May 7, 2012

Made It Moment: Allison Brennan

Filed under: Made It Moments — jenny @ 8:17 am

Love Is Murder

This is an unusual sort of Moment, where the author is a contributor to an anthology. The word anthology understates what this book offers:  30 stories of romance and suspense by a collection of International Thriller Writer authors. One of my favorite authors is included in this volume; readers of this blog will probably be able to figure out who I mean. I pre-ordered to read his contribution alone, but when I saw the lineup, I realized that I had just bought the book bargain of the season. Where else could you find so much talent in one densely packed volume?

At ITW, that’s where. So without further ado, I introduce you to one of the contributors, romantic suspense author Allison Brennan, whose eighteen novels and NYT bestselling career might belie the fact that we all start out in the same place, and making it usually requires the same devotion on all our parts.

Allison Brennan

I married at 23 and had three kids by the time I was 31. I always wanted to write a book, but between family and my career as a consultant in the California State Legislature, I convinced myself I didn’t have the time. After my son was born in 2001, I realized I needed to get serious if I wanted to be published. My problem? I never finished anything I started. I had hundreds of beginnings but no endings. Some of my “beginnings” were 300 pages long—meandering stories without focus. I’d get sidetracked by new ideas, dumping whatever I was working on for the new, better, glossier story.

I knew I needed to finish a book, but had to make the inner commitment to do it. No one cared if I wrote except me, and I had to make writing a priority. I gave up television for three years (which was hard—I love TV!) and wrote every night after the kids went to bed. In June of 2002, I typed THE END on my first complete manuscript.

At that moment, I knew I’d made it. For me, finishing a novel gave me the confidence to query agents and write another book, exactly what I needed and my first real step toward publication.

I didn’t sell that first manuscript. In fact, it took me five books before I sold. But that first book proved to me that I could finish what I started. I still type THE END even now, and it still gives me the same thrill as the first time.

Allison Brennan is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of eighteen romantic suspense and thrillers. She lives in Northern California with her husband and their five children. Her current book SILENCED is the fourth in her Lucy Kincaid series, and she is a contributing author in the Sandra Brown edited LOVE IS MURDER, coming on May 29th from Mira Books.


  1. Wonderful! Congratulations.

    Comment by SavvyBlue — May 7, 2012 @ 9:01 am

  2. “No one cared if I wrote except me…” That’s a truth every writer needs to address. Thank you Allison, and Jenny, too. I LOVE your made it moment posts!

    Comment by Anne K. Albert — May 7, 2012 @ 9:14 am

  3. Congratulations! Thanks for sharing your story with us.

    Comment by Kellie — May 7, 2012 @ 9:53 am

  4. Great moment. Very inspirational.

    Arthur Levine

    Comment by Arthur Levine — May 7, 2012 @ 9:57 am

  5. Once you got started, you took off, Allison! I’ll go look for the latest Lucy book–enjoy those! Thanks, Jenny.

    Comment by kaye george — May 7, 2012 @ 11:57 am

  6. Allison – I totally understand the thrill of typing “the end”..:)

    Comment by Rebecca Stroud — May 7, 2012 @ 1:09 pm

  7. THE END. What magical words. Thank you for sharing your story. It kind of puts the process in perspective.

    Comment by Marja McGraw — May 7, 2012 @ 1:34 pm

  8. Thanks Jenny for having me here today! I think we all take heart in knowing that virtually all of us travel the same road toward publication. We all have to make the commitment and finish a book. There’s no cutting corners in the writing.

    Comment by Allison Brennan — May 7, 2012 @ 2:14 pm

  9. Hi Jenny, and Hello Ms. Brennan. Thanks for using the phrase “inner commitment.” That says it all about writing. (Well, a little talent doesn’t hurt, either) But it reminds me what a high school coach used to say. “Toughnes is a quality of the mind. Without it physical development is a mockery.” Toughness of the mind or inner commitment is absolutely necessary for writers…while constructing their stories and while attempting to sell their work to a publisher.

    Comment by Wayne Zurl — May 7, 2012 @ 2:25 pm

  10. Congrats on your success, Allison. You are prolific. Thanks for another interesting post, Jenny.


    Comment by Pamela DuMond — May 7, 2012 @ 4:09 pm

  11. Congratulations on your success, Allison. You are a true inspiration.

    I think the commitment to writing has to be as important as the dream. The difference between the one that reaches his goal and the one that doesn’t is perseverance.

    Jenny, this was a wonderful post!

    Comment by Tina Glasneck — May 7, 2012 @ 4:46 pm

  12. What an inspiration! And your commitment to accomplish your goal – amazing. Wishing you continued success.

    Thank your for another great “moment” Jenny!

    Comment by mountainmama — May 7, 2012 @ 5:35 pm

  13. Funny–I recognize so much of this :-) Congrats on the anthology, I can’t wait to read it!

    Comment by F.T. Bradley — May 8, 2012 @ 9:20 am

  14. Wonderful post. It takes grit to finish a book, and to hang in there. I just picked up your latest, Allison, and I am eagerly awaiting the anthology.

    Comment by Lil Gluckstern — May 8, 2012 @ 4:50 pm

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