Day 26 Suzanne Brockmann – Embracing the “Other”

How Far We’ve Come

​“And—this one’s a big no-no—you can’t use the word penis.”

That was a surreal phone call.  I was talking, for the first time, to my very first romance editor.

It was January, 1993, and I stood in my kitchen getting revision notes—and discussing exactly what words I could use for male genitalia—with a woman I’d just met.  (“Hello, how are you?  How nice to . . . What’s that . . . ?  Oh, you did just say penis.  Yes, I’m taking notes . . .”)

My hero’s penis had made several solid (pun intended) appearances in the love scenes in this, my very first soon-to-be-published romance novel.  But now I was being told—specifically, to my bemusement—that using its anatomically correct name anywhere in my book was forbidden.  It was, at that time with that publisher, an unbreakable rule.

(Whatever would I do, I remember wondering, if I wrote a book with a hero who was a urologist?  “Tell me, Mr. Smith, about the burning sensation in your, ahem, member?”  Okay.  The chances of that scene actually showing up in a book was unlikely.  Still, my mind raced.  Surely there was a situation where the publisher would agree that using the word penis was appropriate and necessary.  I silently flagged it as a potential edge to push.)

Meanwhile, the conversation turned, yes, to oral sex.  I’d apparently gone too far and included a passionate scene that wasn’t properly euphemistic for this publisher’s perception of what category romance readers wanted back in 1993.  I was asked to revise the scene in question by vague-ing it up.  Kissing and licking were okay—I simply had to be inexact in describing the body parts that were being kissed and licked.

Oh, and for the culmination of my love scenes?  Don’t use come or came too often.  Release was nice.  Exploded worked, too.

And remember:  Never, ever, ever call a penis a penis.

We’ve come a long way, baby.

​This month marks the twentieth anniversary of the publication of my very first romance novel.  Future Perfect was released (Not that way!  And yes, it was printed with nary a whisper of the dread word penis) by Meteor Kismet in August, 1993—back when the romance genre was still in its tender don’t-say-that teenaged years.

When I look back at the long strange journey of my career—started twenty years ago in my kitchen with that eye-opening phone call, I’m impressed by just how far our beloved, once-stilted and rule-laden genre has progressed.

Because a lot of crazy shite went down in the past two decades.  And while the changes from euphemistic to more realistic language are obvious and easily marked, there were many other amazing changes, too. I’m one of many romance writers who pushed and pulled at the edges of the envelope of acceptance to make this kick-ass genre as open, as affirming, and as available as it is today.

​In turn, we (romance writers and readers alike) helped our country grow and embrace our own diversity. For the record, that’s why I write romance.  Yeah, sure, my goal has also always been to entertain.  And earning a living rocks, too.  But if I can at least try to make the world a better, more inclusive place while I’m at it?  I’m in.  Because I happen to believe, wholeheartedly, that it’s our diversity that makes America great.

And what better format for teaching the acceptance and celebration of diversity than a romance novel—which is the ultimate story of overcoming the fear of the “other.”

You see, our caveman instincts teach us to fear all those terrifying “others.”  While most of us no longer live in dread of being slaughtered by a rival tribe, we still often react as if the possibility looms.  We focus on our (mostly cosmetic and shallow) differences, and we hide behind false beliefs and carefully taught hatred, rather than take the risks needed to overcome ignorance and discover the real truth—that we share far more similarities than differences with even the scariest of strangers.

Romance novels, however, have always been stories about people who Just Say No to fear and willful ignorance.  Our heroines and heroes take incredible risks with their hearts and emotions—and sometimes, particularly in romantic suspenses, they even take risks with their personal safety—in order to make that precious connection.  In fact, it’s only if they take the risk that we reward them with the grand prize of an HEA, and a life filled with love and joy and brilliant, beautiful hope.  But first they must be courageous and stomp out their previously held (un)truths—by getting to know a scary “other.”

Once upon a time, in the truly early days of the modern romance genre, when nearly all romance novels were set in Future_Perfect 300 dpiWonderbreadlandia, where everyone in town was white and straight, and they all celebrated Christmas, and never, ever uttered the word penis, that “other” was the hero, simply because he was male.  It was beauty and the beast, with the role of the beast played by the plundering pirate, the Scottish Laird, the dangerous gunslinger, the Native American warrior . . .

Wanna hear something really messed up?

When I first started writing, the majority of all “interracial romances” were historicals featuring a white heroine and a Native American hero.

​As far as contemporaries went, back in the early 1990s, I couldn’t find any interracial romances.  In fact, I couldn’t find any books that included secondary characters of color—let alone heroes and heroines.

True, this is anecdotal, based on my experience, and thus non-scientific, but I assure you that I searched (without the help of the internet, which didn’t yet exist in a usable format), and in 1992/93, in the suburbs of New York City, I found none.  I’m sure, somewhere, contemporary romance novels with Black characters existed (perhaps printed via small press?), but they were few and hard to find.

​Since I couldn’t find the book I wanted to read, I decided to write it myself, as part of my “Tall, Dark & Dangerous” series about a team of Navy SEALs.

But get this:  When I wrote that book—called Harvard’s Education, a category romance published by Silhouette Intimate Moments in 1998—it had the dubious distinction of being the second book, ever, in the history of the 884-book SIM line, to feature an African American hero and heroine.

Go on.  Take a minute to let that sink in.  I’ll wait.

When I pushed to write Navy SEAL Senior Chief Harvard Becker’s story, I was told that I could—absolutely—write this book.  If I wanted to.  But.  (In fairness, I must state that my editor was embarrassed and apologetic about that but—and completely wonderful and supportive.  The restrictions were the corporation’s.  She was on my side.)  But, I was told that in anticipation of no one wanting to buy this book (!!!), the publisher would print significantly fewer copies.  In fact, my print-run for Harvard’s Education would be half that of a “regular” SIM.  And oh, we should also expect to get hate-mail.​

It was.  And we did.

