Monday, February 9, 2009

Worst-Case Scenarios

We're authors--and readers-- of romantic suspense. What do we love? Worst-Case Scenarios, of course. Well, the other day, while I was throwing away some old newsletters from various writing groups, I found this website listed in an article.

It's got just about everything a writer of suspense might want to know. For instance, if you're buried by an avalanche, you can figure out which way is up by digging a small hole next to your face and spitting in it. The saliva will fall down, so to get out, dig in the opposite direction.

This information and links to a lot more is all listed on the home page. Take a look. You can find out how to:
  • Wrestle Free from an Alligator
  • Survive If Your Parachute Fails to Open
  • Avoid Being Struck by Lightning
  • Use a Defibrillator to Restore a Heartbeat uh... what? Okay, I'm guessing this one is in case you get caught in a hospital (where they keep defibrillators) and there's no doctor or nurse or pharmacist or EMT or medical technician available.
  • Escape from a Sinking Car
  • Determine the Gender of Your Date o-o-o-okay. I'm trying to picture a situation when this might come in handy?

While writing my Black Hills Brotherhood Trilogy, which will be out in September, October and November of 2009, I needed the following information:

How to:
  • Find Your Way Out of an Avalanche
  • Warm Up Someone with Hypothermia
  • Pull a Stick Out of Someone's Arm
  • Get A Baby Off a Mountain Safely
  • Run through an Underground Mine while 8 Months Pregnant
  • Move 50 Year-Old Dynamite Without It Blowing Up
I could go on, but you get the idea. Obviously, I could have really used this site then. Believe me, I'll be using it for my next books. Let's see, for the next one, I think I'm going to need to figure out how to:
  • Ask Your Boyfriend to Loan You a Skeleton
  • Identify a Body From One Bone
  • Blow Up a Community College Chemistry Lab (Shouldn't be too hard!)
  • Survive a Point-Blank Gunshot to the Chest
  • Get Into--And Out--Of A Locked Room
I know Romantic Suspense is not everyone's cup of tea, but it's hard to imagine how anyone can not enjoy writing (and reading) books that have this much excitement and fun in them.

So fellow readers and writers, are there descriptions or situations you read in mysteries, suspense, thrillers, etc that particularly bother you or that you particularly enjoy?

Mallory Kane
If You're Looking for a Hero...


  1. My fav scenario is not physically dangerous, but socially (I guess this is my fav because I've done this myself so many times, it's almost become a fear); the Hero/Heroine cause a major faux pas,the escape from this self embarrasing moment should be witty, humerous but yet completly smooth and gracious. Since I can never get out of my own "faux pas", I'm always impressed with a writer when they write this type of situation well.

  2. very interesting! I like that too. You're right. It may not be physically dangerous, but it's definitely socially dangerous LOL!


  3. I like the situation and the solving of it to be realistic. I hate situations where the solving of it is totally ridiculous and couldn't be done in real life (unless I am reading a fantasy).

  4. Hi Mallory,
    What a cool site! Thank you. I don't like reading about or watching anyone trapped under water. I find myself holding my breath and freaking out.
    I know a lot about gators and I can tell you if you wanna escape you better tap that snout quick and hard. Once a gator has a hold of you or your dog (their favorite food) they take you down and roll you. After you've drowned, they put you in their cubby hole and let you season a bit. Then it's bon appetite! Gators are lightning fast. They can also climb fences. Interesting, huh?

    Mel K.

  5. LOVE IT! Thanks for sharing this site. I love learn these things. I'm a HUGE suspense/thriller fan. I also love forensics. :) How people are killed and catching the killer is my cup of tea.

  6. I have a fear of drowning and don't like scenes where someone could drown.

  7. Ooh, I have to agree. The idea of being caught under water drives me nuts. I too find myself holding my breath and trying to figure out if I could last so long under water. Eek!

    I'm really fascinated by the site. I know there are other sites out there that have similar information, but I'm not familiar with them.

    Thanks to each of you for commenting.

    Mallory Kane
    If You're Looking For a Hero...

  8. Mallory, Thanks for sharing this site. I love the comments.

    Frances Drake

    Writing Science Fiction Romance
    Real Love in a Real Future