Monday, January 28, 2013

You Know You're a Suspense Author When...


Award-winning author DiAnn Mills is a fiction writer who combines an adventuresome spirit with unforgettable characters to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels. DiAnn’s first book was published in 1998. She currently has more than fifty books published.

Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists and have won placements through the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Carol Awards and Inspirational Reader’s Choice awards. DiAnn won the Christy Award in 2010 and 2011.

DiAnn is a founding board member for American Christian Fiction Writers and a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, Romance Writers of America, and Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. DiAnn is also the Craftsman mentor for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild.

She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.

Learn more about DiAnn by visiting her website.

 

You Know You’re a Suspense Writer When ...
I love this topic. When suspense writers get together, discussing stories and plot twists keeps our adrenaline racing. We can talk about suspense for hours because we live it. Our friends and families (unless they’re writers) have no clue how our minds work or where we find ideas for our next suspense novel. The un-writers among us think we’re strange ... Can you imagine that?

For example: husband and I are driving into our subdivision. We see a neighbor has a roll of old carpet at the curb. Husband comments that this person has had new carpet installed. Not me. I’m wondering if there’s a body rolled up inside that dusty mess ... Is it a man or a woman ... How were they killed? ... Why? ... Does the killer think it’s a perfect crime? Then I spin out of control with characters and plot.

See what I mean? So I’ve compiled a list of telltale signs so you’ll not be shaken when you’re in the midst of a ... suspense writer.

You know you’re a suspense writer—

1.  When you spend days planning the perfect crime.

2.  When a stranger texts you an image in the middle of the night and immediately you think of a story about someone kidnapping your children—the image is proof.
3.  When plotting a murder seems normal.

4.  When you read the newspaper for strange stories you can spin to put your character in danger.

5.  When the study of poisons is fascinating.

6.  When you can’t close your eyes on a camping trip because you know a lion, bear, or killer is waiting for you to fall asleep.

7.  When you consult a weapons’ expert for ways to disguise a bullet.

8.  When you wonder if the garbage bag discarded along the road contains body parts.

9.  When the guy selecting apples at the grocery store looks like a serial killer.

10.When you’re in church and you can’t concentrate on the sermon because you left your heroine tied to a railroad track.
 

  
 
Are you a suspense writer or a suspense reader? Leave a comment to win a personalized copy of The Chase.

 

44 comments:

  1. For years I was a suspense reader. Then I started trying my hand at writing it, and found that it's not so easy. How about adding to your list, "You wake up in the middle of the night with an idea of how to increase the tension in your book?"
    Thanks for doing it all so well.

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  2. Thanks DiAnn, for letting me know I'm "normal" in the world of suspense authors!

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  3. Oh, this is SO me. Two strange and lumpy garbage bags showed up in my back yard without explanation, and I almost called 911. I just KNEW someone had dumped a body. When I finally got up the nerve to check them out (and I felt like the first victim in a slasher film doing so), I discovered two bags of styrofoam that had blown in from down the street during a storm I'd slept through.

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  4. You wrote, "For example: husband and I are driving into our subdivision. We see a neighbor has a roll of old carpet at the curb. Husband comments that this person has had new carpet installed. Not me. I’m wondering if there’s a body rolled up inside that dusty mess ..."

    I saw an ad on a bus that said you could unlock the doors to your house using your Smartphone. My next thought was about how a villain could use that to their advantage.

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  5. I love to read suspense novels.

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  6. I love to read suspense written by Christain authors who honor God in their writing.The absence of foul language and or smut is refreshing.

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  7. My younger sisters and I have come up with little suspense stories. When we see a big bag of trash or see carpet rolled up we always say, " I wonder if there is a body in there?" :)
    Thanks for a chance to win THe Chase. When I read it I loved it. Excited for book 2 to come out.
    superstarsarah94(at)gmail(dot)com

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  8. Love this, DiAnn! I'm definitely there too. I love #5. I was reading the Book of Poisons when my husband asked if he should be worried. HA HA!
    Thanks for this.
    Darlene

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  9. I loved your reasons, DiAnn! I would love to hang out with you sometime and just see how you think! I told this to another writer once - that I would like to take a tour of her brain sometime! It would be fascinating! Thanks for the insight!

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  10. LOVE IT! Here's one for you. You're having dinner with your editor at The Eagle's Nest, a revolving restaurant on the top floor (20 something) of your hotel. You look out and wonder if a sniper wanted to kill one of the restaurant patrons, could he do it from the building across the street. so, not only do you THINK of this possible scenario, but you turn to your editor and ask what she thinks. During dinner. While she was talking about something totally unrelated to your books. Sigh. Thankfully, she just laughed her head off and said, "Yes! I think someone could." Then went back to her previous conversation without missing a beat. I love my editor.

