02-06-2009 06:32 PM
Raving fangrrl alert! (If Suz wrote cereal carton backs we'd have to eat cereal 3 meals a day)
Loved DON. I'd been following Tracy with interest, her character growth was so well done and its great that she gets to be with Deck. Always have been a big fan of Dave's too, and wanted Sophia to have a HEA after all she's been through.
I've been inspired to go back to the very beginning, of the troubleshooters that is, and it's fascinating to read everything all at once and follow all the characters stories in rapid succession (I'm up to Hot Target today after finishing DON last Wednesday - would have been Tuesday night but the page game gave me brain fade in the early hours of the morning, still haven't managed to return it for a real copy 'cos, umm, I've been reading). Something has finally clicked in my dim little brain about subplots after a workshop at the RWA conference last year and as I'm rereading everything in the series I have to say that I'm just utterly gobsmacked at how brilliant you are.
How much do you plot/outline each story and subplot? In the earlier books did you write some of the subplots (eg WW 2 stories) as their own stories and put them in throughout the main storyline or were they already outlined to fit into their particular places in the book?
Live long and write lots,
Message Edited by HMareeDavis on 02-05-2009 09:41 PM
It's always nice to hear from a fellow writer!
I plot extensively. I'm an outliner and a listmaker, and I have notes and notes and NOTES.
I do write the books scene by scene, in the order that you read them, although I have done revisions here and there, where I bump around. But for the most part, I'll write it the way I hope it will be read. I think it adds to the flow to do it that way.
I always try to write subplots that fit the theme of the book, and I always try to have all of the characters from the various subplots play some part in the "thrilling conclusion." <g> It's fun to weave them all together...
Thanks for posting!
02-06-2009 06:39 PM - edited 02-06-2009 06:42 PM
Thanks for posting! I'm sorry I frightened you by killing Nash, but... Wasn't it cool that you actually thought I was diabolical enough to maybe kill him? And didn't that make the relief when you found out he wasn't dead extra strong and excellent?
I always love TV shows (like LOST!) where main characters are killed off. (BUFFY, too!) Too often when I was growing up, I'd watch my favorite shows, and was like, "yeah, yeah, they're not going to kill Captain Kirk..." (His shirt's not red. <g>)
But when I first watched BUFFY (I watched it on DVD -- I'm one of those people who MUST start at the beginning, can't jump into the middle of a series, can't miss an episode. I love watching TV shows on DVD -- perfect format for me) I nearly fell out of my chair when a certain major character was killed, so seemingly casually and quickly. Which is how it happens, just like real life -- one minute she was there, and the next, gone. Crazy. And suddenly, I had real fear for my other favorite characters. It definitely impacted me as a viewer and a lover of great storytelling.
As for Izzy -- I see him really clearly, too. And I can't point to any popular actor and say "him." He's just not out there -- at least I haven't found him yet. It was the same way for me when I wrote Sam. And then I saw Sawyer from Lost... Yow.
Glad you liked that scene with Robin and Jules -- it was alot of fun to write!!!
Please tell me I am being paranoid-my stomach clenched when I read (the highlighted parts) of your response here. Please tell me this is NOT foreshadowing for our guys or their wives in future T.S. books to be knocked off. Please, please-no killing-you're too kind hearted for that-thinking of all the non fiction heart attacks you will cause from it-LOL
Also, you alluded to Silverman (I hope I have the name right?-I'm not near my copy of DON) a few times in DON- I can't place him-is he one of Izzy's gang?
Also, awhile back on BB, I recall your actor friend Eric tell us about a movie you produced that he will star in called Jolly (I believe) Will this be out in the movie theaters? If so, when?
I look forward to seeing it! AND of course, anxiously await your next novel........
Thanks for all your time here......you are so very gracious giving us your time this week! It has been fun! Good luck with all your success and "Don't sweat all the other crap......and it's all crap" Bye!
