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Questions for Suzanne Brockmann? I Need Them

We’ve been invited to engage in a Q&A with NYT Bestselling Author, Suzanne Brockmann. Her latest TroubleShooter book is on shelves now (and is being offered with 100% micropay rebate at Fictionwise). According to the press release (which I am too lazy to rewrite), Into the Fire is “[b]rimming with thrill-chasing action, suspenseful kidnappings, and no-holds-barred passion and features Vinh Murphy who has ” been off the job battling booze, blackouts, and bumming it from shelter to shelter since an assignment left his wife, Angelina, dead. His saving grace, though, is Hannah Whitfield, an old friend and the only person from his "old" life that he turns to.”

This actually sounds interesting although I’m a bit worried about the name Vinh. Are all characters going to be having extra “h’s” in their names? I am digressing here. What I need is help with questions. Interesting questions. Not questions like “where do you get your ideas” because I know that it has been asked and answered before.

Maybe questions like – what do you think of John Edwards and the fact he was caught in the Beverly Hills Hotel visiting his secret mistress and hiding in the bathroom to avoid reporters while his cancer ridden wife is fighting for better healthcare coverage”. Okay, maybe not questions like that, but I think you get my point, right?

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

41 Comments

  1. MS Jones
    Jul 23, 2008 @ 12:36:02

    I’m sure she’s gotten this question before –

    Is Sophia and Decker’s story on deck? If not, who’s next?

    Re the extra “h” – it’s Vietnamese, not vampirism.

  2. Janine
    Jul 23, 2008 @ 13:16:54

    How have readers responded to the M/M romance in her series?

  3. s
    Jul 23, 2008 @ 13:43:49

    I would totally ask her, if she’s planning on writing more about Jules Cassidy and Robin Chadwick. Or are they done, after their happily-ever-after in All Through the Night? (But that’s because I really want to know, lol).

  4. Sandy D.
    Jul 23, 2008 @ 13:45:43

    The Christmas book that featured the M/M romance? I just found several copies of it stashed behind books in a different section (not romance) in my local B&N. I’m guessing some puritan took the display copies and hid them to keep them out of our sweaty clutches.

    I took them and put them back where they were supposed to be. :-)

    Q: Why SEALs? Does Brockmann have some personal connection/experience with SEALs?

  5. Karla
    Jul 23, 2008 @ 14:09:43

    how many books do you think the Troubleshooters series will ultimately have?

  6. Sarah Frantz
    Jul 23, 2008 @ 14:18:06

    Sandy D., she was looking for a series hook back in the mid-90s. Her best friend read an article in a dentist’s office in Newsweek about Hell Week during BUD/S for the SEAL training, and called her and told her to go and find the article. She did, and that was that. Her only real connection to the military is that she’s a WWII buff, but other than that, AFAIK, she didn’t at that time have any other personal connection. She does now, of course, but not when she started. From her website.

  7. Jill Sorenson
    Jul 23, 2008 @ 14:25:50

    How did she get to be so awesome?

    And: What do her crossover readers(men)/Navy SEAL fans think about the Jules and Robin storyline?

  8. Sarah Frantz
    Jul 23, 2008 @ 14:32:15

    Ooh, I like that last one, Jill. And she is SOO awesome, isn’t she? Awesome sauce, as SB Sarah would say!

  9. Janine
    Jul 23, 2008 @ 14:44:44

    Could you ask what a typical writing day is like for her?

  10. Michelle
    Jul 23, 2008 @ 14:53:05

    Does she still think of her books as romances?

  11. Lynn M
    Jul 23, 2008 @ 15:15:43

    I hope I can make this short and still keep it clear because it’s a weird one. Question for Suzanne as a writer: In each book, we’ve met so many interesting characters whom we assume (hope) will someday have their own books. But what would happen if Suzanne had to stop writing the Troubleshooters series? Would she be able to “rescue” some of her favorite characters by recreating them in a new series, with new names but basic characteristics and backstories kept relatively the same? As a writer, how can she stand the idea that some of her characters might never get to have their stories told if the series doesn’t go on indefinitely?

