I read my first historical romance novel at the age of 11 (maybe 12). A feisty Scottish heroine, an alpha English lord, an Elizabethan setting, stirring action, sex scenes without the word “seed.” I was hooked. A few hundred novels and a few years later, I became disconcerted by the material I was reading. No, I didn't turn prudish. The monarchy system of government and the peerage system go against my belief in democracy and meritocracy. When it got to the point where I wanted to reach inside the book and slap the heroes for being lazy or sexist, the heroines for not standing up for themselves, and other characters for mindsets that were acceptable at the time, I knew I had to stop. (Yes, I know the sub-genre is more than European historicals, but westerns aren't suitable for someone with mysophobia. Actually, no historicals are suitable for someone with mysophobia.)
I turned to paranormal and urban fantasy romances because I liked the kick-ass heroines. Then I noticed a small detail that grated on my nerves and killed the sub-genre for me: humans were portrayed as clueless idiots who survive at the whim of the undead or creatures that go furry (or feathery or scaly or stony or whatever) on occasion. Hmm. For some reason, that doesn't sit well with me. Personally, I think humans are pretty intelligent (although, you wouldn't know it if you follow politics), resourceful, and innovative. And I think plenty of other people agree with me. If you read comic books, you'll know that two of the most beloved superheroes are Batman from DC Comics and Iron Man from Marvel Comics, both of whom have no supernatural powers.
Luckily for me, I was introduced to romantic suspense by Tami Hoag and Sandra Brown. Romantic suspense is great fit for someone who can't leave a crossword, Rubik's cube, jigsaw puzzle (2-D and 3-D), Soma cube, or any type of brain teaser alone. I NEED to solve them. I love to solve puzzles so much that my career has been about solving puzzles, from troubleshooting software programs to tracing money to solve accounting anomalies. With romantic suspense, I love figuring out who'd done it and sometimes how. I love that my brain can be engaged when reading romantic suspense and mystery novels. I love the process of solving the mystery, I love the "Aha!" moment when it comes together, and I love the climax when the baddies are taken down, especially if it involves a little hand-to-hand. (I read comic books, remember?)
So, that's why I write romantic suspense. Hopefully, other people like me enjoy reading them because it can be expensive to be a comic book collector. And I recently developed a taste for Hunter boots.