OCTOBER
THRILLER ROMANCE


10-21 Sarah Raplee – Author of “Blindsight” Psychic Agents Series, Book One

Monday, May 9, 2011

You know you’re a romantic suspense writer when dead bodies show up in your romance. I know this one from experience. I started out wanting to write a good old fashion romance, along the lines of Harlequin Presents. All those years of watching, cops and soldiers and cowboys with my brothers reared it's not so ugly head and dead bodies kept showing up. It took a while but I finally listened to my muse and began writing romantic suspense.

RWA defines romantic suspense as "Romance novels in which suspense, mystery, or thriller elements constitute an integral part of the plot." What I call, crime interfering with the romance as opposed to romance interfering with the crime.

The operative word there is elements. Yes, you have suspense, mysteries or thrillers with romantic elements. Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series comes to mind. Another one is Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swensen series. They both have a romantic element, or two that runs throughout all the books. But the main emphasis is not on the romance. There in lies the difference

In a romance the lovers who risk and struggle for each other and their relationship are rewarded with emotional justice and unconditional love, the happily ever after. In the books I mentioned earlier, along with others, there may be a happily ever after but it takes longer, sometimes books longer, to get there.
However that makes it no less satisfying.
So what are some of your favorite Romantic Suspense books?

17 comments:

Judith Ashley said...

Hi Elaine,

Thanks for a great post about Romantic Suspense. I just finished reading Elaine Dreyer's "Never A Gentleman" - and it would qualify as Romantic Suspense but Historical instead of Contemporary.

And I used to read Nora Robert's single title Romantic Suspense but lately prefer something that is easy to put down and has no elements that may keep me awake with nightmares.

How do you write Romantic Suspense and get any sleep?

Terri Molina said...

I love reading as well as writing romantic suspense because of the excitement of the stories. If they keep me awake at night, all the better. =) I'd have to say my favorite romantic suspense authors are Lisa Gardner and Allison Brennan.

Paty Jager said...

Nicely put! I like to read Romantic suspense now and then but it can't bee too scary. I like light romantic suspense like the Harlequin Intrigue line.

Tam Linsey said...

Thanks for clarifying for us!

Sarah Raplee said...

"What I call, crime interfering with the romance as opposed to romance interfering with the crime." Love this! And 'emotional justice' - love that, too! Thanks for an enlightening post.

ElaineCharton said...

Judith-
Eileen has written many wonderful suspense novels. She's also written under Kathleen Korbel for H/S. I Love the historicals she is doing.

If I think the story is to gory I won't read it before going to bed. I usually will read something lighter right after it which helps.

I also fun that writing a few murders is almost as good as therapy. I tell my friends -watch out if you get me mad enough you'll end up a dead character in one of my books. ")

ElaineCharton said...

Terri
Yes the excitment is fun to write. Lisa GArdiner and Alison Brennan are both fantastic writers. Have you ever read CArol O'Connell? Her Kathy Mallery books are really intense.

ElaineCharton said...

Paty-
I like lighter suspense as well. I also love to read cozies. In fact one of the series I am working on right now is a cozy. Set in a haunter B&B. Not published yet, but hopefully soon.

ElaineCharton said...

Tam-
Glad to help. This is just my opinion and someone else may see it differently.

ElaineCharton said...

Sarah-
Justice emotional or otherwise is part of almost everything I write. I think it's from being a granddaughter and niece of cops.

Sarah Raplee said...

In my opinion, people need to see justice done in RS stories in order to be satisfied with the endings. Maybe your family history DID influence you to write in this genre. Makes sense. :)

B. A. Binns said...

I know I was a secret ax murderer in another life, because I too enjoy both reading and writing about interesting ways of killing people.

Judith Ashley said...

I can appreciate the idea of killing off someone in your story. For me, that takes too long so if it is someone I really want to be rid of, I just create a spell and 'poof' their energy and influence is gone from my life. Much quicker and satisfying - at least from my point of view.

ElaineCharton said...

Ladies-
You do realize a shrink would have a field day with us. :)

Diana Mcc. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Diana Mcc. said...

I like reading and writing romantic suspense. The bad guy always gets caught, killed or justice in some way. That is very satisfying. Allison Brennan, Brenda Novak, Amanda Quick, are some of my favorite RS authors.

Judith Ashley said...

Elaine, I had to laugh about your comment about a shrink having a field day with us. Rereading your posts, shrinks and maybe the police? creative ways to kill someone off instead of letting the legal system take care of it?
Hmmm...
I do think it's true that being a writer gives us some protection from the mental health and law enforcement systems. Thank goodness! Can you imagine crafting a book and being worried about commitment or arrest? Not the world I want to live in, that's for sure.