What fires my Mojo?

As part of the launch of our Romantic Suspense Down Under website (www.romanticsuspensedownunder.com), Helene Young, Bronwyn Parry, Shannon Curtis, DB Tait and I are blogging each day for a week and doing giveaways. Here is my blog from Tuesday:

 

When we launched this website we asked readers what they wanted to know about us.

The replies were interesting: from, ‘Always enjoy hearing what inspires you all as authors. What fires your Mojo? What gets the creative juices flowing? What moves you enough to want to express it in your writing, and share it with the world?’ to ‘I like hearing how you come up with murders and keep everyone smiling throughout the stories:)’

Helene, Bron and DB might have different answers, but I thought I’d share what gets my creative juices flowing. Often it’s a spark, a thought, the “What if?” that occurs when I read an article or look at a certain location or overhear a conversation.

Some years ago I was eating lunch in the food court of the five-storey-high atrium of the Anzac Square Building in Brisbane. Light shone through the glass roof. Five balconies hung from the five stories. In the middle of the floor stood a tall metal tree, rectangular in shape, leaves sharp and coppery in the light.

For the other diners there it was a place to eat. For me, it was the perfect place to kill someone. Not literally. And not then. But the idea wouldn’t leave me, and when I was writing Until Death, I knew how I could use that idea.

So for me, it’s the challenge that gets my creative juices flowing. The challenge of conveying the story that’s inside my head that needs to be told. I love plotting, love weaving clues and red herrings into the story, love creating characters that will make my readers cry, laugh and fall in love with them.

The challenge of bringing all the plot threads together in the end; the challenge of making my readers care about my characters; the challenge of writing and re-writing and making every word count so the suspense is enthralling and the romance heart-wrenching and ultimately satisfying.

The challenge of experiencing the primeval pull of Carnarvon Gorge and conveying that convincingly in Dangerous Deception; of creating a villain in Fatal Flaw whose story was incredible but still making it credible to the reader; of having the very sensitive issue of paedophilia at the core of Grievous Harm and getting a review saying “it was handled well”.

And the answer to how do I “come up with the murders and keep everyone smiling throughout the stories” is by, hopefully, making the reader care so much for my characters that, no matter what terrible events they are forced to confront, she knows the love that is growing between them will see them triumph. Because no matter how complex the plot, how dastardly the villain, how suspenseful the story, the passion and the love and the caring between my hero and heroine must be the glue that binds all those other elements into an un-put-downable story.

So thank you, Janet and Helen, for reading romantic suspense and asking the questions that made me discover, once again, the joy I find in writing this wonderful sub-genre.

Please go here to post a comment and be in the draw to win an ebook (and a drinks cooler if you live in Oz).

This is the entrance to the Amphitheatre at Carnarvon Gorge in Central Queensland. When you walk through that split in the cliff you walk through the mountain until you come to where part of the mountain has fallen in to form a huge amphitheatre with a small opening at the top where sunlight filters down. It’s like being in an ancient cathedral. Awe-inspiring.)

Carnarvon - ladder to Amphitheatre tunnel entrance (2)

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