Hi, y'all! Today's guest is Allison Brennan, the New York Times and USAToday bestselling author of seventeen romantic thrillers and numerous short stories, including the most recent IF I SHOULD DIE. I'm fortunate to know her through my Kiss of Death RWA chapter and have taken some wonderful classes with her. Allison is a generous spirit who willingly shares insights and advice from her years of experience, and encourages younger writers. Thanks Allison for joining us!
I’m often asked where I get my ideas. This question always surprises me. Where don’t I get my ideas?
Ideas are everywhere. They come from the smallest snippet of a conversation overheard at Starbucks, to the most widespread news story of the day. My stories are a compilation of many different sparks that ignite my muse as it weaves together the possibilities.
I see a man in line dressed in a suit with a briefcase. Is he going to work? A job interview? Did he pretend to go to work so his family wouldn’t know he’d lost his job? What’s in the briefcase? Maybe he’s a divorce lawyer. Or a prosecutor. A defense lawyer with evidence of his client’s innocence locked in the metal case.
Or perhaps he’s a desperate man. His daughter’s been kidnapped and inside the case is the ransom money. He’s not buying coffee, but leaving the case to be picked up. Or there’s a bomb in the case, and he doesn’t know it. Or he does know it, and he has a vendetta.
So many possibilities.
I read books and articles about the multitude of people who risk their lives for others, and I want to celebrate them and their sacrifice. I greatly admire those people who serve others, particularly when they are fighting for justice. This is why most of my heroes and heroines are in some branch of law enforcement, though I’ve also written about ex-military, P.I.’s, and even a few not in public safety.
I’m also inspired by survivors. Victims who defeat all the odds to reclaim and rebuild their lives. I want to know how, and by writing survivors into my stories, I can learn how strength of character, family, and community can help victims not be victims forever.
Every-day heroes inspire me.
I also want to know why. In real life, too often justice is not served. In fiction, I can tip the balance of the scales on the side of justice, that the bad guys will be caught, that victims will get the help they need, that people will be saved. While a lot of bad things happen in my books, and sometimes to good people, in the end, the villain always gets what’s coming to him. My hero and heroine always get their happily-ever-after. Families always get answers, even if the answers aren’t what they want. In the end, there is resolution and peace.
Some authors are inspired by people. Some by music, and still others by the beauty around them. Take a moment to write down ten people you admire and why. Music you listen to while you write. Places you visit that calm you, where maybe your best ideas come to you. Once, a quote I heard gave me just the snippet of an idea, and that idea became the backbone of each character’s backstory. That quote? “Life if the sum of all your choices” by Camus.
Look at the world around you. You can’t help but be inspired.
You can visit her on the web at allisonbrennan.com, follow her on Twitter
@allison_brennan, or check her out on facebook.
Tomorrow book three of her Lucy Kincaid series goes on sale! Check out the cool cover:
Allison is giving away a signed copy of the first book in the series, LOVE ME TO DEATH. To win leave a comment about what inspires you + your email (for contact)!
Good luck :D