HarvardnewcoverlargeWe also got a very loud message from all of the readers who were thrilled to see a Black couple on the cover of a category romance, when Harvard’s Education sold out close to immediately upon publication.  (Side note: When HE was finally reissued in 2004, it became one of my bestselling categories.  I was not surprised.)

But the best reader-email I received in 1998, after this book was first published?  It was from a member of the military, who was super-psyched to find a romance novel with a hero who was . . .

(Wait for it . . .)

​Enlisted.

Yup.  This reader was jazzed to find a book where the hero was enlisted, rather than an officer.  Because up to this point, all of the romance novels she’d read featured heroes who were officers.

There’s no doubt about it—in the late 1990s, the world was so, so ready for a far more diverse romance genre.
​Despite that eagerness of readers to embrace diversity, publishers had to be pushed and prodded and convinced to take risks.  And sometimes they just couldn’t do it.

​January, 1998, saw the release of another of my category romances, Love with the Proper Stranger, in which my FBI agent hero had a young sidekick named Daniel.  After I handed in my first draft, I was gently told that I might want to change Daniel a bit, in order to write his book as a sequel.

Being the Vulcan-loving, IDIC-supporting idiot that I was, I didn’t understand at first.  What?  Change Daniel?  Why?  He was a fun character.  He was earnest and clever and heroic and loyal and smart and courageous and . . . and . . . and . . .

This book’s relationship between the gruff hero and his young sidekick was an early prototype of Max Bhagat and Jules Cassidy from my Troubleshooters series, except the sidekick character, Daniel Tonaka, wasn’t gay.  He was, however, late-1990s romance novel gay, aka Asian American.  It took me a while, but I finally realized exactly how and why the publisher wanted me to “change” Daniel.

(I didn’t change him, and I was not asked to write the sequel.  I was not surprised.)

It’s not an accident that, a few months later, when I wrote The Unsung Hero, the first book in my Ballantine-published, mainstream Troubleshooters series, I included a major romantic subplot with a young Asian American graphic novel artist and the girl of his dreams.

They had sex in the book, and everything.

The Unsung Hero came in at the coveted #1 spot on RWA’s Top Ten List of Favorite Books of the Year 2000.  So take that—social and corporate racism!  FYI, I also got the word penis into the book four (4) times, with nary a urologist in sight.  Boom!

Meanwhile, throughout the romance genre, many other authors were pushing these very same boundaries, too, and perceptions and expectations were slowly starting to change.  The internet helped readers become more vocal about books that they liked, which also helped the publishers become more willing to take perceived risks.

In 2003, Gone Too Far was released.  This was Sam and Alyssa’s book.  And yes, that would be white Sam and black Alyssa’s book—as it would have been known had I written it just five years earlier.  But GTF was not marketed as an “interracial romance.”  It was marketed—and reviewed—as a romance.  Period.

And the book that’s my all-time bestselling romance to date?  2006’s Into the Storm, which features an Asian American heroine (and a height-challenged, red-headed hero).  Biff!  Pow!  Bam!

Hot damn, romance writers and readers!  We sure came far, in a short amount of time.

It’s not over, not by a long shot, but inclusion and acceptance of characters of color within our genre has greatly improved.

​I’ve seen the same incredible growth in the second decade of my career, in the inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender characters in mainstream romance novels, and with the rise of the LGBT romance subgenre.

My favorite romance of 2013 has a hero and a hero.  This book—Glitterland, by Alexis Hall—is not my favorite because it’s m/m.  No, it’s my favorite because it’s a beautifully, gorgeously, deliciously written romance novel, with that oh-so-familiar theme of risking everything by opening oneself up to a relationship with an “other.”

​(More about that book, Glitterland, at the end of this piece.)

Because even though this blog is already too-freaking-long, I have to talk about Jules Cassidy, my gay FBI agent hero.
​Jules first appeared in the second installment of my Troubleshooters series, in 2001’s The Defiant Hero.  At that time, the only LGBT characters I’d encountered in genre fiction were either a) the serial killer; b) the asexual, witty best friend/hairstylist; or c) completely, angst-fully in the closet.

So I followed my write-the-book-I-want-to-read rule, and I created Jules as a well-adjusted out, gay, kickass-heroic FBI agent, with the intention of bringing even more variety into what I saw as our diversity-hungry romance genre.

I was gentle as I embarked on Jules’s multi-book journey.  I introduced him, intentionally, as the recognizable “witty best friend.”  And over the course of many books, I let Jules be wonderful and heroic and loyal and smart and courageous and capable—again and again and again.  See, I knew that I was not “preaching to the choir.”  I knew that many readers of military romantic suspense (my subgenre) were/are socially conservative, so I took my time, and I let them get to know Jules.  Slowly and carefully, I revealed that he had a live-in boyfriend.  And then I had that boyfriend break his heart—showing my readers that a gay man’s heart breaks the same way everyone else’s does.

​I threw Jules together with Navy SEAL Sam, and I intentionally made Sam a little squeamish and homophobic at first.  But after Sam gets to know Jules—after Sam takes the risk and opens himself up to learning more about this “other” that he fears, he discovers that Jules is a trusted teammate and a good friend.  He finds that he and Jules are more alike than they are different.

Recognize that theme?

​My hope was that the romance fans who read my books would be willing to take that journey along with Sam.  I hoped that they, too, would set aside their fears and ignorance about Jules’s “other-ness.”

For some readers, I was asking too much.  They couldn’t—or wouldn’t—take that risk.

But countless readers did.  I’ve received countless emails from readers whose hearts and minds and views were changed about important issues like gay rights and equal marriage—simply because they took a chance and got to know Jules.

