Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Fear Factor




Danger and suspense, as part of our entertainment, bring us an exhilarating and emotionally powerful experience. Strange when you think about it like that, isn’t it? In addition to suspense and thriller books and movies, we also have reality shows about scaring people, or putting them into a situation to see their reaction—Scare Tactics and Total Blackout are two such shows.

I wonder why we enjoy fear so much, and I wonder what kind of person writes suspense? Is it a decision consciously made, or is it inherent, something imbedded deep inside the writer?

I’m spinning off DiAnn’s post from last week just a little, because I already had a similar topic lined up. DiAnn’s post made me consider how a person becomes a suspense writer in the first place. How and when do they start thinking of everything in terms of potential for a suspense novel? I’m sure most would answer that, as a writer, it’s a simple matter of training yourself to ask “what if” in every situation.

I spent my novel training years writing historical romances. Every one of those stories included an element of suspense. My first published novel was a contemporary romance but it also contained suspense with strong mystery elements. Almost all my Heartsong romance novels have an element of suspense in them. In 2011, my first “official” romantic suspense, Freezing Point, released with Love Inspired Suspense. At some point along this writing journey I discovered I’m a romantic suspense or thriller writer.

I can’t look at anything without thinking about something related to a crime or impending danger. But not for the reason you might think. Long before I started thinking about writing a novel, I was afraid of everything. I grew up in a very protected and safe environment, but staying safe and protected meant viewing the potential hazard in every situation. Riding a horse, swimming, jumping on a trampoline, or walking downtown by myself, all were potentially dangerous activities.

You won’t find me walking to my car in a shopping center parking lot without being completely aware of my surroundings, my key fob out and ready to unlock my car door! I'm told this is a good thing because it discourages a would-be attacker. As I'm writing this article there's a prison inmate work crew on the street right in front of my house. You don't have to be practiced in writing suspense to think of a few resulting dangerous scenarios.

So you now understand why writing suspense comes naturally to me. It’s part of my nature as a person. I can’t imagine writing a book without suspense. Nor can I imagine writing a story without romance. 

What about you? Do you live with a healthy respect for the dangers around you? Or are you more or less oblivious to the hazards you face every day?

Answer one of these questions in the comment section below, sign up for my newsletter at my website http://bethgoddard.com/ and I’ll enter you in the drawing for FOUR suspense novels: Freezing Point, Treacherous Skies, and my four-in-one romantic suspense novella, Oregon Outback.

AND, and here's the BONUS--if you win the drawing, I'll also include a copy of my upcoming novel RIPTIDE (July) when I receive my author copies. Remember, I'll get the author copies weeks before they're available in stores, so you can be one of the first to read it!


Blessings!
Elizabeth Goddard

46 comments:

  1. yes i am aware at all times of my surroundings. especially with the our society is today. you cant be too careful.

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  2. I am alway aware of my surrounding. You can never be too careful, especially at night.

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  3. Wow, great post Beth! Signed up for your wonderful newsletter AND liked you on facebook, your books sound amazing! Thanks soooo much for this incredible giveaway :)

    Both of my parents have raised me to be cautious about my surroundings, but I've seen both sides of that. I've seen being really fearful and I've seen being careful yet fearless. I'm always cautious and God guides me as well as makes me feel secure, but I definitely understand having awareness of nearby dangers.

    So glad you write suspense but also romance, what a winning combination for a great book! Blessings Beth :)
    Kara

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  4. I know, right! I'm not going to shop at Wal-Mart after midnight. LOL But I know some people who do.

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  5. Thanks, Kara.

    It's always so wonderful to have new fans!

    I know exactly what you're talking about because we don't want to live in fear either. There's definitely a balance to it.

    I thought it was a little comical, though, that I've always been one to look at the dangerous side to things, and then I end up writing suspense novels!

    Beth

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  6. I know I should be careful, but I'm the kind of person who is mostly oblivious to their surroundings. Looking forward to reading more of your books.
    Linda R.
    linlee822@gmail.com

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  7. I try to be very careful and avoid putting myself in harms way. I enjoy your books. Michelle
    inspiremichelle@yahoo.com

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  8. I try to be aware of my surroundings but I'm not always successful. Shopping at Wal-Mart late at night isn't so bad here. There's a lot fewer people there & you can only go in one door. But, that's small town living for ya!

