This is my first post for Not Your Usual Suspects, so I'll begin with … Hey, y'all! So glad to be here.
If you're wondering who the heck I am, you're not alone. Until November of 2015, no one had heard of me. Ah, the life of a debut author. So, to borrow a phrase, allow myself to introduce … myself.
As you can guess from the y’all, I’m a southern girl. I was born and raised in a small town. I haunted the library from the time I was old enough to read, and I always wanted to write my own stories.
However, I didn’t always want to write romance. When I picked up a pen a few years ago, I had a story to tell about brothers – all about choosing your life and making your family. As I told the tale, it became a romance between the hometown hero and his brother’s best friend – the girl who got away.
That’s how I ended up writing romantic suspense. I needed something for my characters to do. It was sort of a natural leap for me because I have a morbid curiosity with true crime and forensic television. That external conflict pushes them together and makes them form a team. It gives them motivation, a common enemy, and a goal. It makes them face something in themselves that’s frightening.
Well, that and I can’t write mysteries – I can’t keep a secret for a whole book. I think a lot of the thrill of reading is when you can see the danger coming, and you’re hoping the characters see it before it’s too late. It’s one of the reasons we yell "don't go in the basement" during horror movies.
But there’s more to it than figuring out the villain before the characters do. A few days ago, I got into a discussion with a guy at the post office. I told him I write romances, and the conversation went like this:
Him: “But no crime?”
Me: “Well, I write romantic suspense, so, yes, there’s some crime - generally blood and mayhem, probably a murder or two.”
Him: “I thought so. If there’s romance, there has to be crime.”
And you know, he’s sort of right. Romance and crime are two very emotional aspects in fiction. Combined, they heighten each other, sharpen the characters’ relationships and the plot as a whole.
If you look at one broad definition of crime, it’s: “any offense, serious wrongdoing, or sin. A foolish, senseless, or shameful act.” Every genre of romance has that, doesn’t it? The older brother who’s gambled away the family fortune, leaving his sister no choice but a marriage of convenience. The hero who’s returned home to recover after a horrible accident. The heroine who’s escaping a bankrupt business.
Romance gets a bum rap for being “escapist.” But what’s so wrong with that? Sometimes real life is too quiet. Escape from our calm routines might mean adventure that sends tingles up our spines and passion that steals our breath.
So, it’s nice to meet y’all. I’m Mia, a new writer who loves to write romantic suspense for the adventure of it all. Buckle up and hang on. And don't go in the basement.