Message From The Author

Iris Johansen

Book Title: COUNTDOWN
Genre: Suspense, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

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Author's Message

Romance has always been one of my favorite genres as a reader and as a writer. I guess I've always been a sucker for the happy ending.

When I started writing, it was entirely natural that I began with romance. My first published works were for Bantam Loveswept category romances. I loved every minute of those years. It was an exciting time because we were being allowed to experiment. All of the writers who had grown up on formula romances like the Harlequin were suddenly encouraged to write what they wanted to write as long as it was a romance and had the traditional happy ending. This may be strange to all of you writers who take diversification for granted, but we were breaking new ground back then. Mystery, time travel, science fiction were all acceptable as subplots, and we had a great time with weaving those subplots into romance.

Those years of writing the smaller romances were a great training ground for writing longer books. I became obsessed with my secondary characters and began to carry them over to the next book. It became one of my trademarks. But soon the smaller books were no longer as satisfying and I started writing single-title historical romance. I was fascinated by the research and the opportunity to make the characters deeper, richer and more complex.

I've always considered myself a storyteller rather than a writer of a particular genre. The difference merely lies in the emphasis. A good many of my romance readers have followed me from pure romance to romantic suspense. The reason is probably because I try to keep the love story important, even when the emphasis is on the suspense. I've always loved to start the sparks flying between the hero and heroine and watch the way they handle it. Even when the mystery plot becomes very complicated, the love story enriches and sharpens the suspense because you care about the characters. You're rooting for them to fight their way to that happy ending.

Through the years, romances have become ever more multilayered and sophisticated, but that hasn't destroyed those wonderful fairy-tale roots. There's nothing nicer than curling up on a rainy Sunday with a take-me-away book. It recharges me and for a little while, I remember those days when I devoted all my working time to creating larger-than-life characters whose main aim in life was to find true love and that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

READER ROMANCE FAVORITE
Her first single title, The Wind Dancer (Jan. '91, Bantam) kicked off a beloved trilogy that continued with Storm Winds (Jun. '91) and Reap the Wind (Aug. '02).


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