By: Allison Brennan
Congratulations to "Kristy B.", the winner in Allison's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!
I know exactly when I fell in love with romantic suspense.
It was a gradual process. From a very young age, I loved mysteries. Encyclopedia Brown. Trixie Belden. Nancy Drew. Agatha Christie by the time I was twelve.
But I think I always wanted Encyclopedia and Sally to get together. And Trixie and Jim shared a kiss when she turned 15. And then Nancy and Ned … actually, I never liked Ned. I’d have rather she gotten together with Frank …
I never read straight romance until college, and romantic suspense wasn’t a defined genre—at least, I didn’t know it was. But Nora Roberts published a bunch of books with conflicting titles – HOT ICE and DIVINE EVIL and such. I ate them up. I loved them! And then Susan Andersen (OBSESSION and EXPOSURE are to of my faves of hers. I still remember Sheriff Elvis fondly …)
I like romance in the hands of Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Jenny Crusie (I know, weird because they write light and fun and I write dark), but most of the time I prefer mysteries, so the blend of romance (where the girl gets the hot guy) against a backdrop of murder and mayhem was certainly more my speed.
I truly fell in love with romantic suspense after reading Lisa Gardner’s THE THIRD VICTIM and Iris Johansen’s THE SEARCH. These two books were suspense at their core, with an overlay of a compelling, angsty, and realistic romance between two worthy people. The each had strong heroines who had skills of their own (a cop and a search-and-rescue dog handler respectively) who didn’t need a “hero” but they became better “thems” because they got a hero worthy of them.
These were the types of stories I wanted to write. I could have a mystery at the heart of the story and still build a relationship between my hero and heroine. After all, they deserved some happiness after all the crap they have to face! And honestly, to me there is nothing better than two people who love each other and face huge external forces conspiring to keep them apart. Once they solve the case and defeat the villain, they’ve EARNED their happily ever after.
I owe a huge debt to Gardner and Johansen for showing me with compelling, suspenseful books that there was a market for the types of stories I wanted to write--by writing stories I loved to read. They are the Masters, I’m happy to be their Padawan!
What were you reading when you fell in love with romantic suspense? Tell us! And one lucky commenter will win a copy of STALKED, the Lucy Kincaid thriller on sale on October 30!
(Check out the trailer for STALKED below!)
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