When I first started writing, I began with series romance novels and I wrote a ton of ‘em, let me tell you. I really cut my teeth (and writing skills) on Silhouette Special Editions. One of the rules at the time was “no suspense” and/or gunplay/crime/anything hard-edged. That didn’t work for me or my sister, author Nancy Bush, so we snuck in mysteries wherever we could. They were hidden deep in the romance of the book, of course, but the suspense was definitely there.
Our first attempts at writing had too much suspense, so we toned the nail-biting down and concentrated on the love stories. Over the years, we’ve both branched out and Nancy has written the popular Jane Kelly Mystery series and also was part of the head-writing team for the ABC soap opera, All My Children. I stuck with novels and as I started writing single-title releases was allowed to add in more and more suspense. And guess what? It became popular. Finally, I was able to write what I wanted.I saw a clear path between the books where the romance overshadowed the suspense and the books where the suspense didn’t allow any room for a love story. I split the middle.
You know the old saying “What goes around, comes around.” I heard it a lot during the months right after my divorce. It’s used often for people to feel better if they’ve perceived themselves to be harmed. However in my case, with the writing, it’s a real truism. Not only am I writing the kind of books I want with as much suspense as possible, but also the dream of writing with my sister has come to fruition. She is now writing romantic suspense novels on her own and we’ve teamed up for a series of books set in a creepy, cultish colony established on the Oregon Coast. The first book, WICKED GAME was released by Zebra Books this past February. Talk about a rush!