Some cozy advice from S.A. Kaslow

Cozy mystery author S.A. Kazlo is a retired teacher living in upstate New York with her husband and two very active dachshunds. The third book in her Samantha Davies series has just been published and Kaslo stopped by with some helpful advice for those of us who write cozies. If you’d like more info, check out her site at

1. Let’s start with the most important thing. Tell us about your dogs. 🙂

Samantha Davies, my main character, owns a reddish-brown dachshund named Porkchop. He is modeled after a dachshund I owned. When my son was young, he watched a cartoon named Doug Funny. The dog in that show was named Porkchop. I thought—what a perfect name for a dog, Hence, the name for my dog—Porkchop.

2. The plot of your new book features a character with a lot of ex-fiancés. Can you tell us about her?

I model a lot of my characters after people I know or may have just casually met. Like Candie and Sam, I’m a rug hooker. I was at a rug hooking event a few years ago and there was a fellow rug hooker who mentioned she had been engaged eleven times. A bit of information I tucked away for future use. Candie is modeled after a good friend of mine from Tennessee. Like my Candie, she writes romance novels and is the essence of a southern woman.

3. The protagonist of your series is a woman who hooks rugs and is working on a children’s book. How did you come up with her character?

As I mentioned in question 2, I also rug hook and belong to a group called Loopy Ladies. Before I wrote my Samantha Davies Mystery series. I wrote children’s books, none published so far. I draw most of my characters from real life, so beware. Samantha is patterned after my lovely daughter. Hank, Sam’s boyfriend, is the image of my husband who was a state trooper.

4. Where are your novels set? How did you choose the setting?

My novels are set in and around a small town in upstate New York, near Lake George and the Adirondack Mountains. I chose this setting because it is near where I live and I could draw on a lot of events that take place here such as winter festivals, outdoor activities, restaurant competitions. All a part of living here that I experience first hand and can write about.

5. What advice do you have for our readers who might be interested in writing a cozy. What do you wish you’d known?

My advice for those who would like to write a cozy is one that I have followed—read, read, read cozies to see what they are all about. I wish I’d known how time marketing my books would take, but that still wouldn’t have deterred me.

Susan Breen is the author of the Maggie Dove mystery series. Her stories have been published in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine and Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. The MWA anthology, Crime Hits Home, in which she has a story, just won an Anthony Award. She teaches novel-writing at Gotham Writers and is on the staff of the New York Write to Pitch Conference.


  1. Thanks for stopping by!
    I agree writers are unprepared for the amount of time promo/ marketing takes us away from actually writing. It’s the whispered lament!
    Love your dachshunds, too~

  2. Welcome. Your books sound terrific. Any book with. Dachshund is ok by me. I love them.

  3. Glad you stopped by. I’m always dismayed when I hear a writer say I don’t have time to read. I would also advise people thinking about writing a mystery to read, read, read in the genre they want to write but others as well.

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