Hi. This is my first blog for Novel Spaces and I’m delighted to be part of this great team of authors.
Here in the UK, I’m involved in the running of Cheshire Book Connections. Based in the heart of England, we describe ourselves as “a book club with a difference.” Unlike the more traditional clubs where members read the same book and everyone discusses it at the next meeting, we have a guest speaker every month, who provides entertainment and generates discussion. Usually the speaker is an author, but it can be anyone who is connected with books. We proclaim that our club is “for lovers of all things bookish” and speakers can vary from authors to bloggers to book cover designers. Do such clubs exist near where you live?
At our last meeting, the speaker was an author, Robyn Cain. Robyn writes in several genres, including horror, and it was fascinating to hear how her horror stories provide a release for her anger.
It got me thinking about influences on my own writing. I don’t often get angry, and I don’t write horror. Even at my age, I rarely read horror and can only watch the really scary movies in daylight, if at all. My genre is romance suspense with more than a hint of steamy sex. I had a lot of fun coming up with my logo, only getting “angry” when it didn’t quite line up.
So if feeling angry can influence someone to write horror, what might influence an author to write romance suspense with explicit scenes of passion?
Delving deep into my inner soul I confess, for me, it is a love of love. I adore reading romance, watching romance and hearing about people who fall in love. I’m happily married and cherish the gift of being with somebody I love everyday of my life. Knowing that a man loves a woman, or a woman loves a woman, or a man loves a man—it all cheers my heart. Whilst love alone may not make the world go around, it certainly helps to make us human.
Well, that might explain my romance, but where does the suspense come from? My stories are not for the faint-hearted—they’re not cosy or sweet. My heroes and heroines have to fight for love. They must overcome difficulties, and survive dangers. I deal with issues of physical abuse, sexual abuse, kidnapping and murder. I don’t have enough anger to feed these themes. But I do have a need for challenges in my life. As a young child I wanted to do well at school and grow up to make more money than we were used to having at home. Training to be an accountant left me determined to pass my professional exams. Having done that I was driven to work up to the position of finance director. At the age of forty, admittedly urged on by my husband, I cycled a hundred miles in one day. Twice! I even learned to ride a motorbike. One of my latest challenges was ticked off when Black Opal Books issued me with a publishing contract for my first book, The Secret At Arnford Hall.
I wonder, therefore, if my desire for suspense comes from needing to give my characters challenges. Of course, I go one step further in my stories and create adversities for them to overcome. Or perhaps it’s just that I love thrillers as well as romance, and I infiltrate my stories with hooks of danger, to keep the reader turning the page.
That just leaves me to ponder where the steamy sex scenes come from… I’ll let you ponder that too.