Guest Post by Diane Burton
Thanks so much for having me back, Jessica. And I love the topic you suggested. Readers know me from my adventure romances that take place in space and other worlds. My latest book ONE RED SHOE is a romantic suspense. It’s an adventure romance that takes place in this world. Other than the locale, my writing in the two genres is very similar.
Setting (in SFR, sometimes called world building): Stories have to take place somewhere. Even though my SFR books take place in space, on a starship, or an alien planet, I had to research what those locales could possibly look like. (I sure wish I could have done in-person research of space and other planets.) In my romantic suspense, I also had to do research. Fortunately, I’ve been to many of the locales where ONE RED SHOE takes place, like New York City (I even researched the subway then had to rule it out as the place where the hero & heroine meet), Seneca, NY, Holland, MI, Chicago. Even my heroine’s hometown in Iowa is modeled after a small farming town where I’ve lived.
Suspense: All my SFRs have suspense and danger. Since I’m a seat-of-the-pants writer, I often don’t know who the villain is until near the end of the story. I know that sounds weird, but it’s true. In ONE RED SHOE, I knew from the beginning who but not why. By the very nature of the genre, romantic suspense had plenty of danger.
Villains: I don’t write about psychopaths. They creep me out. All my villains have logical reasons for why they do what they do. They rationalize their actions. In their minds, they’re justified. Whether those villains are in space or in NYC, they all have similar behavior in my stories.
Heroes & Heroines: What good is world building and villains if there aren’t any good guys? Somebody has to save the day, the country, the planet. I’d like to say my heroes are all tall, dark, and handsome. Since I’m tall, I do like tall men. I also prefer dark hair to blond (although Daniel Craig is making me change my mind about blond men). Handsome is in the eye of the beholder. But looks aren’t everything. Character revealed through action matters to my heroines. Same with my heroes. Being guys, they notice looks first. As they look deeper, they see the strength in the heroine. In ONE RED SHOE, my heroine doesn’t think she’s heroic at all. Half the time, she’s scared to death. The hero has to tell her how courageous she is before she realizes it.
Happily Ever After: A reader who picks up a science fiction romance or a romantic suspense expect a satisfying ending—a happy ever after. The villain is going to be caught. The hero and heroine will get together. Whether they decide to live in Iowa, Washington, DC or on a starship, my hero and heroine will always have a happy ever after.
So I don’t think writing science fiction romance is all that different from romantic suspense. No matter what I write, I always have a great time going on an adventure with my characters.
Wannabe writer rescues wounded spy while risking her heart.
Daria Mason’s life is too predictable. Nothing ever happens in her small Iowa town where everybody knows everybody else. But when she travels to New York City looking for a little excitement, she never expects to bring home a wounded spy.
From the moment agent Sam Jozwiak steals intel vital to US security from a Russian Mafia kingpin, Murphy’s Law takes over. No matter how he covers his tracks, the kingpin’s assassins find him. What’s worse than getting shot in the butt? Accepting help from an Iowa tourist.
Sam and Daria flee cross country with the assassins right behind them. Sharing danger and excitement—and a few kisses—with Sam soon has Daria convinced he’s the man for her. He thinks she’ll be better off once he’s out of her life for good. With their lives on the line, can she convince him they belong together?
Excerpt from One Red Shoe:
Sam found a door with a push plate and faded square where a sign used to be. This had to be it. He carefully pushed open the door. No noise to attract Grashenko & Company if they came back. Good grief, the restroom was an explosion of pink. Pepto-Bismol pink with black trim. Sam didn’t have time to find the men’s room now. He would stop the bleeding and get out of this potential trap.
Skylights, dirty like the rest of the windows in the building, let in enough light to see. Good. He didn’t want to risk turning on a light that would shine under the door. Around a corner, hidden from the door, he found a long counter with a row of sinks and a mirror above. All the better to examine the damage done by that trigger-happy fool.
Sam unzipped his jeans and worked down his briefs to expose his hip. What a mess. Not for the first time, he cursed Grashenko for showing up in that hotel room in Smolensk. Sam’s hasty departure, with Yuri and Korioff on his tail, meant leaving behind his gear. His clothes, sunglasses, and emergency medical supplies would bring top dollar on the Russian black market. He would have to make do with what he had. Carefully, he turned a faucet to wet his handkerchief. He blew out a breath in relief the plumbing still worked and was used on a regular basis. No air hissed or sputtered, which would’ve brought Grashenko and Korioff back in a hurry.
With much twisting to see, Sam wiped away the worst of the blood. Amazed that there were paper towels in a dispenser, he folded several and stuffed them inside his briefs. He tried to zip his jeans but the bulge in back pressed on his raw flesh. Hell, he’d zip up when he was done.
When he bent to check his calf, he nearly keeled over from dizziness. He grabbed the counter. His shoe had absorbed the blood. None on the floor, thank God. No trail. Sam patted his shirt pocket and took out his agency cell phone. He needed to find out where the hell Teller was. That idiot better have a damn good reason for doing a no-show. Didn’t he realize the consequences? Didn’t he realize how little time they had to—
The air moved—his only warning that the door to the restroom had opened. A whirlwind in beige blasted past him. In that split second Sam instinctively cataloged the intruder. Female, five-ten, weight uncertain due to voluminous coat, late twenties, long dark single braid, penny loafers. And a large button clipped to her purse. Shit. More dangerous than a Russian Mafia hit man. A wide-eyed innocent. The kind he’d sworn to protect. And here he was bleeding like a stuck pig, so dizzy he was going to fall flat on his face.
One Red Shoe is available for Kindle at: http://amzn.com/B00FDXRHZA
Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing science fiction romance. Besides the Switched series, she is the author of The Pilot, a series about strong women on the frontier of space. One Red Shoe is her first romantic suspense. She is also a contributor to the anthology How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in Michigan. They have two children and two grandchildren.
For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s website: http://www.dianeburton.com
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Diane Burton is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card to a lucky commenter. To enter, use the Rafflecopter below or enter here. The winner will be announced on October 31st.
Thanks, Jessica, for helping me celebrate the release of my newest book. (JES: It’s always a pleasure to have you here. Come back anytime!)