02-06-2009 06:46 PM
I know there is no way you will remember me, but I will never forget meeting you. I’d been in love with your romances long before that cross-country trek (~7 yrs ago) where you stopped at our little out of the way bookstore to speak. There were probably less than thirty of us, but you were so sweet and spoke so nicely to everyone that you made a lasting impression. Your visit renewed my interest in finding and reading all your books. Though for some of the older ones, I had to wait until they were re-released so I could actually afford them. *g*
When I read Dark of Night, I was completely ecstatic that Decker found someone that matched him so well. Tracy is perfect for him. I loved the bits of dominate/submissive that once again managed to bring an uncommon (at least in mainstream) romance such an ordinary light.
I had always wanted Sophia to end up with Dave, mostly because it’s always so lovely when best friends realize they love each other, but also because I was sure Dave could give her that undefinable “thing” she needed to be whole again. I never saw her being able to accomplish that with Decker given their rocky past and her hero worship goggles.
I got such a kick out of seeing WildCard again. He has always been one of my most favorite characters. Though, with your ability to kill off characters, I have to say I nearly cried when he was shot, because I wasn’t completely convinced he wouldn’t die. But then the suspense was a thrilling addition to my already distraught nerves.
Although this is supposed to be about DoN, I do want to mention that my favorite couple will probably always be Jules and Robin. I love Jules with an unwavering passion, and because he loves Robin; I do too. I think their love story is so amazing because despite it all; it’s so normal. Well perhaps not their jobs, but their issues and resolutions and feelings for each other. It’s not often that I get to read such a remarkable pairing in a mainstream novel, and perhaps that’s one of the reasons they will always be so special to me.
Thank you for all the hours of tension and romance you’ve given me over the years. You will always be on my keeper shelf.
Did we meet during the famous Boston-to-Denver-to-Boston tour in 2002?
Were you in Cedar Rapids, by any chance?
We stopped at a lot of terrific little indy stores, most of them new/used -- and met some incredibly nice people.
That was back before my publisher supported the idea of a book tour. But I was speaking at RWA in Denver, and even though I didn't have a book out at the time, I thought it would be fun to go a "good will" tour across the country, stopping in as many little bookstores as humanly possible, and meeting readers and signing their backlist.
I went with my husband Ed and my best friend Eric, and there were days when we had three signings scheduled. (They STILL mock me because I forgot completely about changing time zones when I set up the schedule. Thank goodness we were going east to west, and gained an hour!!!)
Anyway, I'm honored that you're still reading my books. And I thank you so much for loving Jules and Robin.
You know, for years, readers would write to me, asking why I didn't include more weddings in my books. My response was always, unless it's a wedding that's radically different from every other wedding in a romance novel, I'm just not that interested in having it be part of the story. Tom and Kelly, for example. Their wedding was unusual. Izzy and Eden, too.
But the very reason I decided to write ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT, about Jules and Robin's wedding was because it was so completely normal. Two people, in love, exchanging vows, and promising to share their lives with each other. It's that simple, and I'm so glad you agree.
I love that description you used, by the way "hero worship goggles." Very nice and very accurate!
Thanks for posting -- and I really do remember all the lovely people I met back in those early years. As a relatively new author, you made me feel so welcome. That's not something that I'll ever forget.
02-06-2009 06:58 PM
I rarely ever post on these sites, and although you hear this all the time (and deserve it), your books rock! Into The Storm was the first book I read, and after that, I had to read all of the previous ones. Although ITS is still my favorite, DON is a close second. I too though Deck would end up with Sophia but wasn't really interested in them as a couple. I also thought Izzy and Tracy were HEAs and was looking forward to their book until Eden came along and the chemistry between herself and Izzy was off the charts! I absolutely love that you put Tracy and Deck together. It was so unexpected.
