Episode 160 – Jonathan Whitelaw – Cozy Crime & Escaping into Writing

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Jonathan Whitelaw is a Scottish author and journalist now living in Canada who wrote his first novel at the age of 17. He’s since published several books in the cozy crime genre, including Morbid Relations and the popular Bingo Hall Detectives series.

In the latest episode of the Make Meaning Podcast, host Lynne Golodner interviews Jonathan  about the cozy crime genre, why he’s drawn to it and the genre’s emphasis on humor, character, and setting. Plus, they discuss his publishing journey, from his first horrible book to being published by a small independent publisher to getting an agent and taking the plunge to become a full-time author. They also explore the differences and similarities between the publishing industry in the UK and Canada and how Jonathan has adapted his marketing to reach a North American audience while still appealing to his loyal UK readers. 

In this episode, Lynne and Jonathan discuss: 

  • Why you can write at any age
  • Audience differences between Canada and the UK
  • Genre talk
  • The expansiveness of writing and publishing
  • The popularity of cozy crime during times of crisis
  • The challenge of writing humor
  • Inspiration from in-law relationships
  • The need for luck and endurance in the author journey
  • Writing practice & daily routine
  • Juggling writing, parenting and income-earning
  • Importance of a supportive family and the “village” of the publishing industry
  • Book cover differences between countries
  • Lynne’s writing sabbatical in Nova Scotia
  • Finding your audience in different geographical locations

Links and Resources: 

Find  Jonathan Whitelaw:





If you enjoyed this episode, you’ll like these other Make Meaning Podcast episodes:

Episode 158 – Suzanne Nugent – On Character Development

Episode 149 – Anne-Marie Oomen – Writing Through Family

Episode 134 – Andrew McDiarmid – Simply Scottish

Episode 132 – Merryn Glover – Literary Fiction about Place

Episode 70 – Elena Reads – How to Stoke a Love of Reading in Kids