Monday, June 12, 2006

Dark dark dark

OK--just about to delve into my serial killer's mind. And after reading Mary's blog about Nora's book, 'Bluesmoke' the other day, I'm wondering--how dark do you like to go?

I'm a big fan of Tami Hoag, Tess Gerritsen and Lisa Gardner and other darker books. I like knowing why bad guys do these things, I like to be in their heads, I don't like just being presented with gore.

I know some parts of Her Sanctuary are a little dark--but not in a serial killer fashion, in that the characters aren't all sweetness and light. I have a hunch I could really get into the dark-side, but I'm also very conscious of wanting to keep the story a romance. I know we all have our favourite type of story to read, but I'm curious about peoples' opinions?


  1. I like dark. And scary. Kay Hooper scary(but only if DH is home). And she still gets some romance in which is great.

    I quite liked that HER SANCTUARY's characters had an edgy side. It made them interesting!

    And I suspect I could go dark too. I tend to get more into the villain (don't know what *that* means!!). DH tells me he can tell when I'm writing the villain POV because I squint and hunch and look miserable. LOL. Easy to tell when I'm doing love scenes, too. I'm forever minimizing the screen when the DD's come into the room. It used to be so much easier when they couldn't read!

    And must admit I still haven't read Tami. Any suggestions?

  2. I like my books dark. I write dark as well, even when I'm trying for a lighter tone, it gets dark. I think that is why chick lit never resonated with me. I like the dark edge.

  3. I like dark, but I'm not a huge fan of romance. I do like the romantic element to be there, but I prefer it to be a sub-plot. I like mysteries and thrillers but not horror. And I can take my mysteries twee or dark and deep.

  4. LOL Meretta, I was on one of my loops the other day--and never quite sure what pictures might pop up (Triskelion Inferno is for hotter stuff LOL), hunched over my computer when DD was over talking to me, and I'm thinking, please don't let this guy be naked!
    Phew--thankfully he wasn't and everythingwas fine and my daughter won't think I'm a pervert.

    Sheesh! Tami--Cry Wolf, Dark Paradise, A Thin Dark Line are my favourites.

    Rene--I hear you on the chick lit :)

    Diane, I'm the other way. I like mysteries and thrillers and NEED that romance for me to enjoy the book, but I'd rather there was more romance in most of the books. I just don't think the UK books suited me at all!

  5. Hmm...I don't know that I like dark and scary. I once watched "Copycat" with Harry Connick Jr. (he was a serial killer) and I didn't sleep AT ALL that night. I was terrified. So no, I really don't like to read about serial killers. :-)

  6. I like dark as long as it isn't used as a shock factor. If it fits the mood with the rest of the book, I'm okay with it.

  7. Melissa--Harry made a good SK. Creepy. Who'da thunk it?

    Peggy, good point. That just turns it into a teenage horror flick err story :)

  8. Thanks for the tips, Toni!

  9. Toni, I say make your villain as dark as your story requires :) But if it's a dark tale, I think the romance has to be equally intense and edgy -- for me anyway. And when a story is so dark, it's great if the author can find little ways to break the tension with odd ball humor, or lighter/beautiful moments. I like to think that out of an abyss, something perfect and good and life-affirming can grow.

    Okay .. better go back to work now!
    good luck .. go with your gut, let your chatacters tell you :)

  10. Ilike the idea of liking dark, but in reality real dark dark gets into my head too much and I find I think too much.... ooooooohhhhh.

    Like dark with a bit of a twist!

    Go with what you feel girl. Got a feeling that we may see another (and worrying) side of you!!! lol

  11. Hi Toni:
    Thanks for stopping by my blog, what a surprise. I use it only as a news section and seldom get comments, or remember to check it. (grin)
    Glad you loved Cape Tribulation in Australia. We'll be up that way in August, we'll start out in Cairns, then Daintree Forest, Cooktown and surrounding area. Hope to post some great photos of my trip.
    About the "dark side" I love romances that offer me a glimpse of something darker, mystical, paranormal even, but not the deep scary psycopathic killers and how their minds work. That keeps me up at night.
    I've read several of Nora's books that are soft, whimsical, and some that teeter on the edge of darkness. I prefer romance to anything else (even though that can be dark and scary in the real world, heh)so guess I'm not of much help with your question. Although, I do think less is more.

  12. Deb--ha ha hah!!! Scary Toni--I don't think so :)

    Robena--I loved Cairns, Wonga Beach, Daintree, Mossman's creek etc etc. Happy days :) Enjoy your trip :)

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  14. I'm with Meretta on Kay Hooper - love her paranormal series. And Loreth is also correct about little moments of humor. Does that help any? Too tired to do any real deep thinking.

  15. I confess I'm not really after advice, just curious as to what people feel works in romance.

    I was wondering if this is why these ladies in particular (Tami, Lisa, Tess) have moved over into more thriller type novels. Does the romance market not support them? That doesn't seem to add up with their bestselling numbers, more likely personal preference. Interesting that there seems to be a line to cross.

    I love Kay Hooper too :)

  16. PS. Did no one like my joke :O

  17. Toni, if you're referring to the comments re: Nora's book, it sounds as though those readers are expressing the view that the darker elements in that book in particular weren't what they'd come to expect from "A Nora."
    But when you pick up a gritty RS writer -- a Hoag or Gerritsen, for example -- you expect that.
    I think there's only a line to cross if you have built a core of readers with a particular set of reader expectations (that whole branding thang) and then you choose to veer away from that. There are fans for both sides of the dark/light coin, as I see it.
    If you set yourself up as a 'deliverer' of the gritty stuff ... I bet if you suddenly went all light and fluffy on your readers, they'd be perturbed as well.
    So figure it's always best to go with who you are, and what is true to your voice. And I LOVE reading good dark stuff .. the grittier the better, as long as none of the gore, violence etc. ever comes across as gratuitous, and as long as it always furthers the plot/romance.

    Eep, I am babbling, sorry ...

    ... going to scroll back for the joke I missed :)

  18. Sorry--I meant the cartoon :)

    Ahh--yes reader expectation and branding. Much more important than people realize. I never know what to expect from Nora!

    I'm not sure what this wip is going to turn out like--yet. Villain is watching me, because I'm the only one who knows who he is, LOL. Hero and heroine are too caught up in themselves at the moment.

    Oilers are playing--must go cheer!!

  19. I liked BlueSmoke and I read Kay Hooper and J.D. Robb, so I do like dark, but I prefer it with a bit of romance thrown in.

  20. I've shied away from dark stuff - don't know if it's just my state of mind lately. I used to devour Tami Hoag and the JD Robb books. The last Lisa Gardner I read, about the school shootings, really put me off, and this last Nora...I know she can go dark, but this just really put me off. I've not been reading vampires, either - JR Ward's books are too much.

    Heck, I was watching Serenity tonight and cringing.

    I must be getting old ;)