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This weekend I was one of 45 authors to participate in the Sacramento Library Foundation’s “Authors on the Move” fundraising event. They raised over
I love speaking to kids. They’re usually attentive, interested, and full of questions. So when the opportunity arose to speak during Writer’s Week at my ol
Please welcome guest blogger Piper Bayard … a terrific writer and friend! I love her Bayard & Holmes newsletter and her mostly fun, but sometimes serious, bl
I was an only child. Wherever my mom went, so did I. My grandparents took me camping often in their trailer, and my grandpa had a cabin in Woodside where I spent many,
Allison here: I met J.T. Ellison first online in 2006, then in person at the first Thrillerfest in Arizona. She’d asked me to blurb her debut novel, All the Pret
I wrote this little story nearly four years ago for BLOOD LITE II: OVERBITE, the Horror Writers Association anthology. I was very pleased with the quality of al
Please welcome Murder She Writes alum Roxanne St. Claire for the day! I am so excited she’s here at the new site. Rocki and I have been friends for yearsR
I’m back from Oregon! I had a wonderful time with my mom and daughter visiting Southern Oregon University. Kelly likes the school. I don’t know if it’
It’s finally here. The new Murder She Writes website. And my new author photo. What do you think? I loved our last site, but because it’s now just me, I wa
Ellie, c’mon down!!
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Deb talked earlier this week about television heroes. I want to talk about heroines. While some may disagree, it seems to me heroines it seems to me get pushed aside for the dashing handsome heroes. I wondered why that is.
What brought me to this topic tonight is Elizabeth Edwards, and the news she is in fourth stage cancer. It is not curable. But it is manageable. Very manageable.
Her heroic battle will no doubt inspire many women and men to dig deep and fight the good fight.
As I watched her stand beside her husband, and he declared they were a fighting family, I felt my throat constrict and my stomach slowly churn. I coughed so as not to appear a smushy-goose in front of my husband (god forbid). My heart swelled and I thought of another Elizabeth who is as I type fighting the same battle. My mother has also fought this battle. Both of these women to me are true heroines.
When my mom found out, mom got mad. Fighting mad. She fought back–hard. She beat the bad guy. But then almost a decade later some of his friends showed up. She went and kicked their asses too. No sooner do those miserable bastards take a hike, more come. She swiftly dealt with those muthers. For the time being, my heroine Mom seems to have won the day. I have no doubt if the sneaky bastards try to slip in while she’s not looking she’ll have a quick say.
Then there is my other real-life friend and heroine, Liz. Wow. I want to have her cajones when I grow up. I want her fire and passion for life when I grow up. She made bald is beautiful more than a saying. She made headpieces so fashionable at conferences I am seriously considering fashioning one myself. I don’t know how she does it. She is strong, she is beautiful, she is brave and she kicks ass. She never gives up. She fights until there is nothing left to fight with. And when it looks like the bastards have her, she digs even deeper and rises to the challenge and wins! She is graceful under fire, she is a class act, she is all things female and all things good. She is pure, in the sense of pure true grit.
She does what a true heroine does. And you know what else she does? She makes it easy for the people who love her not to feel bad. How freaking heroic is that?
As I am writing REDEMPTION the other novella from hell, I asked myself after watching the news and seeing Elizabeth Edwards and thinking of my mom and of Liz, is my heroine, Danica Keller, worthy of my real life heroine’s friendship? Would they like her? Respect her? What would she do when it seemed the word turned away from her? Would she step up and fight? Or would she crawl into a corner and cry about it?
I am happy to say, Danica Keller is no cry baby. She’s a fightin’ heroine, just like the two Elizabeths and my Mom.
Okay, so now that I have myself all teary-eyed and wishing my mom was here for me to hug, I want to know, who are your real life heroines?
JulieB!!!! Yeah! Please email me (allison @ allisonbrennan.com . . . no spaces) with your snail mail address and I’ll send you a copy of FEAR NO EVIL (on sale Tuesday!) AND you get to pick three friends to receive one of my backlist titles (Either The Prey, The Hunt or The Kill, your pick!) I just need their addresses and off they’ll go!
