Multi-published author Shannon Redmon recently stopped by my blog to share some about her writing life.
Why did you start writing romantic suspense novels?
I’ve always loved to write stories or create characters and conversations in my head so why not put them on paper in story form? I chose romantic suspense because that’s what I love to read.
What’s the hardest part of writing romantic suspense?
Keeping the tension in every chapter, even during the slow scenes.
When do you find time to write?
I’m a full-time writer since December 2020 so I write every day.
What is your favorite spot for reading or reflecting on your current work-in-progress?
Usually on my comfy couch. However, if I need to brainstorm and feel like I’m stuck in a story, I’ll take a walk or go for a waterfall hike to give my brain a reset, then I can usually get back to the story.
How do you connect with your characters?
I think there’s a little piece of me in every character. Sometimes, I give them traits I wish I had, like being able to physically kick some villain bum when needed. I don’t like pain, so not sure I could do that.
How do you come up with titles for your books?
I come up with multiple titles for my books because as a Love Inspired Suspense (LIS) author, we have to send in a list for the editors to select the one that fits best. I always try to make the title suspenseful while still reflecting the plot of the story.
What’s your go-to when you need a pick-me-up to keep writing?
Coffee, coffee, coffee!
Why do you like writing romantic suspense?
I love putting a puzzle together that I hope my readers enjoy trying to figure out until the very end. I like the twists and turns with a little bit of romance in between.
What’s the weirdest way someone has died or been killed in your novels?
Not sure if weird is the right word, but I had one of my villains fall off a waterfall.
How do you research ways to kill someone for your books?
I’m sure the FBI is watching my internet searches because I have some scary search topics regarding ways to kill off my characters. I also love to talk to people and interview them to get more information about the jobs I give my characters.
Where do you get the inspiration for your plots?
LIS gives us hooks to add into our stories based on what their readers like. I usually take those hooks and weave an intricate plot around those points. Sometimes a plot will come to me in a dream or an article I read. I also watch true crime documentaries and get ideas from historical cases or articles I read.
Have you ever regretted killing off a character?
I have! I have this character in a book I wrote (not published yet) and I really miss him. I’m thinking of rewriting the entire story and making him my hero.
How do you pick the location/setting of your romantic suspense novels?
I live in Western North Carolina and I’m surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains. I set all of my stories here or down into the Charlotte area which is a larger city near me. God has blessed our area with so much natural beauty and I love to try to pull that into my stories.
What did you want to be as a child (and did that dream come true)?
I wanted to be a singer but I always felt like I was going to pass out when I sang in front of people so now my singing days are confined to church and in the shower.
What does your family think of your writing romantic suspense?
My two grown boys think it’s cool that their mom is a published author and my husband is my greatest supporter. He’s the reason I’m able to write full-time.
What is one of your favorite ways to connect with readers?
I love connecting with my readers on social media and since Covid hit, that’s about the only way to get to connect with them. However, as restrictions have been lifted and people are travelling again, I hope I get to meet some of them in person one day. They are the best and support my writing so well! I love them so much!
What are some of the questions you hear when you say you write romantic suspense?
Most people think it’s cool when they find out you’re a published author and they often share how they too would love to write books one day. I often encourage them to do it now. We know how difficult publishing books these days, and the time from start to shelf can take a year or more. No time like the present to get started on that dream! I did and now I’m working on book four.
How do you ensure your books are accurate?
Research. Authors can never be too careful. I actually have had a mistake in one of my books and readers will call you out on them. I try my best to make sure all the elements in my stories are accurate but sometimes a mistake slips through even though our books go through three editors and several beta readers before hitting the shelves.
What is absolutely essential for you to write?
I have to have a quiet space with no interruptions. Once I’m pulled out of a scene it takes me about 30 minutes to get back into that head space to continue.
What has been most frustrating about writing romantic suspense?
Waiting for my books to get published and writing proposals.
What has been most rewarding about writing romantic suspense?
Writing stories that bring readers joy and escape while hopefully building a stronger walk with Jesus.
What do you wish readers knew about the romantic suspense genre?
I wish they knew how hard authors work to bring stories to the market, they will like. The process is grueling at times and is extremely time consuming, but we do this because we love a good story and we want to put books in the world that they will love.
What do readers ask you when they meet you?
They often ask me how I got started writing or how many books I wrote before I was published. The answer to the latter is my fourth book was my first published book. I’m so thankful my first three didn’t get published because looking back now, I had so much to learn and I’m still learning.
Who’s your favorite romantic suspense writer and why?
I have so many, but Tosca Lee, Steven James and Robert Dugoni are my favorite authors right now. They all weave a story that seems effortless when I read them and their characters pull me right into the story until the end.
Which of your books is your favorite and why?
I think my first book, Cave of Secrets, will always have a special place in my heart because it was the first time I say my name on shelf in Barnes and Noble. My second book, Secrets Left Behind, was a fun story to write and my cousin helped me with some of the concepts. That was fun getting to work with her. I just turned in my third book and I love it because it’s about an Army helicopter pilot and I’ve always wanted to fly helicopters. I loved researching and interviewing army soldiers to help craft that story. My fourth book, which I’m brainstorming right now, will be about a serial killer and the light of the heroine who brings him down. Oh goodness, I don’t think I’m able to choose just one. I love them all!
About Shannon Redmon
Shannon remembers the first grown-up book she checked out from the neighborhood bookmobile—Victoria Holt novel with romance, intrigue, dashing gentlemen and ballroom parties. She is a multi-published author with Love Inspired Suspense and hopes to encourage readers with stories of faith, hope, and love.
Secrets Left Behind
The more clues they uncover, the more deadly the investigation becomes.
After surviving several attempts on her life, Skye Anderson knows Detective Jake Reed’s suspicions of foul play about the accident that killed her husband must be true. Someone will stop at nothing to keep the truth hidden—and all signs point to a drug ring Skye’s late husband was investigating. Can Jake keep Skye alive and identify the killers pursuing her?