    And a fangirl question: I love Izzy. When’s his story coming up?

  12. Brooke
    Jul 23, 2008 @ 16:02:54

    Why does she make her long time followers wait so long to get a HEA? So many of her books have unfinished business between characters and in stead of basing books on them, she makes new ones. While I understand a writer needs to do that to keep fresh/new material…she is letting alot of us down by not “finishing business” with a lot of the old characters.

    FYI, her BB and website can answer a lot of the above questions.

  13. karmelrio
    Jul 23, 2008 @ 16:10:23

    Can Suz tell us a bit more about the factors which led to her decision to “close the bedroom door” on Jules and Robin in “their” HEA book? I would have appreciated Jules and Robin getting the same treatment as all her heterosexual couples have gotten. Jules’ story didn’t feel as finished or as emotionally satisfying to me, and I felt a little shortchanged.

    I understand there are fanbase and market considerations here – “oh noes! You can’t have M/M love scenes in a mainstream romance!” – but I think a really great opportunity was missed here, and that this choice was…(deep breath) somewhat discriminatory.

    Thanks!!

  14. Marianne McA
    Jul 23, 2008 @ 16:40:07

    She has said, I think, that her next book but one would be a Sam and Alyssa story about them tracking down a serial killer.
    I wondered if that was a one off, or the beginning of a branching off into J.D.Robb territory – a set of mysteries loosely connected to the romance series.
    (It’s not my type of thing – I had to skip huge chunks of Into the Storm, and never reread the book.)

    And I think Janine’s question is really interesting – as well as how readers responded, I’d be interested to know how the sales figures compare – is there any evidence of the reputed reluctance to buy m/m mainstream romance? (Those books, I loved.)

    The other question that’s in my mind is the alcoholism: that’s been such a recurring theme in the books. So Robin was an alcoholic who needed to accept that fact, Mary Lou was struggling with staying sober, and the film star (name? help!) had achieved sobriety but wasn’t yet on a steady footing with it. And several other characters come at it from the other angle, where they’ve lived with alcoholics.
    In a way, Robin encapsulates the issue in his story: he’s the child of an alcoholic who becomes an alcoholic, is in denial, is forced to face the issue, seeks help, achieves sobriety, commits to maintaining his sobriety. In a way, after that, I was suprised to see that Murphy also drank. (I don’t know if he’s alcoholic, but the blurb says he drinks.)
    I suppose I’m wondering if she’ll ever feel she’s explored alcoholism as much as she can in this context, or whether she goes back to it so often for a reason: to educate, for example.

  15. GrowlyCub
    Jul 23, 2008 @ 17:01:25

    Not a question, but a one-person sample addressing Janine’s question. The husband and I have been listening to ‘Hot Target’ while on the road to cat shows as a compromise (I don’t usually do romantic suspense, and he usually doesn’t do romance, although he’s read Bujold and Asaro).

    I’d read only very few Brockmann titles before and had no idea that the Jules and Robin/Adam relationship would be so prominent and when I realized it wondered what he was making of that.

    We’ve finished disk 8 and will be listening to the rest this weekend. So far, he likes it. Verbatim comment: “A bit more gay stuff than I need, but not bad.” He’s career military. He had a nitpick about her differentiation of Special Ops and Special Forces and the descriptions of SEAL teams not going in with guns blazing, because he says the other branches normally don’t do that either… we’ll see what his final verdict will be.

  16. Keishon
    Jul 23, 2008 @ 17:25:26

    Does she plan to write other stories outside of her Navy Seals? I loved her other stories that featured just regular folk like in Heart Throb or The Undercover Princess or Love With the Proper Stranger?

    Thought of one more: does she plan to ever write anything else besides romantic suspense? Maybe give us a dark urban fantasy or something. [g]

  17. (Jān)
    Jul 23, 2008 @ 19:40:35

    How does she feel about other African-American romances being relegated to the AA fiction section of bookstores while hers was on the romance shelves?

  18. Kristie(J)
    Jul 23, 2008 @ 22:35:26

    Mine would be the same as Keishon’s. I love Heart Throb and I wonder if she plans on ever writing a non-seal, non-FBI book again.

