7 Minutes With… Allison Brennan

By JT Ellison

I am so thrilled to have my dear friend, mentor extraordinaire, and wonderful NYT bestselling author Allison Brennan here today for a special 7 Minutes With… interview. Her new book, NOTORIOUS, the first in a new series starring Max Revere, comes out tomorrow. I can’t say enough good things about this book – you simply must buy it, right now.

Allison and I have known each other for years – she was the first person I met at the very first Thrillerfest, and the friendship stuck. In all things, when I’m trying to make decisions, I ask myself – WWAD? She’s a brilliant author, mother of five, a word churning burning chick who is one of the most selfless people in crime fiction. If you haven’t read her yet, you’re in for a treat. And if you have – NOTORIOUS will knock your socks off.

Here’s a quick interview to help you get to know her better.

Set your music to shuffle and hit play. What’s the first song that comes up?

Time that Remains by Three Days Grace

Now that we’ve set the mood, what are you working on today?

What am I not working on? I have a book due this week (Max Revere #2), I have page proofs due next week, and a book out tomorrow. So … a little of everything!

What’s your latest book about?

I hate talking about my books, let’s talk about yours … WOW is all I can say about WHEN SHADOWS FALL. How do you write every book better than the last?

[Blush – stop that.]

Oh, wait, this is my interview. Okay … NOTORIOUS is the first book in a new series starring investigative crime reporter Maxine Revere. Max goes home to wealthy Atherton, California for a funeral and ends up investigating two cold cases – the five month old case of a murdered architect at her alma mater, and the thirteen year old case of her murdered best friend. Max is totally different than my other heroine’s – she’s not in law enforcement, breaks rules, has an attitude, is opinionated and arrogant but hates bullshit and has a heart of compassion. As long as she doesn’t catch you in a lie.

Where do you write, and what tools do you use?

Most of the time, I write on my iMac in my office. Sometimes, when I’m stuck, I need a change of scenery and take my MacBook to Starbucks. Or a bar. Depends on the time of day … and my mood!

What was your favorite book as a child?

You ask hard questions. How young? I don’t remember most things before I was 5. When I was 8 I discovered my first favorite book series – Trixie Belden. I still have all the books.

What’s your favorite bit of writing advice?

RUE: Resist the Urge to Explain. I tend to over-explain. It also fits my second favorite bit of writing advice: Resist the Urge to Edit. When I start editing before I’m done with the book, I tend to have time management problems.

What do you do if the words aren’t flowing?

Change writing locations (like go to Starbucks); watch television; play video games. Something relatively mindless so I can empty my head for awhile. Usually after an hour I uncover the fundamental problem with the scene.

What would you like to be remembered for?

Being kind.

[That will not be a problem.]

Thank you for joining us today!

Photo Credit - Britton Dodd

Photo Credit – Britton Dodd

Allison Brennan is the New York Times bestselling author of 23 books and numerous short stories. Visit her website here.

Here’s a bit about NOTORIOUS on sale March 25, 2014:

Maxine Revere has dedicated her life to investigating murders that the police have long since given up any hope of solving. A nationally renowned investigative reporter with her own TV show and a tough-as-nails reputation, Max tackles cold cases from across the country and every walk of life. But the one unsolved murder that still haunts her is a case from her own past.

When Max was a high school senior, one of her best friends was strangled and another, Kevin O’Neal, accused of the crime. To the disgrace of her wealthy family, Max stood by her friend, until she found out he lied about his alibi. Though his guilt was never proven, their relationship crumbled from the strain of too many secrets.

Now Max is home for Kevin’s funeral—after years of drug abuse, he committed suicide. She’s finally prepared to come to terms with the loss of his friendship, but she’s not prepared for Kevin’s sister to stubbornly insist that he didn’t kill himself. Or for an elderly couple to accost her at the airport, begging her to look into another murder at Max’s old high school. Max is more interested in the cold case at her alma mater than in digging around Kevin’s troubled life, but she agrees to do both. As Max uncovers dark secrets, she finds herself caught in a complicated web of lies that hit far too close to home. And it’s becoming increasingly clear that someone will do whatever it takes to make sure the truth stays buried.


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