Moonlight Author's Mystic Mysteries

The Path from Pippi to Suspense

Alicia Dean
Alicia lives in Edmond, Oklahoma, a long-divorced mother of three grown children. She loves to read the same kind of books she likes to write; intense, somewhat creepy, suspenseful stories. She also loves to watch the same type of shows, especially true crime, or what her and her family members affectionately refer to as ‘murder shows.’ She tempers all the mayhem with a few sitcoms mixed in. Her favorite authors are Dennis Lehane, Michael Connelly, Lisa Gardner, Tess Gerritsen, and Lee Child. Her favorite shows are (were) Dexter, Justified, New Girl, The Middle, Friends, Schitt’s Creek, and Haven. She hopes you enjoy her tales of love and danger, and if you have a little trouble sleeping at night because of them…well, she will feel she’s done her job. Amazon Page:


Over the years, my reading path has taken some odd turns. When I was a child, I devoured Pippi Longstocking books. I loved them. I thought they were sooo funny. And, I was envious/admiring of a little girl who lived on her own and was strong and self-sufficient, able to handle any disaster that arose.

I took somewhat of a leap from Pippi to Gothic Mystery, which I was reading at ten years old. I loved the atmospheric, spooky gothics, especially those by Victoria Holt.

Then I discovered Harlequins and they were the catalyst for my dream of being an author. I loved the tortured hero, the angst, the woman who turns his life upside down, and the Happily Ever After. Harelquin Presents were my favorite, and my favorite authors were Anne Mather, Lillian Peake, Violet Winspear and Charlotte Lamb.

Ideas for my own stories began forming in my mind, and I just knew I would become a world-famous author. I wrote my first romance at ten, and I still have the somewhat tattered, pencil-written spiral notebook copy. (The title is Just Pretend, which is one of my favorite Elvis songs, the hero looked just like Elvis and his name was Lonnie Beale, Elvis’ character in one of my favorite movies, Tickle Me :))

I later evolved to Historical Romances, and my very favorite book was Sweet, Savage Love by Rosemary Rogers, which I read eight times. I still have my paperback copy.

It’s funny. When I began writing, I started with Romantic Suspense and I have still never written a Historical. I don’t read them anymore either. However, I did revisit my love of Gothic Mystery Romances. I’ve written two of them, both set in contemporary times but using the formula of a young girl cut off from friends and family who visits a spooky mansion/bed and breakfast and becomes embroiled in a mystery, which endangers her life. And, of course, they wouldn’t be complete without a brooding, mysterious hero.





My reading path has led me to discover some amazing stories and taken me away from the problems and tedium of real life, into fascinating words. My writing path has enabled me to realize my lifelong dream and has brought a ton of wonderful author and reader friends into my life. I can’t imagine not reading or writing and I plan to follow that path until the day I die.

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  • Maureen Bonatch

    Oh my I forgot about Pippi Longstocking. I think I read a few books and then remember it on television. Thanks for the blast from the past!

  • Leah St. James

    I never read Pippi Longstocking and I have no idea why not! I devoured the Nancy Drew series and the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder and other children’s classics, but after that, my path is much like yours. Gothic (loved Victoria Holt–and you have a fantastic Gothic “voice” BTW!) and romantic suspense (Sweet Savage Love is one of my all-time favorites, too. I’ve read historical romance but not much straight historical fiction.

  • Alicia Dean

    You’re welcome. Thanks for stopping by. 😀

  • Alicia Dean

    Ha, you really missed out, Leah. It’s funny how we followed mostly the same path. Thank you for the kind words about my gothic voice. 🙂

  • Kara O'Neal

    Pipi Longstocking! It’s so interesting how authors find their way. My girl was Laura Ingalls. Then Nancy Drew. I read a few Victoria Holt books and enjoyed those too. Just love books. Where would we be without them? Thanks for sharing!

  • Veronica Lynch

    Sweet Savage Love. . . sigh. the nights I stayed up reading and re-reading that puppy.
    I thought that was the epitome of love stories.
    Until I discovered Kathleen Woodiweiss. Oh my.
    I know exactly what you’re saying, Ali. Nice Post. Nice blog

  • Alicia Dean

    Yes, Kara, so true. Many of us read the same books, though. And look at us now. 😀 Thanks for stopping by.

  • Alicia Dean

    Me too, Veronica! Actually, I think I read the Flame and the Flower before SSL. But, I actually liked SSL better. Although, wow, I LOVED Kathleen Woodiwiss!

  • Diane

    Never read Pippi. Nancy and I are besties. Loved Harlequin and gothic romances. The Flame and the Flower—hot, hot, hot!

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