In 2005, almost ten years ago, I wrote Hot Target, and gave Jules a romantic subplot that culminated in 2007’s All Through the Night, a New York Times bestselling mainstream romance with a hero and a hero—in which Jules marries the man of his dreams.  (Shameless promotional note:  I wrote ATTN as a way to contribute—immediately—to the gay rights organization MassEquality, which at the time was fighting to retain equal marriage rights in my home state of Massachusetts.  All of my earnings from this book, in perpetuity, including subrights such as audiobooks, continue to go to MassEquality.  If you buy only one of my books, buy this one and support this great organization.)

Meanwhile, slowly but surely, faster and faster, picking up steam, more and more authors started including LGBT characters in their romance novels.  More and more publishers were willing to risk getting hate-mail, because more and more romance readers were showing those publishers just how much they appreciated diversity in the genre—by using their words and their wallets.

And somewhere, over the past few years, together, we crossed the tipping point.

This past year (2013, for those of you reading this blog in the year 2525, if man is still alive . . .) J.R. Ward’s paranormal romance with a hero and a hero hit the Times list at number one.

And DOMA was (wonderfully, beautifully, hugely!) repealed.

Today, LGBT characters are here to stay.  Today, LGBT romance is an incredibly hot and happening subgenre—when just a few short years ago, I held my breath, waiting to find out if popular review websites would shun my book, Hot Target, because it included several steamy kisses between my most popular character, Jules, and the love of his life.

Needless to say, I cried with joy when Hot Target won the Border’s Group award for “Best Selling Hardcover Romance of the Year.”  But that wasn’t the best thing that happened.

“Dear Suz:

Five years ago, my niece, whom I adored, told me that she’s a lesbian.  We had a terrible fight, I said some truly awful things to her—and I haven’t seen her since.  After reading your books, I called her and apologized.  She’s forgiven me, and now she’s back in my life . . .”

“Dear Suz:

I voted today in favor of marriage rights for all residents of Minnesota. Two years ago, I would not have done that. But your books opened my eyes, my heart, and my mind.  Today I am celebrating the power of love with a diverse group of new friends . . .”

Romance teaches us by example to take the risk, to consider the fact that there might be something yet to learn—if we set aside our fears and get to know the “other.”

And the happy ending isn’t always riding off into the sunset with the Navy SEAL of your dreams.

Sometimes it’s having your favorite niece and her girlfriend at your table at Thanksgiving.  Sometimes it’s dancing at the wedding of new friends.  And without a doubt, for all of us, it’s knowing and believing that love conquers fear.

Romance matters.

Just look how ridiculously far we’ve come.

Recommendations:
Glitterland, by Alexis Hall
Publisher:  Riptide Publishing
Release date:  August 26, 2013 (TODAY!)
Publisher’s info:  riptidepublishing.com/titles/glitterland
Alexis’ website: www.quicunquevult.com

(Alexis also created Read-A-Romance content – you can read it here: http://www.quicunquevult.com/read-a-romance-month )

​I rarely-to-never give cover quotes.  I have to really love a book to say things like, “Wow, I loved this book.” But I’m saying it now.  Wow, I really loved Glitterland.

It’s my favorite romance of the year—and it’s entirely possible that it will shake down to be my favorite romance of this decade.  It was that good.

​I laughed, I cried, and I got lost in the gorgeous, delicious writing of this debut author.

​This book has the length and the feel of a category romance—with one exception: it’s written from the first person point of view of the main character.  (That first-person voice is wildly entertaining.  Go read the excerpt.  Now.  I’ll wait.)

If you love romantic dramadies, you should read this book.
​If you love romance novels, you should read this book.
​If you love good books with realistic, memorable characters, you should read this book.

​And, if you’ve read my books and you loved Force of Nature or Hot Target or All Through the Night, if you are a fan of the Jules-and-Robin story arc throughout my Troubleshooters series, but you haven’t yet picked up another author’s m/m romance because you weren’t quite sure of where to start—start here.

Glitterland by Alexis Hall.
​You’re going to love it, too.  I know it.
​You’re welcome.


 

Questions for Suzanne:

What is the craziest or ugliest object in your house, and why do you keep it?

Uh-oh.  I don’t keep crazy things, and ugly is in the eye of the beholder.

​With that said, I do believe that I’m currently the craziest thing in the house.  I can’t figure out a way to discard myself . . .

If there was a movie about your life, what would it be called?  (And just for fun, who would play you?)

It would be called “WTF, Over?” which is a popular response of U.S. Navy radio operators.  Or it could be called “Charlie Foxtrot.”  That would work, too.  Martin Sheen would play me.  Don’t ask.

What is the best non-monetary gift you’ve ever received?

Kindness.  I’m left particularly verklempt when I experience kindness between strangers.

A good example:  Whenever I hold a booksigning event, I always bring along a box of prizes (dozens of backlist originals, T-shirts, audiobooks, and other fun things), and hold a free raffle.  Everyone who attends gets a ticket and dozens of readers get a chance to win one single prize of their choice, in the order that their ticket is drawn.

Well, at one event, I happened to bring along a copy of my book, Get Lucky, which was out of print at the time.  One reader was very excited—and very humorously vocal about how badly she wanted to win it.  She sat on the edge of her seat while ticket after ticket was called—none of them her number.  The woman sitting next to her—a stranger before the event started—had the good luck to have her number called, and she happily claimed Get Lucky as her prize.  And then, with a big smile, she turned and gave it to the other reader, who was speechless at such kindness.

There may or may not have been tears from more than one of us in the room.

There’s a song that I love that goes, “In the end, only kindness matters . . .”

If you have to pick one romantic scene or couple to recommend to a first-time reader of YOUR books, which would it be?

I’m afraid that’s an impossible question for me to answer.  I have trouble suggesting anyone read a scene out of context, because it’s something I personally dislike doing.  As a reader, I want to start at the very beginning, whether it’s book or series.

So I’d not-quite-answer the question by recommending The Unsung Hero, which is the very first book in my on-going Troubleshooters series about Navy SEAL Team Sixteen and their friends at the private-sector personal security firm called Troubleshooters, Inc.


