When I first started writing, I wrote two contemporary novels, a historical, and then another modern day story. I didn’t know then that my career of over 30 books and novellas would follow a historical trail for the most part. I have had 3 contemporary stories published—a novella, a Heartsong novel, and an LIS suspense.
The suspense was definitely the most challenging.
Rancher Under Fire is my suspense. I wrote the story years ago, but it never found a home until last year. My agent suggested sending it to LIS, but I told him it wasn’t suspenseful enough for that line. Imagine my shock when they
bought it. But, I was right in that it needed more suspense. You must keep the tension high in a suspense—keep throwing danger and difficult situations at your characters, and keeping them dodging trouble. I had lots of tension and bad things happening, but most of it was directed at my hero’s ranch rather than at him, such as stock tanks being shot, fences cut, etc. My LIS editor had me go back through the story and up the tension even more and direct more of the danger at my hero and heroine. I literally spent more time rewriting the book than it took to write it initially. But it’s done, and it’s a better story for all of the changes. I suspect it’s still not as suspenseful as many LIS’s, but I think you’ll enjoy it. I certainly have a much better appreciation for suspense writers like my good friend Margaret Daley.
Here’s the back cover blurb for Rancher Under Fire:
SABOTAGE AT ANGELFIRE RANCH
Jackson Durant would go to any lengths to protect his young daughter and his ranch. He knows the puzzling incidents on his homestead are no accidents. Someone is after him…but who? And why? Reporter Mariah Reyes is determined to find out. She never expected her pursuit of a story on the reclusive rancher would endanger her life—nor that she’d fall for the cowboy. But when Jackson’s daughter is kidnapped, she’ll do anything to help save the little girl—even if it means becoming a target herself.
Rancher Under Fire releases tomorrow (Sept 2nd), but you can pre-order it now: http://amzn.to/1mAlj3R
I’m giving away a copy of Rancher Under Fire to one lucky commenter. If the winner lives some place other than the U.S. or Canada, I’ll email you a pdf. copy.
Now, I have a question for you:
Who is your favorite suspense writer? What’s your favorite suspense novel?
MORE ABOUT VICKIE:
Vickie McDonough grew up wanting to marry a rancher, but instead, she married a computer geek who is scared of horses. She now lives out her dreams in her fictional stories about ranchers, cowboys, lawmen and others living in the West during the 1800s. Vickie is the award-winning author of 29 published books and novellas. Her books include the fun and feisty Texas Boardinghouse Brides series, and End of the Trail, which was the OWFI 2013 Best Fiction Novel winner. Whispers on the Prairie, which released last July, was chosen by Romantic Times as one of their Recommended Inspirational Books for July.
Readers can visit my website to learn about me and my other books: www.vickiemcdonough.com