Why I Write Suspense

D.L. WoodAuthor D. L. Wood writes:

As a child, I was one of those kids who had a tattered, dog-eared library card (yes, from the days when we had paper library cards) who whiled away the summers reading more books than were good for my eyesight. Or at least that’s what one optometrist told my mother. From that time a dream was planted in my heart—to be like those writers I enjoyed so much and create something that others could hold in their hands and enjoy. I wanted to whisk others away to another world and take them on a ride too.

From those days of reading Boxcar Children books, to my adult years and reading Grisham and James Scott Bell, the suspense genre has always been my favorite. Like so many readers I am drawn to stories with that element of tense unknowing, with that “you-have-to-turn-one-more-page-to-find-out” quality. It’s what drives me to the books that I read for entertainment and what I want my readers to get as well. Sometimes the suspense I write comes in the form of a traditional thriller with a “catch-me-if-you-can” storyline. Sometimes it’s more of a whodunit. But the suspense is always there, hopefully along with three-dimensional, likable (or ‘hate-able’) characters that are flawed, just like you and me, and sun-dripping, snow-capped, cricket-chirping locales that suck readers in.

When I got serious about writing I realized that I wanted my books to do a bit more than just entertain. Over time I discovered that what I truly enjoyed were books that not only entertained me, but left me with something more. Yes, I wanted to go on a thrill-ride, but I also loved it when I set the book down only to find that I carried something from it with me. Hope. Encouragement. A new perspective. Perhaps even a challenge to my faith. This realization inspired me to want to do the same thing for readers of my books. I wanted my stories to be multidimensional in scope. So I began writing CleanCaptivatingFiction™—fiction that not only entertains, but also uplifts. Fiction that gives the reader a great story and a take-away that somehow encourages them.

The most encouraging thing in my life is the hope I have in Christ. So in fashioning a plot I strive to somehow, through some character, portray faith in Christ in a way that is relevant, real and hopeful in the context of a solid storyline. The idea is to hearten those who already have faith in Christ, and to shine a light on Christ for those who may not have considered what He offers. I hope I’ve managed to do this by giving people quality fiction with just a little something extra, insuring it’s a good read for everybody, no matter what your faith background or stance may be.

So if you’re a suspense junkie looking for mystery, exciting action, nail-biting cliff-hangers and maybe even a romantic subplot now and again, check out Unintended Target, the first book in the Unintended Series. It was awarded the 2016 Illumination Awards Gold Medal for Christian fiction ebook and is available on Amazon in ebook and paperback. And keep an eye out for Unintended Witness, the next book in the series that I’m hard at work on right now.


D.L. Wood is an award-winning author who writes CleanCaptivatingFiction™ that entertains and uplifts. Wood loves the art of storytelling, particularly any tale involving suspense or the epic struggle of good versus evil. Wood tries to give readers the same thing she wants in the novels that she reads: a “can’t-put-it-down-stay-up-till-3am-story” that stays clean without sacrificing an iota of quality, believability or adrenaline. If she isn’t writing you’ll probably find her behind the keyboard getting ready for next week’s worship service or curled up with a cup of tea bingeing on the latest Sherlock series. Wood lives in North Alabama with her husband, twin daughters and Westies, Frodo and Dobby.


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Why I Write Mysteries

SAMSUNG CSCAuthor Joy DeKok writes:

My writing dream started when I was around four years old. The words in my story books fascinated me, and even newspapers were recreation.

Perhaps because of my age, I thought I’d write for kids. I do have three children’s books out there and loved the process, but after writing the last one, I was done. Then, writing mentors encouraged me to write non-fiction. So, I wrote a devotional and a book on writing memoirs. And blogging about my life, faith, nature, and books is one of my favorite things to do.

But along the way I caught the novel-writing bug.

It started out with Rain Dance – a contemporary, issue-based, Christian novel for women. When the idea came, I prayed someone else would write the book, and I promised that if they did, I’d buy it. Instead, the story grew in my heart and demanded to be put on the pages. I obeyed the growing desire, wrote it, and published it.

For a while, I thought I might be done writing. Except for this other idea that started the same way Rain Dance did. I could see the characters, knew their names, voices, hearts, habits, and story. There were a few days I resisted writing a mystery with an unlikeable main character, but again the only way to get the story out of my head was to put it on the pages. I was sure there was only one book in Olivia Morgan’s story.

I was wrong. There will be at least three in The Northern Lights Series. The raw draft of Behind the Lies is done and I’m editing as fast as I can while outlining book three, Beyond the Lies.

And there’s another mystery series (five or six books) in the works too. They’re all outlined which is a good thing because not long ago, another novel idea crossed my mind the same way all of the others have.

This time, I’m not resisting. Instead, I’m diving into each story idea with enthusiasm and am outlining, writing, editing, and rewriting with more excitement than ever.

I was asked what I was doing when my ideas came. With Rain Dance, I was doing dishes. With The Northern Lights series, I was vacuuming. Louisa Mae Alcott wasn’t kidding when she said, “Housekeeping ain’t no joke.”

With the new series, The Mississippi Queens, I was in a coffeeshop working on Between the Lies. The newest idea crossed my mind and made itself at home there on a walk near one of our wildflower gardens.

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Life happens.” For me, ideas happen followed by books.

I hope you’ll stop by my website and find out how you can get a free copy of Between the Lies for your eReader.

About Joy:

Joy prefers writing in the solitude of her office, but can also be found in area coffee shops now and then where the voices and energy of the real world infuse the words on the page.

She’s been married to Jon for 39 years. They live on 35 acres of woods and field between Pine Island and Rochester. Joy loves riding their John Deere Gator with her dogs, Sophie & Tucker, taking pictures and enjoying God.

Website: www.joydekok.com

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Why I Write Suspense Mystery

L DuncanAuthor Lillian Duncan:

I write suspense mystery because I love to read suspense and mystery novels. The more suspense, the better. The more action, the better! I love the vicarious thrill and that’s the way I want the thrill—vicariously not in real life. And what’s life without some romance? So most of my stories have a touch or two of that as well, some more than others.

But can suspense/mystery really be Christian fiction? I say absolutely! What a great way to show God’s love when a character is facing the possibly the worst time of their life. A crisis can bring us the realization that we need God. And yes, my characters go from one crisis to another in my books.

It’s rather exhausting even if it’s vicariously.

I like to think of myself as a parable writer. A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly message. Jesus used parables to teach a godly principle about such ideas as forgiveness, loving our neighbors, or how much God loves us.

That’s my goal as well. I write to share God’s message of love to my readers while giving my readers an entertaining and exciting story to read.

About Lillian:

Lillian is a multi-published author who lives in the middle of Ohio Amish country with her husband and a menagerie of pets. She writes the types of books she loves to read—fast-paced suspense and mystery novels with a touch of romance that demonstrates God’s love for all of us. To learn more about Lillian, you may visit her at www.lillianduncan.net or www.lillian-duncan.com. She also has a devotional blog at www.PowerUpWithGod.com.

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