My Favorite Author
Suzanne Brockmann is by far my favorite author. Her books are easy to follow and hard to put down. She gives her readers great details of her characters. My own personal favorite series is Tall, Dark, and Dangerous. The men in these books present what every woman would desire in a man. Her books keep your attention from start to finish.
Suzanne Brockmann lives in West Boston with her husband and two teenage
children. She has many talents being a director, vocal arranger, lead
singer in a band and not to mention, author. Suzanne has won many
awards for her books such as: Rita awards, the Romance Writer of America's
highest honor for Best Long contemporary series, fifteen WISH awards
from Romantic Times Magazine, five gold medial reviews, the Holt Mediallion,
the Rising Star award, RT Magazine award for the best series Romance
of the year for 1996 and 1998. She has written contemporary series
romance for Silhouette Intimate Moments, Harlequin intrigue, and Bantam
Love Swept, and single title romance for Ballantine. Fans of Suzanne
Brockmann can contact her at SFHQ@aol.com or SuzanneBrockmann@aol.com.
Renee Wampler: What first inspired you to be a writer?
Suzanne Brockmann: I was born a writer, I think. Writing has always been one of those things I could just DO. Like breathing. I am, therefore I write. <g> I'm one of those people who can't NOT write, if you know what I mean. Whether it's songwriting, playwriting, scriptwriting, letter writing or novel writing, I can't recall any time in my life when I haven't been writing something.
SB: Carla Kelly, who writes Regencies for Signet is my all time favorite author of any genre. I'm also a fan of Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Julia Quinn, Susan Carroll, Virginia Kantra, Judith Ivory, Connie Brockway....
As far as favorite non-romance authors, I worship William Goldman, the novelist/screenwriter who wrote MARATHON MAN and BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID and THE PRINCESS BRIDE among many, many others. I'm also a fan of Robert B. Parker (particularly his earlier Spencer books).
As a child, some of my favorite books were A WRINKLE IN TIME, MR. BASS'S PLANETOID, C.S. Lewis's Narnia series... As I got slightly older, I loved PG Wodehouse, Donald Westlake, Dorothy Dunnett's "Johnson Johnson" series, and (be still my heart!) Alistair MacLean.
SB: Tons. Right now I'm writing two different ongoing series for two different publishers (my "Hero" or "Troubleshooter" series for Ballantine and my "Tall, Dark & Dangerous" series for Silhouette Intimate Moments), and I've found that it helps continuity to set up certain story lines two, three, four books in advance. For example, in the next few months, I'm going to be writing Chief Wes Skelly's story for my TDD series. (It'll be book # 11 in the series.) Since I knew that readers were starting to demand this character get his own book, back as far as THE ADMIRAL'S BRIDE (Book # 7), I started making Wes more of a real person and less clown/comic relief. Back around book nine (GET LUCKY), I started setting up part of Wes's internal and external conflict. GET LUCKY came out in March 2000, which meant I wrote it in 1999, and Wes's book (WILD, WILD WES) will probably come out in late 2002... So in a sense, it's taken me years to prepare for Wes's story!
But there's a difference between knowing what general direction a story is going to go, and writing a complete outline -- which I do before I write every one of my books. My outlining process takes an average of 11 days per book. (It's like writing a very condensed first draft of the book!)
SB: Well, most of my inspiration for the TDD series came from my genuine respect and admiration of the U.S. Military. And THAT came from my fascination with military history -- in particular the history of World War II. When I was about eleven or twelve, I read every book in the library on WWII -- everything from personal memories to strategic accounts of naval and air battles. Heroism abounded! For a kid growing up in the confusion of the Vietnam era, I loved these stories of good versus evil.
SB: Music! In the past I've led and sung with a cappella groups. Currently, I sing with a 7 piece rock and roll party band. (We have three female vocalists and a horn section!
I'm also a huge movie buff. I love watching just about everything except horror. My favorite holiday is Oscar Night. <g> I'm particularly a fan of independent films, but I enjoy a good Hollywood movie, too.
SB: Whoa, tough question. I've actually got two favorites. THE UNSUNG HERO -- because the final product was nearly identical to my pre-writing vision of what the book could and should be. That doesn't happen too often to a writer -- that a book comes out exactly the way you hope it will.
