02-06-2009 04:21 PM
Hey Suzanne! First I have to say that I love all of your books, I just wish I didn't devour them so fast!
I've noticed that in the last couple of your books you have mentioned your dog, CK Dexter Haven, which was my first indicator that you were a big fan of The Philadelphia Story (as am I). In DON you also mention the movie as being one of Tess' favorites. I was wondering if Tracy was named after Tracy Lord, given the fact that there are two lines in the book that mention her "being lit from within." Was that intentional?
Just wanted to say that I love your references to popular (and sometimes not so popular) culture throughout your books, usually because they so often coincide with my own tastes, lol!
Two more questions for you though.
Veronica Mars or Buffy? (VM for me)
Colbert or Stewart? (*cough* pick Stephen *cough*)
Thank you for sharing your wonderful stories with us. I wish I was your BFF so I could pick your brain Thanks!
02-06-2009 04:23 PM
Thank you for taking the time to answer everyone's questions all week. I have really enjoyed reading your answers. And I have enjoyed seeing your responses to some of the harsh criticism. You go girl!
Anyway, how far in the future have you planned your characters lives? For example. . .Do you know how long Stan will stay in the Navy? Do you know how many kids Max an Gina will have? Do you know where Amy will go to college? Whether or not Ash follows in his Uncle Jules' footsteps and joins the FBI? How Kenny will react to the last episode of Battlestar Galactica?
Do you know everyone's story completely, or do you only have a limited portion figured out for what you are currently writing or arcing?
And how much do you know about your minor characters? They always seem to be fully fledged people and not place holders. My current favorites are Yashi and Martel. And I am really curious about Deb for some reason.
Also, I just finally read Boyguard, and are you planning on ever giving George an HEA? Poor George. I hope he has grown up enough for an HEA.
Thanks for your books.
02-06-2009 05:06 PM
Okay, I have another question (since you kinda shot down my super-sexy underground smuggling network idea, the least you could do is answer). Why doesn't Tracy have basic self defense and firearms training? I mean, I know she's just the receptionist (insert indignant Tracy here - "Excuse me, that's office manager!"), but considering who she works for, and what happened in New Hampshire (which we all know didn't stay in New Hampshire), don't you think Tom would have taken care of it? Did he really not think of it? Were they just too busy? Were they all afeared at the mere thought of Tracy with a gun? And what's more, will Tom now take care of this? (or Decker, but we all know that'd just be an excuse for sexy time.)
Firearms are kinda scary to those who haven't grown up with them around. There's a ton of responsibility involved in owning one. I know I wouldn't want one, because I'd always worry about it being locked up well enough.
And then there're the statistics about weapons being used against their owners... If I were Tracy, I wouldn't want one. Besides, she lived upstairs from Nash and Tess.
I guess I just always figured that it wouldn't be a skill she'd need or want. (I think it's in INTO THE STORM where Deck urges her to stay securely in the non-operative world...)
She may, however, feel inspired to accompany Deck to the range now and then.
02-06-2009 05:09 PM
Yes, I am replying to myself, but just wanted to bring up one more thing after talking to my sister.
On your recent virtual signing I had asked you to say Happy Birthday to my sister Kim and in doing so talk about my misconception about Izzy. I still this to day picture Izzy as a black man. I wonder am I the only out there that had him pictured a completely different race in their head? Silly, I know, but true.
Hey, Molly -- yes, I remember signing your book. Books? Right?
I don't think I've heard from any other reader about them thinking Izzy was African American.
02-06-2009 05:10 PM
Thanks so much for the response. I agree life would be pretty boring if we all liked the same books. Congrats on your success . I am already enjoying The Unsung Hero! Thanks for the great books. God bless you.
Picture Paul Newman as Charles Ashton -- both young and old. Paul was in my head when I was writing THE UNSUNG HERO!
02-06-2009 05:13 PM
While I know you don't give info for new books before you finish them, my 2 questions aren't directly about HP or storyline particulars of future books.
HP seems like its alyssa and sams book (which has already been done), with no new romance. More like just a mystery, suspense book. Is this how books in the future are going to be, or will you go back to having the romance in them as well after HP?
Why did you feel it necessary to give sam and alyssa another book of their own, versus making them secondary with the storyline and having a new couple get their HEA?
