Allison Brennan on Her New Series and the Changing Face of Publishing

In the mood for a good mystery? (We almost always are.) Well, Allison Brennan’s launching a new series this week with Notorious. It’s the story of Maxine Revere, in-your-face TV investigative journalist, and the long ago murder of her best friend. We caught up with Allison to hear more about her writing life, and her thoughts on publishing as a whole.

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Your books are so full of twists and turns, how do you continue to keep your writing fresh?

The cover of Notorious

Thank you! I'm glad you think I’m still fresh, because that’s always a struggle. I want every book to be better than the last, and that pressure can sometimes stifle my creativity. For example, many of my earlier books were serial killer books, and in the Lucy series I tried to change it up a bit. I haven’t had a true serial killer since Kiss Me, Kill Me (2011, Ballantine), and even that book wasn’t a traditional serial killer. I’m actually thinking of going back to that with an upcoming Lucy book because I haven’t done it for awhile.

One reason I wanted to write a second series is because I don’t want to get bored with Sean and Lucy. I really like them, and they deserve my full attention. If I ever get to the point where I’m bored, I’ll end the series. Writing two series keeps me challenged and I can explore different characters. In addition, I write a lot of novellas, many that stand alone and have completely new characters. That keeps me fresh when I go back to my tried-and-true characters.

How do you think the writing and publishing realms have changed since your first book was released?

The Prey (Ballantine) came out in January of 2006 and the publishing world has changed dramatically. I could write thousands of words about the changes. But ultimately, there is one truth that hasn’t changed in writing: writers still have to write a good book. They have to commit the time and energy and attention to writing, rewriting, having an editor, knowing when to take suggestions and when to not take suggestions. They have to continue practicing so that their writing is better with each book.

In the world of publishing, far too much has changed for me to pontificate on. I think authors have more control than they ever did before, but at the same time, there's no easy path. There are just different paths. I think the changes of the last few years have been dramatic and volatile, but I see that evening out. But the best news is that readers crave stories. Stories are the backbone of society, and they are not going away.

There ya have it! Notorious is available in stores and online this week. And for more mysterious tales, visit our Everything Mystery page. 

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