It’s my pleasure to welcome author Alison Stone to my blog today. Alison has a new release called Random Acts, available from Samhain Publishing. Over to Alison…
My debut, Random Acts, is a romantic suspense with inspirational elements. In the case of Random Acts, the story is told from a Christian worldview. The heroine, Danielle, had a rough childhood and now wrestles with her faith. As the story unfolds, her faith grows as she learns to rely on God for strength and guidance. However, this is just one thread woven into the story.
When I started writing, my intention was to write mainstream romantic suspense. As I struggled to find my voice, I read across many genres and finally decided to try writing inspirational romantic suspense. This effort turned into Random Acts, my first sale. After I sold, I worried some people would automatically discount my book because it contained a faith element. Religion can be a polarizing topic. (Just turn on the news.) People will always have strong opinions, but I don’t want “religion” to be the first (or last) thought when someone reads Random Acts. I want them to get lost in a good story. Period. If they remember something about my book long after they’ve finished it, that’s a bonus.
When the reviews came out, I was pleasantly surprised. The library review said, “This romance with a slightly inspirational flavor is recommended for readers who are looking for a sweet, “clean” romance that still packs an emotional punch.” Other reviews were similar. They focused on the suspense and the romance with perhaps a side note that the story had a “trace of inspiration.” I hope this means I wrote a solid romantic suspense and seamlessly threaded in my heroine’s struggle with faith which arose naturally from the story.
My intent was to tell a good story that just so happened to include a faith element. Inspirational stories are not supposed to beat the reader over the head with a preachy message or try to convert people. I believe many people who read books labeled as Christian or inspirational do so because they want to read what I have heard termed as a “clean romance.”
My next book, Too Close to Home, is a romantic suspense, but it does not have a faith element, however it certainly would be classified as a “clean” or “sweet” read. The heroine might instinctively say a prayer when she’s in jeopardy, but her faith journey is not part of the story. As I build my writing career, I think I have to be careful to meet reader expectations. Whether I write romantic suspense or not, I plan to gear towards the sweet, with or without inspirational elements. Besides, this is what I enjoy writing. I hope readers enjoy reading them.
What are your thoughts on inspirational romance? Do you read them? If not, I encourage you to try an inspirational romance. You might be pleasantly surprised. A well told story is a well told story.
Alison Stone graduated with a degree in industrial engineering from Georgia Tech. After working in Corporate America for a number of years, she retired to raise her young family. Soon the writing bug bit. After years of conferences, critique groups and writing, Alison sold two manuscripts that will be released in 2012. She claims it was easier to earn her engineering degree. Random Acts is her debut novel. To learn more about Alison Stone please visit www.AlisonStone.com. She’s also chatty on Twitter @Alison_Stone.
Blurb for Random Acts:
Second chances can have a terrible sense of timing.
As a child, watching her mother always pick the wrong man left Danielle Carson wary of opening her heart to anyone—except Patrick Kingsley. But circumstances came between them and left Danielle with a broken heart. Now she buries the pain of what might have been by channeling all her energy into her career. When a family crisis brings her back to her hometown, she is forced to face the past—and the disturbing fact that her sister’s car accident was staged to mask a brutal beating.
A police officer and widower, Patrick guards his heart as fiercely as he guards his beloved daughter. Seeing Danielle again unexpectedly reignites their old flame, but no way will he introduce a woman into his daughter’s life. Certainly not one whose values on faith and family are so different from his own.
Despite their best intentions, they are drawn together—until Danielle learns Patrick had a hand in putting her sister in harm’s way. Her fragile trust is crushed, but Patrick is the only man who can help her stop the villain before everything they both love is destroyed. Faith, family…and their second chance at forever.
Random Acts available at:
Also available at Sony and iTunes.