Evonne – mixing romance and crime at Crimefest

As a ChocLit author, I’m definitely at the dark end of the selection box, writing what is known in the States as romantic suspense – in other words, mixing crime with the passionate stuff. I write that way because it’s what I enjoy reading. I hope that enjoyment comes over in my books. And as a side benefit it also lets me out to play occasionally with writers who specialise in crime – which is what I was doing at the Crimefest convention in Bristol at the beginning of the month. And I must say, I had a great time. It’s an event for readers and authors, with multiple panels, social events, informal discussions in the bar …

The authors who attend write just about every kind of crime imaginable, from the graphically gritty to the genteel murder at the village fete, and set it just about everywhere under the sun, or in the snow – from Africa to New York, by way of Greece, Alaska, Thailand, and ancient Rome. There are sleuths in holy orders, hard bitten private investigators, police officers of every rank. At a guess, most of the writers who attend have some sort of love interest in their books. What makes me different is that the romance in my books is an equal part of the action with the nefarious stuff. I like to do the creepy, the scary, the occasionally gruesome, although not too much of that. Protagonists face up to evil and sometimes to demons in their own mind, but alongside the dark elements runs a developing love story. It’s not always a smooth path – in fact I prefer it when it isn’t. My characters have baggage – whole trunks full, sometimes – and not everyone will make it to the end of the book. But whatever I write has to have a positive ending and one that holds the distinct possibility of a Happy Ever After. I’m an old fashioned romantic in that respect. However high the bodies get piled, everything has to work out in the end.

15 thoughts on “Evonne – mixing romance and crime at Crimefest

  1. Hi Evonne, you’ve described exactly the sort of thing I love to read myself. Never Coming Home was one of my favourite reads last year. I was hoping to get to Crimefest but couldn’t in the end. Shall definitely try for next year.


  2. Like you, I write romantic suspense, because this is a genre I love reading (as well as many other genres). It’s something about the characters having to do all the hard stuff and suffering through all the scary stuff, like car chases, dealing with night-time intruders, being kidnapped and thrown in the trunk of a car and so on, which makes me feel they need to rewarded for surviving. And what could be better than finding that special relationship?

  3. You write a damned good story, Evonne…..one that makes your readers care about the heroine and all that happens to her – I loved Never Coming Home, even though I found the subject matter (as a mother)disturbing. All power to your pen…..and thanks for opening my eyes to other ways of writing.

  4. Hi Ladies

    Thanks for all the comments. Attending an event like Crimefest makes you realise how many kinds of fiction there are, even within crime writing – something for every taste.

  5. I too loved ‘Never Coming Home’, and think the combination of suspense, mystery, blood-curdling scenes etc. are a perfect foil for the gentler art of romance. You are definitely on my list now of favourite authors!

  6. Crime stretches across so many areas – a bit like romance. 😉
    Does Crimefest also extend to thrillers or is it purely crime, Evonne?

  7. Hi Margaret – thank you – I’m blushing here!
    Alison – Crimefest is just about everything – Golden Age, crime in translation (lots of Scandinavian authors), cosies, police procedurals and all sorts of thrillers – the on-site bookshop is a treasure trove and an education.

  8. I’m glad you’re a fan of the Happy Ever After, Evonne, as I wouldn’t read your books otherwise 🙂 Well, maybe I would, but I do like a HEA ending!

  9. Christina – there’s no other kind of ending, as far as I am concerned. Aren’t we a pair of old romantics!

  10. As our patron saint put it, let other pens dwell on guilt and misery. What’s so wrong with a happy ending? Nobody has ever been able to explain to me, not even people who don’t like happy endings and positively enjoy guilt and misery…

  11. That’s the thing with romantic suspense – I can do the guilt and misery and then have the happy ending. And dead bodies. 🙂

  12. We had an element of crime in BAIS, and it made me feel like ‘never again’. I would take my hat off to you, Evonne – if I wore one. Never Coming Home is superb. Not just the basic story but the way you wove all the crime bits together. I did say after BAIS that maybe it was difficult because I don’t have a criminal mind. 😉

  13. Hi Liv – Now you are making me blush too. I always blame early exposure to Jacobean drama for my fondness for writing about murder. 🙂

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