October 21, 2020

The Genesis of Danger - Part 1

Irene Hannon

On October 6, I’ll launch a new suspense series called Triple Threat, which features three sisters involved in truth-seeking professions who are plunged into dicey situations that lead to danger…and romance.

In Book 1, Point of Danger, radio talk show host Eve Reilly finds a ticking package on her doorstep…left, the police assume, by a disgruntled listener. But she’s not about to buckle to threats. Enter police detective Brent Lange, who isn’t in the market for romance but begins to fall for Eve. As a string of unsettling incidents follows…and multiple people with viable motives take their turn on stage…it becomes clear someone wants her voice silenced—permanently.

I’m guessing it took you less than thirty seconds to read the preceding paragraph.

It took me five or six weeks of heavy-duty thinking and research to come up with the premise I just described…along with the premises for the other two books in the series.

When I reach the end of that exhausting phase in any suspense series development, I have a one sentence series concept and a one-paragraph blurb for each of the books.

It’s not much to show on paper for weeks of effort—but the work it represents is vast. And it’s the genesis for all the suspense that follows.

There are some writers who will tell you they have so many story concepts pinging around in their brains they’d have to live to be a hundred to write all those books.

I am not one of those writers.

With every series and every book, I start with a blank slate. I don’t have a file stuffed with ideas. So, for me, the upfront stage is the hardest—and most frustrating. I want to be writing. But until I can sort out the premise of the story and get to know my characters, I can’t begin to put words on the page.

One writer I know explains it this way. She says that for her, a story is like a spider web. She starts with one strand, and then weaves in another…and another…and another…until she has a full web. When it’s finished, it’s hard for her to go back and remember where it began.

That’s my process too, with all my books—except for one striking exception.
. . .see Part 2 tomorrow, October 21.

Irene Hannon is the bestselling and award-winning author of more than 50 contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels, including Dangerous
Illusions, Hidden Peril, and Dark Ambitions, as well as the Men of Valor, Heroes of Quantico, Guardians of Justice, and Private Justice series. In addition to her many other honors, she is a three-time winner of the prestigious RITA Award from Romance Writers of America. 

She is also a member of RWA’s elite Hall of Fame
and has received a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews for her entire body of work. Each of her suspense novels have been ECPA bestsellers, and her
books often appear on the Publishers Weekly bestseller list. 

Learn more at

1 comment:

  1. I don't have a file full of idea, either, Irene! And I love your books.