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  11. I read suspense books(Christian are the preferred).
    Hope to win your book!
    Martha T. CRPrairie1atimonmaildotcom.

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  12. I have read all of DiAnn Mill's suspense books - and loved every one of them! Can't wait to get my hands on this one! Pick me :)

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  13. I both read and write suspense novels. I read as a way of honing my writing skills. I have to admit, I have done every single one of the things on the list. ALL OF THEM!!! Wow, glad I am in the right genre.

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  14. I am a suspense book reader, Christian suspense is the preferred genre. Would love to win a copy of your book.
    Linda R.
    linlee822@gmail.com

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  15. I am a suspense book reader, Christian suspense is the preferred genre. Would love to win a copy of your book.
    Linda R.
    linlee822@gmail.com

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  16. Love your ideas DiAnn! Number 10 made me laugh out loud, very clever indeed :) Authors like you are why I enjoy suspense books, blessings!
    Kara
    wman4jcATaolDOTcom

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  17. Fun! How about the government or FBI is monitoring your google searches due to the content of many of your searches...poison, ways to strangle someone...etc. :)

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  18. Suspense is one of my favorite genres and I love Diann's books.:)

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  19. I am absolutely delighted by your post. I've actually thought along many of the lines you proposed. Thank you for putting it in persective for me. (I'm still smiling.)

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  20. I have to share a story along these lines. I used to work in social services. One time, while I was atending a conference about hoarding, I realized that the entire time the speaker was trying to explain what causes hoarding, I was thinking about what a great mystery novel I could write based on this disability. I would be about a woman who helps hoarders. She finds things under the piles of stuff. Like a dead body. Or a treasure map.

    That's when I knew I was definitely a writer. LOL!

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  21. .... or when you're out walking your dog and see a single shoe in the middle of the desert ... or a car parked on an unusual trail ... or a noise you don't recognise over the next hill.

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  22. Your list, and the comments, made me smile. I can relate!

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  23. Love all of DiAnn's books. The suspense one's have kept me on my toes--love the twist's and turns!! Fun to read about my Houston, especially about the area I live in!!

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  24. I love to read DiAnn's books. She has a way of drawing me into them.
    Thanks for a chance to win one.
    michyellowrose@gmail.com

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  25. Or, your husband is a truck driver, bus driver, etc. and dead bodies seem to appear where he last traveled...wife is clueless, or is she?

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  26. I love to read DiAnn's books and christian suspense. I love to be captured from the beginning of a book and unable to put it down.
    Gail Earwood e-mail gailearwood@yahoo.com

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  27. This book is actually on my "to get" list. I would love to get it for free. :) Glad I'm not the only one who spends free time plotting the perfect crime. lol Now to get my story on paper (or computer as it were) and published.

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  28. How about when you are taking a nice drive in the country & turn to the driver & say "what a great ace to stash a body!!" :)

    Pen
    pmettert at yahoo dot com

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  29. Ack!!!! "what a great PLACE to stash a body"

    Pen (again...with correction). :)

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  30. It's even worse with supernatural suspense. You begin to wonder if half the people you meet are even human. Then there's a political campaign season and you're sure of it.

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  31. I love suspense books . Have never read any of DiAnn's books but would love to win this one in the give away. I don't know how they come up with so many strange places to stash a body..
    Elizabeth Dent
    lizd225(at)gmail(dot)com

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  32. Reading these have made me laugh - and given me a few plot ideas. Was that a Smartphone that could open your house? Wow. My mind is spinning again. Thanks for all the great comments!

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  33. I LOVE THIS POST! Its so fun to realize there are other people out there who are as quirky as I am. Thanks for sharing!

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  34. I love to read a good suspense book. I will stay up late trying to finish it, and then I'm scared to go to sleep!
    doparker50@gmail.com

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  35. I am a suspense reader.Love your books.jackie_tessnair@yahoo.com

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  36. i love suspense filled books and this one seems like its a great read, i pray i win fingers crossed.
    Shirley
    jcisforme@aol.com

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  37. DiAnn, the first thing I thought when you mentioned the discorded carpet was a dead body. Was fun reading what you had to say. I love Mysteries. I like the excitement of trying to figure things out. Looking for clues. Hope I can win your book. Wish you would have a book signing in HOU. or Pasadena, so I could go. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

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  38. When I always think of something like is every time I see a lone shoe lying in the middle of a street. I always am hoping it wasn't someone being kidnapped! This is a fact that's true! Maxie

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  39. JenT is the winner of the personalized copy of The Chase. These comments were great! Thanks!

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  44. So happy to have won! I loved The Chase! I'm looking forward to The Survivor!

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