Traditional Publishing

How Annette Lyon Went From Writing "Sweet Romance" to Suspense – Wednesday March 22, 2023

People who know me as a romance writer might see my new suspense novel as something that came out of nowhere. At first glance, my history would bear that out.

When my first novel was published by a small press, I really didn’t like the title they picked. It sounded too romantic for a book where, to me, the entire point was something else: the concern of a mother for her child. I made some tweaks so the title would point to that underlying theme. It had a suspense subplot, but there wasn’t really a way to get that across in the title or cover.

My second novel also had a romantic arc and a suspense subplot. My third was my first foray into historical fiction, which scared me. Readers said it was my best work yet, which told me that stretching myself had probably made me grow as a writer. That story also had a mother deeply concerned about her daughter. It didn’t have a suspense subplot, but it did open with a house burning down.

What I thought would be my fourth was a murder mystery, but the publisher suggested I do more historical, as my last book had outsold the others. I set the mystery—and my suspense ideas—on a shelf to gather dust with the many creepy resource books I’d collected about poisons, death, injury, firearms, and more.

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