The Novella From Hell. My paranormal novella, “Deliver Us From Evil” in the upcoming WHAT YOU CAN’T SEE, is giving me fits. It so wants to be a bigger book. I’m cutting and cutting as I go because every turning point is opening up a huge can of worms. So what did I do? I had my characters have sex. Halfway through the story. I never do that. But it actually seemed to work. I hope. I actually went back and changed a scene where they simply kissed, to a full-blown love scene. But this novella is HARD WORK! How is it that I can write a 100,000 book in six weeks, but a 35,000 word novella has taken twelve, and I’m still not done?
Writing short is hard. I did finish the short story for the Killer Year anthology. Yeah! It turned out pretty good. I called it “Killing Justice.” A little longer than it was supposed to be (5,900 words when it was supposed to be 5K) but it had been much longer. I ended up taking out two “scenes” and it worked.
And I’ve started working on book #1 of my trilogy. It’s due fairly quickly, and I could see the beginning, so decided to write it down. But I’m having some problems. First, I don’t know who the heroine is. She’s either Trinity Lange, a reporter, or Lila Devane, a former stripper turned night club owner. They are as different as night and day. My hero, Will, is (has been) a womanizer, but he turned 40 last year and he’s been rethinking his life. His partner is getting married. His best friend is in a coma. The last woman he dated became obsessive. For the first time in his life, he thinks maybe letting himself fall in love is a good thing (he thinks it’s a choice!)
Now, I was going to let Will make up his own mind, but I’m in his head and I don’t see how he’s going to do what I want. (Therein lies the problem–I’m trying to force him to make a choice and I’ve only written two chapters! He hasn’t even MET them yet. Well, he knows Lila. She testified against the killer who escaped. . . . )
Okay, a little background. This is my prison break story. Theodore Glenn, who killed four strippers six years ago (and the convict Will left San Diego to testify at his appeal hearing during the book SPEAK NO EVIL), has escaped from San Quentin after an earthquake gives a small group of convicts an opening in the exercise yard. He has vowed to kill everyone involved with his arrest and conviction. (He made a list of nine people who deserve to die.) As I got into his head, I learned a lot of other interesting things. For example, he has absolutely no remorse. He killed because it was fun and interesting. A change of pace. He didn’t pick strippers because he has a problem with them; he picked strippers because they were easy to get to. He has an ex-wife. He is truly a sociopath.
And he didn’t kill one of the four victims.
So he enlists the help of Trinity Lange. Okay, he threatens her at knifepoint. But she’s a reporter. Though she’s scared to death of Glenn, her curiosity gets the better of her and she starts investigating the murder of the third victim–the former roommate of Lila Devane. Naturally, this puts her and Lila in contact.
Will has his own problems. People start to die and Glenn is at large. Then Trinity contacts the police about Glenn’s appearance in her apartment. (Will is assigned to the call because Glenn is his case.) Will has to also go to Lila and tell her that Glenn escaped (which she knew because she’s not stupid–she saw it on the news) and then I learned when I wrote that short scene that Will and Lila had a relationship during the last investigation! How dare they, I mean, they really messed up my idea of what the story was supposed to be.
I’m not really giving anything away because (right now) this all happens in the first two chapters. The prologue is the earthquake, and this is a couple days later. But do you see the can of worms I have to try and contain? Ugh!
Lila . . . or Trinity. Damn Will is attracted to both of them. Lila is more complex with a lot more baggage. Trinity is very smart with a drive for truth, justice and the American Way. I like both of them for different reasons. And, dammit, so does Will.
So the jury is out. We’ll just have to see what happens, won’t we?
Oh, and then there’s that pesky problem of the third victim, the one Glenn didn’t kill. Now I’m dying to find out who did.
