The Lure of Historical Suspense~DiAnn Mills

Untitled            Many times I’m asked which genre I like the best–historical or contemporary suspense. Actually I like them both. Each genre is challenging, exciting, and full of possibilities to create a unique story.

            I started thinking about historical suspense and how I enjoy incorporating hold-your-breath anticipation into my stories. Yep, partner, I’ve been writing historical suspense all along. Victims are dumped on doorsteps. The innocent are in fear of their lives. Outlaws prey on the unsuspecting. Range wars. Railroad tycoons who are hungry for more land. Tornadoes. Disease. Fires. All those stories need strong heroes and heroines who must choose between taking a courageous stand and risking danger or allowing tragedy and chaos to continue.

            Sounds a whole lot like a western.

            Except a western is limited to a setting in the western United States and the time period from after the Civil War to the turn of the twentieth century. Conflicts are generated from problems among Native Americans and settlers, ruthless outlaws, and rich landowners who wahat larietnt to take what belongs to hardworking people. Most westerns use an unlikely hero to save the day. We read about handsome, slow-talking, cowboys, a few who tell the girl goodbye and kiss their horses. J Of course there are objections to any story line.

            Westerns reach out and lasso a snippet of the past that entertains us. These stories can be suspenseful, but not all historical suspense novels are westerns.

            Historical suspense novels are bubbling over with action. They tug on the physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental forces of our characters. They take any portion of the past and add enough detail to make the story real. Diligent writers sprinkle in plenty of creativity to keep us glued to the page and on the edge of our seats.

            Facts are a requirement. Readers will despise you if you break that rule. Libraries and state historical societies are dynamic resources to assist the reader. I much prefer visiting the area and snapping many pictures. Many times local or state-published books about the setting and its people give us rich tidbits of information.51WmrS1JcAL__SS500_

            Strong characters and unpredictable plot twists are essential in every suspense novel. The advantage of treating your readers to a historical suspense is the journey back in time to a slower pace of life when men and women lived by their wits, and hard work meant the toil of your hands. The romance of your favorite era combined with a suspenseful story will keep your readers craving another adventure!

DiAnn Mills

A Woman Called Sage, Zondervan April 2010

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20 thoughts on “The Lure of Historical Suspense~DiAnn Mills”

  1. Hi DiAnn is interesting what you wrote. I visited your site and I looked at the booktrailer of this your new book. I liked very much, congratulations.
    Every time I come here from you (and come here often^-^) I am dying of envy. We have so many authors can choose while we, in Italy we are forced to read what they choose publishers. And unfortunately have decided that the western novels do not work!
    Luckily it was not always state so, and I can find good western novels used books.

    DiAnn good luck in your new book and a warm embrace to my dear friend and favorite author Elizabeth.

  2. hi DiAnn!
    thanks for coming by!
    i watched your trailer and i have to say “A Woman Called Sage” sounds like a really interesting book!
    i love the twist on the plot where the woman is actually the one seeking revenge
    bet it’s action packed!
    i LOVE the book cover–Sage is beautiful!

  3. DiAnn, I loved to read how you view writing historical suspense. I get two books in one, and I love both!! Thanks for sharing. Got to learn a little more about you!

  4. History & romance are a good match-up. Good luck on your newest book, DiAnn. I’ve ordered it.

  5. I love reading both historical and suspense! To put them both together would be fabulous I just never thought of it being that way. Lately I have been into the western but have run out! Your book sound like a fantastic read so I will have to look for it. I’m going to check out your website and start watching for your books. Thanks for sharing!

  6. All the facts and details are one of the reasons I love historicals. Coming from a different time is also another plus. I never thought of historical and suspense in the same genre but you are definitely right. I’ve always loved suspense so what could be better. I have probably preferred those types of books all along but never knew it lol.

  7. Combining two of my favorite reads is a sure way to send me shopping for your book. I really want to read your book.

  8. Enjoyed reading the comments. Glad you are writing about this era-I like to read these kinds of stories.

  9. Hi Gang

    Sage left before sunup this morning to bring in a wanted man. She expects to be back by noon in time to have lunch with Parker at the boardinghouse. Well, she’s a little late, but I wanted to bring you up up to snuff about her whereabouts.

  10. Hi DiAnn,

    Welcome back to P&P! We’re always glad to have you blog with us. Hope you come back again soon.

    I love both historical and suspense genres. It’s the best of both worlds when they’re combined into one story. Keeps the readers turning the pages.

    What a great title! I love “A Woman Called Sage.” And the woman being on the front really stands out. Great cover!

  11. Hi DiAnn,

    I love your books. I write mystery and romance and I must say I love throwing in some suspense.

    The cover of your book is wonderful. I mostly write about Native Americans.

    Walk in harmony,

  12. Hi DiAnn, I’ve just visited your website and enjoyed
    the trailer for this book! Early L’Amours and Greys
    were my introduction to westerns and I still read
    them occasionally. I like the idea of introducing
    suspense to the mix – I look forward to reading “A
    Woman Called Sage.”

    Pat Cochran

  13. I loved Zane Grey and Louie L’Amour too. However my stories are different in that the hero doesn’t kiss the horse and tell the girl goodbye. But . . . maybe if the hero did, he wouldn’t get into so much trouble!

  14. Hi DiAnn! I watched your trailer and loved it too. I like your take on historical suspense. I would love to read your book.

  15. Sage looks like a great read–even the cover grabs my eye! I look forward to reading it come April!!

  16. I like historical fiction partly to get back to a “simpler” time, not easier just more straight forward. I also read it for the trip back in time. It is important to me for the facts, the locale, the society to be accurate. There are heroes and heroines in every time period, the ones in Westerns are just a little special.

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