Allison Brennan is known for her chilling and often “very gruesome” (Pitner) stories. Her novels of romantic suspense border more along the thriller aspect of her stories than the romance. But as she puts it: “There is always a happy ending and my hero and heroine deserve to have their own happily ever after-especially considering what they’ve gone through physically and emotionally just to survive the book” (Pitner).
These stories of murder and intrigue are often based in her local area of Central California, providing her with the inspiration for her novel’s surroundings. But as scary and bone-chilling as her novels are, Brennan admits she is “more scared reading the news” (Pitner). In fact, articles in her local newspaper have even inspired her to write some of her stories. Her first published novel, The Prey, was inspired by an article she had read, where a local man had killed his entire family and then himself (Pitner). “All the neighbors were shocked, no one could believe that he could do something so horrific. I wondered, ‘What if one of his children survived?’ She became my heroine, Rowan Smith” (Brennan). Brennan also claims her novel, Speak No Evil, was inspired by Taylor Biehl, “who had an anonymous, sexually explicit blog and died at the hands of her one-time, much older boyfriend” (Brennan). The possibility for the events to be real, mixed with the shock value of such tragedies, makes the story that much more compelling. The appeal is in the reality, and borders on the precipice of the time-old duality of good versus evil.