 

You are reading this essay at ReadARomanceMonth.com. Viisit the About Read-A-Romance Month page to learn more, or the Authors & Contributors page to see a list of all the great romance writers who are celebrating the romance genre during the month of August.

Suzanne Brockmann is generously donating an ARC of DO OR DIE to give away! We are setting up a special email address to facilitate this drawing. In order to enter this EXCLUSIVE drawing, please send an email to Brockmann@readaromancemonth.com. (Domestic Only – so sorry! These things weigh a ton.) This drawing will close at 11:59 pm EST on Aug 31st. (Please remember that the ARC will not be available for a few weeks; it will be sent to the winner when it is. Also, only one entry per email address. Thank you.)

Suzanne is also generously donating  two copies of Harvard’s Education and two copies of Glitterland for U.S. readers and two copies of Harvard’s Education for International readers International readers enter here. To enter the domestic contest, either leave a comment here or enter the weekly drawing on the contest page. Or both.  (Only one entry per commenter per post, though – multiple comments on one essay does not give you more chances.)  Comment entries must be posted by 11:59pm EST Aug 26 to be eligible, though winners will be announced at a later date.

Also visit the Awesome Contests page to register this week to win a Kindle Paperwhite and “A Month of Romance” (31 books) from Amazon Montlake, or  the Grand Central Grand Prize, an iPad mini. If you love romance, then this is the place to be!


Suzanne Brockmann is the New York Times bestselling author of over fifty romance novels, and the co-writer and co-producer of The Perfect Wedding, a feature-length indie romcom movie with a hero and a hero, that will be available via on demand in November, and on DVD and via streaming in December, 2013, all from Wolfe Releasing.
Website:  www.SuzanneBrockmann.com
Movie website:  www.ThePerfectWeddingMovie.com
Facebook:  facebook.com/SuzanneBrockmannBooks
Twitter:  @SuzBrockmann

  • Ally Dee

    Love your books, Suzanne. Appreciate the depth, and relate-ability and humour – gotta love the humour! (Sorry – NZ spelling!) Its always a little hard to finish one of your books … leaving that world until the next installment.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thank you so much, Ally!
      PS I love the NZ and UK spellings! (“Look, the UK publisher made Sam say “colour!”)

  • Harriet Mahabir

    Hi Suzanne, I love your books particularly Harvard’s Education and Hot Target . Those military men and women know how to handle their business.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Hi, Harriet! I’m with you there!

      DO OR DIE has a former SEAL hero. And his brother was a Marine… They were so much fun to write!

  • Tracie Wicks

    FANTASTIC! A big thank you for widening my conscience and sharing your wonderful characters with all of us, your devoted readers. You have certainly been the light in some dark days for me, so thank you again and keep them coming (no pun intended).

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      LOL, Tracie! Amazing how just a little bit of light in the darkness can make all the difference in the world, huh? Hugs!!!

  • Lyn Oxyer Sellati

    I love the way you’ve broken down barriers in your writing. I wish everyone would read a Suzanne Brockmann book–or two–the world would be a better place!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, Lyn! But remember, I couldn’t have done it if the readers weren’t eager to read the books! So thank YOU!

  • lisa

    Wow! You trailblazer you. I haven’t read your books but after reading your blog I am going start with your Troubleshooter series. I am an “in order” series reader so I look forward to the build up up the Hero’s relationhip. Thanks for sharing the history of your writing. 🙂

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Me, too, Lisa. I’m the same with TV shows. Gotta start at the beginning and see them in order!

      The Troubleshooters page on my website lists the series in order, but definitely start with THE UNSUNG HERO.

  • Kathy Johnson

    Hi Suzanne,
    I love your books, you may be the author that started me reading romance. Before, I thought they were a little sappy, but have since loved the genre (could be age). I can’t wait for your new release.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Hi, Kathy!

      Romance is SO many different things, so diverse. (Plenty of sappy, too, for readers who adore sappy! Enjoyment is in the eye of the beholder, right?!?) It’s all a matter of discovering which subgenres and authors work for you! I’m glad you found me! (Definitely check out Alexis Hall’s GLITTERLAND!!!!!)

  • Cat C

    Oh my gosh did I love this entry. I’m sorry to say I haven’t read any of your books before, but that is going to change REALLY SOON as I check out pretty much every book you mentioned! I’ve been wanting to read more diverse romance novels for a while, and I’m so excited. You rock!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, Cat!

      Lotta info over on my website. I wrote a whole pile of category romances (shorter and less realistically gritty) before I wrote my mainstream books. My TDD series (originally published by Silhouette Intimate Moments) feature a team of SEALs, too, but their sailor language is all euphemistic due to the category guidelines. LOL! (He swore pungently.) Still, I’m proud of those books, and while dated (they reek of the 1990s!), they’re still a lot of fun.

  • Lisa Glidewell

    I love your books! It’s amazing how times have changed so quickly and the amazing barriers you have broken! All I can say is, “We’ve come along way baby!” (Yes, a pun was intended! ) Lol! I just couldn’t help it! Kudos to you!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, Lisa! It’s been a crazy, wonderful ride! And it’s not over yet! Thanks for helping to change the world!

  • Glenda

    Keep pushing the boundaries!! You’ve proven an author can do it and be successful!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, Glenda!

  • Molli Struebing

    I remember a conversation waayyyy back when at a signing Suz. “When do we get Jules’ story?” And you said you weren’t sure if we ever would, that ‘most’ people wouldn’t want to read about a Gay man. Look how far the world has come! Thank you for taking the risk.

    hugs, Molli (and Amy)

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Hi, Molli! Wow, I remember that picture that Amy drew of me! I still have a JPEG of it on my other computer!

      And yes, the world has come far! I also remember, not too long after that, being at a signing in the heart of the bible belt, and having the first question be “Will we get to see more of Jules Cassidy?” At that time, my answer was “Yes,” and the entire room, filled with readers, got to their feet and applauded. Jules got a standing O! I knew then, that we were good to go!

