Thursday, July 16, 2009


Long ago, I had an idea for a funny mystery, sort of Susan Isaacs-like but with a younger, married protagonist. Before I had anything like a plot, I had a title. That idea never went anywhere, and the title became the name of my other blog.

Later on, I had an idea for an entire series of mysteries with a young, married mom protagonist. Each of these stories would share the title of a hymn. The Common Hymns Mysteries! Sure, not everyone goes to my church. But many hymns are classics with titles that are familiar well outside of the Sunday Morning organist-accompanied cultures in which they are frequently sung. And it's nice to have a marketable hook like that. Excuse, me, do you work here? I'm looking for a new mystery by that author whose books are always called after nursery rhymes/numbers/birds/flowers/cocktails/HYMNS. Right?

So I wrote the book, and I think it's pretty decent.

But it turned out to be about computer gamers. This didn't trouble me as I wrote it. See, I figured each mystery in the series would share little more than protagonist, setting, and voice. Sure, a few good friends would repeat as appropriate, but one novel might be about a scavenger hunt, the next a group vacation, yet another a dance competition, and so forth. Flipping quickly through a hymnal gave me dozens of excellent ideas for sequels.

But the gaming thing really took over this novel.

So much so that it doesn't really fit with the hymn theme anymore. I love love love my title but it just doesn't really fit with the very modern, youthful, gamer-geek-culture novel I wrote.

So now I'm in search of a new series hook and naming convention, preferably one that suggests an infinite supply of titles and mysteries. All the error messages I get from Microsoft? Things I scream at my flickering monitor in frustration?

(I do still plan to write those hymn novels one day. I just don't know if this book is the right way to start the series.)

Suggestions welcome!


  1. The Common Hymns Mysteries! sounds like an interesting title and concept. I hope your able to finish it one day.