Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The "What if" Scenario

I was recently interviewed on Carlene Havel’s Blog ( She asked me, “Do you ever frighten yourself when you’re deeply involved in writing a suspenseful story?”

My answer was, “No. Most of my adventures are really out there, set in the mountains, jungles, deserts or other exotic locals, many of which I’ve visited with no crisis or unpleasant experiences. What I couldn’t write are serial killer or psychological thrillers.  Those types of stories show up on the news often enough that they are too entrenched in reality. I like my adventures to be a little less likely to happen in real life. Stories can be incredibly suspenseful using the “what if” scenario.” 

What if America was invaded by an unlikely coalition of enemies? What if the approximately 500 missile silos scattered across the West were deemed too dangerous to leave unsecured? What if the control facilities happen to be in the vicinity of your serene mountain retreat? How far would you go to survive and protect those you love? Big Horn Storm 

What if we unwittingly relinquished most of our rights resulting in an authoritarian government? What if in the attempt to avoid conflict among the citizens we were stripped of basic rights, including the option to choose our own mates and fall in love? Would the desire to regain control of your life push you to challenge a formidable foe and attempt an escape through an inhospitable desert landscape? Desperate Dreams 

What if a seemingly perfect life is turned upside down during a simple vacation at a common destination? Could you persevere in the face of tragedy, terror and the formidable natural obstacles of a wild jungle? Would you put your trust in the hands of a handsome stranger? Marked in Mexico 

When creating suspense there are many mechanisms to accomplish this, but in order to allow me to sleep at night I think I’ll stick with the, “what if,” scenarios. I hope my readers enjoy the tension and adventures associated with the endless possibilities in our complex world.

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