It's my pleasure to welcome contemporary (with a dash of mystery) author, Romance Bandit and a wonderful friend of the Romance Dish, Susan Sey! Susan's debut book, Money, Honey was a huge hit with the Dishes and we've all been eagerly anticipating the release date of her second book, Money Shot. I'm happy to say that Money Shot is now out in the wild and it's terrific! (read the whole thing in one day)
Please welcome Susan as she blogs with us about the fun of writing a little crime!
You Wanna Kiss It Out Of Me? Or why it’s fun to write a little crime.
A lot of people who know romance ask why I write contemporaries. It’s not a hot market, and that’s putting it mildly. If I’m looking to build a career, I have to sell books at some point, right? Why not at least try to write something that sells?
Paranormal? Sad to say, I have no world-building skills.
YA? Ooooh, I was an angsty teen. No desire to go back down that road, even in my imagination.
Historical? I blow at research. It involves calling strangers on the phone and I hate calling strangers. (I’m not particularly great at calling people I know, either.) Plus, thinking I can write a good historical just because I want to seems insulting to people who’ve worked their butts off to develop the voice, style and body of knowledge a decent historical requires.
This leaves me writing largely in the here and now. Lucky for me, I like the here and now. I find life and love complicated enough without throwing in super powers or lordships or fangs. Life as it stands is quite enough to keep me busy, frankly. But I am willing to do a little research in order to set my stories within a criminal investigation. And why? I like the interrogation scenes.
In MONEY SHOT, my heroine (Maria “Goose” di Guzman) is a Secret Service agent sent to Mishkwa Island to determine whether Park Ranger Rush Guthrie is involved in funneling counterfeit cash into the country via Canada. She arrives on the island under the pretext of investigating a threat to the governor but Rush is no dummy. He knows she’s looking at him for something else. But what? Here’s a scene that encapsulates everything I love about putting a crime element into my romances:
“So I’m in the clear?” Rush asked.
“Looks like,” Goose said.
“On the assassination-via-flaming-pitchfork thing, anyway. What about the other?”
She pulled her hand away from his and stared. “The other?”
“You don’t expect me to believe the Secret Service wastes personnel like you on flaming pitchforks, do you? I know you’re looking at me for something else.”
He lifted his hand, traced a finger down the line of her cheek. He came up with a piece of straw from the ends of her hair and flicked it away. Goose didn’t breathe the entire time.
“A girl like you doesn’t kiss a stranger like you kissed me unless she’s looking for something.”
“Ah. And what was I looking for?”
“Hell if I know.” He cocked a brow, leaned in. “You want another go at kissing it out of me?”
I’m just mean enough that I enjoyed the heck out of writing this scene. Now Rush is pretty comfortable letting his subconscious have a voice in his decision making process, and his subconscious--along with the rest of him--likes Goose. A lot.
And Goose likes him right back. But she’s not one to make decisions with her gut. She makes decisions with her head, and being deeply and inexplicably drawn to Rush--heart, soul and libido, baby--feels dangerous to her. She likes her space and she likes her secrets. Letting somebody close enough to fall in love goes against everything she is, and finding her potential Mr. Right on the wrong side of a criminal investigation? Well. This is a problem.
For her, that is. For me, though? As a writer? This is a gold mine. I have two strongly principled, highly moral people on opposite sides of a criminal investigation while they fall in love. They have my full attention, no fangs required.
Plus I’m sort of charmed by a torture-proofed ex-Navy SEAL offering to be kissed out of a confession. I think he’s serious, too. He doesn’t know what she wants to know but he’s willing to have it kissed out of him if that’s what it takes. What a guy.
So what about you? Do you like a little crime in your romance? A little suspense? A secondary love story? A little time travel? What gives a love story that special little zing for you? One lucky commenter will receive their own copy of MONEY SHOT! (Continental US only, please.)