- Apprehension about what is going to happen
- An uncertain cognitive state - "the matter remained in suspense for several years"
- Excited anticipation of an approaching climax - "the play kept the audience in suspense"
I write romantic suspense. I have a sense of humor. The strangest things just tickle me. So, does humor have a place in a suspense novel? In mine it does. I couldn’t write without it.
My ‘tag line’ is Heat, Heart, Hope, and Humor. The title of my current book series explains the heat part: Desert Faith series. Heart, of course, is the romance part. Hope should be self-explanatory, and humor, for me, just comes naturally, at the right places, for a little comic relief.
Oddly enough, I never thought of myself as a humorist. I’m not funny. Oh, maybe accidentally when I tangle my words up. Spoonerisms seem to be the funny stuff that comes from me and once started, it seems to create a chain reaction. But deliberately writing humor? Nuh uh.
So, as I write, and the tension mounts, I guess I instinctively know we need to lighten things up a little and the words just . . . appear. It may be just a sarcastic aside. For example, in the second scene of the first chapter, my female lead, Erin, and her friend are preparing a special dinner for Erin’s husband. Magie, Erin’s friend, is making a salad and looking for the zester, opening all the drawers in the kitchen. Erin opens the utility drawer and hands Magie the zester. Magie accuses Erin of changing the drawer. Erin denies it . . . waits a beat before quipping “Can I interest you in a memory enhancement program?”
Granted, this is the first part of the book and, as far as Erin knows, everything is going according to plan. Except . . . her husband is late.
Okay, back to the humor. There are little scenes here and there where my mischief, or rather, Erin’s, pops up in unexpected places. Unexpected to me as much as the reader. Yet, it works.
By now you’ve gathered that To See the Sun is not dark, heavy suspense. Neither is it a lighter, cozy-type mystery. My life has been full of laughter, so it’s only natural that my fictional characters like to laugh, too. That’s just the way I’m wired.
Peggy Blann Phifer is an author and columnist, whose work has appeared on various Web sites and writer periodicals both in print and online. She is also an avid reader and loves to escape between the covers of a good book. A retired executive assistant, Peg now makes her home in southern Nevada with husband Jim.
TO SEE THE SUN is Peg’s debut novel, released January 2012