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  • rachelmucha27

How I became a romantic suspense writer

Ever since I was a little girl, I loved mysteries. I could read a Nancy Drew book in two hours flat, then move on to the next one. I was obsessed with Harriett The Spy, creating a super secret spy journal and writing down the juiciest gossip the fourth grade had to offer. One time, there was some mild vandalism on the school playground, so I took it upon myself to conduct an investigation during recess. I managed to find a ripped receipt at the scene of the crime -- a clue!!! Unfortunately, the investigation stalled due to limited time and resources, and the vandal was never caught.

As I got older, my mystery tastes matured. I started binge-watching The X-Files with my dad when I was thirteen. And as I watched Mulder and Scully chase down monsters and aliens and killers every week while forming an incredibly close bond, I had an epiphany: Mysteries were so much better when there was also the possibility of romance! Suddenly, I hardly cared whether Mulder and Scully solved the case of the week -- I just wanted them to kiss, damn it! (Reader, young Rachel waited a very, very long time for that).

Once I discovered the crime-solving-partners-falling-in-love trope, I was done for. Countless others came after Mulder and Scully: Booth and Brennan; Castle and Beckett; Benson and Stabler; Linden and Holder. To me, nothing was better than watching people solve a tense, twisty mystery while also battling feelings for each other. The stakes couldn't! be! higher!

As an avid reader, it was only a matter of time until I got my hands on mystery romance novels, which only fueled the obsession more (Karin Slaughter, Tana French, Dennis Lehane, Kellye Garrett, Deanna Raybourn, Loreth Anne White, Rachel Caine). I told myself that one day, I would write one of these books. And it would be awesome.

And by gosh, I did it! My debut novel, Another Day, Another Partner, had elements of every romantic suspense show and book that shaped me. My upcoming novel, Bad Press, does too. I've had a lot of story ideas over the years, and 95% of them have mystery and romance front and center. I joke that I can't think of a book plot without throwing a murder or crime in there (otherwise, it's so boring, right?) And come on, who doesn't love a couple with insane chemistry to root for?!

So, if you stick with me, you're going to get a lot of this. A little mystery, a little tension, a little kiss-kiss...what's not to love?!

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