Hooking

on February 16, 2006

Periodically, discussions on writers loops come around to hooking an agent . . . or an editor . . . or a reader. The “high-concept” premise is thrown out as something to aspire to: explain your story in 25 words or less using ideas and images readily understood by the average buyer. But when it comes down to the actual book–and getting readers invested into the story–it’s the first couple pages that often make the difference. Sol Stein said in Stein on Writing: Some years ago I was involved in an informal study of the behavior of lunch-hour browsers in… Read More


Random Thoughts and Other Scary Things

on February 9, 2006

I’ve always been an advocate for the underdog. Maybe that’s why I sympathize with my villains. My villains are evil. They are vicious and they hurt people for the sheer pleasure of inflicting pain on others. They are bad and they deserve to die for their crimes. But. I understand them. I see how they turned into a physical embodiment of evil. “Evil” is usually an adjective, to describe an action, but it can also be a noun. Evil kills. Evil maims. Evil does the dirty deed. People can become evil, and they are then responsible for their actions. Yet… Read More


Blog to Read

on February 4, 2006

If you haven’t been over to Tess Gerritsen’s blog this week, check out this must read post for all writers, published or unpublished. An excerpt: If you want to be a writer, get ready for editors telling you your manuscript isn’t good enough, critics telling you that your book is lousy, readers whining that they wasted twenty five bucks on your opus, the bloggers saying they’re appalled you got nominated for that award. There’s no way to avoid it. You’ll get rocks thrown at you, and you might as well prepare for it now by hitting your head against the… Read More


Ups and Downs

on February 2, 2006

Over at Kristin Nelson‘s blog, she wrote about the state of the chick lit market Why would a suspense writer even care about the chick lit market? Because we’re sisters. Or brothers-in-arms. Or any other cliche you can think of. The truth is, chick lit today is where romantic suspense was 3-5 years ago. When chick lit first became really popular, maybe about three years ago, good writers who had a good manuscript were bought up in very nice deals across the board. Publishers were snatching up new authors right and left, and established writers with the right tone were… Read More


In the Zone

on January 26, 2006

I’m a binge writer. I can write a lot of pages really fast, or nothing. With The Kill, for example, I wrote the first 140 pages in 2 weeks . . . then nothing for months. True, I had other things to do like revisions on The Hunt, but the beginning just rolled out, and then I was stuck in the coroner’s office, not knowing if my heroine should watch the autopsy or not. Seriously. You’d think I could just skip that part, right? That I could just write the scene that comes next and get back to it. Not!… Read More


Writers Write

on January 19, 2006

Last night I celebrated the release of THE PREY with a launch party. I invited family and friends and was humbled by the incredible turnout. Many of my friends that showed up were people I’d worked with for a long time, or a long time ago, before I quit my job in the California Legislature. They came to wish me well and support me, and I’ll never forget it. One long-time friend commented to my husband that he was 98% thrilled for me and 2% envious. He said, “Everyone wants to write a book, but Allison actually did it.” Whether… Read More


Over at RTB today . . .

on January 17, 2006

. . . I have a column posted called Why Murder? It talks about my drive to understand why people turn into monsters, and how that’s portrayed in my books.


Creating Monsters

on January 12, 2006

In The Kill, there’s a scene where Zack and Olivia are reviewing official records that relate to the villain. As they begin to understand the killer’s background, Zack says: “I heard a phrase once, can’t remember where, that monsters are created. [He] is a product of his upbringing. Doesn’t make him any less guilty, but dammit, I hate that the cycle continues.” Zack couldn’t remember where he heard the phrase because I couldn’t remember where I heard it. I thought I might have read it in a Thomas Harris book or in a Keith Ablow book, but after skimming my… Read More


And the winner is . . .

on January 9, 2006

I had my son pull a number from a hat, and the winner is . . . Alphabeter! So please email murdershewrites5@yahoo.com with your address and I’ll send you an early copy of THE HUNT! I’m sorry I didn’t get my post up on the answers to the questions, life caught up to me this weekend . . . birthday parties, board meetings, cleaning, grocery shopping (the kids think I need to feed them), and I actually went to bed relatively early last night (10:30; early for me!) BUT I’ll post them on Thursday and maybe something these serial killer… Read More


Killer Nicknames

on January 5, 2006

It seems that the press love to attach monikers to serial killers. In my upcoming book The Hunt(Ballantine, February 2006), the press dubbed the man who tortures, rapes and hunts women in the wilderness as The Bozeman Butcher. But my killer is fictional . . . and as they say, truth is stranger than fiction . . . Most nicknames seem to fade away after the killer is apprehended . . . for example, I never knew until recently that Jeffrey Dahmer had been called the “Milwaukee Cannibal.” Some killers are better known by their moniker, such as “Son of… Read More