Breakout Session three: Love in the Face of Danger

Romantic Suspense Panel presented by Bronwyn Parry, Sandy Curtis, Shannon Curtis & Helene Young.

Often considered a difficult genre – needs to have equal amounts of romance and suspense.

Tension and conflict between characters is always present.

  • need to have climax for romance and climax for suspense (both genres) if you are writing romantic suspense
  • emotions can be forced to the surface by putting the characters in high stakes danger situations
  • a Happily Ever After ending is not obligatory in Romantic suspense, but many authors seem to prefer writing it
  • not marketed very well in Australia – publishers don’t seem to know what to do with them here
  • even big publishers like Harlequin use different covers in Australian than they do in US or Europe
  • they were often being shelved with crime novels – ‘cosy mystery’ readers who read for character were unhappy with the grittiness but those who read gritty crime as an intellectual section were put off by the romance elements


  • make the reader want to read more because you create a question in their mind ‘what is going to happen next?’
  • let the reader experience everything (see, hear, smell) through the pov of your character


Note:  I also won a bottle of wine and some timtams for asking a question of the panel – in my case it was about different PoV, and using deep 3rd person vs first person.  None of them use first person.

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