  19. SusanL
    Jul 24, 2008 @ 03:02:09

    Like Brooke, I am interested in why she stretches some ationships out over several books. Does she set out to do that with certain couples, or is it something that evolves as the book is being written. Does her publisher/editor encourage the multi-book story arc?

    I think I am in the minority, but Ms Brockmann’s multi-book story arcs do not work for me. By the time Sam & Alyssa got their book, I did not care if they got together or not. I had lost interest in Max and Gina. I have no interest in Sophia and Decker. Luckily, Jules and Robin were bumped up or I might have felt the same way about them.

  20. Kaetrin
    Jul 24, 2008 @ 05:29:08

    Hi,

    I totally agree with Karmelrio. I have read on Suz’s website that she was being considerate of her mainstream audience when she wrote Robin/Jules’ story. However, anyone who had read Hot Target would know that Robin and Jules were both boys. Why would they buy their story if they were going to be offended by it. I thought the scenes in Hot Target were hotter than in the novella. I too felt short changed. The M/F couples get hot scenes. Suz believes in equality, so why didn’t Robin and Jules get the same treatment? I would like them to appear in a future book and for them to “do it right” please!!

    Also, could she please put a contact email on her website? (at least, last time I checked, there wasn’t one there.

  21. Danielle
    Jul 24, 2008 @ 05:48:22

    Does she plan on writing more books in her Tall, Dark and Dangerous series.

  22. karmelrio
    Jul 24, 2008 @ 08:40:45

    I also loved “Heart Throb” and would LOVE to read a sequel which featured a grown-up Suzie and Jamaal.

  23. Terry Odell
    Jul 24, 2008 @ 08:45:55

    I’d like to know if she’s read Diana Gabaldon’s Lord John stories, and if so, what she thinks of the differences in attitudes toward male homosexuality between the timeframe of Gabaldon’s books and her own. Has there been what she considers “progress” in thinking? What about how long it took? Does she think the pace of change is accelerating?

    (Oh, and I’d ask her if she’d be willing to post her responses on my blog, but that’s probably pushing it!)

    Also — I was at a conference where she was keynote speaker and had several Q&A sessions as well. I asked her if she’d gotten any questions she hadn’t heard before. She thought for about five seconds and said, “no.”

  24. Jane
    Jul 24, 2008 @ 09:24:11

    Thanks guys. These are some great questions. I’m writing up the Q right now.

  25. MissKitty
    Jul 24, 2008 @ 12:22:58

    Did anyone ever tell her that the German parts in Out of Control were not quite uhm.. 100% correct all the time? (though I loved the descriptions)

    Is her son still single? I have a good looking intelligent young man here who seriously needs a decent partner! Or at least a pen pal.

    Will we be seeing more ( at least small glimpses) of Jones? I´d love to see him as a daddy.

  26. Jesbelle
    Jul 24, 2008 @ 13:41:27

    She’s really active with PFLAG and MassEquality. If you’re looking for less-book related questions, I heard on the radio this morning that there was a hearing recently about getting rid of (finally) the don’t ask, don’t tell policy in the armed forces. As soon as I heard it I wondered what Suz was thinking about it? (Could be due to the fact that I was up past 2 am finishing Into the Fire last night…) :)

    link to story: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1825801,00.html?imw=Y

    And, maybe gently recommend that she hire a web designer please? And post profiles of her characters on her newly designed webpage?? (Sorry, being greedy.)

    edit to include link

  27. Malin
    Jul 24, 2008 @ 14:06:12

    Will there be more WWII stories?

    I miss them! I liked the way the yesterday and today of family members were intertwined in one book. It helped show how characters had grown into who they were.

    (I’ve read up to Force of Nature. And I want to add my wish for some hot sexing between Jules & Robin. I felt a little -or a lot- let down at the lack of proper love scenes.)

