Amy Lane Interviews Karen Rose – Special Exclusive Interview

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Amy Lane who is visiting with us to celebrate the recent release of Red Fish, Dead Fish, which is currently on sale for just $0.99!

Suspense that comes up Rose’s
by Amy Lane

Okay folks—so, I’m here today to promote Red Fish, Dead Fish, my latest story in the Fish Out of Water series.  Now, usually in a blog tour, we talk about ourselves and our newest book until we can’t hardly stand it—but this time out I decided to do something different. I’m going to talk about other people’s books—because I know some amazing romantic suspense authors, and I wanted to celebrate them instead. So Red Fish, Dead Fish is out on Amazon, it’s the second in the series, and I think you’ll like it very much a lot! That being said, let’s talk about Karen Rose!

When Karen Rose e-mailed me last year to say she enjoyed my work, nobody was as surprised as I was. I had just bought the first three of her books (and now I’m on like, the tenth!) because she writes romantic suspense and that is just my favorite candy of all times. So to see that she had read me first? I was all aflutter.

She is possibly the dearest person I’ve ever met.

You would not expect that from someone who rips her characters apart and puts them through the wringer and then pounds them on the head and then brings them back for their own book, but she’s absolutely lovely. She believes that a HEA is possible for everybody—but that doesn’t mean they don’t have to hack through the blood and the bodies to get it.

Her thrillers are tense, intricate, exquisitely plotted and full of the most amazing details—but always, always they come back to character. People come first with her—both in her life and in her wonderful, gritty, tense, angsty, fantastic crime thrillers that will captivate and enthrall you.

Genre expectations are fairly important–in YOUR words, what are the differences between romantic suspense, mystery suspense, cozy, noir, and thrillers?  Which do you feel you write–and why?

I’ve always seen thriller/suspense/mystery as concentric circles, like a target. The mystery is in the center and the unknown can be who, why, or even how the villain will be brought down and how many victims will he take before his defeat? Suspense is an additional layer, the heart pounding nearness of the villain or the danger to the hero, heroine, or someone in their sphere. A thriller is the mystery and suspense, but with elements of action – car chases, fights, bombs, or bullets – or all of the above.

A cozy is a mystery in which the personal stakes don’t feel as intense. Normally there is no explicit sex or gory violence. Low body counts (if any). Noir evokes more of a gritty, menacing mood – it often features hard boiled private investigators, gangs and molls, good and bad cops and cynical, snappy dialog.

Any of these can be mixed with romance. I consider myself an author of “romantic thrillers,” but, truthfully, I use “romantic suspense” almost interchangeably. For me, it’s a nuance.

The most important factors for romantic thrillers/suspenses/mysteries are: 1) the happy ending (or else it’s NOT a romance); 2) the relationship between the hero and heroine – they must work together to solve the mystery and to avert whatever disaster is pending. They grow together as a couple as well as individually, becoming – by the end of the book – stronger than the villain. Both should participate in the villain’s downfall. And to be a true romantic thriller/suspense/mystery, the romance has to be so integral to the plot that removing it creates a different book.

What do you think is the most delicious part of a suspense novel or a mystery?

When the killer is SO CLOSE that he could touch the hero and/or heroine and they HAVE NO IDEA. But the reader knows. It’s ever more delicious if there are elements of betrayal, i.e., the villain is a friend or confidant who has both proximity and information that can cause the hero/heroine the greatest pain.

Of course, the unveiling is the best part – that can be the identity of the killer or his motivation if the reader already knows who he or she is.

Tell me about body counts–seriously. How many corpses make a good suspense novel, and why?

My villains normally have at least a dozen victims by the last page. There at least has to be one, in my opinion. The villain creating a path of destruction and loss as he/she moves through the story is one way of ratcheting up the tension and portraying the depths of the villain’s true evil nature.

Dish about TV shows–which ones do you love and which ones do you hate from a suspense POV? Which TV show/movie do you most want your books to resemble?

I am a long-time fan of Law & Order and I mourned the passing of Jerry Orbach (Lenny Briscoe). Cold Case is one of my favorites as it delves deep into the motivation and emotion of all the characters – police, victims, families, and the villain.

When you read outside your genre, what’s your candy? (I ask everybody this–I think it’s fascinating!)  

I rarely read suspense and never horror. (Gives me bad dreams!) I love romances – paranormal, LGBT, and fantasy. I find many of these have a suspense theme running through them, though. 

Have you ever freaked yourself right out by writing a suspense scene? Which scene, and do you think it made the book better?

I’ve frightened myself a few times. One that comes to mind was YOU CAN’T HIDE (2006) in which the villain hides cameras in A/C vents. I was writing the book in a hotel room in Reno (during the 2005 RWA conference, actually), and there was a broken A/C vent. I kept staring at it until I finally had to climb on a chair and check for cameras. There weren’t any. Whew.

Thanks, Karen!!

For more interviews and author close ups for Romantic Suspense, check out the rest of the blog tour—

July 28 – MM Good Book Reviews Amy Lane
July 28 – Alpha Book Reviews (Just a little about Jackson in Fish Out of Water)
July 31 – Open Skye Book Reviews Andrew Grey
August 1 – Two Chicks Obsessed Kim Fielding
August 2 – My Fiction Nook Rayna Vause
August 3 – Tammy’s Two Cents Ava Drake
August 4 – Happily Ever Chapter Melinda Leigh
August 7 – Long and Short Reviews Karen Rose
August 8 – Love Bytes Charlie Cochet
August 10 – The Novel Approach Tere Michaels

They must work together to stop a psychopath—and save each other.

Two months ago Jackson Rivers got shot while trying to save Ellery Cramer’s life. Not only is Jackson still suffering from his wounds, the triggerman remains at large—and the body count is mounting.

Jackson and Ellery have been trying to track down Tim Owens since Jackson got out of the hospital, but Owens’s time as a member of the department makes the DA reluctant to turn over any stones. When Owens starts going after people Jackson knows, Ellery’s instincts hit red alert. Hurt in a scuffle with drug-dealing squatters and trying damned hard not to grieve for a childhood spent in hell, Jackson is weak and vulnerable when Owens strikes.

Jackson gets away, but the fallout from the encounter might kill him. It’s not doing Ellery any favors either. When a police detective is abducted—and Jackson and Ellery hold the key to finding her—Ellery finds out exactly what he’s made of. He’s not the corporate shark who believes in winning at all costs; he’s the frightened lover trying to keep the man he cares for from self-destructing in his own valor.

About the author: Amy Lane has two kids in college, two gradeschoolers in soccer, two cats, and two Chi-who-whats at large. She lives in a crumbling crapmansion with most of the children and a bemused spouse. She also has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day! She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and m/m romance–and if you accidentally make eye contact, she’ll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together. She’ll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.


Buy the book at Amazon or Dreamspinner Press.

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