Don’t forget! You have until midnight tonight to comment on any post this last week for a chance to win an early copy of FEAR NO EVIL! And you get to also pick three friends to send one of my backlist to. Yeah! I know, I didn’t ask a question in this post . . . okay, a question.
What was the last book you read? (for me, STIGMA by Philip Hawley; I’m in the middle of BORN IN DEATH by JD Robb.) What was the last movie you saw? (for me, 300. Very violent. Excellent movie. Incredible photography and use of color, imagery, and shadow.) Glad I saw it.
When I was in the first grade, I used to run home from the bus stop after school so I could watch Superman on television. I’m talking about the original Superman, the black and white version, starring George Reeves and Noel Neill. (Yeah, I know I’m an old fart…) Anyway, if I was lucky, the local television station would run two episodes back-to-back, which made those particular afternoons sheer heaven. Back then, Superman was my hero, what with all that faster-than-a-speeding-bullet and leaping-tall-buildings-in-a-single bound stuff. So was Lois Lane. I know she didn’t do much on the program except look cute in her little pencil-suit, but, hey, there had to be something pretty special about her if she was Superman’s girlfriend, right? Between the two of them, I was always transported into another world, one where the bad guys always lost, where I could either fly or be flown to anywhere, and where friends always stuck together no matter what. Oh, yeah…and I learned that kryptonite could be bad for your health.
After watching the program, my brother and I would run out to the yard, bath towels pinned to our shoulders and flapping in the wind, just like Superman’s cape. Fortunately, my brother didn’t mind sharing the role of Superman with a girl, which was a good thing because I was older by eighteen months, taller by a half foot, and would have beat his butt. He never wanted to be Lois, though. Not that I blame him. Although small for his age, he would have looked horrible in a pencil suit….
Sadly, those gentler times are gone. We have very few heroes today, and those we do have are usually suspect. We keep waiting for some news reporter to uncover their drug and/or alcohol abuse, or some other dark, family secret. The pitiful thing is they usually do.
This past weekend I was a guest speaker at CoastCon, a science fiction convention held in Biloxi, Ms. Although I don’t write science fiction, I try to make this event when invited each year because CC is a huge supporter of Hope Haven, a children’s shelter in Gulfport. This year I got an added bonus. Not only did I get to help out and earn money for the kids, I got to meet one of my childhood heroes…Noel Neill—THE Lois Lane!! I’m not shittin’ you! I’m talkin’ the for-real-deal, Superman’s girlfriend, Lois Lane!
Check it out…..
I swear I got all teary-eyed when this picture was taken. Best of all, we had lunch together, and I got the chance to tell her just how important she’d been to one particular little girl, and how crucial she was to our society even now, because she represents a time of innocence. When I shared that with Noel, it was her turn to get weepy. Just two ol’ cryin’ broads….what a great time that was! ïŠ
Funny thing was Noel was wearing the Superman shirt you see in the picture at the restaurant, and when we left, three or four people made a point of stopping her, each saying, “Wow, lady, that’s a cool shirt!”
Not one of them had a clue that they were talking to the original Lois Lane—to Superman’s girlfriend— how sad was that?
Even sadder, I think, is that Ms. Neill is 85 years old, which means her time with us is limited. I thought a lot about that this weekend. Who’ll take that hero slot when she’s gone? Who took Superman’s? I suspect the answer to both those questions is no one. You can’t replace heroes. All you can do is hope that a new one shows up somewhere—somehow.
So who was your childhood hero?
Allison Brennan is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty romantic thrillers and mysteries, including the Lucy Kincaid series and the upcoming Max Revere series. She lives in Northern California with her husband and five children.Read more
Two years before the events in Notorious, Max travels to Colorado Springs to investigate the disappearance of a college student. Frustrated over the lack of interest from both friends of the victim and campus authorities, Max tags along with the leader of search and rescue and his dog through the beautiful and deadly Rocky Mountains in the hopes of finding answers. Every answer she finds leads to more questions--questions neither the police nor the college want Max asking.