The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

on April 24, 2008

Okay, so it’s not an original title 🙂

Let’s reverse the sentiment, however.


* The vitriol against Tess Gerritsen by some commenters on the Dear Author blog site. I used to enjoy visiting DA to read news and first sale stories and support some of my friends who have been highlighted. I have commented occasionally. I do NOT like the tone of the comments regarding Tess’s tongue-in-cheek blog post on her site. Okay, they didn’t get her humor. State it and move on. Don’t jump all over a respected, classy woman who has done more to help authors, published and unpublished, understand the business as well as showing that we’re not heartless robots without emotion. I was going to blog about this today, but since JD Rhodes at Murderati did such an exemplary job explaining the situation that incited the attacks on Tess, as well as what happened after, I’ll send you over there to catch up.


* I haven’t moved yet or closed escrow, but it’s closer. We were originally suppose to close 3/19; then 4/11; now? I’m thinking 4/30. And even then, we probably won’t actually MOVE until after May 10 because we have to order some furniture, get the hardwood floors sealed, and a variety of other little things that are much easier to do before moving in. Fortunately, we don’t have to sell our current house. We wanted to move out first, paint, put in new carpets, etc before putting it on the market. But I had planned to be in and settled and WRITING in my new office by now; instead I’ll be spending a few more weeks at Starbucks . . .


* I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve sold the first three books of my supernatural thriller series based on the Seven Deadly Sins to Ballantine.

My novella in WHAT YOU CAN’T SEE is a prequel to part of the series. It sets up Rafe’s backstory and conflict. Wait until you see what’s in store for him when he gets out of his coma.

I’ve been thinking about this series for nearly five years now. I came up with the concept in August of 2003, but after writing about 50-60 pages, I discovered that THE PREY finaled in a contest (under a different title) and I wanted to finish it. When I did, I realized it was better than anything else I’d done, so I queried it out, got an agent, and sold pretty quick. At that point, writing romantic thrillers–which I love–was my priority.

But, I’ve been thinking about this story ever since. I suppose you could say that it’s haunted me. We almost pitched it last time I was up for contract, but my agent (rightfully) felt I needed to firmly establish myself in romantic suspense before venturing into something a little different. I agreed, so we kept it. When the first Seven Deadly Sins book comes out, I’ll have 12 romantic thrillers on the shelf, and that seems a good place to add a second series.

I call it “supernatural” rather than “paranormal” because everything takes place in the known, contemporary world. The supernatural elements? The Seven Deadly Sins are demons on earth. I suppose I might say that by supernatural, I believe that these things *may* happen or have some historical truth behind them. I’m relying heavily on Judeo-Christian beliefs and history because that’s something people have some knowledge about. I’ll take some liberties, of course–this IS fiction–but I probably won’t venture too dramatically outside of the “norm”–if you can call demons “normal.” LOL. I do have a fictional representation of Hell in my mind, and plan to set some scenes there. It should be . . . interesting.

Haven’t you wondered about the Seven Deadly Sins? What makes them deadly? What if they were truly deadly? What if Envy was a demon who fed and multiplied our internal envious feelings, resulting in murder, thefts, rape, mutilations, torture and other atrocities?

When we look at violent criminals, we often think that no human being could be so cruel. What if a demon really did “make him do it?”

One of my inspirations came from Stephen King’s NEEDFUL THINGS, which is my favorite book of his after THE STAND. In it, a new curio shop opens with “needful things”–things (junk) people want desperately. They see something that no one else sees. The objects are cursed. People start doing things they wouldn’t normally do. A friendly competition between churches turns deadly. It’s a scary book (of course, it’s King!) But the idea that people start behaving as they otherwise wouldn’t . . . what if I turned that around? What if the “deadly sins” within each of us is brought out, nurtured by a demon, developed to it’s natural conclusion? Which is, of course, death . . . because they are DEADLY sins, after all. So people who truly are without Envy, or Lust, or Gluttony wouldn’t be affected . . . but how many of us can honestly say we’ve never been envious or another? That we’ve never eaten or drank more than we should?

I’m also really excited about my characters. There are seven main characters, three of which are, I guess, the “primary” main characters. There will be several romantic subplots, as well as strong police procedural elements. There will always be a crime–in fact, each story is set up with a very human and very real crime. The difference? In order to catch the killer(s) my team of characters must first stop a corporeal demon who feeds and grows stronger on a “deadly sin.”

Book one is about envy. A coven of teen-age witches unwittingly release the Seven Deadly Sins from their underworld prison. A high school girl is found dead in the woods with no apparent cause of death, and her best friend is missing. Three people are drawn to the small California town: a reclusive woman from Ireland with more experience with demons than she wants; a former seminarian haunted by the massacre—and the memories—of twelve dead priests; and a true crime writer who thinks the whole thing is a hoax. It is tentatively scheduled for publication in November 2009.

I will continue to write the same dark romantic thrillers I’ve been writing to date. In fact, after TEMPTING EVIL and PLAYING DEAD come out this year to conclude the Prison Break Trilogy, I have the first three books of my FBI series in 2009—starting with SUDDEN DEATH in April. My FBI series will follow a core group of characters through major and violent crimes (with a different hero and heroine in each book, but a recurring team of characters.) Serial killers, mass murders, kidnappings, domestic terrorism, and the like. I’m very excited about the FBI series and plan to continue it beyond 2009.

And, in fact, I have another idea for a romantic thriller series based on the company my heroine works for in PLAYING DEAD.

My goal is to have a supernatural thriller that is very similar in tone and feeling as my romantic thrillers, just with supernatural elements . . . I’m a little scared about the new venture. To be honest, what if my readers don’t like it? But I’m also extremely excited. It’s a series that has been begging me to write it, and I know I would regret it forever if I didn’t do it.


Jessica, who posted on my blog last week and played my little brainstorming game, has won a copy of my entire backlist. Yeah! Jessica, you can have the books signed to you, to a friend, or mix and match. Just let me know! Email me at allison @ allisonbrennan . com (no spaces.) with your snail mail address and how you want the books signed.

You get:
WHAT YOU CAN’T SEE (anthology)