Today, as part of the Bewitching Book Tour, one of my favorite authors, Susannah Sandlin, is visiting She-Wolf Reads! Susannah has written some of my most loved series — Penton Legacy and Sentinels of New Orleans (as Suzanne Johnson). Today, she’s here to talk about her new Amazon serial, LOVELY, DARK, and DEEP, a romantic suspense story that kicks-off her new series, The Collectors. Please welcome Susannah to the blog! (and don’t forget to enter the giveaway below!)
The thrill of it all, in human terms
Paranormal fiction is the butter to my bread, the snap to my crackle and pop, the…well, you get the idea.
A funny thing happened, however, on the way through the writing of my Penton Legacy paranormal romance series (and my Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series written as Suzanne Johnson): much to my own surprise, I really enjoy writing high-tension, high-action scenes.
A scene calls for a thunderstorm? I’ll make it a tornado or hurricane. Need a bad guy to torment your characters? I will make them so utterly evil that a father will put his son in a dark room full of hungry rodents…naked. Or wield a branding iron on the heroine. Or…well, you get the idea.
(I’m a nice person. Really, I am. I help old ladies across the street. I rescue puppies and kittens. I…well, you get the idea.)
So when I came up with the idea of a ruthless bunch of billionaires who form a club to compete for the world’s great lost treasures—no matter who got hurt along the way—I committed the literary equivalent of walking out on a limb. Yes, I left the paranormal world behind, at least temporarily, to venture into thriller territory.
The result was Lovely, Dark, and Deep, the first book of The Collectors series. It has romance, evil bad guys with ties to the White House, sunken ships, a sexy ex-Marine who drinks too much, a geeky biologist whose ancestor stole a priceless cross from the Knights Templar, deepwater scuba diving, a crusty old lobster fisherman who believes in aliens, and a dog named Tank.
How did it differ from writing a paranormal thriller like last year’s Storm Force or the Penton vampire series? Not as much as you might think. Here were the major differences:
–The hero and heroine have to depend on their smarts to get them through situations. In working underwater, for example, they need tanks, fins and masks—no sprouting gills for these characters!
–When the bad guy comes after them with a rifle, they actually have to worry about human emergency rooms and the pesky laws about reporting gunshot wounds to the authorities. No wizards or memory modifications to handle that detail. And they recover as slow as, well, humans.
–They can drink alcohol and actually get drunk. And have hangovers. Oh, wait, so can my shape-shifters.
–They can walk around in sunlight without bursting into flames or sparkling. Oh, wait, so can shifters and most other non-vampiric paranormals.
–No evil, politically motivated vampire rulers or alphas….Oh, wait. I have politicians.
In other words, a paranormal thriller and a regular thriller, I was surprised to discover, aren’t so very different. I miss the “what-if” factor of the paranormal worlds, and they’ll continue to be the bread to my butter. But, I’ve discovered, the alpha-male human and his geeky heroine who’s a bit of a klutz? They can hold their own.
Note: Lovely, Dark, and Deep (The Collectors, Book 1) is currently available for download for $3.99. The print and audio versions will be available from all online retailers on May 13.