      Nice to see you here! I hope you (and Amy!) are well!

  • mariannewestrich

    Suzanne – I’ve been a HUGE fan forever! Love your books and your diversity.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, Marianne! It’s so much fun to meet readers with whom I’ve had a decades-long relationship! It must be serious! 🙂

  • Karen Scott

    I love your books! I must confess that sometimes I wish the subplot was the main story. Max and Gina and Jules and Robin being two of the couples that I couldn’t wait to get their own story. Thanks for pushing those boundaries.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, Karen. And yeah, funny about that, huh? The subplots often broken the rules of romance — and many readers found them far more interesting because of that. But because they broke the rules, I really had to include traditional romances (with that guaranteed HEA) for the main couple in the book, or I wouldn’t’ve been writing romance! 🙂

  • Laurie W G

    I’m amazed that it’s taken this long to breach these boundaries. Congrats on being one of the first to stand up and break down these barriers!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      When we all do it, together, that’s when things REALLY change!

  • Beth Re

    Suzanne I love your books thanks for sharing

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      You’re welcome, Beth!

    • Hi, Beth – Could you please send me a message at bobbiwrites at att dot net? Thanks so much, and I hope to hear from you soon.

  • Nancy

    I love your journey, your goals, and your realness. As an artist, mother, teacher, you remind me that it can be done.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, Nancy.

      It’s all about teaching and reaching back to that no-fear place where we all were as little kids!

  • Stacy Affleck

    I’d love to see more Jules and Robin. Especially after the baby.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      I’ll never leave my guys hanging for too long, I promise! 🙂

  • Sue Smallwood

    Great article, industry has indeed changed. Can’t wait for the new book.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Sue!!!!!!

      How are you?!?! I hope you are amazingly great and things are going smashingly well for you! (Ed and I are up in MA for the summer, escaping FLA’s crazy heat!)

      Any chance you’ll be going to RT in NOLA next May? I’m hoping to attend and it would GREAT to connect!

  • Jen C

    I, like your reader at the event, have been waiting on the edge of my seat for your RARM blog and to see what you had to say.
    Here’s what I have to say: I. Love. Your. Stories.
    I’m especially fond of the Troubleshooters series and I wholeheartedly agree that readers should start with The Unsung Hero and keep going. They will quickly be swept up in this wonderful world you have built.
    I’m too fan-girl at this moment to write any coherent paragraphs, so I’m just going to list what I like about your books: the drama – whenever someone tells me how boring romances are or that they’re just about relationships, I think of Wild Card and Savannah in the jungles of Indonesia or Kazbekistan (sp?) or the Dentist; the characters – I love all of the characters, and it is refreshing to develop that love over several books. Sam could very easily be unloveable (at first), but man, watching him progress in life and look back on all that came before the book timelines, you can’t help but understand why he’s such a great man. And Jules, ahhh. Talk about refreshing! A confident, kick-ass hero who is gay! Yes!; I like that in one of the books, the characters travel through my town and although your description of places is a bit off, you still make me believe it’s how you say it is. And one of the couples’ names matches my husband’s and my name! 🙂
    I also like how you push the limits. That’s how change happens – when someone won’t back down and fights for what is right.
    Please keep writing your wonderful stories! I’ll keep reading (and recommending)!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, Jen!

      And the best part is that we push those limits together, reader-and-writer! I couldn’t do any of it without you!

  • Joyce Jarrett-Gee

    I love your stories Suz….not only are they entertaining, but informative, heartbreaking and realustic…..thanks so much for all the joy you bring us!!!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thank you, Joyce!

  • Margaret Stagg

    I love your books and I can’t wait for your next book. I love how you don’t care who you write about its all about love in your book no mater who it is.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Hey, Margaret! Nice to see you here!

      Thanks for your kind words!!!!

      • Margaret Stagg

        You very welcome! They are nothing but the truth and I loved meeting you and Ed in Ohio with the rest of the peeps.

        • Suzanne Brockmann

          It was lovely meeting you, too! 🙂

  • i have read one of your book and really enjoyed it unfortunately they are hard to come back in my country so winning one would be fabulous thank you

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      I hope you win!

  • Nancy Huddleston

    I love your books. I have enjoyed getting to know your wonderful characters. Thanks.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, Nancy!

  • Lorelei’s Lit Lair

    What an education reading your post! Romance has evolved alot. I truly love your books and while I enjoyed them all SO much, I have a weak spot for Prince Joe.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, Lorelei! I’ve always thought that “She wrote PRINCE JOE” would be on my gravestone — and that would be okay with me. (Not that I spend a lot of time thinking about my gravestone. Not that I’m even gonna HAVE a gravestone!)

      We truly have come far!

  • rebecca moe

    Love, love, love the Troubleshooters series! Thanks so much for pushing the envelope! (And can’t wait for Do or DIe!)

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      February 4, 2014. Man, when I put it like that, it feels so far away! But just blink, and we’ll be there. (Or enter to win the ARC!)

      Thanks for your kind words, Rebecca!

      • rebecca moe

        Already entered! (Pick me! Please!)

        🙂

        • Suzanne Brockmann

          🙂

        • Sorry, Reb – you’ll have to take it up with Super Tech Guru and the random number generator. They’re both hard to bribe. ;o)

          • rebecca moe

            Sigh…okay. I’l wait. But it’s so hard! (Good thing you’ve made sure by TBR pile is so huge, Bobbi. All part of your plan, I suppose? Keep us busy?)

          • ;o) Doing my part to honor the HEA! xoxo

  • Donna Steele

    Holding my breath for the next book – whatever series. I’m enjoying the new one (Born to Darkness) almost as much as Troubleshooters – need a few more to get the whole team. Though how would anyone surpass Sam or Cosmo or Muldoon or my beloved Jules??

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thank, Donna!

