Message From The Author
The Power of Three
Newcomer finds success with Romantic Suspense Trilogy
It could be said that debut author Allison Brennan's path to publication began when she was just 5 years old and her mother took her to the library for her first library card. The young Allison was enthralled by the books and, over the years, would spend many an afternoon exploring the stacks looking
for new works.
Then there was her appointment as editor of the classroom newspaper when she was in the third grade. "That was really, really cool," Brennan recalls more than 25 years later, noting the role both these events had on her desire to be a writer.
But those dreams lived only in her imagination as she went on to college, worked in local government, got married and began a family. It wasn't until 2002 that Brennan decided to make her dreams come true. She had just given birth to her third child and was interested in staying home with her children, plus she felt her muse calling.
"I decided to get serious about being a writer," says Brennan. "I couldn't just pretend to write. It was a hobby until then, but then there was this internal change and I committed myself to writing."
Over the next three years, Brennan -- who had two more children, for a total of five kids between the ages of 15 months and 12 years -- wrote five books "whereas in the first 32 years of my life I didn't write anything."
While juggling a household, chores and kids with the
help of her husband, Dan, Brennan took the characters and
stories living in her mind, put her fingers to the keyboard and began pounding out tales of romantic suspense.
Her hard work paid off in triplicate when Ballantine brought
three of her books. The back-to-back trilogy will be released starting in January. First up will be The Prey, followed by The Hunt in February and The Kill in March. The books focus on three women who met 10 years earlier while attending the FBI academy in Quantico. Now they're battling demons from their past and present.
In The Prey, former FBI agent turned suspense novelist Rowan Smith lives with the memories of her traumatic childhood. Though she makes a life for herself, she keeps people at arm's length to avoid any emotional entanglements. When a killer begins recreating the crimes in her book, Rowan must trust her life and heart to former DEA agent turned bodyguard John Flynn.
Brennan, who loves books by Tess Gerritsen and Nora Roberts' alter ego, J.D. Robb, says that she has always been fascinated by mysteries, suspenses and tales of horror. She didn't pick up her first romance until she'd graduated from college and moved back home to be with her mother, an avid romance reader.
It was then that, Brennan says, "I discovered Linda Howard and fell in love with romantic suspense." The genre,
she explains, offers the best of both worlds: love and danger.
"There will be a happily ever after, but the danger is real," she says. "And to be
a good romantic suspense story, there should always be doubt that the hero and heroine will get together and that evil could win.
She adds that in the genre's best, "the suspense feels real. It
can happen to anyone. [You get] a physical reaction when you read, your hand shakes and you break into a sweat and you can't wait to turn the page. Plus, when you're in love, everything matters more. You're willing to do things you don't think you're capable of. And the stakes are higher because it's life and death."
All of which, she says, "makes the happily ever after
A resident of Northern California, Brennan says that she loves "telling stories and coming up with the ideas and the characters." She advises other aspiring writers to "read and write, and then keep reading and writing. Every book I write is better than the last. It just takes time. Some writers, when they finish a book, spend so much time trying to sell the book that they're
not writing more books."
She also advises writers to be prepared to make some changes to pursue their dreams. "When you want something bad enough, you will sacrifice to get it," says Brennan. "It doesn't matter if it's writing or another dream like building a house or planting a garden. If you sacrifice, you will achieve it."
In Brennan's case, she had to give up meeting with friends in the park. While some people understood, Brennan says she did lose a few friends while parking herself at the computer instead
of the playground. "But I realized who my best friends were, and that's even better."
And maybe that's why her first three novels follow the lives and loves of three friends.
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