Thursday, June 19, 2008

Writing Inspirational Romantic Suspense

For years I’ve wanted to write books. It was one of those dreams that refused to die, even when I would take it out periodically and ask God if I should let it die.

Yet even as the dream stuck with me, I’d look at the marketplace and wonder if I’d ever be able to write the kind of books I wanted.

You see, I love suspense. I guess there’s something in the combination of the ticking time bomb and solving the mystery before it’s revealed that I really enjoy. And ten to fifteen years ago, about the only writers I’d read were Mary Higgins Clark, Tom Clancy, and John Grisham. I knew for the most part that I could trust their books to be clean, yet have that race against time feel. I scoured bookshelves in Christian bookstores, but never found anyone writing like that. And I didn’t trust non-Christian authors enough to pick up their books without a recommendation from someone I trusted.

Why write something that didn’t have any place in the marketplace? Maybe that’s why God kept telling me to wait.

Fast-forward ten years to 2005.

The dream still hadn’t died, but now there were some fantastic authors available in the Christian market. Colleen Coble. Brandilyn Collins. Brandt Dodson. Tim Downs. I discovered their books and felt a surge of hope. Then Steeple Hill started its Love Inspired Suspense line. Now a group of wonderful suspense writers is very active in the CBA market, and my first, Deadly Exposure releases this month from Love Inspired Suspense.

So why do I write Inspirational Romantic Suspense?

First, because in inspirational suspense, I can show how God is active in our lives. Even when we aren’t looking or can’t see Him, He is our rock and shelter when our worlds fall apart. While most of us will never run from stalkers or try to solve crimes, we all have times our lives seem out of control, and any reminder God is still on His throne and in control is encouraging and needed.

Second, I love the twists and turns. I have never been told I couldn’t put something in a plot. I’m able to handle real world issues, without inserting elements that I don’t believe in. To be blunt: sex and language. Rarely do either of those propel a story forward and add to them. Instead, I can write the kind of book I want to read. And that I won’t blush if my grandmother picks up.

Third, they are fun to write. I can research. I can plot. I can develop characters. But at a certain point, the plot and/or characters are going to take over. Then I don’t even know exactly what is going to happen. And that’s fun.


PamelaTracy said...

Cara, I felt the same way you did. I devoured Mary Higgons Clark, John Grishom, Sue Grafton, Sara Parentsky, etc. The first LIS book I picked up was by Elizabeth White. From that moment, I knew where I wanted to write.

Ellen said...

I've said this before in other blogs but will repeat it here. I was never interested in any book containing a religious bent. Not that I don't believe in God (I do very much) but that I just didn't want to read a book that was religious. I had read some much earlier and they were too preachy. I read my first LIS when the Reunion Revelations series was published. Now I am finding a lot of the books that I like.

susansbooks said...

As a reader, I say, "Hurray for Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense!" I have almost every book available in that line. However, I still devour Mary Higgins Clark (she's my girl; she writes a new book every year that comes out about 2 weeks before my birthday!). She is the only secular author I read, because every genre of book I would ever want to read is available in the Christian market.