      DO OR DIE is the first book in a new romantic suspense series called “Reluctant Heroes,” that spins off of the TS series. So it’ll feel really familiar (and very much like a TS book) to longtime readers. (Martell Griffin from FORCE OF NATURE is a POV character in DoD! And Jules’s FBI crew Deb and Yashi are there, too!) But new readers can pick up DO OR DIE and feel like it’s the beginning, because it is. It’s the start of a new story arc. Win/win?

      • Donna Steele

        Definitely a win/win – my only problem is I read faster than you write. Need a beta? 😉

        • Suzanne Brockmann

          🙂

  • christieMI

    Happy 20th anniversary as a romance writer and many more! I love the Troubleshooters series and, yes, I have a particular soft spot for Jules. Any of your books featuring his character are particularly dog-eared.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, christieMI!

      I love that you love Jules!

      PS do try GLITTERLAND!!!!

  • Tonda Galloway Hargett

    Way to go, Suzanne! Never give up!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, Tonda!

      You know it!

  • Karen Scott

    So I sent an email to Brockmann@readaromancemonth.com and it came back as undeliverable. Is this the correct address? Is it me?

    • Sorry, Karen – I think there was a rush on the site! Maybe too much all at once? I just tested it and it worked, so please try again. Huge apologies. xoxo

      • Karen Scott

        It’s all good. I resent and will see what happens. If the rest of Suzanne’s fans feel like I do, they were anxiously awaiting this blog and the chance to win an early copy of her new book. 🙂

        • indeed! as I’ve mentioned before, it’s been a steep learning curve, with lots of lessons we never expected to learn. Having too many people want to come to your site? Definitely a blessing with occasional nicks from the other side of that sword….

          • Suzanne Brockmann

            Hmm, Bobbi! An idea for next year! Make sure any email contests include an auto response reply: “We have received your contest entry for the DO OR DIE arc.” That way people know their entry was received!

          • good point – I’ll see if Super Tech Guru can set that up moving forward…

        • Suzanne Brockmann

          Thanks for coming here, Karen! (I’m excited about giving away an ARC of the new book, too! I just finished reviewing the copy edits, and it’s a fun one!!!!)

  • Toni Linenberger

    I love your books and can’t wait for the next one!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, Toni! (Nice to see you! Thanks for dropping by!)

  • Peni Anne

    Have you found, through the advent of social media and ebooks, your reader base changing and perhaps growing as more people are exposed to your books and reader groups are becoming even more wide spread (distance as well as diverse)? How do you see it changing even more over the next 5 years?

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Good question, Peni Anne!

      I think in some instances lines between things are blurring — for example, because of Facebook and twitter and the whole-world-connectedness of the internet, I have contact not just with the readers I meet at US book signings, but with readers all around the world. So when a book is released in the US, it’s frustrating when it’s also not released simultaneously in the UK and in Germany, and in France and Japan and Korea and…

      I think that’s changing — I think pub dates are starting to line up, which is a good thing.

      But the internet is strengthening some lines, too. Because we can reach and connect with other people who love dogs on skateboards, for example, we can isolate ourselves from a world in which, most of the time, dogs AREN’T on skateboards, and live in a place where dogs never leave their skateboards. Do you follow? (I’m trying to be political without being political!!!!)

      In some ways, that’s extremely dangerous. And isolating. Because it reinforces the idea that dogs need to be on skateboards ALL THE TIME!!! And that dogs SHOULD be on skateboards, and a dog that isn’t on a skateboard… You know what I mean, right?

      So while the internet allows us to find a niche audience (whether it pertains to the type of books we want to write, our political beliefs, our religious beliefs, our favorite foods, or dogs on skateboards), I remain firmly committed to the mainstreaming of a world that embraces diversity, equality, hope and love.

      And when I try to do that via social media, I kinda feel like I’m shouting into a hurricane, because there’s SO much noise. And I’m pretty sure it’s only gonna get louder.

  • Antonia

    Thank you for a great post. I love your books and the diversity in them, and I adore Jules and Robin!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Antonia! Then you MUST read GLITTERLAND! Like Jules and Robin’s story, it has shades of true darkness amidst the comedy and humor. It’s really a truly lovely, well-written, well-crafted romance novel! (Thanks for your support!)

      • Antonia

        Glitterland sounds great. I’m putting it on my to-read list now! Thanks for the recommendation! I’m looking forward to Do or Die as well.

        • Suzanne Brockmann

          It’s so good! I’m envious of everyone who hasn’t read it yet! LOL! (You know that feeling when you’ve read a really good book, and you wish you could read it again for the first time?)

          • Antonia

            Yep, I definitely know that feeling!

  • Aislinn Kearns

    Welp, that made me cry. I think I have cried in every single thing of yours I have read, and the trend continues!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Now I’m faced with incredible pressure, Aislinn — can I write something in this post to make you cry, too?!?!

      Seriously, though — thanks for dropping by! 🙂

  • MK

    I love, love, love your books. Thank you for what you do!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thank you so much, MK!

  • Bobbie Cloud

    Happy 20th and 30th! Thanks for a great blog. I have been reading you for years….way before you really became a “Big Name” and thank you for continuing to break all barriers in our genre!

    • Hi, Bobbie! ~ from Bobbi ;o)

      • Bobbie Cloud

        Been seeing you around the social media for awhile….glad we are now acquainted!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, Bobbie! Yeah, the round numbers really work, don’t they?

      And I love reconnecting with readers who were there at the start! Thank you for that! And thank you for sticking around, too! 🙂

      • Bobbie Cloud

        Absolutely. Just wish you could write faster

        • Suzanne Brockmann

          Oh, me, too! 🙂

  • Jonetta (Ejaygirl)

    I stopped reading romance back in the early 80s because the storylines just weren’t appealing. I returned in 2010 with the In Death series (which I still don’t consider romance) and then Troubleshooters. I. Was. Blown. Away. You brought me back to the genre and introduced me to the romance of a m/m storyline (now one of my favorites). I’ve read everything you’ve written since Troubleshooters and am working backwards to read your past work. Of course I’ve expanded to include many other authors but you were my first AND the benchmark.