Now my one and only question. Your books have one character, Admiral Tucker, who seems to have a problem with Tom. He tends to create situations where he wants to "get" Tom. I know you don't talk about your "yet to be" books, but is he going to be popping up in future books doing much of the same and if so, do you foresee him to ultimately be on the "other side" and using his power for "evil"?
Keep these books coming! Love them!
Ah, Admiral Tucker.
You know, back in 2000, when I first started writing the TS series (and this was after writing nearly 9 books in the TDD series), there was still this sense of old Navy vs. new -- with the SEALs being new.
Warfare has changed so much in the past few decades -- really since Vietnam, and radically since 9/11. And the SEALs were created specifically to fight this new kind of war.
And early on, the SEALs were looked at askance by the folks in the "regular Navy." SEALs were outside of the box thinkers and rule breakers, and, yes, they pissed off a lot of old school thinkers.
In my books, Admiral Tucker represented that tired type of old school thinking.
Eventually, though (particularly after 9/11, when the entire world became aware of what SEALs can accomplish) those old school thinkers get phased out. Now we have admirals who are SEALs -- and they know what SEALs can do, and how best to use the men in the SpecWar community.
Things change fast (faster) in wartime, and I'm hopeful that the Admiral Tuckers of the world have all safely retired. <g> The irony, is that they mean well -- they just strenuously object to change -- even when that change saves lives.
So, no, I don't see him as evil, just obsolete.
Besides, Tom's out of the Navy now. And the new CO of Team Sixteen, Lew Koehl, is far more of a rule follower...
Thanks for posting!
02-06-2009 07:05 PM - edited 02-06-2009 07:43 PM
Hello Suz, I cant wait for the next book!!!! I just have one question, can we get a fat chick represented? We've got everyone else, and perhaps she could hook up with one of the young'uns.(Just a Thought?) Thank you for signing my DON. I was so excited to get it I showed everyone.. YES I am a geek.
02-06-2009 07:07 PM
I've come out of message board lurkdom to tell you how much I truly enjoy your books with all of the realistic twists and turns they take, as happens in life, whether we want them to or not. I also have great respect for the way you address real life issues such as alcoholism and troubled young people such as Eden and MaryLou, and their rocky roads to maturity.
I found your books when Prince Joe first came out, and have been happily hooked on them every since. I love them all. DON is right up on top of my favorites, along with Hot Target, FON, ATTN, ITS...It's hard to pick.
DON was a non-stop page turner for me (even though my first copy was a misprint which was all that was available in my area)! I really like the Dave/Sophia and Deck/Tracy pairings. Dave has loved her for so long. It was great to see Sophia realize that she loved Dave in return. I'm also looking forward to seeing more of D/T. I love Tracy's sense of humor, and how she understands Deck.
And as always, Jules and Robin. Just love them. I love the way Robin simplifies problems to what is important to support and comfort Jules.
Will Jules be joining TS Inc. soon? (Maybe a Boston office could be opened so they could live in a state that recognises their marriage until the rest of the states get with the program and stop descriminating....)
Off topic......What color is Cosmo's hair? It has been decribed as "actually meeting regs" and military if I'm remembering correctly, but I can't remember color. I picture it dark. Cosmo is one of my very favorite characters for many reasons, mostly because of his kindness.
Thank you so much for sharing TS/Team 16 and TT with us.
02-06-2009 07:40 PM
Concerning your previous to hopefloats. You go girl!
I honestly can't see the reason people are attacking your writing. Seriously?
Has every book/movie/tv show been exactly what you imagined that it was going to be? How can people criticize that which they have never done.
I know that every person is due their opinion. However, to go to such lengths to do so...is ridiculous to me.
You write the characters how you know them. They are your friends. You know what they want. We don't. Well, at least I don't. All I know is I want to hear about your friends and my friends. Who they fall in love or don't. If they get their happily ever after...which you always make sure to happen. I just had to get that out because I am annoyed for you Suz...and I am looking to find a webcam to make you a video. Because damn it, you deserve a video of me crying. lol ;-)
P.S. I also am not a fan of the word Maverick. You Betcha. That one isn't at the top of my list either.
