Wednesday, July 19, 2017


Writing Romantic Suspense l Jane Godman @janegodman

My latest release, The Soldier’s Seduction, is a romantic suspense, and writing in that genre is a unique balance between the love story and the thriller. It’s great to have this chance to share my thoughts with you.
I suppose, before I started writing romantic suspense, I had a vague idea that it was a romance with a mystery thrown in. I couldn’t have been more wrong. 
Romantic suspense stories have to give equal weight to both the romance and the suspense. And that can be hard to get right. As an author, you have to keep the threads of both stories entwined throughout. 

Here are some of the key ways to do it: 

Get the research right
That whole ‘writing what you know’ mantra is more important than ever in romantic suspense. The details matter. If the killer couldn’t have fired the gun that way, the whole plot falls apart. Police procedures, legal terms, murder weapons…my search history is eye-popping.

Use the setting to add tension
Setting makes every book come alive. In romantic suspense, it does double duty. Nightfall can evoke fear. Enclosed spaces tell us the characters are in danger. Immersion in water or ice evokes urgency. Changing from one location to another gives a sense of movement. Unexpected happenings in a setting can shake the reader out their expectations. The Soldier’s Seduction starts out in a small town, but the events take the characters on a thrilling journey.

Create characters who are worth turning the page for
Romantic suspense is about danger and romance happening at the same time, but none of it is meaningful if we don’t care about the characters. That means investing in villains as well as heroes and heroines.
In “Seven Secrets of Romantic Suspense” Lisa Gardner says:
·        Every character (including the villain) should have a goal and something personal at stake in the conflict.
·        Every character should have a few key strengths that mold and form them.
·        Every character should have some vulnerability. 
·        Every character should have their own moral code, the things they will and will not do.
·        Everyone must evolve.

Reveal the plot slowly
Start dramatic, then there should be lots of twists and turns along the way with the end always appearing to be in doubt.

Sexual tension
Sexual tension adds to a mystery story. It complicates the plot—there’s nothing simple about love and lust. Sex makes people vulnerable and in a suspense story, the character can’t afford to be vulnerable. As danger mounts, so does desire. As the future becomes more uncertain, the need for personal connection becomes heightened. In The Soldier’s Seduction, Bryce and Steffi (if that’s really her name…) have some very steamy encounters! 

Give glimpses of hope
We need to have doubt and fear in the story. But there needs to be a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Harsh setbacks should be followed by fresh ideas and new plans for attack. The hero and heroine can feel cornered, afraid, and overwhelmed, but they should never feel hopeless.

A happy ending
Romance readers know what they want. A happy ending is not a formula, it’s an expectation. Readers have raced at to the finish line, now they need a celebration. They need a big ending, one that ties up all the loose ends. Then they need to see the hero and heroine being happy.  After all the torture they’ve been through, we all need a little warm glow before we turn the final page.
Bryce and Steffi were two of the most tortured characters I’ve ever written. Giving them their happy ending was sooo satisfying!

I love writing romantic suspense…torturing my characters until the final page! I hope you enjoy the twists and turns of both the mystery and the love story of The Soldier’s Seduction and the other stories that are coming soon in the Sons of Stillwater series. 
About the Author

Jane Godman writes paranormal romance for Harlequin Nocturne and SMP Romance, thrillers for Harlequin Romantic Suspense, and steamy historical and gothic romance. 
Jane also writes erotic romance as Amanda Stewart.
Her latest book is the romantic suspense, The Soldier’s Seduction.



About the Book:

Author: Jane Godman
Publisher: Harlequin
Pages: 288
Genre: Romantic Suspense
From the front lines to unexpected romance—and danger—in small-town Wyoming
After a war zone bomb nearly destroyed Bryce Delaney, he’s worked hard to hide his scars. Back in his Wyoming hometown, he can pretend the nightmares don’t exist. But when a secretive, beautiful new woman in town disappears, Bryce’s protective instincts put him on the front lines again.
Wanted for murder and on the run under an alias, former A-list actress Steffi Grantham can’t return to her life until she clears her name. It’s her boss, Bryce, to the rescue, but desire ties them together, and she’s forced to make a choice that could cost them both. Trusting the wrong man once before almost stole her freedom. Now it might take her life.


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