    You’ve been a critical voice in enlightening audiences about the many issues you speak of in your blog (fascinating retrospective of your writing journey) and you’ve done it in a way that represents you so well.

    Keep up the good work. I’m a fan for life.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, Jonetta.

      I appreciate hearing that!

      (Be sure to pick up GLITTERLAND!)

      • Jonetta (Ejaygirl)

        I’m looking it up now:)

        • Suzanne Brockmann

          Ooh, I’m in that place where I wish I hadn’t read it yet, because then I’d get to read it for the first time (again) — if that makes any sense! 🙂

          • Jonetta (Ejaygirl)

            It makes absolute sense as that’s how I feel about Troubleshooters…really. I have some friends just starting and I’m a bit nostalgic about those days when I was reading the books back to back every day. *sigh*

          • Suzanne Brockmann

            Yup. 🙂

  • AJ

    I invited my friend Sonja to my 11th birthday party. She took me aside and asked if my parents knew that she was African American. It broke my heart that she felt the need to ask and that she would question whether she would be welcome. Thank you, thank you for pushing the envelope and broadening people’s perceptions through your very relatable characters. The world is definitely a better place because of your work. Congratulations on your anniversaries; I hope you are blessed with many more.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Wow, that must’ve turned your world sideways, when you were eleven! And can you imagine what must’ve happened to Sonja, somewhere down the line, to make her so terribly cautious? Heart-breaking, indeed.

      Thanks for your kind words!

  • Carol Couture Sipe

    Thank you for your wonderful books!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      You’re very welcome, Carol!

  • Suzanne Brockmann

    Welcome everyone! I’ll be popping in and out throughout the day (and evening), so if you have any burning questions, I’ll do my best to answer them!

    Also, for those of you who are first-time visitors to this amazing website — take some time to surf around. There’s a HUGE list of amazing blog contributors up at the top of the page, under the button that says “Authors & Contributors,” or you can scan the calendar list on the home page.

    And don’t forget to enter the variety of contests!

    Happy Read-A-Romance Month!

  • Annette Varcoe

    I’m young enough to not quite have realized how far behind we were with interracial romances in 1993, but old enough to have noted that a lot of the older romance books that I first started reading in high school were Native American men and white women! The world is changing slowly but surely – we have a long ways to go, but a much shorter distance when we started (and surely, it feels shorter because we keep picking up friends along the way!)…

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Absolutely, Annette! And it’s amazing how a good story with compelling relatable characters can open eyes and hearts — whether that story is fictional or from a personal connection.

  • Candy White

    Hi Suz!
    Your books have ever so gently guided me, ‘Into the Light’ and I am so grateful. Gregg and I were raised military brats, me living on fenced in bases in Japan and all over the country. Other than an abusive father, I lived an incredibly sheltered childhood.
    When the Supreme Court deemed it necessary to integrate the schools in the D.C. area, the military kids were picked for this undertaking. I still remember that first day I stepped off that bus and stood there, scared out of my wits. A boy got off behind me, giving me a gentle shove, he whispered in my ear, “Don’t let them see your fear. They’re just as afraid of you as you are of them.” He proceeded to make friends with so many of those very students. Guess who it was….????
    Okay, you’re right, it was Gregg. Being in this school opened my eyes to many of the hardships society placed on them because of the color of their skin. Getting to know them made me wish the powers that be were BUSED in. Perhaps it may have enlightened a few.
    Harvard’s Education is one of my favorite books. I love how he screws (can I use that word???) up with P.J. on the mock training, too much a gentle-man for his own good. Harvard and Jazz both made me feel my time at Central Senior High was not in vain.
    Your willingness to step out of the box has taught me so much. Gregg and I are involved with LGBT and the Southern Poverty Org.
    Much to my shame, I remember as if it were yesterday, I was chatting with you about Unsung Hero, the audio version, and I thoughtlessly said, “The guy doing the reading is sooo not Tom’s voice. A little too…” I tipped my hand in a feminine gesture. I ask for your forgiveness and tell you how sorry I am for my poor behavior. It has stuck with me all these years and I wanted to purge it and be thankful for the vision of truth you have given me. Seeing your play in New York was an honor I will carry forever in my heart. I can’t wait to see “The Perfect Wedding”. Each and everyone of your characters seem like friends to me and I visit them often!
    The model on the cover of GLITTERLAND reminds me of the extremely talented, gorgeous hunk from American Idol, Adam Lambert. He wears his heart on his sleeve and I just wanted to pray for his success in his life and his talent. He reminded me of Robin.
    You and your Troublemake…oops!…Troubleshooters will always have a piece of my heart. Thank you for making the world a bit brighter!
    Love ya!
    Candy White

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Candy! So glad to see you here! (Candy and her husband Gregg have clocked a LOT of miles through the years, coming to my book signings all over the country! There should be some sort of super-reader badge that you get after you spent X (10, 20, 100??) hours in the car, driving to book signings, right?!? Or at least a club you can join!!!)

      What an amazing story — and I’m SO NOT SURPRISED that that boy was Gregg. I love your husband kinda madly — almost as much as I love you!

      FWIW, I don’t remember that conversation about the audio of TUH, so let it go! Society teaches us a lot of things, and we need to sift through them to find the truth — which you absolutely now own! (Think of it this way, you needed a dash of Jules, right? Jules wasn’t around yet…)

      Hugs, baby! (Hope to see you soon!)

  • donna antonio

    I came to your Seals late ( I think it was when the first omnibus came out) but gobbled them up and ever after. I was thrilled to see Robin & Jules finally get their HEA. It encouraged me to read more m/m and I quickly fell in love with Ty and Zane and have since moved on to others.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Bravo, Donna! A good love story is a good love story! Thank you!!!!

