Behind The Book With Allison Brennan
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Behind The Book Allison Brennan
On July 4th I began reading an early copy of New York Times Bestselling author Allison Brennan’s book North Of Nowhere. I sped through the book and finished it on July 8th. It was my first time reading from Allison and I’m very glad that I did. If you don’t have a physical or netgalley copy of North Of Nowhere, pre-order it now. I promise you, you are in for a treat.
Q: When creating the McIntyre crime family did you base the characters off of an actual mobster family or a fictional one like The Godfather?
A: First, thank you for your kind words! I’m so glad you enjoyed my book.
I didn’t base the McIntyre family off anyone specific mobster family. But … years ago, I saw Kindergarten Cop about an undercover cop at a school waiting to capture a criminal who might come for his son who was there. The grandmother of the boy was far more terrifying than the father, and she stuck with me for a long time. So when I created the McIntyre family, I knew that the matriarch was really in charge. Frankie is very loosely based on the grandmother in the movie — I think Frankie is smarter and more devious.
Q: In your acknowledgements you originally began this story seven years ago and sent an early copy to your agent Dan Conaway and he told you it wasn’t working. You began writing it again in 2020. Did it take you two or three years to re-write this?
A: Yes — Dan was honest and he was right. The story just didn’t work the way I originally wrote it. It took me several years of sitting on it before something clicked and I knew what was wrong. Everything but the plane crash is different! In fact, all the characters except Kristen and Ryan are completely different. I re-wrote it in a year, sent it back to Dan, and he gave it two thumbs up and sent it off to my editor. I did some minor editorial revisions — mostly the ending, which needed fleshing out. Sometimes when I get to the climax I get so excited that everything is coming together that I rush things — a good editor can help me expand and enhance those climatic scenes!
Q: While I know North Of Nowhere is a standalone novel, would you ever change your mind and write a sequel? I enjoyed it so much that I could see a sequel but it also works as just a solo book.
A: I don’t have any plans to write a sequel. If I had an idea, I’d think about it, but I feel like the stories of these characters have been told and that readers will be satisfied with the ending.
Q: What lessons do you hope readers get from reading North Of Nowhere?
A: I don’t write with that sort of goal — I write primarily to entertain. But one of the themes I was exploring in this book was that most people are not all bad or all good. Can someone who has been a criminal most of their life be redeemed? Can you forgive someone who has hurt you? What does forgiveness really mean? I wanted to explore the depths in people and the different motivations they have, some of which might be in conflict. For example, Tony Reed who kidnapped Kristen and Ryan did it for the right reasons — he did it to protect the kids. But he wasn’t always a good man. He had killed for Boyd. He’d had an affair with Boyd’s wife. And Boyd was a criminal who did some awful things — but he also loved his children. Did the love he has for his children outweigh his business interests? These are some of the things I was looking at as I wrote.
In the end, I hope that readers will find themselves immersed in a good story and feel satisfied at the end that they had a few entertaining hours lost in the book. That is always my goal.