Wednesday, September 01, 2010
RENEE RYAN: The Story Behind DANGEROUS ALLIES
First off, I should explain that DANGEROUS ALLIES is not like any of my other Love Inspired Historicals, mainly because it’s not a western. Not even close. It’s a romantic spy thriller set in 1939 Nazi Germany. The hero is an American naval officer on loan to the British government. MI-6 sends him into Germany to photograph the blueprints of a Nazi secret weapon. The heroine is an exiled Russian princess and the hero’s contact inside Germany. Because this book is an Inspirational, the main characters are facing the consequences of their wavering faith. I won’t spoil the story here, but when the reader discovers why the hero and heroine became spies in the first place their lack of faith in a “good” God makes sense.
Needless to say, DANGEROUS ALLIES, is not a traditional Inspirational romance. The main characters are spies. They lie, cheat, steal, and (in the case of the hero on one occasion) kill to get the job done. They operate under the assumption: sacrifice one to save a multitude. But the larger sacrifice could be their very salvation. Heavier than my normal stuff.
So why did I write this story at all? It’s important to note that I wrote DANGEROUS ALLIES during a very looooooong dry spell between sales. I was so frustrated after my first publisher dumped me that I quit writing altogether and cancelled my membership in all of my writers’ groups. I knew I was heading down a dark road. I couldn’t keep chasing the sale anymore. I was a bit too obsessed. In fact, the pursuit became my sole mission.
I had no real plans of selling this manuscript, until I was having dinner with my editor one night and told her the above story behind the book. She wanted to see the manuscript. It wasn’t right for LIH, she informed me. But she made some solid suggestions on how I could work to fit the story into the LIH line. I made the changes and a few months later she bought the revised manuscript.
Moral of this story: Swing for the fences. Never play it safe. And stop chasing the sale. You never know what may come of looking beyond the obvious.
Renee Ryan writes for Steeple Hill’s Love Inspired Historical and Love Inspired line. Her fabulous editor is Melissa Endlich. For more information, you can visit Renee at firstname.lastname@example.org