Here I am again, and as I said in Part 1a, I listened to Jessica's advice to read up some of the books by writers on her list of cozy mystery authors!
Valuable Writing Tip; when an agent you respect gives you advice, listen.
So, I read a couple, (more than a couple... all of the covers here are of Bookends' client books that I read - Look below in the right hand column for links to these cozy authors' sites and more!) and got the idea that the current crop of cozy mystery series are often centred around hobbies or interests. I read a glass blowing mystery, an apple orchard mystery, a crochet mystery, and so on.
Hmmm. I am a crafty kinda gal; what could I center a series around? I like to cross stitch and cook, I love cats and tea, and nature. Nothing called to me, until... I am a rabid collector of kitcheniana. In my fairly small kitchen I have crammed vintage Pyrex, Corelle, utensils, teacups, vintage cookbooks, vintage linens (tablecloths and napkins), and lots of other stuff. Including a big and beooootiful Hoosier-style kitchen cabinet.
I didn't want to do a series about an antiques dealer, and I am not competent enough to write one about a deeply studied collector. I needed, for a protagonist, someone who, like me, was new to the collecting game, enthusiastic, still learning, and yet someone who knew what she liked. And so Jaymie Leighton, star of the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries, was born, as a lover of all things kitcheny and vintagey.
Part 2 - Turning an idea into a cozy mystery series, and the bumps along the way. What to do when the agent you want is not going to be accepting queries for four long months?