Welcome! What is romantic suspense?
Hello everyone! Thank you so much to Coffee Time Romance for letting me be here for the next two weeks. Sorry about the delay yesterday--once I could figure out how to post, I had to head off to the high school graduation where my sophomore daughter was singing the National Anthem.
It's been that kind of week for the last . . . month in the Brennan household! My youngest graduated from Kindergarten last Thursday, my #2 daughter graduated from 8th grade on Tuesday, and I've had numerous end of the year field trips, parties, and . . . a book due Monday!
But now I'm here, and very happy to spend time talking with everyone about Romantic Suspense.
For those who don't know me, I'm the author of 13 romantic suspense novels for Ballantine, the last one a paranormal romantic suspense/urban fantasy. I have a novella and three short stories (the last in the Horror Writers Anthology coming out this October.) I love romantic suspense--everything about it. My favorite thing about romantic suspense is that when the stakes are raised--when there's a killer on the loose, or a crime to solve, or a disaster to stop--that when someone you love is in danger, everything matters more. I love the pulse-pounding excitement of external conflict, and the nerve-wracking fear of internal conflict.
Romantic suspense has become its own genre. Love and danger can be blended with any other genre to create something a little new and different. You can blend it with the supernatural, with historicals, science fiction, and yes even horror! You can write heavy on the romance or heavy on the suspense; you can write dark or light; you can be serious or humorous. There are so many things you can do with romantic suspense that it because a little overwhelming.
Some people will say that romantic suspense must be 50/50 romance to suspense. I disagree. For Harlequin, they generally prefer a 50/50 or 40/60 suspense to romance blend, but even they have some flexibility. The important thing is to write what feels natural to you and go from there.
So what is romantic suspense? Everyone has their own definition. Mine is: a suspense where two people work together (or parallel) to solve the crime or save the world, and fall in love (or back in love) in the process. There should be the promise of a happily ever after, or at least a growth in the relationship (this more in a continuing series) where the two characters resolve a conflict and are closer together by the end of the book.
So Welcome! Introduce yourself, let me know what you're writing, and if you have any questions. I'll try to incorporate answers into my "lectures" (I really don't like that term!!!) or answer in the thread.
Looking forward to this seminar
Looking forward to following this seminar. Love your books, and love the romantic suspense genre.
My debut novel is a romantic suspense with a touch of paranormal, in that the heroine is a psychic and the story is populated with a lot of ghosts trying to help her. My second novel should come out this summer from Moongypsy Press, and is a romantic suspense with more emphasis on the romance.
You mention that Harlequin likes to see 50/50 or 60/40 between romance and suspense - what do you think is the optimal mix?
Thanks for taking the time to share your insights.
Unfolding the Shadows, available from Cerridwen Press
Perfect Strangers, coming soon from Moongypsy Press