When we first thought of doing the Romantic Suspense Week I had one name come to mind, Joan Swan. I had met Joan inadvertently when she had sent me something for a fellow author and included her card in the package. I was immediately intrigued by her then upcoming book Fever and I loved every minute of it!
It is my supreme pleasure to have Joan on with us today and in keeping with our theme this week I asked her to tell us what is it about the genre of Romantic Suspense that she loves so much. Joan, take it away!
Why RS is the Best
by Joan Swan
by Joan Swan
A true romantic suspense is a blend of two strong, interdependent story threads; threads that, when separated, couldn’t stand alone. In a well-developed romantic suspense novel, the romance would fizzle without the suspense; the suspense would fall flat without the romance. The two storylines act synergistically to enhance the other, creating an almost intangible quality that captivates the true RS fan.
The romantic suspense genre uniquely offers a higher promise of a happily ever after between hero and heroine after the shortest amount of time together on the page. How? The presence of physical and emotional danger changes a person’s brain chemistry, much the same way a new romance does. Both fear and love release additional amounts of dopamine, serotonin and other hormones, which alter the neuro-chemical relationships in the brain. This affects how we perceive situations and people around us, how we bond with others, how we form new behaviors. An example of this would be complete strangers who stay in touch for years or decades after surviving a traumatic event like a plane crash or being held hostage in the same location even though they communicated very little during that time.
In the moment, most people wouldn’t recognize these changes happening, after all, who’s thinking…hmmm, I’m feeling a little different today, when they’re dodging bullets or searching for kidnapped children? But even though we don’t notice it intellectually, our bodies experience it physically and, eventually, most of us would notice the change. The fact that we’ve all experienced this phenomenon to some degree gives the idea credibility with a reader emotionally – consciously or subconsciously.
I think lovers of the romantic suspense genre will agree—as I would—that I am more apt to accept the deep commitment of a couple who have been together a short amount of time, but who have had to trek through a jungle, escape a drug cartel bounty hunter, and sleep together on a bed of bug infested banana leaves (a true die-hard romantic, I know) than I am a couple together for the same amount of time who have been arguing over business budgets in high-rise board rooms with coffee and pastries available at the push of an intercom button. That’s not to say that emotional or intellectual threat is any less intense or meaningful than the physical, just to make the point that stakes must be high to elicit a hormone release worthy of that happily ever after.
And the flexibility of this sub-genre almost makes it a microcosm all its own. While romantic suspense generally balances somewhere around the 50/50 percentage scale between the two fiction elements, it can vary in scope from 20 percent romance/80 percent suspense to 80 percent romance/20 percent suspense. This makes romantic suspense highly flexible for authors who like to stretch their literary boundaries and enjoyably fresh for readers who like to be surprised. And, of course, one of the reasons I so adore writing in the genre is the endless opportunities for conflict and tension, allowing the author ample opportunity to offer the reader a rollercoaster of excitement, which allows for maximum escape.
That’s why I read—for excitement and escape. And that’s why I adore writing romantic suspense.
Why do you read? (Or write?)
About The Author
I was never a star English student or a Literature buff, but I’ve always had a creative soul and an active imagination. Writing was a natural culmination of those two talents.
Sexy romantic suspense is my genre of choice, and, occasionally, I like to dabble in the lighter side of paranormal as well. I write the Phoenix Rising Series, FEVER, BLAZE, and two more books coming in 2013, for Kensington and the Covert Affairs Series, INTIMATE ENEMIES, independently.
A triple RWA Golden Heart finalist, I am a lover of craft and closet-hoarder of writing craft how-to books. I’m a recovering OCD perfectionist…bet you can just imagine how well that’s going.
In my day job, I work as a sonographer at UCSF Medical Center, rated one of the top ten best medical centers in the nation – a location with an intensity that makes me slightly—okay majorly—insane. This seems to work well with my inner writer. Access to abundant character material—and I’m not only talking about my patients—is a fringe benefit.
I’m married to my own personal hero, a veteran firefighter, we have two beautiful daughters and are blessed to live in the heart of wine country on the gorgeous Central Coast of California.
To keep up with my latest news & releases please visit me online:
Website / Facebook / Twitter / Twitter Giveaways / Goodreads
I HAVE SWAG AND A COPY OF FEVER TO GIVE AWAY TODAY!!
Oh yeah, where are my swag ladies! I have loads of yummy swag courtesy of Joan so if you would like a set of these goodies just fill out the rafflecopter form below and of course this giveaway is international!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I'm thrilled to offer up to one lucky reader the book that started my Joan Swan love affair, Fever! This giveaway is international and for your chance at this most awesome book just fill out the rafflecopter form below. Good luck everyone!
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