Speech! Speech!

on April 26, 2012

As I write this blog, I have three major things going on in my life (outside of the kids, which is always like herding cats or juggling knives, depending on the day.)

First, I’m writing a speech for the Desert Dreams conference this weekend in Arizona. When Rocki reads this, she’ll want to strangle me (fortunately, she lives 3,000 miles away) because she’s a staunch believer in writing, rewriting, and practicing speeches. I, on the other hand, usually have an idea, write it on the plane, read it out loud and edit when I get to the hotel, and then deliver something completely different than what I penned. In fact, I have one “stump speech” that I wrote for the New Jersey Romance Writers … and I have yet to give it. However, I’ve started it several times … Anyway, I had to give my speech a title. I called it “Through the Looking Glass.” I figure that’ll cover pretty much anything I want to talk about.

Second, I have a book due May 1. I was making great progress on it until I realized an entire branch of the plot did not work and yesterday I deleted over 6,000 words when that branch broke from the tree. I then wrote over 3,000 words to make up for it, but I’m still 3,000 words short of where I thought I would be. Meaning, I’ll be writing during my trip. This is not to say that I know what the final word count will be — my rough drafts (like this) are generally 70-80K words, and my final draft is generally 100-110K words. But I’m stuck on the ending because of that broken branch. Time to play what if games and see what sticks.

And finally, my 18th book was published on Tuesday.

SILENCED was hell to write, but in the end I was happy with it. When I read the final page proofs I was stunned that the story came together. I had a big picture in my head, but the details stymied me, so when everything was wrapped up I kind of surprised myself.

What surprises me even more, though, is that SILENCED is my 18th published book. I feel like I should know more about this business, that I should understand the hows and whys of decisions–the decisions of readers, of fellow writers, of publishers. And I don’t. I don’t even understand me sometimes … but I suppose I should take that up with my therapist (if I had one.)

SILENCED is the fourth book in the Lucy Kincaid series, but the first book with a new publisher. Last year, I moved from Ballantine who published all 17 of my previous books, to Minotaur/St. Martin’s Press. It was a good move for me, exciting, but scary nonetheless. Change always is.

Change is hard. I’m really going to miss Rocki on this blog. Rocki is a lot like me — we’re stubborn, opinionated, and passionate. Rocki can drive me crazy as much as she makes me happy. I tried to get her to stay, but I think that was more for me than it was for her. As you know, Rocki has another amazing book out this week: BAREFOOT IN THE SAND. It really doesn’t matter if she’s writing romantic suspense or women’s fiction or YA, you know you’re going to get a great story.

Good luck, dear friend. And you’d damn well better write another Bullet Catcher book or your name is mud.

I have some good news to share. Our own Laura Griffin hit the USA Today bestseller list with TWISTED. I can not tell you how thrilled I am! She is an amazingly talented writer. And organized — far more organized than me. I can say that with total honesty because we’ve co-written a couple articles for RT. The final product, I think, has been terrific, but it’s because Laura keeps me focused and directed. (I have a suspicion that she is a plotter, but I like her anyway.) In the RT Book Review newsletter for the June issue, Carol Stacy wrote:

“Allison Brennan and Laura Griffin talk about their new releases (SILENCED and TWISTED respectively) and their experiences writing gritty thrillers with their mom status intact. These “mystery moms” are always amusing when they write an article together, but this time we get a better idea of the duality of their lives.”

And on my own doorstep, SILENCED garnered my first ever Associated Press review. I don’t know all where it was printed, but it’s posted all over cyber news sites. In part:

“Brennan throws a lot of story lines into the air and juggles them like a master. The mystery proves to be both compelling and complex.”

Writing, for me, is always hard during release week, but I’m managing. Tuesday was kind of a waste, but yesterday was better, and today will be better still.

I write all day, take a break when the kids get home, then write at night. Late — usually around midnight or one — I call it quits and unwind with TV. For example, I watched the first six seasons of BONES in three months.

Anyone here watch GRIMM? I was thrilled it was renewed for a second season. And of course, JUSTIFIED’s season three finale was amazing. Can’t wait until next January! I’m currently on season four of NCIS (why, oh why, did I never watch this show before?) And I’m eagerly awaiting the return of HAVEN this summer. What are you happy about in TV land?

And I almost forgot! St. Martin’s created this fabulous trailer for SILENCED. What do you think?