New York Times Bestselling author Kate Carlisle has held a variety of jobs, including spending over twenty years working in television production as an Associate Director for game and variety shows, but it was the year she spent in law school that finally drove her to begin writing fiction. It seemed the safest way to kill off her professors. Kate has hit the NYT Bestseller List with both her debut book, Homicide in Hardcover and her current release, the second book in her popular Bibliophile Mystery series, If Books Could Kill - a pretty remarkable feat. (Click here to read my review of Homicide in Hardcover and here to read my review of If Books Could Kill.) You can find more information about Kate at her website and at Romance Bandits, where she blogs the 25th of every month. Please join me in welcoming Kate to The Romance Dish!
Ever the Twain Shall Meet
The biggest mystery to me is – why the surprise? Romance novels and mystery novels – especially cozy mysteries like mine – have a lot in common.
• Strong, compelling protagonist(s)
Every good book must begin with compelling characters. Writers are asking readers to hang out with this person for two, three, four hundred pages. And in the case of a mystery series like the Bibliophile Mysteries, even longer than that. A romance has two protagonists, of course, while a mystery usually has just one, but any character in that role must have qualities that draw readers into their world.
• The moment of discovery
There comes a point in every good romance when the hero and heroine must face the cold, hard truth: they cannot be together. It just won’t work. Everything is lost. In a mystery, this moment often comes as the heroine believes she is about to die. She’s discovered the killer, but the killer has discovered her, too, and things don’t look good.
• The guaranteed happy ending
Whether I pick up a romance or a mystery, I start the book with the comforting feeling of knowing that it will end well. True love will last forever, good will triumph over evil. The fun for me is in how we arrive at that happy conclusion. I wouldn’t enjoy reading nearly as much if I invested hours in a book only to see the heroine defeated romantically or physically. I love the feeling that comes with closing a book and knowing the world is a just and happy place.
• Lest we forget, the sexual tension
We all read romance (duh!) but do you also read other genres? Do you think every romance and mystery should have a happy ending, or are there times when you like there to be some question as to the outcome of the story? I’d love to give away a signed copy of If Books Could Kill to one random commenter today!
And thanks again to lovely ladies of The Romance Dish for having me here today!