I already saw them get their HEA, and as a reader I am ready for another couple to get their chance. Don't get me wrong I'm happy to see them pop up in books and play pov roles, but they had their story.
For me, I like the romances. I really could care less about the cloak and dagger stuff (even though its necessary for the story) but more about the characters and their relationships.
And yes, HOT PURSUIT is primarily a mystery.
I wanted to try something a little different (just to shake things up creatively, from a writing standpoint), and the publisher was on board, so...
By no means, though, is this going to be a trend. I think of myself as a romance writer!
Thanks so much for posting!
02-06-2009 05:17 PM
CAn anyone remember where the post is that Suz lists some of her fav. authors?
Hey, I can give you that right here:
David Kelley (Boston Legal! Forgot him from the first mention)
Dean Koontz (his Odd Thomas books)
Robert B. Parker (Spenser)
William Goldman (both as a screenwriter and novelist)
Susan Elizabeth Phillips (I'm on the Times list with her -- being a longtime fan of hers, I think that's pretty cool!)
02-06-2009 05:21 PM
With some characters I know exactly who they'll end up with (for example, Sam and Alyssa, or Izzy), but some characters I don't. (For example, Lopez.)
Thanks so much for spending time here this week and for your gracious replies! Does this feel a little being in the dunk tank at the carnival? I really appreciate getting into an author's head and getting some background about the process and how you shape these stories into such enjoyable reading experiences.
I know I can't be the only Izzy/Eden lover who is driving around sniffling whenever Maroon 5 comes on the radio! Could I get some comfort and assume that EVENTUALLY, (after whatever torture you devise for Izzy) and after some (unknown) number of books, they WILL end up together? Or am I reading too much into the above statement?
That will help me make it to the next book without too much boo-hoo-ing. (Maybe it's just hormones.) Thanks for all the fun reading!
TNmomMessage Edited by TNmom on 02-05-2009 12:35 AM
Hey TN mom!
Love your comparison to the carnival dunk tank! Cracked me up. And yeah. There's a little of that "uh oh" sensation every now and then! <ggg>
I can't give you any info on Izzy and Eden yet, I'm afraid. But I do really love that song. I love that whole album.
Thanks so much for posting here this week!
02-06-2009 05:23 PM
I just want to thanks you for the personalization Dark of Night, which came to my house the next day after the release day! Not only was I excited to get the book, but also to learn that Sam will be in HP! I can't wait to eat him up...YUM! *grin*
I love Into the Fire, and can't wait to dive in to Dark of Night!
When are you coming down here for another book signing? *grin*
Julia - The Shy Asian Gal From Louisiana
Hey, Julia! Nice seeing you here!
I'm glad the book arrived promptly!
So far we've got no book tours scheduled for the immediate future -- althought I am doing a library appearance here in Sarasota, Florida on February 11th -- at the Selby Public Library, downtown, at 6:00 p.m. (Just in case you're in town... I know, I know, you have to work!)
Thanks for posting - hope to see you soon!
02-06-2009 05:31 PM
Just wanted to say thanks for another FAB book, this one will go right up there with some of my other favourite books(but never replace Over the Edge).
This was the first time I had taken part in your virtual signing and I recieved my book on Saturday morning (30th).Thanks for the message inside, I have been a follower of your work since I first fell in love with a prince named Joe, just as much as I enjoy your Troubleshooters and Team Sixteen, I wanted to ask will we ever have any more stories about Alpha Squad? I don't agree with so many people who didn't like the pairings in Dark of Night, I may be one of only a few, who was always hoping that Dave would get the girl! Could be my British sence of humour.
Hi, Norfolk 2009!
Thanks for posting! And thanks for participating in my virtual signing.
Wow, you've been reading my books since close to the beginning. Alas, I can't make any promises about Alpha Squad. Don't know if you know this, but I've outlined the next book in the series - I did that years ago.
And then, every time I made a window of time to sit down and write this story, one of my children (teenagers at the time) imploded. Seriously, I started connected writing that book to dealing with intense crisis!
My kids are both young adults now, but not quite crisis-free. And the windows of time just aren't available the way they were in the past. (Probably because I'm using them to write screenplays and stage plays now!)
And then there's the hard to answer question about the publisher. Since I've written the last TDD book (Night Watch), Silhouette has changed the format. The Silhouette Intimate Moments line doesn't exist anymore, and the replacement, Silhouette Romance has a much smaller word count. (I don't do well with short.) And it would be a violation of my contract with Ballantine to write a Silhouette Single Title, so I'm in a bit of a quandary.
