In many love stories – on screen, in literature, in music – there are examples of characters coming together having been in a perilous situation, faced with death. A writer knows that introducing the risk of loss sharpens depends characters’ feelings towards each other, helps them realise those feelings; and, of course, it makes for dramatic, gripping reading.
Peril is a common theme running through classic and modern culture. Sometimes, you need to nearly lose someone to realise you love him/her. Sometimes you need someone to save you to realise how you feel.
We talk of the damsel in distress and the knight in shining armour. Well, I confess I love such stories; but I also believe in writing about modern relationships, which is why I also like to write of a woman ‘rescuing’ a man.
In Burning Embers, I introduce peril twice. The first time, Coral has been involved in a car accident, and Rafe finds her at the scene, where she collapses, and cares for her until she is recovered. The second time the characters are threatened by peril is when Rafe becomes desperately ill. Now it is Coral’s turn to nurse, and it is her love and commitment that brings Rafe back to health. So, there is balance, which I think is important in a relationship.
Danger, then, can be a catalyst, but personally I prefer it to be something on the pages of a book, not within the realms of reality!