Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What?? Me Worry??



Congratulations to Marybelle, the winner of Kylie's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated.

What??  Me Worry??

Maybe you don’t think about worry and romantic suspense novels as being linked.  But they are—inextricably.  As a matter of fact, the author is doing everything in her power to make sure you worry throughout the book.

The purpose of suspense is to ratchet up anxiety in the reader.  When you’re anxious about our characters, about the outcome of the story, about the happily-ever-after, you  turn pages.  We’re trying to evoke the sort of emotional investment that will make it difficult for the reader to put the book down.  We hope for a lasting response that will have the characters lingering in your memory long after the book is done.  There’s nothing more satisfying to an author than to hear that a reader re-reads our books over and over; that they’ve been elevated to ‘keeper status’.  That’s our goal when we write, that ah-h factor.

But before you get there, you have to worry.

Authors are tricky J.  First we make you care about the story people we’ve created.  And once you really, really want the hero and heroine to get together—we throw obstacle after obstacle at them to make the HEA more difficult to achieve.  And in romantic suspense that also include danger and physical jeopardy to make the reader doubt the characters will even make it through alive.  Hard not to worry when the hero and heroine are trapped in a burning building.  Or when the heroine is caught by the serial killer she’s tracking.

Sometimes the anxiety about the story’s outcome comes from more mundane scenarios, but the reader still has to fear for the HEA.  Can the hero overcome his trust issues to ever truly let the heroine close?  Can she let go of the damage inflicted by a past trauma to love again?  As readers, we worry about those things throughout the book.  And when love triumphs through it all--when the author has done her job well--we’re rewarded with that satisfying ah-h ending.

Which books have you read that really had you doubting the happy outcome of the story?  Do you have characters that have remained favorites because of all the worry they caused you in their story?


Kylie will be offering a copy of DEADLY SINS to one lucky commenter.



Giveaway ends 9pm EST March 29th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email justromanticsuspense @ gmail.com with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.   

21 comments:

  1. So, I went to check out your website, Kylie, and it seems that there are two other books in this series. I have to read books in a series in order, so if I happen to win this book, that will cause me to go and buy your other two and read those first...so, you need to trick the system into letting me win this one and it would be a win for you! Ha ha. :)

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  2. I have to mention the "Odd" books by Dean R. Koontz here.
    The one where his girlfriend dies I was doubting a happy outcome.
    Actually this series has remained a favorite of mine because of all the suspense/worry.
    I like your covers Kylie & would be interested in reading your books! & I enjoy series most of all!~

    janet(underscore)kerr(at)msn.com

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    1. Janet, I haven't read the Koontz book you mentioned but I'd love to know how he pulled off a happy ending when the girlfriend died!

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  3. I've read some books that had me in such knots I wasn't sure who was going to live or die. The masters of horror - Stephen King in particular, of course (I read 'It' when I was 17 and I still have nightmares about that damn clown). But more recently The Cypress House left me wondering who was going to live or die - and that tension was all the way through the book.

    jericho_tgf@comcast.net

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    1. Tracy, King is the master of tension, isn't he? I think my favorite of his was The Stand. Because faced off against pure evil, it was really a toss up which side was going to win!

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  4. I recently read Any Man of Mine by Rachel Gibson and really did worry if the couple would make it. They did cause me worry and that's sort of a good thing and it suited the story. In the end I was happy for their HEA.

    Cambonified(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  5. I recently read Lethal by Sandra Brown and I really wasn't sure what was going to happen next.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

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    1. Ooh, Maureen, that sounds intriguing!

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  6. I read The Darkest Seduction by Gena Showalter and wasn't sure what would happen in the end.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  7. That's what keeps us reading, isn't it??

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  8. I have to go with Stephen King on this one... one of the reasons I so enjoy romantic suspense is that, no matter what evil and dastardly things happen, villains get their comeuppance & a HEA is guaranteed! I crack open any King book with a sense of trepidation that things may not end up turning out for the best in the end-- and that's what makes them so captivating! Whenever I'm reading, I have a need to know what happens next, so the more worry/anxiety the author throws in, the more likely I am to read the entire book in one sitting, rest of my life be damned :)

    stalkers00(at)yahoo(dot)com [because I'm a girl gamer, and yes, my email is a StarCraft reference]

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    1. Oh absolutely, CMD. Any genre other than romance the happy ending is definitely not a given. That's why romantic suspense is a comfort read for me...I know the h/h will end up together. The author has to be very skillful to make the reader doubt it will happen at all, much less that we'll find the ending satisfying.

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  9. I have a copy of Deadly Kisses (2006 edition) by Brenda Joyce. A scandalous portrait of Francesca Cahill (sleuth,heiress, and heroine of the story) was stolen. I had to wait five years to find out if she will ever find that scandalous portrait of her before it is shown to society. There is that love triangle between Rick Bragg and his half-brother Calder Hart. As soon as one problem is resolved, another problem occurs for Francesca Cahill. I kept coming back to find out which brother she will choose and if her unknown enemy will ever be discovered.

    And there is her brother Evan. He has a huge gambling debt to pay and his father has a final straw and refused to pay his debt. There is this golddigger, a Baroness that Evan is sleeping with and there is Maggie, a mother of one and is working class, whom he is attracted to. I want to know if he will choose Maggie at the end.

    I just want these characters to pick the right person and make the right decision. OMG, I'm sounding like a mother.

    kmccandle(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Kai, WOW that was a long wait for the HEA and to finally get those worries about the characters allayed!

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  10. I'm glad others have also mentioned Stephen King. The Master of suspense. I go into all of his books knowing that every twist, turn & death will just about kill me in the reading.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  11. Marybelle, I think King and others can ratchet up suspense more easily because their genres don't guarantee happy endings. So we read with our hearts in our throats hoping our favorite characters don't get killed off!

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  12. I have definitely read a few suspense books that kept me guessing and wondering if the ending will be a happy one... I even remember one in which you were not sure if the hero was the hero... can not think of the title at the moment...

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  13. Colleen, I love that type of story! Most fun I ever had was writing a hero who was a bad guy who wasn't redeemed by the end of the story...although he's willing to change for his heroine :)

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  14. Colleen Thompson is a chapter friend and wonderful RS writer! Her novel 'HEAD ON' had me absolutely convinced there could be no HEA between the h/h. Heroine was crippled and all her friends were killed when their car was struck by a drunk driver one awful night in high school. The hero's the drunk driver! The book starts 10 years later when he gets out of prison and goes back to his small hometown, sees her for the first time since that night.

    There's no WAY there can be a HEA!

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