So no new TDDs planned for any time in the near future! Sorry about that!
02-06-2009 05:33 PM
I really love Jules' and Robin's story, and I'm glad we didn't get the whole story arc in one book. I love the way we got to watch the whole thing unfold, from the confusion and denial in Hot Target, to the heat and intensity in Force of Nature, to the happy ever after in All Through the Night.I've recommended these books to some of my gay friends, because why should the romance genre only belong to straight women? Love is love, and romance is romance, and that's one of the things I like best about this series. Race doesn't matter, nationality doesn't matter, body type and looks don't even matter that much, so it's not that much of a stretch that sexual persuasion isn't an issue, either.I think it's interesting that Suzanne has been praised for her open-mindedness at the same time as she has been hit with a lot of flak about it. I think it's brave of her to write characters we can all believe in and care about (that she does exactly that is clear from the comments on this board, as well as the sheer number of posts) -- she's always taking risks as a writer, and that's one of the reasons it's so exciting to open one of her books.On the face of it, books are just black words on whitish paper, but in our heads -- if the author has done it right -- the people and places on the pages come to life. They become real to us, and we care about them.By taking us out of our comfort zone, letting us step into worlds we've never visited, learning to see people through someone else's eyes, authors like Suzanne help us understand and rejoice in our differences.Okay, I'll step off the soapbox now.
Message Edited by becke_davis on 02-05-2009 02:37 PM
I think it's good to get on the ol' soapbox every now and then -- especially about things that matter!
02-06-2009 05:38 PM
Whew, Suz! You've had an amazing week here on Center Stage. Thank you so very much for your wonderful, considerate, answers to everyone's questions and comments.
It's Friday, close of business, and since I suspect Suz may stick around and answer more questions tonight, anyone who has a last question? Post now -- or wait 'til the next time Suzanne Brockmann appears here...
02-06-2009 05:41 PM
I have no question but wanted to come on to say how amazing DARK OF NIGHT was. You just get better and better with each book. I admit I thought you'd go the Deck/Sophia route but after reading DON I was so glad you took them the way you did. It never crossed my mind to have Tracy and Deck together; which is part of the fun of DON. You create this lust between them that turned into so much more. Tracy is more than we thought too. I never thought her unintelligent but she was so much more than what people thought. She proved that in DON. Also, Dave is so much more than we thought. Sophia brought out a spark in him that turned him into, dare I say, a sexy hero?
Thank you for the scene where Deck explains to Tracy about how he's never loved Sophia and Tracy figuring out what Deck really needs in a woman. It was perfect and clarified so much. When I think back to the other books, I realized that it wasn't so much Deck and Sophia drawn to eachother, it was everyone else pushing them together. And Sophia probably thinking she needed Deck because he rescued her.
And also, thank you for giving us more of Jules, Robin, Sam and Alyssa. I can never get enough of them.
I may just have to do a full Troubleshooters re-read and space it over the next few months while I wait for Hot Pursuit.
You Rock Miz Brockmann!
Ann, a Troubleshooters addict.
Thanks so much -- I'm so glad you enjoyed the book.
You know, so many romance novels pull both the hero and heroine out of their respective worlds and throw them together where they are isolated. They have to learn to trust and rely on each other in a short amount of time, and sparks fly and so on.
But in real life when we meet someone who sparks our interest, we don't have the luxury of that isolation from our friends and family -- all of whom have something to say about our new relationship! <g>
When I set out to write DARK OF NIGHT, I knew I wanted to write a book about teamwork, about how a team, working well together, can achieve more than a bunch of individuals. But at the same time, being on a team means maintaining relationships, friendships or even just work partnerships, with a whole crowd of people.
With the former SEALs at TS Inc, you get characters who are comfortable working in teams. But then there are characters like Dave and Nash, who have a history of working alone.
It was a fun book to write, exploring all the different dynamics!
Again, I'm glad it worked for you!
02-06-2009 05:46 PM
It's me again! One of the posters on your BB had a question:
angel in L.A. asks:
"Suz: I remember when you were writing Dark of Night, you said you were having trouble writing parts of it. Now that it's done, can you tell us what parts you had a hard time writing?"
