When I started writing, I considered where my own books might be classified. I love writing suspenseful stories, but not exactly the kind I was finding that many other authors did. Fights, kidnapping and the occasional murder fueled my creative fire but villains with very obscene thoughts and totally depraved fetishes never had. Was I breaking the unsaid rules? Or had I discovered that suspense has a softer side?
Villains-to-reform are hardly the only potential element that might differentiate such a story from the grittier version of romantic suspense so many of us are used to. Each writer brings her own unique flare to the table in this respect but I tend to appreciate more and strive to write stories in which the suspense makes the heart race, but rarely produces a queasy stomach. A villain who likes to cut up his victims with an x-acto knife makes my skin break out in goosebumps but a cleverly plotted scheme orchestrated by a villain who keeps up a steady chase, perhaps abducts the heroine in a critical moment in which only the hero can save her is right up my alley. Such danger fuels the romance between the hero and heroine as their fear for the other's life comes with it, and in the turn, the deepest secrets of their hearts are brought to light.
I have the greatest respect for authors who can write the scariest of the scary--your writing takes talent, guts and tremendous creativity to pull off! But to those of you who dislike the sight of blood as much as I do, (or the description of it!) suspense has a softer side, too. It just might take you on your most exciting adventure yet!