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Brought to you by OBS reviewer Caro.

  • Be sure to read our review for Who’s There? A Nurseryland Mystery here at OBS.

whos-there-herschel-cozineCaro: Hi, once again. This is my third time reading one of your short stories and it was really good. Was there a reason why you chose this specific nursery rhyme for your latest story?

Herschel Cozine: There are very few nursery rhymes that lend themselves to a mystery or a situation that calls for a private eye.  Osgood must have something to chew on, and I have involved him in those that qualify for his involvement.  I was motivated to write “Who’s There?” because it allowed Osgood to do just about anything he wanted with it.  It is nonsense from the beginning, and I had a wonderful time with it.  The idea of pursuing someone who isn’t there is intriguing.  How would one know when he found him? The story, like the rhyme, makes no sense at all.  And that is what makes it so much fun.

Caro: Involving your previous Nurseryland stories, was there a process in choosing the order you would write them or did you just choose your favorites out of the rhymes? 🙂

Herschel Cozine: I chose them at random.  I don’t really have a favorite.  As I previously stated, there are only a few that contain an element of mystery, which of course is necessary for my purposes.  This, incidentally, includes fairy tales.  I have written about Goldilocks, Cinderella and Snow White.

Caro: Most of your stories are mysteries. Is there another genre that you would like to consider in future writings?

Herschel Cozine: I started out by writing children’s stories and poems, and had the good fortune to have many published in the print magazines of the day.  But I always wanted to write mysteries since I read my first Perry Mason story.  So for more years than I care to remember I have dedicated my time to writing them.  Lately I have been writing westerns, although not with any goal in mind.  It is a change of pace that I need at this point in my “career”.  Also I have written a few nostalgia pieces, such as “Delinquency Report.”   At my age, nostalgia is comfort food.

Caro: It might be a little soon to ask but if you had the opportunity to participate in another The Killer Wore Cranberry Anthology, what would you write about?

Herschel Cozine: I have already completed a piece for the Cranberry Anthology.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that it will be included in TKWC3.  It is told through the eyes of a moonshiner.  I’ll leave it at that.

Caro: I sometimes wonder, if there is anything authors sometimes want to talk about related to their books but the interviewer never asks? Is there something about Who’s There? or any other of your stories that you would like to talk about or add?

Herschel Cozine: That’s a question that could open the floodgates.  Rare is the author who doesn’t want to talk about his stories.  I particularly enjoy writing humorous stories.  Many of my mysteries–apart from Osgood–contain elements of humor.  It has been my experience that humor in mysteries is a slippery slope and must be done with a discipline that is hard to define.  Rex Stout used it well in his Nero Wolfe books.  But it is difficult to do.  One reason being that what is funny to one individual is not funny to another.  There are no guidelines.  And I am convinced that many editors lack the gene.  Fortunately for me, Mr. Hartman at Untreed Reads is not one of them.

Caro: Is it possible for you to let us know about your upcoming projects or if you’re working on something at the moment?

Herschel Cozine: I have been doing very little writing lately.  As I said in answer to your question concerning genres, I am working on a couple of westerns.  I will continue to write mysteries, even if for my own pleasure.  But not romance.  I have nothing against the genre.  I am just no good at it.

Caro: Thank you for your time and I hope to read more of Nathaniel P. Osgood III in the future.