Welcome to day 6 of this years A to Z blog. If this is your first visit, nice to meet you, if you’ve been before, it’s always nice to have friends drop by. For the record. I think Mother Nature has completely gone off the deep end. After two days of rain, we have snow in the forecast again. I was sorely tempted to write about dartboard weather forecasts, but we hear more than enough about that from everyone around us.
For the letter F, I’ve decided to write about Fire Angel. When I first decided to become an author, I did so when I saw that Harlequin was looking for suspense stories. We all have things we would like to do but haven’t had the nerve to try (see my post for the letter B) but since I was no longer working and had plenty of time on my hands, I thought , why not? We had had a number of unexplained and as yet, almost six years later, still unsolved cases of arson in the area. While no human lives were taken, area farmers lost cattle, horses, and other animals all trapped inside the burning structures. The fires weren’t limited to barns, cars, and even empty houses burned to the ground. I kept wondering what kind of person would set fires for the ‘fun of it” like that, destroying people’s livelihoods if not taking their lives. That’s where the inspiration for Fire Angel came, but my villain has other issues.
I’m a huge fan of Criminal Minds and Motive, and both of those programs influence my writing style. In those shows, the viewer knows who the killer is, having seen him or her commit the act at the beginning of the story. The plot revolves around figuring out who it is, why they’ve done it, and stopping them before they can strike again. As they say on Criminal Minds, it’s time to give the profile.
“Suspense is the state of waiting for something to happen.” – Alfred Hitchcock. In most mystery stories, whatever’s going to happen has, and the focus is on solving the crime. JFK was assassinated. Find the assassin. In a suspense novel, nothing’s happened yet, but it’s a race against time. Terrorist have a dirty bomb and are planning to detonate it. You’ve got ten hours to find and stop them. My books are a combination of the two genres. Something bad has happened, something worse may, if we can’t find the perpetrator and stop him or her. The plot twists and turns, red herrings and dead ends, provide the suspense, and since I’m a sucker for “happily ever after” I toss a romance into the mix. Unfortunately, my style doesn’t fit with Harlequin’s, and they didn’t offer me a contract, but Crimson Romance did.
Some of the readers of Fire Angel identify the arsonist from the clues given early in the story, others don’t. For some, I guess it spoils the story, but I’ve had very few reviewers see it that way. Up until last week, Fire Angel’s electronic version was with Amazon Encore. Since Crimson Romance has become an imprint of Simon and Schuster, Fire Angel has come home and is available on a number of different Internet vendor sites. If you want to know more, you can find it and all of my books on my website. http://www.mhsusannematthews.ca/
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