Kaitlyn Dunnett/Kathy Lynn Emerson here. As I was trying to think what to write about this time around, and contemplating the possibility of collecting some of my previous blogs into a book, it occurred to me to count just how many I’ve written since Maine Crime Writers launched nearly ten years ago. The serendipitous total was 249, making this lucky number 250.
Consider this a retrospective. No, I won’t go through all 249 topics again, or share the entire treasure trove of photos used in early blogs I’d forgotten I had on my computer—the ones that vanished from our blog archive when we revamped the site—but I will share that a look at the titles alone was enough to convince me that it will be pretty simple to organize them into topics. My very first blog’s title—”I Kill People for a Living” may very well work as the title for the entire collection.
You may be wondering if there’s a market for collections of blogs. I think there is, especially if I call them essays rather than posts. They actually were written as essays, at least in my mind. That format has always been a comfortable fit for me. Once upon a time, I taught college freshman how to write essays in English 101, otherwise known as Freshman Composition.
In past centuries, essay collections were popular reading. The genre is more of a niche market these days, but it still exists, even if the word “essay” isn’t always used. Essays are called stories in Tim Cotton’s The Detective in the Dooryard. Dave Barry’s books are collections of his humorous newspaper columns. There’s even a precedent for collecting Maine Crime Writers’ blogs into a book—Lea Wait’s Living and Writing on the Coast of Maine.
So, dear readers, here are a couple of questions for you. Would you read such a collection (notice I say read, not buy) if it were available as an e-book and trade paperback? And what do you think of the following as sections of the book?
On Cozy Mysteries
On Historical Mysteries
On the Book (Books) of the Heart
On Being Inspired by People
On Being Inspired by Places
On Being Inspired by Fiction
On Miscellaneous Tips for Writers
On Climbing the Family Tree for Fun and Profit
On Mining Life Experience for use in Writing Fiction
On Life in Rural Maine in the 21st Century
On Oddities, Past and Present
I look forward to hearing what you think. And one person who comments below will be chosen to receive his or her choice of one of my published books—any one I still have available in print copies.
Thanks in advance for your input.
Kathy Lynn Emerson/Kaitlyn Dunnett has had sixty-three books traditionally published and has self published several children’s books. She won the Agatha Award and was an Anthony and Macavity finalist for best mystery nonfiction of 2008 for How to Write Killer Historical Mysteries and was an Agatha Award finalist in 2015 in the best mystery short story category. She was the Malice Domestic Guest of Honor in 2014. Currently she writes the contemporary “Deadly Edits” series (A Fatal Fiction) as Kaitlyn. As Kathy, her most recent book is a standalone historical mystery, The Finder of Lost Things. She maintains websites at www.KaitlynDunnett.com and www.KathyLynnEmerson.com. A third, at A Who’s Who of Tudor Women, is the gateway to over 2300 mini-biographies of sixteenth-century Englishwomen.
I read essays! I enjoy collections of an author’s well-curated thoughts. For the chapter divisions, I’d skip the ‘on.’ It was jarring to read the list and I’m guessing there will be a contents page listing them just like that. Otherwise, great choices for organizing.
Thanks, Monica. The on is a holdover from the titles of 19th century essays (i always was a history buff) but you’re right. It IS jarring.
Yes, especially intrigued by “on cats”.
They’ll be pleased!
I like Oddities, Past and Present
Thanks, Dru. It’s going to be a catch-all for things that don’t fit anywhere else.
Holy cow! That’s impressive. I used to write a daily personal blog before I was published, and eventually petered out to once a week, now about 4 times a year. I wonder how many posts I did. I’m sure I was more profound then than I am now, LOL. And yes, I’d read your essay collection. 🙂
Thanks, Maggie. I knew I’d written a lot of them, but I had no idea how many. The tricky part now is going to be making order out of a lot of random stuff.
I would love to read a book of different blog posts/essays. I am very fond of short stories and essays and think this would be a great read.
Thank you. Good to hear.
Yes, I would read a book of blog posts and would share them with others. I agree with Dru: my favorites by far would be the oddities.
Thanks, Alice. I’m getting more excited about this project with each response I read.
Why not? It worked for my mother with From The Orange Mailbox.
True. I should have remembered and mentioned her columns in this blog!!!
I love this idea and I think others would, too. I love the Free part, I might make a good “gift” kind of thing to your readers. I’ve shared.
Congratulations on 250 blog posts! That deserves a book.
I like Oddities, Past & Present! I also like to read essays! Great idea.
Climbing the Family Tree, Mining Life Experience, and Historical Mysteries would be my top choices. But any and all of your essays would make delightful reading. And congratulations on reaching 250 posts!
Kathy, I think I’d read anything by you! But, as another (amateur) genealogist, Climbing the Family Tree would have to be my favorite. But you can never go wrong with Cats! Or Historical Mysteries. Good luck with whatever you decide!
I think this would be fascinating. I love your posts and essay collections are great ready for bed reading. One knows where to stop. Please do this.
Thanks for the encouragement, Jane. I’m definitely going togo forward with it.
I’ll read your essay collection.
Essays, novellas, and short stories are my favorite entertainment. They allow me to keep a collection handy to peruse at times when one hasn’t enough time to continue a longer novel. I prefer to purchase and have on hand such works for rereading but would welcome any collection from you. Your posts are always informative and entertaining. Thank you so much for making the time to create them!
Thank you, Julianne. I’m hoping to bring out the collection as both an e-book and a trade paperback.
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