The autumn wind has been gusting all day, setting the maple tree outside your room swaying to and fro.
Safe and warm beneath your covers, you fall asleep to the sounds of leaves rattling softly and a gentle tapping at you bedroom window.
It’s a lulling, repetitive sound, and you already almost asleep, so you never stop to consider: the maple tree doesn’t reach your windowpane. It never has.
by: Mallory Hobson The SALAL Review – literary and visual art Vol. 18 Spring 2018
Well … were you drawn in and trapped before you even knew you were hooked by this short poem the way I was? Nothing has stressed the significance of writing tight to me as much as Mallory’s poem. I imagined myself immediately popping up in bed, drawing my blankets up to my shoulders and … ever so slowly – looking out towards my bedroom’s window to that maple tree.
As a writer of paranormal romance, I believe that I share a similar challenge with my sister-genres fantasy and science-fiction. Even though we have the levity of building our worlds outside the constrictions that history has placed on historical romance authors, and holds-to-reality that our modern-times place on contemporary authors – we too have certain guidelines that govern our genres. I won’t speak of the two genres I share a loose kinship with, but in paranormal-land: vampires must have a food source (usually blood or energy) to survive, and shifters ‘honor’ the moon in one way or another. And, of course … there’s the zombies with their brains fetish and ghost with their visibility issues. Yet, after reading ‘Audrey’, I came away thinking that there is perhaps one genre that has all the others trumped (including my beloved paranormal). I can find no restrictions in it to govern/hinder an author’s muse. Can’t imagine any genre that it can’t snuggle in and find fertile writing ground. And, whats more … I sincerely believe that everyone of my favorite books contain it. If you haven’t guessed what genre I’m talking about, perhaps you should consider giving the above poem another read.
That’s right – suspense. Although some may argue that suspense is the fraternal-twin to mystery, I think not. Follow along with my imagery here … suspense is like an arachnid (aka) a multi-legged Ink-slinger spider that has spun its web into every single genre. Attaching its sticky silk to our inner-muse in order to guide our creative little flies, err – that is plot bunnies, into a cohesive protagonist-versus-antagonist flow. In conjunction with our hero/heroine getting their point across to the other just short of clubbing him/her for their own good and ‘tying’ them up somewhere safe (here’s where I should mention that I do write some erotic scenes here-and-there).
Mallory Hobson has lit a new candle under my outlook as an author. And for that, I’ll be forever thankful. Although my ‘Cat Calls’ series has three completed books, with two published, and my ‘The OLD & the NEW’ series has one book set for editing – I’m excited to have learned the importance of including suspense in my future works. ‘Write-on’.