(October 15, 2000)
Return to Issue #104 of At the Back Fence
Laurie Likes Books: What was the impetus behind making the switch from historical romance to contemporary romantic suspense?
Andrea Kane The switch wasn't really as drastic as it might sound, since suspense has always played a strong role in my novels. As for the transition from historical to contemporary, it's been on the horizon for a long time now, just waiting for the right book to lend itself to. The minute Run for Your Life crystallized in my mind, I knew it was definitely that book.
LLB: Romantic suspense can be tricky in getting the right blend of character and story. How to you balance and meld the two so that the book has both strong characterization and a suspenseful story line?
Andrea: I won't compromise on either. I'm relentless about that, since strong characters and a compelling, fast-paced plot are, in my opinion, both essential to a good romantic thriller. My characters are the very core of what I do. They evolve and become vivid, real entities as I tell their story. Since I am so character-based, my plots arise directly from the protagonists' lives. The rest - developing and sustaining a strong suspense plot, intertwining it with the evolution of the characters - is just plain hard work.
LLB: I was particularly interested in Victoria because at first I couldn't really see why she and Zach couldn't be together, but as I read more and more of the book, her relationship with her mother and sister and father made her need for not being dependent clear, and when her friend told her the same thing Zach had told her, there was a terrific "ahah" moment.
Had you planned for that moment, and more importantly, how do you pace those revelations throughout a story so that they do lead up to such a moment without frustrating the reader?
Andrea: Victoria's feelings for Zach, as well as her motivations for repressing those feelings were an intrinsic part of her, based, as you pointed out, on her life experience. As for poignant emotional revelations, truthfully, no, I don't plan them. If I did, I'd be manipulating my readers' emotions and they'd know it.
Those revelations come from the characters themselves. I do, however, insert myself in the timing of the plot developments to make sure that intense plot revelations don't collide with intense emotional revelations. And that is a difficult and delicate process, one that takes me countless hours to do.
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|Read Andrea Kane's Write Byte on Conflict in Romance and find links to reviews of her books, including our review of Run for Your Life|