The other is a book I wrote early in my career called LETTERS TO KELLY. It's never been published (yet?), but boy did I have fun writing that book. (It was originally bought by Meteor Kismet, but they went out of business before it was published. It's remained in limbo ever since.)
SB: Right now I'm writing OUT OF CONTROL, which will be released by Ballantine Books in March 2002. It's the 4th installment in my "Troubleshooter" series and it features U.S. Navy SEAL Chief Ken "WildCard" Karmody.
Next up on my schedule is to write WILD, WILD WES, book # 11 in my "Tall, Dark & Dangerous" series for Silhouette Intimate Moments. It features Chief Wes Skelly, the second half of the Bobby & Wes team. I wrote the proposal/outline for this book about a year ago -- I know exactly what's going to happen. I just have to find the time to get it onto paper! There's no release date for this book yet, but with luck it'll be out sometime in late 2002. (It's going to be a fun one!)
I've also recently learned that the very first book in the TDD series is going to be reissued. PRINCE JOE (originally published as an IM in June, 1996) will be reprinted as a Mira release in May, 2002. I'm going to make some slight revisions to the text (clean up some errors!), so that's exciting.
Also, HARVARD'S EDUCATION (TDD #5) is also being reissued -- in February 2002, in celebration of Black History Month. This is one of my favorite books, so I'm thrilled about that.
SB: Read constantly. Learn to analyze every piece of fiction you encounter. Why does it work for you? Why doesn't it work? Learn what makes you respond as a reader. And then write, write, write.
SB: Ooh, that's like asking me which of my children is my favorite! <g> PRINCE JOE always has a special place in my heart, because that's the book that started it all. HARVARD'S EDUCATION was an amazing book to write because it brought me outside of my own little, safe world in ways that I couldn't have guessed, so really, maybe that's my favorite. HARVARD, yeah. It has to be Harvard.
But then there's THE ADMIRAL'S BRIDE... Oh, dear...
SB: As of September 1, 2001, my 33rd book, OVER THE EDGE, will just have hit the stores. (It goes on sale August 28th.)
SB: Well, thank you very much! I read everything I can get my hands on and talk to and email anyone who will communicate with me. But I think all that military fiction and nonfiction I inhaled when I was eleven years old gave me an insight into the military hero.
SB: My biggest difficulty was finding my focus. I floated around for years, just kind of creatively bouncing off walls -- song writing, TV script writing, screenwriting. I even wrote a Broadway-style musical. My first three books were Star Trek novels (never published -- it was what I consider my "learning phase." <g>). It wasn't until I took a goal setting workshop and targeted romance that things started to click for me. I sat down in June 1992 and started writing my first romance novel. By December of that same year, I'd made my first sale. I knew it was going to happen -- everything about writing romance felt so right to me. After years of searching, I'd finally found my niche!
SB: I have a very extensive website (At least 3 pages devoted to each of my 33 published books, plus loads more info!) at www.suzannebrockmann.com
I also send out a monthly email newsletter (all archived at my website, as well, at www.suzannebrockmann.com/newsletter.htm). To sign up, email me at SFTHQ@aol.com and say "Hey, add me to your newsletter list!" <g>
Temptation by Suzanne Brockmann
Renee Wampler, MyShelf.com
Being secretly in love with Bobby Taylor has driven Colleen to desperate measures. She has to convince him they belong together. There is just one obstacle standing in her way - her brother Wes. Bobby has been sent by Wes to talk Colleen out of a dangerous trip to Tulgeria. Wes has always wanted Colleen to set her dreams high by marrying a doctor or lawyer -- someone who could give her everything her heart desires. Bobby and Wes are Navy Seals, part of an elite Navy fighting machine. They live dangerously. Their lifestyle isn't suitable for family life.
Bobby realizes that Wes is almost like a brother to him and tries to respect his wishes while struggling with his attraction to Colleen. I admire Bobby's character because he seems like a true gentleman -- someone who sacrifices his own desires to maintain his friendship with Wes. Can Bobby maintain his friendship with Wes while lusting for Colleen when they are left alone?
Bobby and Colleen
are believable and down-to-earth characters. The story was easy to follow
and a great plot. Taylor's Temptation is a heartwarming tale of friendship
and true love. A must have for any romance reader.