Today’s guest post is from Cindy McDonald, author of the Unbridled series, and also the First Force series. Cindy is a romance-suspense or suspense-romance author. Get that? She is not a mystery author. There is a difference. Read below to find out what that is:
I’ve had several readers and reviewers post that they love my mysteries. Ahhh, but most recently I had a reviewer complain that she was upset because there was no mystery involved in my latest book, Shady Deals, and there’s a darn good reason for that: I simply do not write mysteries! While some readers and reviewers put my Unbridled books in the mystery category, the simple fact is that I write murder suspense and romantic suspense novels.
A mystery writer plays their cards close to their chest. Bit by bit the mystery writer will slowly feed you clues as to who killed the poor widow who lives in the Victorian mansion on the hill. During the course of the story they will throw suspicion in several directions and perhaps throw a few twists into the plot to keep the reader guessing all the way to the end as to whodunit. A very good mystery writer will surprise you.
A suspense writer holds nothing back. The suspense writer tells you straight up that the handsome, young man whose car broke down during the storm and showed up at the poor widow’s door asking to use her phone killed her. But now will her beautiful, recently divorced daughter be next?
A suspense writer will toy with your emotions and your apprehensions by leading you to believe that perhaps you—the reader—is mistaken. Perhaps the young man isn’t the murderer, and maybe someone else killed her. A suspense writer will send cold-hard fear crawling up your skin as the murderer charms the widow’s daughter. When is he going to kill her? How is he going to kill her? Will the police officer that lives down the street figure out what is going on and come to her rescue before it’s too late? If you can’t put the book down because you simply can’t wait to find out the answers, then the suspense writer has done their job well.
In a mystery book there is always the telling moment when all the characters, which of course includes the protagonist detective and the suspects, all gather together to put all the clues together and reveal the murderer.
In a suspense book the action comes to a climax where people’s lives are hanging on the edge, requiring the protagonist to hatch a dodgy rescue, risking everything to save the widow’s daughter.
It all seems extremely basic, doesn’t it? So what’s all the confusion about?
Stick with me, because this is the important part:
When looking for my books on amazon, you may very well find them under the category of mystery. Why? Because when amazon categorizes books many are lumped together in one category. Mystery and suspense books are put together in a mystery/suspense/thriller category, and then the book will be broken down from there into sub-categories like: romance, police procedural, cozy mystery, romantic suspense, murder suspense etc. Yes! My books could possibly be listed in the same category as Stephen King’s thrillers regardless of the fact that they are not the same kind or genre as Mr. King’s books.
In other words my romantic suspense and murder suspense books can show up in several categories, including mystery, even though it is not a mystery at all.
Whew! Did I clear that all up for you? I suppose the point is, the next time you shop for a mystery on amazon, you may very well get suspense or suspense that teases your sense of deductive reasoning with a mystery.
About the Author:
For twenty-six years my life whirled around a song and a dance: I was a professional dancer/choreographer for most of my adult life and never gave much thought to a writing career until 2005. Don’t ask me what happened, but suddenly I felt drawn to my computer to write about things I have experienced (greatly exaggerated upon of course) with my husband’s Thoroughbreds and the happenings at the racetrack.
Surprised? Why didn’t I write about my experiences with dance? Eh, believe it or not life at the racetrack is more…racy. The drama is outrageous—not that dancers don’t know how to create drama, believe me, they do but race trackers just seem to get more down and dirty with it which makes great story telling—great fiction.
I didn’t start out writing books, The Unbridled Series started out as a TV drama, and the Hollywood readers loved the show. The problem was we just couldn’t sell it. So one of the readers said to me, “Cindy, don’t be stupid. Turn your scripts into a book series.” and so I did!
In May of 2011 I took the big leap and exchanged my dancin’ shoes for a lap top—I retired from dance. It was a scary proposition, I was terrified, but I had the full support of my husband, Saint Bill. It has been a huge change for me. I went from dancing hard five hours a night to sitting in front of a computer. I still work-out and I take my dog, Harvey, for a daily run. I have to or I’d be as big as a house. Do I miss dance? Sometimes I do. I miss my students. I miss choreographing musicals, but I love my books and I love sharing them with you.
To read excerpts from future books, view book trailers, and keep up with everything that is Unbridled, please visit Cindy’s website at: www.cindymcwriter.com