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👓 Doggone It: All The Best Ideas Are Taken

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Is it true that all the best ideas are already taken? In a world where everyone is writing and self-publishing and traditionally publishing genre series, is there anything left unexplored?

See, I have a hankering to write a cozy mystery series, one with a character I absolutely adore and want to spend many hours with as she solves puzzling crimes. Every cozy mystery series needs a hook: the main character’s a witch or owns a cat or runs a bookshop or is a member of a knitting club. I wanted to set my series in a milieu that would keep me entertained and intrigued right along with my reader. I wanted it to be fun. I wanted it to be something that makes me–and my readers–go all gooey and goofy when we aren’t biting our nails to find out the identity of the murderer. 

So, I had a brilliant idea. I was sure someone would have thought of it already, so I did a quick look on Amazon yesterday. I saw lots of cozy mysteries that were similar to, but not exactly what I had in mind. Could it be this simple? Had I stumbled onto some rare blip in the cozy mystery universe? 


This morning I dug in a little deeper, and of course I discovered that there is already a whole series of books exactly like the ones I wanted to write, doggone it! 

I really shouldn’t be surprised because this idea rocks, so now I have to ask myself if the world can support two (and let’s face it, probably more if I keep digging) series set in the same subculture. It’s not as if there aren’t many cozy mystery series with similar settings whether you’re talking coffee shops, tea shops, B & B’s, bookstores, etc. I’m sure I could go ahead with this, but, discovering a 24-book series already written with this hook took the shine off the idea. I don’t want to be a copycat. 

This totally bummed me out today, peeps!  So, what do you think? Should I go ahead with the idea? I DID think about the possibility of setting the series in the past….like the 1950s or even 1930s which would mean a ton more research, but that’s okay. Or should I scrap it and go with something else?

I love to hear your comments, and I comment back! 

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. I think sometimes a writer just goes on Amazon and looks at what is selling, and just repeats it.
    I’ve never seen so many copy cat stories. 😆

    1. Hi Jim:

      That’s a good point, too. I’m going to keep researching this market before I make any firm decisions. Thanks for joining in the conversation!

  2. Um, I dunno … Sounds like you had to dig quite hard. Why did you keep digging? If you hadn’t found it, and not known about it, you would have loved your idea. And the fact that you didn’t know about it from your own reading suggests it wasn’t worked well (maybe you have better tools). I say go for it!

    1. That’s a good point, Debbie. I don’t know why the series didn’t pop up the first time I searched, but it is a popular series. I really don’t want to re-invent the wheel. Maybe I’ll read a couple of them and see what I think…or set my series in the 1950s or something. That might be fun anyway.

  3. It’s true! I read a lot of cozies and many have a similar theme but each one in itself has a twist. I read two series that are set in bakeries. One has a magical twist and the other is set in a town that is all about Shakespeare. I’ve also been thinking about something original in the cozy world since our conversation. I keep asking myself: what do I know a lot about that would interest people? I think reading a few of them would be a great start. Always here if you need to bounce ideas!

    1. You’ve read so many more cozies than I have. I’m not even sure I could come up with enough plots. For you I’d say…theater! So many possibilities!

  4. I think people have a huge appetite for good stories. I also think every story and every writer’s voice is unique. If you have an idea that you’re excited about, go ahead!

    1. True, Georgette!

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