Friday, July 31, 2009

Suspense in the Paranormal

by Rita Herron

I’ve been writing romantic suspense for years, both category romantic suspense for Harlequin Intrigue, and romantic suspense books for HQN. As my love of heart pounding mystery/suspense grew, so did my infatuation with the paranormal.

Slowly I began sprinkling paranormal elements into my stories – a ghost, a psychic, a firestarter, a character with telepathy.

So when I first contemplated writing a paranormal series, I asked myself: how could it be different from the numerous paranormal romances out there?

The answer was easy. It had to be a suspense thriller!

The crime fighters, cops, FBI agents, and detectives that I usually write about and love would not only be solving horrific crimes and saving innocents but the villains would be demons. The crimes could also be unique to the type of demon in the story. And the plots could be even more twisted and layered!

In the first book in the series, Insatiable Desire, I introduce Pan, the god of fear. With one touch, he knows a person’s fear and uses it to kill the person.

In Dark Hunger, the Death Angel sweeps in to take innocent’s lives and claims that death is inevitable, posing the question: Can death be stopped?

But I also wanted to add another complication – I wanted the heroes in the story to not only fight evil, but to be evil.

Okay, that presented a challenge. If the heroes were completely evil, how could I have my heroine fall in love with them? How could they actually be heroes?

The character of Cole Turner in Charmed came to mind, and I had my solution. My heroes were going to be part demonic, born from a descendant of Satan. But they had to possess

some good, and that good would come from their mother, an Angel of Light.

Naturally, the parents had been forbidden to marry, but the Angel thought she could save the soul of her lover, and she did for a while. But eventually she failed and Zion completely succumbed to evil.

That realization brought another element of conflict to my series. Would my heroes fail as their father did and follow the darkness? Could the love of the heroines save them?


Do you think the love of a good woman can save a man? What paranormal elements would you like to see that you haven’t seen in a story?

Leave a comment or question for Rita today and be entered in a contest for a copy of Rita’s first book in The Demonborn Series: Insatiable Desire. But don’t stop there! There’s a second contest for today’s readers.

Visit Rita at her website and sign up for her newsletter to be entered in a contest to a copy of both books in The Demonborn Series: Insatiable Desire and Dark Hunger. And, by singing up for Rita’s newsletter, you will also be automatically entered in Rita’s regular monthly contests. You can also find extras on the Demonborn series at And visit Rita on Facebook,, and!

1 comment:

Bethany said...

Welcome to Frighteing journeys, Rita! I love the premise for the Demonborn series. cole was always a favorite of mine. Leo had all those rules...