Monday, February 9, 2009

I'm Giving You the Look...

Killing Me Softly…

I did a three-day book signing this past weekend at the Glendale Chocolate Affaire. Here’s a dialogue that I engaged in many times:
“What do you write? ”
“Christian suspense.”
“Christian suspense?”

The potential book buyer’s gaze goes curious. I can almost hear the word: oxymoron.

Killing Me Softly…

Recently, here on the Craftie suspense site, many of the authors have discussed their favorite suspense writers. Interestingly enough, about 80% do not fall in the Christian inspirational suspense genre. Why? Well, Christian inspirational suspense is fairly new. Most of us credit Dee Henderson for its birth. Most of us credit a misjudgement of what “Killing Me Softly” means for it slow trek to avid readers hand.

Who reads Christian suspense? Should be everybody. But, it’s not. Quite a few people define Christian suspense as Jessica Fletcher meets Ben Matlock and they fall in love and attend church (They also get married in Atlanta because in Cabot Cove everyone has been murdered).

No, No, No. Christian suspense is not the above.

Lisa Gardner, a very well-known suspense writer, often provides this definition of romantic suspense:
As a general rule, romantic suspense is a book that has both a romance element and a suspense element... and works both on developing key relationships as well as advancing some kind of intrigue...)

Christian suspense is no different except that one of our books key relationships has to do with faith and we authors do not add sex scenes or pepper the book with foul language.

I'm going to provide a comparison.
At my house, my mother was the live-wire. I remember one time, when I was just 16, we’d had a fight. I stormed out of the house, with my car keys, and got into the old station wagon the parental units insisted be my first car (Dad said if I hit a brick wall, I’d hurt the brick wall and not the car. How he knew I’d hit a brick wall… I still don’t know). I jumped in and drove down the street - mad, grumbling - and looked in the rear-view mirror. Mom was chasing me, not in her car by on foot, and was keeping up. (Yup, it was a little scary.) Dad, on the other hand, had the look. Enough said. He didn’t chase me. Even if my back was to him, and I was flying out the door with my car keys, the look would hook into my back and my toes would go heavy, and I’d stop. Dad’s look killed me softly. No less effective than my fifty-something mother chasing me down the street.

Christian inspirational suspense has the ‘look’ and more, and that is why Killing Me Softly will take Christian inspirational fiction to the top.

Go ahead, buy one.

I’m giving you the look.


Margaret Daley said...

I can just picture your mother chasing you down the street. LOL.

PamelaTracy said...

Yeah, but Margaret, what's even funnier is she was on foot and I was on foot and she CAUGHT me.

PamelaTracy said...

Oh, and Margaret, the end of that scene was not a Happily-Ever-After!

Terri Reed said...

I love that you quoted Lisa, she does the best job of showing the romance and the suspense.
And I'll bet you never took off in the car again!

PamelaTracy said...

You did see that I was 16 when that happened... my poor mother... really, the look did it for me better than anything else. I just know I'm responsible for most of her gray hair.

Lisa Mondello said...

Pam, I actually think of Jessica Fletcher meets Father Dowling. Of course, they can't get married. LOL I loved both those shows. Love the image of your mom chasing you down the street!


Lisa Mondello said...

Oh, I forgot to add your picture of the skeletal writer slumped over the keyboard looks a lot like I did last night after marathon writing!

EllenToo said...

Know the look well.....both my parents had it down pat but my mom's was more deadly for some reason...think it was because she was more sparing with it.

PamelaTracy said...

I love all those shows: Murder She Wrote, Matlock, and Father Dowling (was that the name of the show?). When I was home after giving birth to my son, Matlock was about the only show worth watching!

PamelaTracy said...

My mom was a hoot. And, think of the era. She not only chased me down the street, but she had a cigarette in her hand while she did it!

Debby Giusti said...

Hey Pam!
Love the visuals! Yes, my mama smoked as well. Everyone did then. And my dad had the look . . . fact is doubt anyone could top his look.

Christian suspense -- love it! I say I write inspirational romantic suspense. Now that's a mouthful. Christian suspense is better.

And CS writers -- I like Brandilyn Collins!

Hope Chastain said...

I love all the Christian suspense I've read, including the ones with some paranormal content (just finished Ted Dekker's SINNER). To me, it's suspense with a Christian worldview. Love to read it. Love to write it. Hope to get mine published someday, too!

That's such a hoot about Jessica Fletcher marrying Ben Matlock, but not in Cabot Cove! Loved Father Dowling, too. I miss the good detective shows. To me, there isn't anything like that on the air any more. (At least not on the 2 channels we can get...) Oh, well, at least we still have BOOKS!!!!!

Thanks for entering me in the drawing!

PamelaTracy said...

My mom's doctor actually told her to smoke. Said it would calm her nerves.

PamelaTracy said...

I agree about television. I have Murder She Wrote on DVD. Only right now, I'm on a Gilmore Girl marathon.

mez said...

Wow, your Mom must have been in good shape! My Dad had the "look", he could have me in tears without a word.

PamelaTracy said...

Nope, Mom not in good shape, but never under estimate the power of a Mom intent on keeping 'child' in line! And, believe me, I know what you mean about in tears....