May 6, 2022 • 45M

How to Write a Cozy Mystery (the rules are changing): Episode 314 with Mia Manansala

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Entertaining, actionable advice on craft, productivity and creativity for writers and journalists in all genres, with hosts Jessica Lahey, KJ Dell'Antonia and Sarina Bowen.

Shownotes up front—but scroll down, there’s an announcement!

Mia P. Manansala (she/her) is a writer and book coach from Chicago who loves books, baking, and bad-ass women. She uses humor (and murder) to explore aspects of the Filipino diaspora, queerness, and her millennial love for pop culture. She is the author of 2 books so far in the Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery series: Arsenic and Adobo and Homicide and Halo-Halo.

I was excited to talk to Mia because I read my way through hundreds of cozies well into my early adulthood, and I thought I knew the genre pretty well—but in coming back to it recently, I could see that things have changed. Just like in romance, there’s far more of an effort to balance reality with the deeply unlikely yet also deeply satisfying elements of the genre that are the reasons we come: Protagonists we love, puzzles to solve and justice to serve and peace to restore—until the next book!

Links from the Pod

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder, Joanne Fluke


Mia: Like a Sister, Kellye Garrett

Secret Identity, Alex Segura

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon

Under Lock & Skeleton Key, Gigi Pandian

Dial a for Aunties, Jesse Q. Sutanto

Four Aunties and a Wedding, Jesse Q. Sutanto

KJ: The Arc, Tory Henwood Hoen

Find Mia at: Facebook, Twitter, IG = @MPMtheWriter or

COMING JULY 1: It’s the #AmWriting Blueprint for a Book Challenge! 10 episodes, 10 guests, 10 weeks to you being ready to write your best novel, memoir or non-fiction book this fall. There will be homework. There will be deadlines. Complete all 10 weeks, and you could win a critique of that Blueprint from KJ or Jennie Nash—but you’ll already be a winner, because you’ll have a plan that will put you way ahead of the game. Play for free—or reserve an Author Accelerator critique for your finished product to hold your feet to the fire and make sure you do the work and get bonus episodes and write-alongs. Want details? Ready to sign up? CLICK HERE.

PS: Along those lines, Author Accelerator has opened registration for the 2022 Manuscript Incubator, an intensive, 7 month coaching opportunity that offers one-one-one support and guidance for novelists and memoirists planning to have a submission-ready project by early 2023—and includes the opportunity to have that project reviewed by a group of agents and editors when it’s ready. For more information, head to