I write romantic suspense which makes sense for me because if I watch TV, it's Homeland, Bosch, 11.22.63, Blacklist. My themes tend to be dark rather than light. Deadly Alliance deals with the issue of terrorism, and I wrote it during the Paris attacks. You may remember the news at that time about a drug running cell which funded terrorists. My heart bled for all victims before and after. A dear friend of one of my sons jumped from the Twin Towers in 9/11. This topic is close to my heart.
Is bringing something new to the table with research or breaking news better than following trends relevant to your genre? Within the genre of romantic suspense is action/adventure. Here is what a solid romantic suspense needs: DANGER. Allow me to expand. Suspense incorporates a sense of tension throughout the book with heart-pounding action, adrenaline-inducing chase, edge of your seat thrills, life-threatening situations, and dangerous criminals. These are common elements. ROMANCE. There’s a central love story. Our lovers have to traverse nail-biting adventures before they become acquainted with each other and fall in love. As an author I weave both romance and mystery. May I leave you with a word of caution? No backstory! The biggest error is over-writing and manufacturing emotions. Characters must react in the present, be honest and real. They react to their situation and to each other. Their issues are background. Life is messy. The thrill ride is dangerous, authentic, eye-widening, and passionate.