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  9. I just love the cover of Freezing Point. So beautiful, and so intriguing!

    Interesting topic, about fear. I have a book titled The Gift of Fear, by Gavin De Becker, which was a #1 national bestseller a few years back according to the cover. It addresses things like our natural instincts about potentially dangerous situations. I always wanted our daughter to read it, so she'd be less foolhardy about dangerous situations back when she was in high school. Guess I should have tried bribing her with payment for a twenty page analysis/book report! :)

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    1. That sounds like an interesting book. I might need to get my hands on it. Wanting your daughter to read it brings to mind that movie Taken. Very good movie for all to see. LOL

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  10. Growing up in the Bronx taught me to always check out my surroundings. Funny when I moved out I was more fearful it was too quiet for me. Go figure.

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    1. I understand that! I have lived in the country for a good twenty year and the quiet and the dark can be a little scary if you let your thoughts get away from you. I couldn't wait to move to the country from the city so I could jog. I soon learned that people let their dogs roam a lot so I was a little afraid of the dogs until I actually went jogging, and then I was more afraid of the two legged creatures. I mean, out in the middle of nowhere and no one can see you or help. :)

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  11. In these times you can never be too careful of your surroundings when not at home! I am even more careful at night, especially when I'm alone or with only one other person. I am always thankful when I get home safely. Looking forward to reading some of your books!

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  12. I'm very tuned into the hazards in life - it's a feeling that's developed as I've grown older, whereas in my youth, I used to take stupid risks.

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    1. Yes, even though I was tuned into the hazards in life when I was young, I still took crazy risks back then. I shudder to think of them now. But that is part of being young, I think. You believe you are invincible. :)

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  13. What an interesting post, Beth. I get that question all the time, too--why do you write suspense? I tell folks I have a "whodunit mind." LOL. I'm bummed I'm not eligible to win the books in your generous giveaway. Guess I'll have to go out and buy them. I encourage all our blog readers to do that!

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    1. Jill, are you telling me you don't already OWN my books? LOL No, just teasing. Thanks for your encouragement!

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  14. I'm also in tune to the dangers around me. I consider it a safety issue and have always been cognizant of my safety and the safety of others. Interesing post today. Blessings and good luck to all who enter, Susan Fryman susanngarrylee@yahoo.com

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    1. Thanks,Susan! Love to see you here. :)

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  15. Fifty years ago, my grandfather's brother took me out behind the barn and gave me some lesson in self defense. He had been a professional wrestler. He showed me the vulnerable points to target against an attacker and what a spike heel can do to an instep, what a knee can do to the groin, and what the side of the hand can do with an uppercut to the base of the nose. He also told me to walk erect and alert, with my keys protruding between my fingers in my fist.

    I have never had to use those tactics. But after some violent family tragedies, I no longer read mysteries with the same gusto that I devoured murder mysteries in my youth.

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    1. I understand, Judith. The good thing about the"cozy" mysteries as they for the most part don't include too much violence. :)

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  16. My favorite also. I love suspense. I love the crimmnal mind and cold case series. I'm very aware of all the dangers out there. Guess when its my time. It is my time to go. Only the Lord knows. It is in His hands
    joeym11@frontier.com

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  17. I would really like to win this book, i battle fear a lot as my neighborhoods not the best
    Jcisforme@aol.com

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  18. I am fully aware of the dangers around me. I lived for the past 15 years looking over my shoulder and praying alot because of a crazy ex husband. I love suspense and would love to read your books! I am fb friends with Nancy Mehl and very glad she started this blog! My email is barb@lange.us Blessings!!

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    1. So happy to have you Barb! Isn't Nancy the greatest? :)

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  19. I am very aware of the danger of not being observant of what is around you. We live in a mainly rural area, where deer may run across the road at any time. Needless to say, you need to be vigilant! Unfortunately, with all the bad things happening around us, we need to be ready!
    I love historical and suspense fiction!
    bettimace(at)gmail(dot)dcom

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    1. Betz, I love historical too, especially historical romantic suspense! Ha! I know about the deer running across the roads in the country. Funny thing, we looked out the kitchen window once and through the trees at the front of our property we saw an ambulance. What in the world? It wasn't a deer, but someone ran off the road and hit a tree because they were TEXTING!

      blessings!
      Beth

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  20. I make myself aware...and really have to focus when I run..we live in town but they're never seem to people around when you want them to be.

    truckredford at gmail dot com

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  21. I'm either oblivious or because I live in a small town where not much goes on I don't consider danger from outside sources. If I lived in a big city I'm sure I would think differently.
    As far as danger from ourselves ... when my hubby didn't want the kids walking on walls or climbing trees, I was the one to push the issue. Got to try that adventurous stuff right?

