Friday, August 6, 2010

Why Romantic Suspense?

Please welcome back Elizabeth Jennings for her second day on the island!

Hello all, and thanks for stopping by. SHADOWS AT MIDNIGHT, my Berkley Sensation, came out on August 3. If you read it, I hope you enjoy it.

A lot of people ask my why I write romantic suspense and it’s a legitimate question and I try very very hard not to roll my eyes and not to answer: well, because it’s romantic and suspenseful. Two fabulous qualities. Duh. I guess if the genre is not to your taste the charm of it goes right over your head, but honestly, I can’t imagine anything more exciting than a story where two strong and attractive people fall in love, escape from danger and vanquish the bad guys.

You’ve got life, right there, in a nutshell, don’t you? Life rendered down to basics, to the really important stuff, is finding someone to love and conquering difficulties. In romantic suspense, of course, the someone to love is of the opposite sex and incredibly attractive. The difficulties are usually of the type that requires firepower or explosives. But still.

But, really, the essence of it, the heart of it, is loving and overcoming. The core of the emotions can cover a mother’s love for her child, love of a best friend, parents, siblings…because love is love. The emotion that binds us together, that makes us human. A commitment your heart makes to someone, to care for them, always. Through good times and bad, sickness and health. That marriage vow applies to all the strong relations in our lives. The love in a romance novel encompasses all this and more, even. It is ennobling, puts our soul up in a higher realm.

And the danger we writers put your characters through? The hero and the heroine must be strong of mind and body to prevail, unswerving, smart, uncorruptible. But again—it is merely an echo of real life. Where the heroine is on the run from a bad guy, like my heroine, Claire Day, in Shadows at Midnight, rendered down to a shadow of her former self by his machinations, she and the hero, Dan Weston, turn the situation around by their courage. But really, that courage is a sharpened and clearer variation of the courage we all need to face the vicissitudes of life. The illness of a child, the death of a loved one, economic difficulties…they all need courage, they all need for a couple to pull together to overcome the odds.

So really, romantic suspense is just Life, writ large.

Happy reading, Elizabeth Jennings

Thanks again for another wonderful blog, Elizabeth. You just explained exactly why I love this genre so much! Tomorrow is Elizabeth’s last day so you still have time to leave a comment and be entered to win a copy of one of her books (Pursuit, Grand Central Publishing, paperback copy). Tomorrow she’s sharing an excerpt from her recent release from Berkley and a ‘Dear Reader’ letter from one of Berkley’s newsletters. The excerpt and letter are wonderful so I hope you come back tomorrow!


Lea said...

Excellent post Elizabeth!

I love romantic suspense for the very reasons you mentioned. I think the romance is amplified by the dangerous and exciting plots. It makes for darn good reading.

Thank you for sharing!

Mary G said...

Hi Eliabeth
I did enjoy Shadows At Midnight very much. While firepower & explosives were needed, I really liked that Claire's smarts had a lot to do with the plot. I loved Dan's awe of her when she was on her PC.

Thanks for articulating what I love about rom. susp. Up till now I jokingly told people I was reading about alpha heroes & kick*** women saving the world from terrorists while having hot monkey sex. I like your version more.

Ina said...

Elizabeth, that was a fantastic post - thanks so much for sharing!


Katie Reus said...

Welcome back to the island, Elizabeth! I've been obsessively checking my B&N tracker to see when my copy of Shadows will arrive!

To all commenters: I'm not sure if she's going to be able to comment but I'm hoping she will. Last time she had some issues with her internet connection :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great post. I enjoyed reading it. I'm a big fan of romantic suspense. A great mix.

in Germany

donnas said...

Great post. Thanks for sharing!! I love romantic suspense and it is truely one of my 2 favorite genres.

Linda Henderson said...

Great post. You nailed it with the romantic suspense. After the hero and heroine go through harrowing experiences to end up together, it makes it that much more fulfilling. I do enjoy romantic suspense.

seriousreader at live dot com

Chelsea B. said...

Thanks for sharing, ELizabeth!

Cybercliper said...

You nailed it! I like about romantic suspense because I can enter into that world and experience all that heart pounding action, shed tears over those bad breakups or sick friends/family members, dodge bullets and outsmart psychos and come out on the winning side every time. Yup, all that and barely broke a sweat :-) annhonATaolDOTcom

Kara C said...

I LOVE romantic suspense, and have used pretty much the same explanation to try and make others understand why ('it's romantic and suspenseful'). I've read Pursuit - twice - and am very anxious to read Shadows at Midnight. Congratulations on its release.

Anonymous said...

love romantic supsense so intriguing and ilove mystrarys

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