God’s Voice Through Suspense
“This book was amazing, and the very last line really affected me spiritually.”
So reads a review of my latest Seatbelt Suspense®, Sidetracked. I love seeing feedback like that from my readers. Years ago I never would have guessed God could use my love for the high drama of suspense to speak to people. Now I’ve come to better understand the inherent power of the genre.
Suspense strongly portrays God’s power and grace as characters are dragged to the brink of their endurance and stare evil in the face. The saying “There are no atheists in foxholes” rings true. When my characters face death, questions about God and eternity naturally arise. All humans understand this, including my nonbeliever readers. They may be reading for sheer suspense, but truth is woven through that tension. Some of the truth is on the surface. Other truth flows beneath the surface plot, where discerning readers love to swim.
I realize most novels contain a surface plot as well as underlying themes. I’m not saying this is unique to suspense. I am saying that as I write in this genre, in which I push my characters into a dark place I’d never want to go, every time I end up before the face of God. By the end of the book my characters, and therefore I and my readers, have learned truths that can hit that strongly only after looking evil in the eye—and realizing where ultimate power lies.
My Seatbelt Suspense® comes with a four-point brand promise: fast-paced, character-driven suspense with myriad twists and an interwoven thread of faith. The first three points naturally lead to the fourth.
Sidetracked is no exception, as it hurtles between the main character’s current trauma and the chaos of her past. Delanie Miller has reinvented herself for her own protection. But when her friend is murdered she faces a terrible choice: save an innocent man from going to prison, or save the new life she’s created—the deceit-ridden life that will forever distance her from others and God. As Delanie well knows, “When you live a lie for so long, it becomes a part of you. Like clothing first rough and scratchy, it eventually wears down, thins out. Sinks into your skin.”
A tense, twisting story—and well suited for God’s grace and power to shine? Yes, I say. Yes, indeed.
Brandilyn Collins is a best-selling novelist of 27 books known for her trademark Seatbelt Suspense®. Brandilyn’s awards include the ACFW Carol (three times), Inspirational Readers’ Choice, Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice, and the INSPY. She has appeared on numerous TV and radio talk shows, including Phil Donahue, Leeza, and The 700 Club. Brandilyn is also known for her distinctive book on fiction-writing techniques, Getting Into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn From Actors.