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  22. Thanks, everyone, for all the comments! Remember if you are wanting to be included in the drawing for the FOUR books, including the not yet released Riptide (you'll get a copy before it's available in stores) please head to my website and sign up for my newsletter. It's important to publishers that we have a good newsletter list, and I appreciate your encouragement and support!

    The newsletter sign-up form is on the first page.
    Beth.

    http://www.elizabethgoddard.com

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  23. I play it safe and respect the dangers around me. I live in the city but I find it pretty safe.

    I signed up for the newsletter.

    catbooks(at)rocketmail(dot)com

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  24. I always see two or three different scenarios that could happen...all kinds of what-ifs!!
    Pen
    pmettert@yahoo.com

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  25. I definitely play it safe, but have actually been a little "too" cautious many times. So, I'm making a real effort to relax a little. I desire to be cautious without being paranoid. :)

    Thanks for the contest!

    Randi
    wpd_2(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  26. LOL. I like that. Cautious without being paranoid.

    Good one.

    And you are welcome on the contest. :)

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  27. I tend to be easy-going and take things at face value. I guess that's why I can enjoy mysteries and suspense so much. michyellowrose@gmail.com

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  28. I always fear my surrounding where ever i go . You just don't know what may happen ... I love suspense & mystery.
    lizd225(at)gmail(dot)com

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  29. Always keep an eye on what is going on around me. When I walk, I carry a long broom stick. And I've been known to drive around the block if I think someone is too interested in where I'm going. Smile. Love romantic suspense novels and would love getting a chance to be one of the first to read your new one.
    grandmabkr at yahoo dot com

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  30. I do tend to be on edge in certain situations and am somewhat "scared" of the potentially dangerous situations I could find myself in. For me, it is because of the neighborhood I grew up in.

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  31. I am even more aware of my surroundings since becoming a grandmother. It is so important to instill caution to our children and grandchildren about the dangers out there.
    Thank you for this opportunity to win. I signed up for the newsletter!
    debsbunch5[at]jesusanswers[dot]com

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  32. Yes, I definitely live with a healthy respect for the dangers around me. Actually, I believe since reading my first suspense novel as a teen is when I became more aware. If I'm walking I can feel if there's someone behind me. I usually stop and wait for them to pass me or cross the street. When I'm on the bus I take out my house keys so I don't have to search for them at the door.

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  33. I really try to be aware of my surroundings, especially if I'm out late at night (which I try not to be). I even took a karate class in college and carried pepper spray on my key chain for a few years until it all leaked out in my purse. lol Now I always take out my keys before I get to my car; usually before I even reach the parking lot.
    I would love to win. I'm always looking for a good suspense book to read.

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  34. I also try to be aware of what is going on around me, but ultimately I just have to trust my Heavenly Father is there surrounding me with his love and protection.

    I am fairly new to the suspense genre,and I am loving every minute of my reading. I look forward to reading some of your books.

    Pwhitelmt@gmail.com

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  35. Yes, I think of the dangers when I'm out, and also when I'm at home. Just a few days ago in one of our Kroger grocery stores, 2 men would find a basket with a woman's purse and her not looking, grab it and take off. Always hang onto your purse. Then there was another Kroger where this woman went to her cccar, and there was an old woman nearby, so she talked to her, as most people will do. The older woman not only grabbed her but put a knife to her throat. Then took her purse and money. And, today, there was a man come to a lady's home and knocked on the front door, and she didn't know him so never went to the door. Well, in a very few min. someone crashed through the back door, I suppose thinking no one was at home. She and her daughter ran out the front door. I lock my car doors as soon as I open the driver door, then nobody can jump in the passenger door. They have also knocked women down in the parking lots where you shop and grab their purses. One older woman was hurt really bad. So much to watch for now. Always be alert. When I was younger we hardly heard of these sort of things. Please put me in the drawing for that great gift. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

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