystery with supernatural elements"?

Whatever you call it, I hope it's published soon!



scotfiddle

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Re: BOO! Mine has a ghost.
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2010, 02:05:44 PM »

Hey Donna,
Thanks for the reply! I got rejected by an agent because she said it wasn't "compelling enough to stand out
in such a crowded market." So I'm trying to rewrite it and make it more compelling. I don't know if I'll be finished
with the rewrite by then, but I'll be pitching something when I go to Killer Nashville in August.

I think you're right about the supernatural vs paranormal tag. It seems like paranormal means vampires, werewolves'
demons and zombies to most agents and publishers. Maybe saying it has a supernatural element would make it stand
out from the others.
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linda

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Re: BOO! Mine has a ghost.
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2010, 09:25:16 PM »

Karen,

I bought and read D.H. Parker's "The Cameron Connection" a mystery that involves a Scottish family member who comes from the past in reference to a Celtic myth.  It's a young person's book. 

The book is excellent.  After I finished reading it, I let my nephew read it.  He fell in love with the story, so she obviously hit the right notes.

You might take a look at her book to see how she worked it out - it might give you some ideas.  I bought my copy from the MWF Amazon Store.  (See the box in the upper left corner.)

Good luck with your book, Karen!  I hope you find the right agent/market for it.

Linda
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scotfiddle

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Re: BOO! Mine has a ghost.
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2010, 09:31:48 PM »

Hey Linda,

I've known Donna for years but haven't read her books (yet). They are kind of hard to find but I think I'm on my way
to the Amazon store right now. The Cameron Connection will be a great place to start since the ghost in my story is Scottish, too.

Thanks for the tip!
Karen

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dhparker

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Re: BOO! Mine has a ghost.
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2010, 08:20:48 AM »

Karen-- Scottish ghost?  Now I want to read it even more! (You probably knew I would.)

Linda, I'm so glad you and your nephew liked the book.  I wasn't sure that young people would actually like it.   :)  The books aren't in bookstores, but the best price is to order directly from the company.  The link is on my website and facebook page.  Thanks for the plug!

Karen, again, you might find an even better word than supernatural, but at least that one's not in use quite as much.   Keep us posted on how it goes in August!

MTH

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Re: BOO! Mine has a ghost.
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2010, 09:47:32 AM »

I just read one called "The Ghost Detective," where the detective is as the title says. It wasn't much of a detective story, really. I think that if you emphasize the ghost part, agents might feel that's the selling point. Is the ghost really your main focus or is there some other
element you can talk about?

Mickey
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smilingso

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Re: BOO! Mine has a ghost.
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2010, 04:16:01 PM »

Hi Karen,

Your story sounds interesting.  I am actually writing a screenplay with a ghost in it along with a murder.  I was confused as to how to market it, and decided on calling it a mystery.  Reason being, I have the word "Haunting" in the title, which would cover any misunderstanding of it being about vampires or something. 
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ManOrAstroMan

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Re: BOO! Mine has a ghost.
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2012, 06:09:55 PM »

I realize this is an OOOOLD thread, but I felt like throwing my opinion out there, anyway. 
When I hear "Paranormal," I think of ghosts and other nocturnal beasties.  Werewolves and vampires, sure, but ghosts are the first things that come to my mind.  To me, "paranormal" has an inherent horror/Gothic/spooky quality.   
"Supernatural," though, sounds much more mystical.  To me, it leans more towards fantasy than horror, making me think of wizards, faeries and other things less central to the horror sphere. 
I imagine a Paranormal detective creeping quietly through an abandoned house or a sewer with a flashlight, catching a flicker of movement just outside the narrow beam of light.  This gal is mostly alone, either completely human, or maybe possesses some kind of second sight that lets her see these unearthly goings-on. 
The Supernatural detective could be in the same scene, but I imagine a lot more special effects.  The inhuman beings in her world are more definitely inhuman.  In the sewer, she'll find a dragon.  She's rescuing an abducted child from elves.  She may even be a practicing witch. 
Maybe that's the big difference--at least in my mind.  One's dark and spooky, and the other has more twinkle lights. 
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