Cozy Mystery Thoughts on Writer’s Retreat


Grant Snider is a brilliant cartoonist whose publication of The Writer’s Retreat in the July 20, 2014 New York Times book review was a revelation to the Reeses. We cut it out and used thumbtacks to put it on the wall of our “writing room.” (The writing room is also known as our “dining area” and the desk for the computers–two laptops–is also know has the “dining room table.”) There it remains and the more I look at it, the more I see ourselves as co-authors in it.

My style of writing, whether it is non-fiction, academic writing or fictional cozy mysteries is rather contemplative. If I get an idea, I can’t act on it immediately. I tell myself to cogitate and usually this means sleeping on it one or even two nights. I can’t find a room for that in the writer’s retreat, but perhaps some time by the Reflecting Pool describes what happens.

Joe, too, will retreat to lie on the bed and let our characters talk to him through a difficult plot twist. He thinks this is a sign of insanity, but I reassure him that it is not, though he may exhibit some others. He is found on the Writer’s Retreat on the Shrine to the Muse, as he also begins each book idea with a prayerful “Sing in me oh muse.” The Classics Library is also a space he uses. As an old English professor (actually, Comparative Literature professor, but nobody knows what that is) he has worked many classic literature authors into the Nina Bannister series. First, and foremost is, of course, Nina Bannister’s own muse, Jane Austen. Nina has relied on Jane in more than one of the books to help her solve the mystery. Other books have quotes or references to Shakespeare, Beowulf, Faulkner and others.

By writing together, we are able to stay away from Desperation Drop and Cliche Island. We recommend that our readers and author friends find themselves on Snider’s Writer’s Retreat and use the link above to explore other wonderful cartoons about thinking, dreaming, reading and writing from the marvelous mind of Grant Snider.




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