Tell Angel that I honestly don't remember. It was a hard book to write, I do remember that. I never went into what I call "avalanche mode" -- that phase as the end of the book is in sight and I start writing faster and faster and faster... Didn't happen. It was like dragging a piano up a hill with a rope the entire time.
Every book provides a different writing experience and it's important, as a writer, to recognize that it's NOT going to be exactly the same each time. ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT was a breeze to write. I woke up with a smile on my face as I happy skipped to my compute. Not so with DARK OF NIGHT.
I remember, when I finally finished, I played Sean Altman's OVER AND DONE on my ipod, like, seven million times, and danced and danced! (Great song!)
But writing a book is also like giving birth. As soon as you have the baby (or book) in your hands, the nightmare of delivery immediately starts to fade! <ggg>
02-06-2009 05:52 PM
I was wondering, out of all the Joss Whedon's shows, which was your fav? My fav was Firefly and Angel because of the hunks. I did like Buffy but after Angel left, the show became a lil wacky! I was sad to see Firefly cut off before it really reached it's potential! I loved Nathan darn it! You think you can convince Joss to make another Firefly movie? Serenity was just awesome! Did you see that movie? I loved it. It was beautiful but damn if they didn't kill off him that shall not be named!
So Suz since you're great friends with JR Ward and all, perhaps we can see a character jump in the worlds? Maybe you can send Jazz there, he can take on the brothers with his brood shoulders and all. He'd be like the undercover brother back in Suzverse. But he might need his own bathroom in case he needs to shower with his shellan's name carved in the back and all. Or perhaps Wrath can make a visit to TS. Now wouldn't that be the story of the year or what? In fact I'll happily join West in her underground smuggling extravaganza. We could add Jazz's brotherhood story to the mix.
Those vampire books Jo was reading. Perchance those were JR Ward's books? How would Decker know they were vampire? Unless he read them too? hmmm....
Ok going back to your BB!
SejMessage Edited by Sej on 02-05-2009 04:42 PM
It's BUFFY for me, although I loved ANGEL and FIREFLY, too. (I watched Firefly first, before Buffy.)
But the story arcs in Buffy, along with the humor and... I guess I just love it best because there are so many seasons of it. (I wish I could say the same about FIREFLY.) And of course I saw SERENITY. Own it. Own 'em all on DVD. (ALong with the box set of MASH and WEST WING, and VERONICA MARS (First season is best) and BATTLESTAR GALACTICA. (Shh, no spoilers, I'm waiting to watch the recently released season on DVD with some friends who I won't see until Spring...)
And yeah, I think crossing series with JR would be a little too intense. I suspect we both work best when completely alone. <g>
Although, yes, it was definitely a JR Ward book that Decker found in Jo's suitcase. He could tell it was a vampire romance by the cover and blurb!
02-06-2009 05:58 PM
I love your work. I have 3 words for you, however: Zanella, Gillman, Lopez. A full story for any (ALL??Please??) of them would be fantastic. Even just a round up, tie-off-the-loose-ends for Zanella would be good . . . I'll stop begging now . . .
I've been reading your work for years and I love that your characters, especially the heroes and heroines have flaws. It's what makes them all seem so very real.
Your virtual signings ROCK! I live in Atlanta, making Boston a bit far to go, so I love being able to participate that way. I have every single one of your hardbacks signed by you.
All of your books stay on my keeper shelf.
The fact that you have so much diversity in your characters and are so outspoken about your passions just makes it that much better.
Thanks for all you do.
Gillman, Lopez, Zanella. Check. <g> (And I really do love throwing Jenkins in there, too. Poor Lindsey, having to put up with Jenk's crazy friends...)
And yes, I agree that Atlanta is a little far from Boston (or even Florida!). It's always fun doing the virtual signing -- you know we buy the books from the B&N where we do a launch signing on the book's release date. We get boxes and boxes and BOXES of books, and stack 'em in our house along with boxes and boxes of bubblepack mailing envelopes. I get the books a little in advance, so I have time to sign them over the course of a few days.
(This time? We actually checked each book to make sure the pages were in order! <rolled eyes>)
I'm honored that my books are on your keeper shelf -- it means a lot to me!
02-06-2009 06:09 PM
Hi Suz!! Thanks so much for doing this. It's such great fun!! I am totally addicted to your SEALs and TS Inc. employees. I LOVE that you have been working so hard for us and bumping up your schedule so that a book comes out every six months. Has this been hard on your process at all?
