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Book Extras > The story behind Dangerous Allies by Renee Ryan

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message 1: by Love Inspired (new)

Love Inspired Books (loveinspiredbooks) | 1035 comments Mod
Dangerous Allies by Renee Ryan

I’ve heard it said that if a writer is targeting New York publishers WWII is a taboo time period. I wish I could say something insightful at this point, like, “I knew it was only a matter of time before WWII opened up.” But my venture into this time period wasn’t all that conscious, not in terms of making an easy sell or even proving the masses wrong.

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 also 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 of publication became my sole mission in life.

Something had to change. I purposely took a step back and started working on my own faith walk, something I had let lag to dangerous indifference. I also started reading books that were not romances, namely thrillers written by men for men. I very quickly realized these books, though well-written and fascinating, lacked the depth of character, emotion and romance I preferred. And then it occurred to me. If I was going to collect rejections, I might as well swing for the fences and stop playing it safe. Enter the WWII time period, a time of true heroism that hasn’t been overdone. I was inspired. I took what I knew about romance writing and what I’d learned from all those male-targeted thrillers and melded the two inside the taboo time period. I added the Inspirational thread for me, and my Daddy, too, a WWII vet who says, “There are no atheists in foxholes.”

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 and never play it safe. Who knows what might happen. Smile


message 2: by Patsy (new)

Patsy | 64 comments Renee, I'm sure it took alot of courage to go out on a limb with this book. Glad it worked out for you. Looking forward to reading it.

message 3: by Barbara (new)

Barbara | 62 comments I loved this book! Anyone who enjoys historical fiction should definitely read it. I was fortunate enough to win an advanced copy, and it will keep your interest from beginning to end. Renee, I wish you would continue this story. Your epilogue was wonderful, but I still want to know more about what happens during the rest of the war and beyond. I, for one, would buy the sequel.

message 4: by Love Inspired (new)

Love Inspired Books (loveinspiredbooks) | 1035 comments Mod
I'm really looking forward to reading it myself. We're doing a little getaway this weekend, and this is going to be my pool book!

message 5: by Christine (new)

Christine Johnson | 18 comments Oooooh, I have to read this book! Sounds wonderful, Renee.

message 6: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (texasaggieteacher) | 434 comments One of my favorite eras to read about!! I'm a World War one and two junkie! Get it from my dad. Can't wait to read it. Playing it safe never gets you anywhere. Sometimes you have to take that leap of faith and trust that God knows best!

message 7: by Terri (new)

Terri (terrie) | 253 comments Especially Germany , I was born there.

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