Ah, Molly -- make that video, will you? <g>
02-06-2009 07:46 PM
I first started reading your TDD books, starting with the 4th book. I wasn't able to order the first 3 and spent several years looking for them at used book stores. I found the 2nd and 3rd books and finally Joe's story was re-released and I was able to read it. I think it's still my favorite. I've read and reread the series dozens of times. So naturally when Tom's story was released I grabbed it and with each new release I'm anxiously waiting for it to hit store shelves. I love the Troubleshooters but long for Mike and Thomas' stories from TDD. I loved DON and couldn't put it down until I finished it. I'm so glad Dave and Sophia got together, Deck never seemed right for her to me. I can't wait for your next release and look forward to more on Jules and Robin, Jules is wonderful. I know that Yashi has to have a story waiting just for him. I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of dog Tracy and Deck get, he needs a Great Dane, a gentle giant would fit in their lives just perfectly. Keep up the fantastic books.
Yashi caught my eye a few books back, too.
I'm glad you finally found the earlier TDD books -- some of them are still really hard to find. I've said this before, but as a series romance author, whose books go out of print mere months after release, I owe my career to USB's! The fact that my out of print books were available there made it possible for me to grow my readership. So I'm always grateful for that.
And yes -- the dog. I think I've imagined they'll get something goofy and sweet, maybe a golden retriever mix. Though a Great Dane... wow, that's some big dog. (Picturing Tracy trying to walk him... <g>)
Thanks for posting,
02-06-2009 07:47 PM
And for the record, the word maverick doesn't appeal to me. But I think you already knew that.
-- Suzanne Brockmann
(my real name)
Suz, LMAO-I'm glad you caught that one (maverick)-I sure did! The word makes me cringe.
Thanks for playing my "game" -you rock! Not only do I admire you for your writing talent but also for not backing down from your beliefs...especailly Gay rights (you double rock!)
P.S. one more quick game: repeat over and over: Izzy and Eden, Izzy and Eden, Izzy and Eden........LOL
Hey, the game was fun.
Izzy and Eden, Izzy and Eden...
02-06-2009 07:52 PM
You didn't ever actually say whether we would be seeing more of Martell, which kills me! lol.
And because I'm sure you've said it somewhere, but I just haven't read it anywhere or searched enough,
are you in the Buffy/Angel corner or in the Buffy/Spike corner? I have an on-going argument with my sister about this.
Thanks again for spending time here, particularly for everything you've stood up for about Jules/Robin and writing the stories that you needed to write. I adore you.
I didn't? Wow, my bad. I love Martell -- you'll see more of him for sure.
I'm totally a Buffy/Angel believer. Frankly, I thought for a while that Spike was going to end up with Dawn. (They connected in a way that reminded me of AMERICAN GRAFFITI -- remember the hot rod guy and the little girl? What can I say, I was 12...) But I'll go wherever Joss takes me. (Loved the musical ep.)
Thanks for your support!
02-06-2009 07:54 PM
First thank you for answering my other group of questions. I have one other...and this one involves DON and something that was said that legitimately has two possible interpretations. And either one could be acurate but I want to know which is.
Tracy is mentioned painting the women's locker area at TS INC, and providing a comfortable space for Alyssa and Ash when he needs to be fed.
When I read this I assumed that from her work at TS Alyssa needed to "relax" so her body could provide Ash with his meal. (How's that for trying to be subtle?)
Another reader read this as Ash's distress at wanting feeding, changing, or just sleep (He is a baby and they do get cranky) being a distress to the other co-workers?
Which did you intend? Or is it a mixture of both? I know silly question but it actually had me wondering.
Thanks you for the wonderful hours of enjoyment from your stories, even if you don't answer!
Totally a mix of both, so you're both right!
