Taking calculated risks, using critical thinking, exuding confidence and showing an independent streak, are all features of our heroines, at least we hope they are by the end of our novel or novel series.  It’s the tension around “Can the heroine get there?” that makes a page-turning story.

I’m living proof that being independent creates all kinds of suspense.  You see, we live on our boat, a trawler (see the picture of sweet INTREPID), four months out of the year, cruising the Inside Passage from Washington State to Alaska and back.

Intrepid at blue mouse


We go places in our boat where we can’t get drinkable water or convenience foods.  As a result, we purify our water from salt water, use a Sodastream gizmo to make all our soda and tonic water, make yogurt (without electricity) out of boxed milk and raise lettuce on the upper deck of the boat.  Human waste collects in a holding tank which we dump two miles away from land.  When we anchor, we avoid using electricity…towels dry out on the deck, no hair dryers.  Propane is the fuel for our stove and grill.

The suspense?  Constant.  Want some examples?

a.  The holding tank won’t dump.  Yup, once, because of a plug-up, we almost had a overfull tank explode on us!  A real ****storm!

b.  Saltwater infiltrates our drinking water tank.  We have no other water source.  Now that’s a problem!

c.  We run out of cartridges for the Sodastream.

d.  It’s raining so hard we can’t dry our clean, but wet, clothes

e.  Propane runs out…or the system fails somehow.

f.  We get bad fuel.  Our one engine (diesel) quits on us.

This is taste of the suspenseful life we live as independents.  Turns out, this kind of life helps me write suspense stories about independent women.  When you read my Funeral Planner Series (FADEOUT and SWOON), you’ll meet Jan Solvang who’s independent streak tumbles her into a complex suspense plot.  Here’s more on SWOON:


“Don’t miss SWOON by Rolynn Anderson! If you like an interesting cast of characters, a heavy dose of mystery and a lot of fabulous surprises, you’ll be happily turning pages late into the night.Ë®

~ Brenda Novak, NYT and USA Bestselling Author of WHEN LIGHTNING STRIKES

Her dead clients won’t rest in peace.

When the dead tell tales, Jan Solvang’s first reaction is to RUN!  But then she gets caught up in their mysteries.

Jan’s a boutique funeral planner, new to risk, hired to bury a missing woman and memorialize an infamous man.  Yet when she digs for clues to write their eulogies, she disturbs family secrets and unmasks killers.

Roman Keller, hard-driving documentary writer, is in complete control of his life and his stories, until he falls for Jan, a woman who trusts her dog, her faint-dreams, and her instincts more than she trusts him.

Can they make the sacrifices necessary to cement their relationship or will the mayhem caused by the dead ruin their second chance at love?  

Learn more about SWOON at http://www.rolynnanderson.com

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