Saturday, October 29, 2011

WHY I WRITE ROMANTIC SUSPENSE

A warm thank you to Goddess Fish Party Pavilion for hosting this party. I’m Sharon Donovan and I write romantic suspense with some old Hitchcock magic. Here’s why.

Good Evening!

Those chilling words still send shivers racing down my spine from the old television show “Alfred Hitchcock Presents”
Ever since I was a little girl, I loved being scared to death. Nothing could come close to the images the master story teller conjured in my head. Just the sound of those words in barely more than a whisper made my skin crawl. The anticipation of the story he was about to show had my heart racing. I remember glancing around the room to make sure all the curtains were drawn, all the doors locked. My family and I would gather around the television on a Friday evening, lights out with a big bowl of buttered popcorn. And the second the master of suspense’s face would appear on screen, my brother, sister and I would scream loud enough to wake the dead.

Alfred Hitchcock packed it all in his books and movies—chance meetings on a train, murder and mayhem, voyeurism, ice-blondes, debonair actors with a touch of quirky humor and rakish charm, espionage, romance and lost love. And who better befitting to portray the femme fatale of that era than Grace Kelly, Ingrid Bergman, Kim Novak and Janet Leigh? They were a perfect fit with Hollywood legends as Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart, two of Hitchcock’s favorites.

Few books or movies since the Master’s time have stayed with me or left such jarring images. Although not his best film, I think we all agree that Psycho is his most chilling. The Bates Hotel is such a simple name, who would suspect that such a twisted psychopath lived inside. With a fetish for peeking on guests as they shower, Janet Leigh is about to find out just how twisted Norman Bates is. (Voyeurism at its peak) Just the sound of that screeching violin gets my blood pumping!

The Birds is the movie that truly frightened me. To this day, I have a bird phobia. The image of those eerie birds gathering in the playground still make me shudder. When I hear the flapping of wings overhead, I hitch in my breath, petrified for a fleeting second that I will be the victim of a ghoulish attack.

Vertigo is another favorite of many Hitchcock fans. Set in the almost dream-like haze of the empty San Francisco streets, Vertigo portrays obsession and lost romance in a surreal manner, a true hallmark of his movies. In this story, Jimmy Steward pursues Kim Novak as she slips in and out of her dead great grandmother’s persona. So even back then, there was a touch of paranormal in the books Alfred Hitchcock wrote

Thinking of some of these old plots that linger in my mind, I write stories of romance and suspense to hopefully give readers just a hint of that old Hitchcock magic. What’s your favorite Alfred Hitchcock movie of all times? Which actress in today’s Hollywood do you picture playing the role of the ice blonde? The perfect femme fatale?

Alfred Hitchcock inspired a scene in my romantic suspense book HER BIGGEST FAN. Let’s take a little peek.

Cool air drifted out of the ballroom, carrying the
scent of burning candles and cigarettes. Music
floated through the corridor, the seductive
undertone hauntingly familiar. The music was
hypnotic, mesmerizing. Tess could barely think over
the loud beat of her heart.
Every sense screamed to beware. She was about
to come face-to-face with her stalker, her biggest fan.
But over the hammering of her heart and
accelerated senses, her will to put an end to this
deadly game prevailed. She had to face him, find out
who was behind this bizarre masquerade.
Anticipation mounting, she made the turn at the end
of the corridor and came to a riveting halt.
A female wax gargoyle stood in the doorway,
long blonde hair billowing in the breeze. Her glass
eyes shimmered with madness, an eerie smile on her
face. In one hand, she held a mission bell, the other
reaching out for a candle.
Music played from the old phonograph, the
plucking of guitar strings laced with seduction. A
breeze blew in through open terrace doors, stirring
the sweet scent of jasmine from the candelabras.
Two wax nymphs stood at the bar, glass eyes
shining bright in the candlelight, pliable fingers
wrapped around flutes of pink champagne. Lit
cigarettes burned in ashtrays. From behind the bar,
a winged monster served drinks.
In the center of the ballroom, two gargoyles held
a pose as if they were dancing, their waxy bodies
closely pressed together, their reflections glowing in
the mirrored ceiling. From the old phonograph in the
corner, the hypnotic music played.
Tess gasped, her hand clasping her mouth. “Oh
my God!”
Mike raised his gun, circled the room. “Come out
with your hands up. Hancock County Sheriff. Put
your hands where I can see them.”

HER BIGGEST FANAn edge of your seat chilling suspenseISBN: 1-60154-813-3
AVAILABLE NOW!http://www.TheWildRosePress.com/Her-Biggest-Fan-P-4234.HTML


Sharon Donovan
Romantic Suspense with a Twist of Faith
My website
www.sharonadonovan.com

my blog
http://sharondonovan.blogspot.com


Follow me on Twitter
http://twitter.com/SharonADonovan

my email
sharonad@comcast.net

AMAZON KINDLE
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-
You can read other excerpts and reviews on my website
www.sharonadonovan.com

MASK OF THE BETRAYER

CHARADE OF HEARTS

ECHO OF A RAVEN

7 comments:

Sharon Donovan said...

Who might play Tess in a Hitchcock film?

Na said...

Hmm...I have no clue. I'm bad at casting. I can tell you why I enjoy reading romantic suspense. It's the non-stop action and how engaging the story is.

Eliza March [Elizabeth Marchat] said...

I'm a big fan of romantic suspense. I love the excerpt.

Sharon Donovan said...

NA honestly I would be clueless as well but I'm with you. I read and write and love romantic suspense because I love getting caught up in the web of turn pagers!

Sharon Donovan said...

Thank you, Eliza. It pleases me that you liked the excerpt to HBF. It was thrilling to write and has been described by reviewers as exceptional and pulse racing and was recently up for book of the week at LASR thanks to Snapdragon's 5 book review. You can read all about it here.
http://longandshortreviews.blogspot.com/2011/10/her-biggest-fan-by-sharon-donovan.html

Cate Masters said...

You set a scene so vividly, Sharon! Congrats on your success with Mask of the Betrayer.

Sharon Donovan said...

Thanks so much, Cate!