02-06-2009 07:54 PM
One of the things I'm thinking of doing is publishing a collection of Troubleshooters short stories -- including all of the stories that have gone out there as "extras" in the past, plus a handful more. (I say a handful, because I have the tendency to write really long short stories!) I've had requests from readers to publish a collection of all of the various stories, and this would do the trick. Maybe in a Christmas or Valentine's Day collection.
So... a new story featuring Tracy and Decker... Check. <g>
Um, just in case requests work: Molly and Jones. And Stan and Teri. And Mallory and David. (Cause those are three couples I'm not expecting to show up anytime soon.) But at the end of the day, Molly and Jones.
I love a lot of characters and couples, but Molly and Jones...*sigh*
I hear you, Orangehands.
No promises, but I hear you.
02-06-2009 07:58 PM
Bravo, Suz!!! Thank you for being honest and true, both in how you've responded to the questions here at B & N and in your writing. You know what they say - you can please some of the people some of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time. Trying to please everyone just results in one having to sacrifice something, whether it be their principles, their personal beliefs or even their integrity.
I really enjoyed DON and thought you did a great job in making the readers see that the Troubleshooters' universe had unfolded just as it should have. You have an amazing ability to bring your characters to life - they jump off the page and into the hearts of the readers - and I think it is a testament to your writing that your readers come to love and care about these characters as much as they do. We become immersed in their world and their lives - we feel their sorrow and pain and revel in their finding their HEA, no matter how fraught the journey to that HEA may be in some cases. We speculate about their motivations and analyze their actions and reactions. Above all, though, we want the best for them because, over the years, in spite of being fictional characters, they have come to mean something to us
Reading is such an individual experience - what I "read" in one book may be completely different than what a friend reads in the same book. Like you said, that doesn't mean that I'm right and she's wrong or vice versa, it just means that we see and interpret things differently and that's perfectly fine. I didn't see Sophia and Decker heading for a HEA. That being said, when someone I knew who was following the series like me made their Sophia/Decker case, I would take the time to go back and re-read to see what, if anything I had missed.
I look forward to reading the next book about the Troubleshooters world. Wouldn't mind seeing a bit more of Jones and Molly (hint, hint) and I could really use a George (not green Tracy's George LOL) fix.
Anyway, thanks for your books. Keep writing and I'll keep reading!
Thanks, Dreamweaver -- you got it exactly right. Along with subjective likes and dislikes, everyone brings their own baggage and filter along. A hot button for you maybe no big deal for me, and vice versa.
Thanks for posting,
02-06-2009 08:00 PM
I enjoyed Suzanne's heartfelt post very much. I think one thing many fans don't consider is that writing fiction is work. It's hard -- really hard -- to write a single title book worthy of publication, but to write a series with this many characters and stretching over this many years? Believe me, not many authors can pull it off. And to do this successfully? You could probably count the authors on, well, two hands at most.
When an author plans and plots and writes, if the author is popular enough to have a fanbase, it's possible it might cross the author's mind to wonder if their fans will approve of what he or she is writing. But mostly, I doubt that it comes up. Because an author writes what is in (let's go with "her") her head and in her heart, and what is right for the story arc and what is true to the characters. We don't know her vision for future books -- if we did, how boring would that be?
Sure, a lot of people hated what Sam had to go through before he and Alyssa finally got together. But how much more did we care because of what he went through? When an author raises the stakes, it intensifies our connection to the characters.
Will we always like what the author gives us? For me, Suzanne Brockmann has never let me down. But she wasn't writing these for me: she was writing the book of her heart, every single time. Because if she didn't do that, none of us would care about the books because she wouldn't be writing what was true to her. Authors don't write books for their fans, but if they write from their hearts -- and if they have talent -- the fans will come.
