Friday, May 5, 2017

Buckle Up! A Suspenseful Ride with Brandilyn Collins—By Linda Kozar

Seatbelt Suspense Author Brandilyn Collins

Today I'm sharing an interview with multi-published, award-winning author, Brandilyn Collins. This woman runs deep, and like her books, leads a fast-paced, fascinating, faith-filled life complete with glorious twists and turns and unparalleled surprises. Buckle up! The adventure is just beginning...

About Brandilyn..

Brandilyn Collins is a best-selling novelist known for her trademark Seatbelt Suspense®--fast-paced, character-driven suspense with myriad twists and an interwoven thread of faith. These harrowing crime thrillers have earned her the tagline "Don't forget to    b r e a t h e . . ."®  She also writes insightful contemporary novels, often laced with humor. Brandilyn's first book, A Question of Innocence, was a true crime published by Avon in 1995. Its promotion landed her on local and national TV and radio, including the Phil Donahue and Leeza talk shows. Brandilyn's awards for her novels include the ACFW Carol Award (three times), Inspirational Readers' Choice, the Inspy, Christian Retailing's Best Award (twice), and Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice. She is also known for her distinctive book on fiction-writing techniques, Getting Into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn From Actors (John Wiley & Sons). The Writer magazine named Getting into Character one of the best books on writing in 2002.

Brandilyn, let's get personal. Tell us about your family.

I’m married to the best man on earth (not bragging or anything, just fact), and have three grown children. We have no pets, but do see lots of deer and turkeys on our Pacific Northwest property, as well as the occasional moose, elk, and (rare) bear. And I make a dynamite latte.

Name a few of your favorite things.

I love nature—I see God in it. Love music, especially classic rock and gospel. (In Heaven I shall go from concert to concert.) I've seen some amazing blessings from God, including a miraculous healing (Read about it here). 

And something more about you.

I was born in India (the daughter of missionary parents) and grew up in Kentucky. Which could make for a rather unique accent. However, I moved to California when I was 22 and promptly dropped whatever strange way of speaking. Except I still say "y'all." And if I get around Southerners too long … ooh boy. My husband and I now live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

I’m an introvert, but when I’m out in public you’d never know it. In fact, I’m very at home on a stage, teaching or speaking. Want to make me really happy? Buy one of my books. And love it. Then buy another...

How many books have you written?

I’ve written 31 books. Most of these are Seatbelt Suspense® novels. Others are in the contemporary genre. I’ve also written a how-to book for fiction:

It’s quite different in its approach, taking seven concepts from method acting and tweaking them for the novelist’s use. I teach these concepts at writers’ conferences, and many novelists have found them very helpful.

How did you get to be so killy?

When I was a kid I never thought I'd grow up to kill people for a living. Neither did my lovely mother, who often wondered where she went wrong. Fortunately for my victims, the killing is only in my books.


Now and then I venture from behind my computer and teach fiction at writers’ conferences. I’m also an inspirational keynote speaker. I love to interact with readers. The best place to find me on a daily basis is at my Facebook page, where I post Today's Word, crazy "Creative Captioneer" pictures, book sale news (mine and other authors'), topics of interest, and who knows what else.

Upcoming Events:

Kentucky Christian Writers Conference, June 23-24, Elizabethtown, KY. Teaching 4 hours. 

Fantastic Fiction Retreat, June 2-3.  Classes held in my lake/forest home in the resort town of Coeur d’Alene, ID. 7 hrs. of teaching concepts from my book Getting Into Character. Limited to 15 attendees. Three slots left. 

ACFW Annual Conference, Gaylord Hotel, Grapevine, TX (near Dallas), September 21-24. Emcee and facilitate prayer room. 

Want to be a winner TODAY?
Leave a comment or ask Brandilyn a question 
and we'll throw
YOUR NAME into the hat!

 "Wonderfully plotted.” 
 RT BookReviews

“Perfect for fans of Stephen King.” 
Library Journal

"Agatha Christie readers will be riveted. 
Publishers Weekly


  1. Where do you get your ideas from? What's the craziest place you ever found a story idea?

  2. Ideas come from LIFE. It's as simple and as complex as that. Novelists must be constant life-watchers.

    The craziest place I ever got an idea was probably sitting in my hot tub, looking at the fold-back cover and thinking, "Hmm, if someone got in here and only folded that cover back half way, that person would not see a body floating beneath that half cover. And if it took place as night ...." And so the opening scene in my novel VIOLET DAWN was born.

  3. I remember reading that scene! Chilling. The best ideas come from real life and a creative mind:)

  4. Beverly Duell-MooreMay 5, 2017 at 8:57 AM

    Great interview! Brandilyn, my daughter and love your edge of the seat stay up all night suspense novels! There some i've read a couple times!

  5. I always enjoy reading your books, Brandilyn!

    1. Clearly you have exquisite taste in novels.

  6. Loved the interview. How do you come up with names for your characters?

    1. I just think them up. And I tend to look at lists for popular names for whatever year in which the character would have been born. Then I'll do a google check to make sure it's not a well-known name.

  7. Laura, Beverly, Susanne and Deana--Your names are entered in the drawing:)

  8. Ann, threw your name in the hat!

  9. love your books thanks for writing them !

  10. I really enjoy Brandilyn's books. Looking forward to reading this one. Do you ever scare or surprise yourself?

  11. I did scare myself with my very first suspense, EYES OF ELISHA. I was writing in the middle of the night, and kept finding myself looking over my shoulder ....

  12. Wilma, Paula, thanks for your comments. I threw your names in the hat!

  13. Brandilyn, I am Kentucky born and I have lived in the same county all of my life and I enjoyed learning that you once lived in my state. Congratulations on your success. Mystery/suspense is onr of my favorite genres!

  14. I really like your books!
    Martha T.

  15. Love your books! Don't think I could pick a favorite. Do you have a favorite book that you have written?

  16. Connie, Martha T. and Melissa--entered your names! I will announced the winner of our raffle for Brandilyn Collins' VAIN EMPIRES this evening!

  17. And we have a winner!!! Random Name Picker selected MELISSA OLDAKER! Congratulations! You have won an eBook copy of Brandilyn Collins' VAIN EMPIRES!

  18. I've read several of your books and I love suspense!
    We have some things in common! Our music tastes, except I'd also add southern gospel, you know the hand clapping kind, we are both married to the best husband in the world and I love nature too, we go camping every chance we get!
    I've also envisioned going from concert to concert in Heaven. A little Elvis here a little John Denver there and gospel in the corner. (Reckon Elvis and John will be there?)
    I'm from Alabama and I definitely talk funny to those not from the south. So glad you kept your y'all!
    Keep up the good writing cause I don't run want to run out of good books to read!

  19. Love, love, love Brandilyn's books!