Every so often, the publishing industry seems to have a hissy-fit over a particular genre, declaring it dead or, at the very least, on life support. Lately, the talk has been about the death of historical romance–which is balderdash, IMHO–but a few years back to was all about the tragic demise of romantic suspense. Despite the popularity of a genre that has great crossover appeal with its ability to pull in mystery and thriller readers, there was no-way, no-how you could sell a romantic suspense novel to a traditional publishing house unless you were already a successful author in that genre. And, unfortunately, sometimes not even then–or at least that was the accepted wisdom.
But that carved-in-granite proclamation–that readers were bored with romantic suspense–never rang true for me. On TV, for instance, cop and detective shows always rank right at the top, with programs like Castle and Bones (both containing strong romantic elements) pulling in huge audiences. In books, Harlequin’s suspense lines keep steaming along, and historical mysteries written by authors like Deanna Raybourn and Elizabeth Peters (again, strong romantic elements) are very popular.
Personally, I think readers never stopped reading romantic suspense, as a perusal of bestseller lists seems to bear out. Readers simply found their way around industry roadblocks to find the publishers or indie authors who could give them their suspense fix.
And thank goodness for that because I just published my first romantic suspense novel this week. It’s called Lethal Confessions, and I co-wrote it with my hubby under our V.K. Sykes pen name. This book was a real labor of love for us and we had a great time writing it–although I will admit that the serial killer-villain scared the heck out of me. It’s an action-packed thriller with a strong detective-heroine and a really sexy hero, a former pro baseball player who’s key to hunting the killer down. Good, creepy fun!
So, what about you? Do you agree with the pundits who insist that romantic suspense is deader than a doornail? If not, who are some of your favorite romantic suspense or mystery authors? One person who comments will win a copy of Lethal Confessions!
Lethal Confessions is available now!