  28. MB
    Jul 24, 2008 @ 14:47:58

    Ditto to Jesbelle! What does Suzanne think of an end to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is a great question. Readers know she has definite opinions about this issue as it has been discussed in her books by multiple characters and POVs. In All Through The Night a new gay & single military man was introduced. I have the feeling that he will become a major character and show up in future books now that Jules and Robin have had their HEA. (He is a don’t tell, although not closeted.) She could definitely use him to illustrate the effects of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.

    And, yes, her website is OOOOGly, although strangely informative if you’re willing to click around.

    I appreciate the way her characters are all of different racial backgrounds. Her world is a rainbow. And what she does in showing the various viewpoints is unlike any other author I have come across.

    I do wish that the m/f romances weren’t short-changed in favor of the m/m romance. The m/f romance in Force of Nature was really bad! I finished it feeling dissatisfied and rather ticked. (Other readers have mentioned the same thing.)

    I don’t mind the long story arcs. I actually really admire an author that can keep her storylines and characters together the way she does. It is hard to do! And, unlike many other authors, her books are more like “real life” in that people learn, grow and develop, live and die, relations don’t always work out and things change. I like that!

    I think if you need more questions, go to her website and read her reviews. There should be lots of good ideas there.

  29. Jane
    Jul 24, 2008 @ 16:17:44

    I did submit the questions and I actually did ask her about the don’t ask don’t tell policy. great minds.

  30. Chicklet
    Jul 24, 2008 @ 22:39:01

    I know it’s too late to post any more questions — everyone had already posted what I would have, anyway — but I wanted to say that I like how Brockmann carries a pair’s story across a book or two before giving them their “own” book. It makes them have a realistic timeline for getting together. I’ve grown so tired of romances where people are declaring Twu Wuv within a month of meeting each other. It also gives the characters time to really deal with the issues that are keeping them apart.

    Oh, also? Gina annoys the ever-loving snot out of me. Just thought I’d put that out there. ;-)

  31. Rosie
    Jul 25, 2008 @ 00:19:50

    I only scanned the comments and questions and I didn’t see anyone address this. I’ve already read the book and Vinh’s name is Vietnamese. As the military is in real life, Ms. Brockmann’s fictional military is a cross section of cultures/ethnicity.

  32. Brooke
    Jul 25, 2008 @ 08:24:25

    Rosie

    As I have went to a signing for Suz and frequent her BB, she is very addament that her characters be multi-cultural. She is really “for” all different backgrounds and supports multi-racial anythings in life. She is fantastic when it comes to that type of situation and is always very straightforward about her thinking when you ask.

  33. cin
    Jul 25, 2008 @ 09:48:49

    …. could she please put a contact email on her website? (at least, last time I checked, there wasn't one there.

    Kaetrin - At the bottom of her homepage, the very last line, you will find:
    Contact Suz via email at (email address).

  34. gabi
    Jul 15, 2009 @ 20:09:38

    is there a book about max and gina when gina was being held hostage on the plane?

  35. MB
    Jul 16, 2009 @ 12:16:18

    Gabi, you’re looking for

    Over The Edge

    . Max and Gina meet up due to the hostage situation. They are not the primary couple.

    Here’s a link:
    http://www.suzannebrockmann.com/the_steadfast_hero.htm

  36. gabi
    Jul 16, 2009 @ 13:16:15

    ooohhh, thanks!! I just started reading the series and i’m completely in love with them. Thanks again, i’ll start reading it once I get my hands on it.

  37. gabi
    Jul 17, 2009 @ 15:08:12

    Sorry, i’ve got one more question. Will there be more books for the Troubleshooters Series?

  38. Sam
    Jul 17, 2009 @ 16:01:04

    I just read an article I think on B & N that after Hot Pursuit comes out, it’s Izzy’s book up next and then there won’t be another troubleshooter book for a long time.

  39. gabi
    Jul 17, 2009 @ 16:04:04

    Okay, thanks!!

  40. Mary Andrews
    Feb 21, 2012 @ 17:04:02

    Is there a book about Jake Robinson and first love Daisy? I thought I had read one but cannot locate it in my extensive collection of Suzanne Brockmann books.

  41. Jane
    Feb 21, 2012 @ 17:14:43

    @Mary Andrews Not that I know of.

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