I’ve always loved writing suspense for a number of reasons. I love the fight for justice and the assurance that the good guys will win. I love taking a real world situation, like human trafficking (Dangerous Passage) or an epidemic (Blood Covenant) and then show men and women taking risks to make a difference in the lives of people. In a world where there are not always happy endings, I also love the ability to create that happy ending for my characters.
And yet recently, everything changed on how I feel about writing suspense.
Two weeks ago, after spending almost a week in the hospital for a serious infection, three armed men walked into our house. To make a long story short, they tied us up—gave me two black eyes and a mild concussion in the process—and robbed us, including my wedding ring off my finger. While the black eyes are now almost gone, I’m still dealing with the effects of the trauma we faced. Like today, the first time I’ve had a chance to sit down to write again, I froze. Did I really want to jump back into the middle of writing a hostage situation?
Because as coincidental as this might sound, the day before the robbery, I had decided to write a blog post entitled the Diary of a Wimpy Mom. I was in the middle of writing my current manuscript and thought how ironic it was that while I put my characters through extremely difficult, life and death situations, I have no desire to even get on a rollercoaster!
Right now, I’m working on a book set in the Sahara where my heroine is kidnapped, then rescued by the hero, but soon they both face a race across the desert for their lives. It made me think about my own life. I’ve had several people ask me if I’d ever experienced some of the things I write about in my books. Uh. . .no. Are you kidding me? While a lot of people love an adrenalin rush from extreme sports, amusement parks, and even high-stress jobs, I don’t. At all. Call me a wimp, but I don’t like anything that gets my adrenaline going. And certainly not any of the scenarios I put my characters through. (I almost felt guilty turning in my last Nikki Boyd story to my editor, because the poor girl went through so much!)
Which is why I’ve had to go back and remind myself why I write what I write. I’ve shared my reasons before in various interviews and blogs in the past. About God calling ordinary people and using them to make a difference in the world. About our response to that call. And about how He, then, is the one who will give us the strength to do extraordinary things for Him.
I reminded myself as well that we all struggle. Not necessarily in the same way I make my characters struggle, but in our normal day to day struggle. Working hard, paying bills, dealing with hurts and illness, and loss. . .
Which maybe is the bottom line as to why when I write my stories, I want my readers to never forget that the God who created the universe loves us and wants to be our strength no matter what is happening in the world around us. Jesus came to heal the empty and broken hearted, and those searching for freedom and hope. Psalm 91 says that He is our refuge and fortress. He will cover us with his feathers and under His wings where we will find refuge.
So for now, I’m going to keep writing stories of justice and hope. And, of course, a happy ending.
Be a blessing,