Speaking generally, if you don't like one of the books, that's your privilege. No one can force you to buy, or to read a book. And no one disputes your right to disagree with what is written. But I can't think of a single case where an author has changed her story to please her fans, because the fans aren't sitting at the computer plotting, planning, writing for hours and days and even years, sweating blood over every word and every scene until it's right. Just because some authors make it look easy, don't let that fool you. Writing a book is work. Writing a series is huge work. And writing a series that has been so popular with so many people for so many years? Rare doesn't begin to cover it.
Thanks so much, Becke!
02-06-2009 08:02 PM
Has anyone found that YouTube clip yet?
I found these:
Oh, this is from an interview session done as part of an RT video project. It was filmed during RWA in San Francisco, last July.
02-06-2009 08:08 PM
Well I have to say this is a new experience for me. I love to read, more than I probably should admit. But I could not pass up this opportunity to let you know that I love this series.
I started with Hot Target not realizing I would be picking up in the middle of a series. It is always so hard for me to start a new author and this book just spoke to me. I have to admit I never thought I would get as hooked as I did on a story line that was as different from what I normally read as I did with Jules and Robin. By the end of the book I could not believe the connection they had felt yet when no where at the time.
When I finished the book I had to find out what I had missed so I checked out your website and realized I had started in the middle and had to back up. So I bought every one of your TS books I could find and started over at the beginnig and ended wiht ATTN and could not wait for your next book to come out.
I have read you have received some criticism due to this book but I have to say, I have never read books by an author that creates a story ARC over so many books as you do. It was so very different and refreshing. The books may not always end the way I think or predict but that is what keeps me on my toes and enjoying every book to the very end.
On a last note I also have to say I notice you mentioned a possible collection of short stories and I really hope you move forward with this because I would love to have it.
Thanks for all the enjoyment and I look forward to all your future work.
02-06-2009 08:13 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!
Yes, I have two puppies. (My bio was a little out of date. Sugar and Spice went into the great Doggie Park in the sky some years ago.)
A year ago, October, my husband and I got two Schnauzer pups -- a boy and a girl. CK Dexter-Haven is the boy, and he's the biggest mini Schnauzer I've ever seen. They're litter mates, and they're about 18 mos right now and Dex is still growing. His sister is Lil' Joe, and she's teeny, but she's like the smallest hockey player in the world. They're lovely.
And yes, I'm a huge fan of THE PHILADELPHIA STORY, and I've always liked the name Tracy because of Tracy Lord. (Beautiful women have it tougher than most people think!)
You know, re: Buffy or Veronica, I have to say that the first season of Veronica Mars is, IMO, the best single season of TV ever. But I didn't think it held up, I was disappointed that the second season didn't have as great of an arc, and the third, well, ack. (But I adore the actor who plays Veronica's dad --- he was in Galaxy Quest as one of the aliens. Love him!!!) (As far as Kristin Bell, have you seen the movie musical REEFER MADNESS? It's one of my favorite movies, it's so campy and great.)
Colbert vs. Stewart -- ah, I love them both so much. I have a supply of WRISTSTRONG bracelets. And have you read my review of I AM AMERICA, AND SO CAN YOU? I'm not sure if the Writersarereaders.com site is still up, but I posted it there, because, yes, I love Stephen even more than Jon.
And I love Jon a whole lot, so that's saying something.
02-06-2009 08:19 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.
LOL -- How Kenny will react to the final ep of BATTLESTAR... Probably the same way I will, by weeping for days.
Although I do plan far into the future, it's not so much about the little details (although I do know some of those), but rather about the big moments, and the connections -- the HEAs.
THe planning I do is similar to my outlining. It's a mishmosh of sparse notes and actual lines of dialogue -- which doesn't mean that things can't change. Sometimes I'll envison a complete scene, and the realize that it has no place in the book.
And sometimes I'll write a scene and my editor will say, "This seems unnecessary," and I'll say, "No, really, it needs to be there to set up book 17..." <g>
Yashi and Martell are two of my favorite secondary characters, too. And of course, there's George Faulkner, from BODYGUARD...
Thanks for posting,
02-06-2009 08:20 PM