I Don’t Write Suspense

I’ve been writing off and on for the last fifty-some years. I’ve written poetry, dramatic monologs, short stories, short plays, and essays.

I’ve been writing novels for the past eight or nine years. Two of my young adult novels have been published and my one satirical speculative novel–that’s what the Christian market calls “supernatural” now–was published in November.

I’ve written eight other novel  manuscripts in varying genres that have yet to be discovered by a discriminating publisher.

But do I read Young Adult novels? Only periodically.

How about speculative novels? Sometimes.

What do I really enjoy reading, then? Suspense.

Not mysteries, although suspense can involve mysteries needing to be solved. Not terror stories, although suspense often deals with some indescribably terrible things.

I like straight out pure and simple  suspense. The kind that keeps me turning pages and–figuratively speaking–biting my nails.

But I don’t write suspense, even though my novels sometimes have suspenseful moments.

Why not? I don’t think my creativity works the right way for suspense, and I don’t feel like trying my hand at something I have strong doubts about succeeding at. Coming up with a really fresh idea would be extra difficult after all of the suspense novels I’ve read, and having to keep so many details straight–so many balls in the air, as it were–doesn’t appeal to me.

But that doesn’t keep me from reading suspense and loving it. I just finished a really good one–Redeeming Grace by Ward Tanneberg. The blurb on Amazon is brief, but compelling:

“Hello Grace, did you think I wouldn’t find you?”

Those nine chilling words end Grace Grafton’s self-imposed sanctuary of witness protection. She knows the President’s dark secret – a secret that could destroy his presidency. Thought to be a fatal casualty in a drunken boating accident, now Grace and everyone she loves are in grave danger as a killer prepares to take the oath of office.

When a murderer moves into the White House no one is safe – not even the dead.

Who wouldn’t at least be curious about a book like that?

I’ve read political thrillers by various well-known secular authors, but this novel is right up there with them. The Christian elements only made it better. I’m not going to give away any secrets about the plot, but suffice it to say that Mr. Tanneberg has crafted his story extremely well.

When I’m dying to read something else by an author, that tells you something.

What do you like to read? Please share a comment.


I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

“On Aging Gracelessly” is only one of my two blogs. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on  “As I Come Singing.” Check it out HERE if you’re interested.  Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.

My new novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, is out now. If you’re interested, please check it out at Amazon.

Best regards,


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