Today I am delighted to welcome author Terry Spear back to the blog.
Terry’s latest paranormal romance, Destiny of the Wolf, released this week and today she is here to discuss…
The Thrill of Suspense!
By Terry Spear
Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Jennifer! I’m excited to be here today, sharing a little of my, ahem, words of wisdom about what I love to write. Suspense, paranormal, sizzling romances. 🙂
With guest blogging and interviews, or even with my own blogs, I’m always trying to come up with a new idea, new angle to talk about, and it’s just like writing my books. I have to come up with unique settings, unique plots, unique characters to save the day. So where do I come up with the ideas?
Often I’ll see a snippet of some news, or a comment on a blog, or something that will make me pause and think about it. It’s hooked me. So the comment made on one of my interviews was something to the effect that I must be able to write good action scenes because I was in the military.
Now, I’m not sure if that’s the reason, but it did give me some tools to use in my writing, from receiving a mini lesson in hand-to-hand combat, to learning to use a variety of weapons. Even mountain climbing, rappelling, orienteering, water survival training, all gave me some skills I’ve used in my writing journey. My son, who’s a 2nd Degree black belt in two forms of martial arts, also has helped with showing me techniques and whether certain maneuvers are possible in a life or death struggle.
But for the most part, I’ve always loved action-packed stories, thrillers, the paranormal. And for me, writing action scenes are fun. I also love listening to action-packed movie themes that help get me into the mood for writing the scenes. When I create them, I write them quickly, to set the stage and get through the action fast. But on revisions, I add more detail, add more action, add more suspense. And more twists and turns? You bet! One reviewer said she was surprised at the twist I had in Chapter 2 so early on in Destiny of the Wolf. I love to be kept guessing when I’m reading an author’s work. So I love to give my readers the same ride.
Here’s a snippet of one scene in Destiny of the Wolf that sets up the conflict:
The familiar sound of danger, a clicking sound made when someone switched the safety off on a gun, caught her ear, and she whipped her head around. In a heartbeat, she wished she’d brought her gun in her purse. But it was hidden under the mattress until she needed it. And she was afraid she needed it now.
Tom seized her arm. “Wait,” he whispered.
Her skin prickled with fresh concern. He’d heard it, too. She’d hoped she’d been mistaken.
“Nine-millimeter,” he warned, his voice hushed.
Before they could move, a shot rang out, Tom yelled and shoved Lelandi behind him, but collapsed to his knees. “Run! Go back to the tavern!”
So for me the key is to set up the conflict, the danger, the suspense, and then keep running with it. This is only the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. The suspense and action continue. Now, if you have ever watched a movie where the action goes on and on and on, it’s just like something that you see that has no action. We have to have breathers, resting places. And so if the action is carried on for quite a while, it’s important to have a resting phase too, so the reader, and your characters, can catch their breaths. 🙂
So here’s a resting place in Destiny of the Wolf:
For a second, she worried about the damned disguise and the trail she’d left behind for the attempted murderer. Then her back struck something rock hard, unforgiving, massive. The pain shot straight up her spine, all the way to her brain, short-circuiting it.
Blackness enveloped her as her night vision and all her senses shut down.
🙂 Okay, not so much of a resting place! But it shows how to give the character a breather while you check on what’s happening with another character in the story…and she’s still in lots of danger. 🙂
And that’s the thrill of writing suspense. To keep upping the stakes, to keep the reader reading, to share the thrill of the ride.
So do you like suspenses and if so, what hooks you to keep on reading?
Thanks again for having me, Jennifer!
Thanks so much, Terry, for being my guest today.
Readers, be sure to look for Terry’s book, Destiny of the Wolf in stores now!
In the meantime, go ahead and answer her question…