Too Bad Romantic Suspense is Dead By Dana Marton
In a recent interview, I was asked how I felt about romantic suspense being dead. This was new to me, since I published six romantic suspense novels in 2012 and will be publishing six again in 2013. In fact, I have a new book out every month from August to December.
But yes, if someone really looked at the last couple of years, the star of romantic suspense appears to be waning. After the genre became a huge trend a few years ago, publishers decided that the market was now glutted and did not sign new romantic suspense authors. This meant, if you looked on review sites or in review magazines like Romantic Times Book Review, you saw the romantic suspense reviews page shrink, then disappear.
But I’m slowly seeing a pickup in the number of romantic suspense titles released in recent months. Does that mean that the genre is resurrecting?
I don’t think it was ever dead, but I do think these books are entering the limelight again. When I look back at the mega hits of the last decade or so, I’m definitely seeing a wave, starting at the short end of the pool and working its way up.
Became a hit around 15 yrs ago: Harry Potter series (written for kids 8/9 and up), main plot points include action/suspense/and eventually romance
Became a hit around 8 years ago: Twilight series (written for young adult/high school audience), main plot points include action/suspense/romance
Current hit: Mortal Instruments series (written for young adult and new adult/college audience), main plot points include action/suspense/romance
What these mega hits have in common:
A, they cater to a younger audience
B, they contain action/suspense and romance
C, they also have a paranormal element (perhaps because a younger audience is especially receptive to magic)
These readers who grew up on Harry Potter then moved on to Twilight then to Mortal Instruments will still want their action/suspense/romance when they’re a few years older. And we’re talking not just about a puny wave, but a tsunami of readers.
Will this result in a huge demand for adult (ages 25+) paranormal romantic suspense? Maybe. But it’s also possible that readers’ tastes evolve with age. The preferred mix might go from lots of magic and action with a dash of romance, to lots of romance and action with or without a dash of magic.
So is romantic suspense dead? I don’t think so. “I want no romance or excitement in my life,” said nobody ever.
Dana Marton is the author of 40+ romantic suspense novels, the winner of the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence and a Rita Award nominee. Nearly 2 million copies of her books have been sold around the world. She is a graduate of Seton Hill University, with a Master’s Degree in Writing Popular Fiction. Her current novel, Deathwatch, can be purchased here. You can reach the author on her website or on Facebook.
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