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Just 1 More Interview: Courtagonist



First off, I just wanted to thank you for doing this. Could be considered a little unorthodox to handle an interview this way, but I also figure it's easier.
To add some backstory before diving into the interview all at once; you and I met during the All Your Show days WAAAAAY back in the olden days of 2011 or so. Back when we were writing, acting and “producing” original videos in addition to video game reviews. And I must say that you were so incredible to work with. Your personality made everything so enjoyable and fun and I always wished that we would have been able to join back up and work on new projects, but after everything dissolved, we all just went our separate ways. But anywho, that’s in the past and now you’ve got your own website while being a teacher. So let's get to it!

Jeff - What inspired you to launch the site or were there other reasons that fed that fire to launch “A Cozy Guide to Mysteries”? Did your experience with All Your Show help fuel the passion to create something in that medium?

Courtagonist - I have always loved reading. Ever since I was a child I remember reading The Adventures of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, figuring out their mysteries! I have loved falling into another world that has been created for entertainment and escapism. I realized that I wanted to share my love for reading with others. All Your Show really did help me dip my toe into the medium of Youtube and that eventually led to me wanting to write about the books that I have been reading.

Jeff -  I see the term "Booktube" used throughout your site as well as a full channel on YouTube. Did you envision that it would be reaching an audience of nearly a thousand people?

Courtagonist - My site actually came out of my my Booktube channel. Booktube is this niche part of the Youtube community where people get together and talk about their obsessions with books, their characters, their adventures, and their passions. I started my Booktube channel in June of last year! I have been watching Youtube for years, as you know with how we met. I loved the idea of creating content that people would enjoy and get something out of! Like we used to do in the good ol’ days! I missed talking to people of a like mind and Aaron, my boyfriend, actually encouraged me to start my own channel.

I was so scared! I had no idea what I was doing really! I had to teach myself how to edit, how to talk to the camera, how to pretend I was there with my best friend, drinking coffee, and gossiping about books. It has sort of taken off! I had no idea that nearly 1,000 people would enjoy watching my face! Haha!

Jeff -  With your site, it's crystal clear that your passion for books is on display. And for those that go to your homepage, there is a tab that says “My Novel”, tell me about that. What was the inspiration for this story, I saw that you used real places in the novel. Do you pull from real experiences and what’s next for Maggie?

Courtagonist - So, as you can tell my favorite genre is Cozy Mysteries. I have a whole video on “What is a Cozy Mystery?” on my channel. However, it is a mystery in which a protagonist is starting their life anew. They are moving to a small town, maybe back home and starting a new career. They somehow fall onto a dead body and they find themselves immersed into the mystery [of] trying to figure out the ‘whodunit’.

I had been talking to my friend and fellow Booktuber, Kelsey, from Hardback Haven. I was talking to her about how I wished there was a Cozy Mystery based on a teacher and her trying to figure things out. She told me that if I wanted it I should write it. And thus I joined in NaNoWriMo this past year and Maggie Turee (Ms. Turee...get it?! Mystery? Get it?! HAHAHA!) came to be!

I most definitely pull from my past experiences. I think every writer does. You write what you know. Year before last Aaron and I went camping with some friends in Broken Bow and it was absolutely stunning. I couldn’t get the town out of my head. I started researching the town and then it just appeared! I actually mix Tulsa, Broken Arrow, and Broken Bow all into one!

The story is still in it’s rough draft phase. I actually just spent this past weekend tweaking details and scenes and adding more. It is a long process and it probably will look a lot different than what is on my site now. I am hoping that this will be my first book that I can publish and maybe make a series out of it! We shall see!

Jeff -  And you're balancing “A Cozy Guide” with being a teacher over at Brown Arrow. How was the first day of class? Being in front of kids as their teacher? Courtagonist - It is a lot of work balancing my job, my home life, and the amazing and fulfilling hobby of my site and channel. At the beginning of the school year I was teaching 7th and 8th grade US History and World Geography. It was fun to show them some of my videos during the ‘Get to Know You’ week. I even took my skills that I acquired and filmed an interactive lesson when I had to be absent. I was actually taken out of the classroom in October to become a Digital Learning Specialist for the district. It is pretty awesome when your love for technology, filming, and creativity actually get to be used in your everyday life as well. I am creating videos, trainings, and graphic designs for my new job and it so much fun! A lot of my past students have found my Youtube channel too! It is so much fun seeing their comments and seeing that they want me to succeed as well. It makes my heart swell. Those kiddos are my life and I love that they still remember their old teacher!
Jeff - If you had to choose three authors that you would rank as your favorites, whose writing style set the stage for this hunger of books. Who would receive that credit?

Courtagonist - Oh my goodness! Just three!?! That’s almost torture! Haha! I would have to choose Ellie Alexander. She writes the Bakeshop Mystery series that is based in Ashland, Oregon. Her and I have actually become really good friends and she is so supportive in my writing and growing in the Cozy Mystery world.

I love Sofie Kelly as well! She writes the Magical Cats Mystery series. I love how playful her fur characters are. They crack me up! It helps that the main character is a librarian, another career I always thought that I would be great in!


For the third author I would probably have to choose London Lovett. Though I recently ran into her Port Danby series I devoured the first four books in three days. I love the small town feel and the characters are a hoot!


Jeff - Now before we end this, what is this March Mystery Madness thing that is going to happen? You’ve got hosting duties, so what all does this event entail?

Courtagonist - March Mystery Madness is something that was started by Lizzie at LizzieFayeLovesBooks. Her and Troi started this a few years ago. She wanted March to be associated with mysteries the way February is for Black History Month. She asked me about a month or two ago to join in on hosting for MMM. I was super honored. Apparently I have known as the Queen of Cozies! HAHAHA!

There are 6 Challenges that are apart of MMM. They revolve around 6 different words that can be interpreted any way a person wants to. The words are: New, Borrowed, Foreign, Shelf, Opposite, and Historical. People don’t have to just read Cozy Mysteries, they can read thriller, suspense, traditional, anything! As long as people are reading MYSTERY BOOKS!

I created the logo for the twitter page, there will be twitter sprints. I am designing the Instagram challenges, and there will be an explosion of mystery videos on Youtube as well!


Jeff - Thank you again for doing this interview, as always you've been amazing and I look forward to seeing your channel continue to grow. And hopefully we can find time to work on a project together when there is some free time.


As always you can check us out over on Facebook and YouTube! Let us know what you think and look forward to more interviews in the weeks to come!

Comments

  1. BookTube's Cozy Mystery Book Club was created by @writerahart and @courtagonist. It would be wonderful if you could interview the co-founder too! http://angelamariahart.com/angelas-blog/2017/12/28/the-cozy-mystery-book-tag-original

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