Wait, wait, wait - I know the economy is tough but I'm not suggesting that anyone commit a crime. Rather, I'm echoing the cover of TV Guide magazine, Dec 8-14, 2008 issue. The gist is that crime shows, especially procedural ones, are hotter than ever. Well this grabbed my attention since I write romantic suspense. But hold the presses! What does this really mean for writers, especially since we're talking about the medium of television - and to an extent - movies.
Well, just because people watch television, doesn't mean that they read, but it doesn't mean that they don't. Television provides a more passive way of being entertained than reading but the fact that the crime shows are so hot means that viewers are looking for that adrenaline rush of what the crime shows provide. The twists and turns of trying to solve the crime along with the protagonists is intoxicating for many of us and mystery/suspense/thriller writers (and really all writers) need to take note.
The reality is that television has impacted on what readers expect. And let's not forget the impact of the internet and all other technology that is an increasing part of all of our lives. Simply put - readers, and potential readers are more interested in fast-paced, quicker reads. To a certain extent think James Patterson. He has short chapters that encourage the reader to want more and turn the page, something that lends itself well to electronic readers.
But I think a main element of the success of the crime shows is the problem or puzzle solving. Ironically, certain genres do better in poor economic times than other generes. If we harken back to other times of uncertainty such as right after the civil war and the Great Depression we can find that relatively inexpensive reads become a popular form of entertainment. The "Dime Novel" is just one example. See wikipedia for more information at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dime_novel.
So, writers and readers sit up and take note. I believe that reading is still an affordable form of entertainment and it's during times of financial uncertainty that we sometimes see increases with certain publishers, especially category romance, mystery and more and more, online publishers. Whether it's because people want to escape from reality or immerse themselves in a problem-solving adventure I believe that the romantic suspense genre is attractive to many readers and I'm so glad that it is.
My second romantic suspense novel is progressing nicely and it is a joy ride for me to create it. I look forward to being able to share it and my first novel with readers in the near future. I'm being optimistic here but I really have high hopes that a publisher will want to share my voice with readers. Stay tuned!