Cover Artist: Karen Lopp
Detective Rissa Marten sacrificed her only chance for a normal life to put a drug lord behind bars. Now, her life in the shadows has to be brought to life to save the man she has secretly loved for years. With a price on her head can she risk letting him know?
Detective Jerah Qassem has built his career as an undercover agent in the dangerous world of drug cartels. But when a ghost from his past is resurrected can he overcome his bitterness in time to save her life?
Between the Romance and the Suspense
Hello, everyone and welcome to my blog tour! First, let me say “Thank You” to my host for having me here today on this wonderful blog and showcasing my latest release, “Splintered Lies.”
Writing a Romantic Suspense requires some decisions early on in the process. An author needs to find a healthy balance between the Romance and the Suspense. Depending on preferences, the amount of suspense can vary widely. The romance, of course, is a must, but what are some of the issues? When and where do you insert these elements? I believe each story should be evaluated separately as your plot and characters evolve.
Sometimes the actions will overtake the romance because the story demands it. If the story is set in the height of a battle, you can’t just stop the action and have the couple sneak off to a peaceful location and forget about what is happening all around them. They will have to grab their moments. Bullets are flying and the bad guys are relentless. It is unbelievable if all is calm between them when there is danger on all sides. This can also add to the tension between the couple. After all, they want one another, but the circumstances keep getting in the way. Frustrations will run high. In the midst of their desire they must deal with chaos, while trying to sneak in a kiss without getting so distracted they lose their lives. A writer must keep the surrounding plot tension in mind while writing the romance.
That passionate kiss or embrace just before a fight scene should emphasize the couple’s desperate need for one another. Don’t just write a simple kiss or hug. The moment is fraught with danger and they realize they may not live through it. Show more than just lust or even love here. Add in the fears of dying, some regret, a flash of memory, or a failure to achieve something they always promised themselves they would do. Tie this into the story later by having the character fulfill it or overcome the fear. However, this also isn’t the place for a full on love scene. Focus on the heightened emotions, not the overwhelming physical needs to keep the suspense realistic and tight.
Save the love scene for when the bullets aren’t flying and they are in a reasonably safe place - or at least believe they are safe. Don’t have them shooting a gun at an enemy who is firing back and still thinking about sex. Living, or saving someone else, is what will be on their mind. If they are a prisoner, they can have those thoughts. Tied up and helpless is an acceptable time for them to disengage from reality and focus on something else. It may be what keeps them sane during that trying time. Sex can take place right before a big battle, a misunderstanding directly after can add to the tension as danger descends on your couple. Larger-than-life heroes and heroines still need to be realistic. Super sexy scenes have to take place when there is actually time for them.
When the suspense is built more around discovering who is committing the crimes, the romance between the couple can develop at a slower pace. The couple isn’t in direct danger. This will also make it easier to delve into their past issues with a partner that may be hindering this relationship. Action scenes will be fewer and less intense with this storyline. However, the psychological tension will be kicked into high gear. Instead of a need to survive, this style relies more heavily on the intellectual challenges and the disturbing bent of a criminal’s mind. Delving into the sick and twisted minds of killers presents a different set of emotional trauma. For example, nightmares would be more common here because they are forced to dwell on the disturbing patterns the killer follows. Fear, rather than adrenaline will be one of the emotions that develops the characters and the romance.
As with any romance, the couple must have a happy ending. A faster pace is necessary; however it must fit the particular story. These are not hard rules to follow, just some guidelines that should be observed and considered for each unique story. Choosing the balance is subjective. Each of us has a different perspective and preference. If you ask 100 people what the proper balance is you will get 100 different answers. But if the story holds true, the unfolding events doesn’t mean having chapters filled with only suspense or only romance you are on the right path. When the story demands action give it action, when things settle down go heavy on the romance. It is the ebb and flow the will bring a smooth rhythm to your story and leave the reader satisfied.
About the author:
Stories have always been a part of my life, from books to tales passed down from my ancestors that brought history to life. Danger, struggles and the will power to overcome are all found in the rich legacy of my family tree. Inspiration from their lives inspired me to write what I love. Branching out to contemporary suspense has been another dream come true. I hope my stories bring you entertainment and inspiration.
I love history of all times and places. And my second but equal love of suspense fills my books.