The Origin of a Mystery Writer by Patti Larsen

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I grew up reading my father’s sci-fi and fantasy novels that really weren’t suitable for a child (though more so than the steamy romance my mother preferred to my eight-year-old brain, because ew). It wasn’t until I hit the ripe old age of twelve (I kid you not) that I encountered my first young adult novel—a mystery no less.

Nancy Drew introduced me to what it would feel like to be an adventurous and spunky young woman uncovering wrongdoing while being all-around awesome. I was neither spunky nor awesome, instead awkward and withdrawn, so she quickly became my heroine while sparking my desire to write (as much as I wanted to be just like her. Oh, and one of Charlie’s Angels, but I digress).

That naturally led me to Trixie Belden, the Hardy Boys and more, though for obvious reasons, I ended up writing fantasy and (you guessed it) science fiction first.

Both served me well. I got my start in this crazy profession writing young adult paranormal, won two awards, made enough to go full-time and haven’t looked back. But after some bad business decisions based on wanting a traditional publisher (what was I thinking?) I realized I wanted a change, to pivot into something new.

In 2016, I found cozy mysteries and suddenly I was twelve again, idolizing the amazing and spunky (this time redhead) who didn’t have her life together as Nancy did but fumbled her way through mystery after homicide after criminal enterprise, taking me along for the hilarious, hair-raising ride.

I’m now well over seventy cozies into over a dozen series and though I still dabble now and then in my genres of origin, it turns out Nancy was right. Mysteries and murder and mayhem are not just the reason I started writing.

They’re my jam. And I’m so excited to find out what happens next.

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