Hi, Alaina! I actually made a trade with my publisher -- instead of going out on a book tour, I'd write two books a year. (Book tours are incredibly time consuming!!!!)
Do you feel like you still have enough time to tell the story exactly how you want it?
Also, would you mind telling us a bit of your process, like do you plot or fly by the seat of your pants? Do you write all day, do a daily word or page count?
I'm an outliner -- I write extensively detailed outlines and notes for each book and character. I also write every single day, seven days a week, when I'm working on a book. I've found that if I take even just one day off, it'll take me about three days to get back to speed. So it can be pretty intense. (And I do a daily deadline of a certain number of pages -- it varies, depending on when the book is due!)
How far ahead do you plot?
Sometimes years in advance, especially with the longer story arcs.
Mac or PC?
PC all the way. But we edited the movie we just made (a feature length indy called JOLLY) on a mac, which was annoying. <g>
How do you do the deep POV so well?
You can read a long article that I wrote about deep point of view in a promo booklet that I wrote for FORCE OF NATURE. Just go to my website, at www.SuzanneBrockmann.com and click on the "What's New" link. Scroll down, and you'll find a link to a pdf file for the FORCE OF NATURE Extras booklet. (It's a massive file, 70 pages long -- so give it time to download. The POV article is on page 54 -- I know this because I just directed another reader to it, earlier today! <g>)
Do you have some kind of "bible" to keep everyone and everything straight? Will you be updating the companion or having another booklet with one of the up coming books? Sorry, I have a million questions!!
That's okay. I do plan to update the Readers Guide to the Troubleshooters series (also available as a pdf download -- the link's on my website home page, down at the bottom...) in the near future. Probably not for HOT PURSUIT, though. I think we're going to come up with something fun for that book... (Watch my website for more info!)
My biggest question, I know that you can't answer, bad juju and all that, but any other tidbit on Izzy would be GREATLY APPRECIATED!! If you would rather not share with the entire board, I'd be happy to provide my email or cell so we could chat that way!
Nice try! Although, okay, I can tell you this. Izzy got his guitar out of his closet, and is playing again. (I know, not the kind of detail you want! Sorry!) Thanks for posting! -- Suz
Thanks again for your time! And more, thanks for the hot guys (especially Izzy) and the great stories. I can't wait for more!!
02-06-2009 06:17 PM
Thank you for taking the time to answer all of our posts. And don't think that I didn't realize that you didn't really answer my questions regarding Ash's name/Eden's future. But you can't blame me for trying, can you?
Absolutely not -- nice try!
I actually cried through the hostage crisis in OTE. You made those scenes on the airplane and in the room where Max and the rescue team were stationed very realistic. And I do remember the body being thrown off the plane and at the time it reminded me of seeing that happen on T.V. when I was a child (perhaps the hijacking in Tehran? and the pilot was killed and thrown off of the plane). I will always remember that horrific image.
Yes, I'm sure I saw that, too. Brutal image.
You are an author that writes about real people in real life situations and are not afraid to say "Hey life isn't always wonderful, sometimes it is awful", but I love how you balance that with showing that there is hope; there are true heroes out there. And you show us the stages the victims go through to heal (Gina, Sophia, Frisco, etc.).
I know it must be really hard for an author to kill off any of their characters (excepting of course the real evil ones); ironically when you killed Frank off I wasn't as upset as I was when you wrote the short story of how he met Rosie. I didn't really feel a connection to him until then. We didn't really know Angelina well, but I have to confess, I about had a heart attack for a few pages in ITF when I thought my (and he is my Nash ) was killed. I actually thought you did it because I knew Nash would die to keep Tess safe.
Oh, I didn't really phrase a question in my earlier post about how funny I think it is when you get in the male mind to write his POV, where do you get your inspiration of how they think...your husband, son? Izzy and Jules especially crack me up. I have two small sons, is this what I can expect as they grow up?
I always was a tomboy, always hung out with the guys -- still do. I love men with rude senses of humor, and yes, I know quite a few!
You might be in trouble, indeed!
Since I have finished reading DON, I have started re-reading FP, HT, ITS and ITF with an entirely new perspective now that I know how things shake out in DON. Unfortunately, all that has done is raise about a million more questions that I want to ask you, but I will spare you! LOL
If you keep writing, I'll keep reading.