Yesterday, I had the pleasure of speaking on a panel at Cameron Village Library in Raleigh. The topic was on writing suspense and I was joined by Suzanne Adair who writes young adult historicals, PM Terrell, who writes thrillers featuring female computer programmers (really!) and Virginia Kantra, who writes romantic suspense. It was a very dynamic discussion and before we knew it, two hours had flown by.
We all write very different types of books, yet suspense is an important element in all our work. Every novel needs to hold the reader captive. If it can keep a reader up all night, unable to put the book down, so much the better! We talked about the importance of well-developed characters and intriguing relationships as well. All the suspense in the world won’t matter if the reader doesn’t care about the people in the story.
Then we got off on about a dozen tangents: the funny things that have happened to us during our research (Virginia’s son walked in on her just after she’d duct-taped herself up to find out how it felt!); the use of four letter words in our books; love scenes; unique settings, and on and on. Once we got going, we had trouble stopping.
Speaking of four-letter words, my next post will be about them, so be sure to stay tuned!