~ The Greatest Genre: What Inspires Romantic Suspense? ~
By Sue Swift
Romantic suspense is the greatest genre ever. Why?
No other genre supplies as many thrills and chills, ups and downs. Romance is great, but
romantic suspense adds an edge of danger to the flame of love.
But how does this come about? How do you, romantic suspense writer, ply your craft? Where
do you get your ideas?
I hear this question often and usually answer flippantly, “From Sears. They sell them by the
dozen in the basement, between the exercise machines and the barbecues.”
More realistically, ideas can pop in from anywhere. I travel a lot, and the cool places I’ve been
often inspire my books. When I was touring Alaska, I started writing a manuscript that became
Seducing the Hermit, erotic romance written by my alter ego, Suz deMello. A long-ago trip to
Florence in 1978 informed several scenes in Fashion Victim, a romantic suspense novel.
The romance part of romantic suspense is often inspired by people we meet. A woman I knew
in Alaska told me she’d moved there to find a man, because the proportion of men to women is
twenty to one—a fine harbinger for romance.
The suspense part—well, that’s something else. I tend to write romantic suspense from the
victim’s point of view. I ask myself, “How would it feel if I was being stalked? What would I do?
What would happen?” The answer is in Fashion Victim, in which my heroine, a couturier, is
harassed by very determined tormentors.
Sherry Baby was born from the question, “How would two ordinary people respond to being
trapped by a serial killer?” Set aboard a yacht cruising the Bermuda Triangle, Sherry Baby
explores what would happen in that situation.
Romantic suspense touches our hearts, grips our gut and takes us on thrill rides…unlike
Who is Susan Swift?
Sue is one of the many talented authors who belong to the Romance Writers of America’s
Kiss of Death chapter. At Kiss of Death we believe that every great romance should include
suspense. Whether a spy thriller in Regency times, a paranormal romance with a revenge-
seeking zombie, or a traditional serial killer after the heroine, romance relies on suspense,
leading the reader through the trials of the heroine and hero to see if they will get their happily
ever after ending. If you can call your writing suspenseful, then the Kiss of Death has something
for you! Find out more and join at http://www.rwamysterysuspense.org and follow us on Twitter
A best-selling, award-winning author Sue has written over a dozen novels, plus several short
stories and non-fiction articles. She writes in numerous subgenres including paranormal,
historical and contemporary comedy. She earned a second degree black belt in kenpo karate
and used to play amateur ice hockey in a rec league. A former trial attorney, her hobbies are
yoga and world travel; she has lived and worked in places as diverse as Luoyang, China and
London, England. She's working as an editor in northern California and writing her sixteenth
manuscript. Her current blog is at http://www.fearlessfastpacedfiction.com and her website is
By Susan Swift
Love blooms during the cruise from hell…
Gen X meets Agatha Christie on the high seas of the Bermuda Triangle when Sherry Case, gofer for the battling bigwigs in the family-owned firm Genesplice, arranges for a team-building cruise aboard the yacht Swashbuckler. However, the mismatched group of passengers feuds even before the yacht has left the harbor.
A rogue wave, faltering navigational instruments and a trio of sharks continue to challenge Sherry and her new lover, the yacht's Captain Freeman. But Free and Sherry aren't fazed until a passenger turns up dead in her locked cabin. The vicious murder throws the ship, its crew and passengers into panic. Who could the killer be? Suspects and motives abound.
Ordinary twenty-somethings thrown into an extraordinary situation, Sherry and Free must solve the mystery, defeat the myriad dangers of the triangle, and reach land before the villain can kill them.