  • Kim Cornwell

    I love your books so much! I never understand why penis is such a ugly word for something so beautiful. I still never understand why they never show make parts in movies but they show women’s! Hey we women love to see them too! Not just a woman! Thanks for stopping by and sharing !

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Ah, Kim, the world is a weird place, and men are mostly still in charge!

      Thanks for dropping by this amazing website! And don’t forget to check out GLITTERLAND!

  • Sue G.

    I just love your humor. You have such a special gift with the way you write. Oh, before I forget……Happy simultaneous 20th and 30th! How efficient of you! 😉

    Thanks for this wonderful, eye opening blog. Learned quite a few things. It is sad that in today’s world there are still people who are so blind to the fact that just because you are different you are not a person. My kids (20, 18 and 16 yrs old) were brought up to see people as people. They have all types of friends and I am very proud of that fact.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      LOL, Sue! Thank you so much! (Well done! Made me laugh!)

      Your kids sound amazing. People are people and love is love. Words to live by!

  • Diane Giarrusso

    I was honored to do a reading at my cousin’s wedding this weekend. He was lucky enough to marry his partner in Maine–our home state–where they could be legally wed! Their marriage license was the first same sex license given in the town. I hope there are many more to come!

    Thanks, Suzanne for your wonderful books with all kinds of character personalities. I admit, that I read Harvard’s Eduction twice and never really tweaked to the fact that the characters were African American. Love is love and people are people.

    Keep breaking down those walls!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Diane! I just type “people are people and love is love” in response to Sue’s post, below! Truly words to live by!

      Congrats on your cousin’s wedding. The world really is changing. You know, I co-wrote and co-produced a little indie romcom movie called THE PERFECT WEDDING, and it’s a story with a hero and a hero. And we filmed it down in FLA, which is pretty backwards in terms of LGBT rights. But there was a scene with a church wedding at the end, complete with kiss at the altar (spoiler alert, but really, it’s a rom com, right? the two heroes are gonna end up together!), and we filmed it at my parent’s open and affirming UCC church — and we had HUNDREDS of church members show up to be unpaid extras — and it was really REALLY cool.

      Most of the world is ready for love and acceptance — because love really is love — and when you see it unclose and personal, you can’t deny it!

      PS! Trailer for the movie is up on my website http://www.SuzanneBrockmann.com

      It comes out via on-demand in November, and on DVD in December from Wolfe releasing!

      • Diane Giarrusso

        Suzanne! I sent them the link when the film was showing in NC (their home). I’ve been following the release since you first announced it! I can’t wait t o buy the movie for my library and for me!

        • Suzanne Brockmann

          Thanks, Diane! It’s getting close — finally! Thanks for spreading the word!

  • Pat Egan Fordyce

    I have read ALL your books at least twice, and listened to the audio versions multiple times. Your narrators are awesome. I am so looking forward to revisiting your old hero’s and your new ones! Can’t wait till February!!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Pat! You’ll be happy to know that even though I’m working with a new audiobook publisher for DO OR DIE (AudioGo), Patrick Lawlor is still on board to read the male POV scenes in my books. (I love him truly!)

      Have you seen the awesome interview with Patrick over at Audio Gals? http://www.audiogals.net/2013/08/a-recorded-talk-with-patrick-lawlor-a-giveaway/#.Uht6aBZWcb0 (Super fun — plus there’s a great piece on dual narrators!)

      I can’t wait for February, too!

  • Leslie Penka

    Love your books!!! Can’t wait to read Do or Die!!!!!!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, Leslie!

  • Nancy Appel

    Thank you so much for sharing your gift with us. That gift has, indeed, made this world a better place. Your Jules/Robin storyline helped prepare me (unknowingly at the time) for the day my son shared with me that he was gay. Keep up the awesome work. Congratulations on both your 20 and 30 year anniversaries!!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks for telling me that, Nancy. It means the world to me.

      (Those numbers 20 and 30 are still mind boggling to me! LOL!)

      Hugs!

      • Nancy Appel

        Hugs to you too!!

        • Suzanne Brockmann

          Thanks! 🙂

  • helena rizzuto

    Your books have a bit of everything that society deems “taboo”…. I love that you’ve taken out the glass ceiling and have moved onto infinity and beyond (thank you toy story for this saying) everyone can relate to some character in your books which I love. Whether its Robin or Sam or Even Cosmo…. there’s something for everyone. Cant wait for Do or Die…!
    -Helena

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, Helena!

      You do know that Joss Whedon wrote TOY STORY, right? Joss is my super all-time favorite writer. He also wrote SPEED, remember that movie? (And of course Buffy, and Angel, and Dollhouse and Firefly and Avengers…)

      I can’t wait for DO OR DIE, too!

  • Kareni

    Thanks for starting my day off with a … bang! Thanks for the chuckles and the tears! I’ve enjoyed many of your books, Ms. Brockmann. Long may you write.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, Kareni!

      And my friends call me Suz! 🙂

      • Kareni

        Well, then, thank you again, Suz!

        • Suzanne Brockmann

          There we go! Much better! 🙂

  • Jan

    So the penis intro started a contest of coming up with euphemisms. Giggles turned to snorts. Keep up the good fight!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Yeah, kinda hard to say anything without thinking of the vast number of euphemism after that, huh? And I’ve always really hated the word “member.” I don’t think I’ve ever used it. And if I did, it was ironically. 🙂

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Oh, and after I wrote this blog, I printed it out to show my mom and she laughed and laughed! And then showed it to my dad. And then showed it to all of her friends at church! 🙂

  • Lynne McNerney

    Suz,

    First, I have read many of your books over the last several years, and look forward to reading many more. I won’t say that your books changed my outlook on issues. I am 59, so I grew up in a conservative time, but I tend to think my own life experiences changed my views and made me more open to the equal rights issues. I am one of those people who can honestly say, “I have many friends who are gay…” but never really thought about things like DOMA. Some of that may have been because my friends didn’t complain, but I am glad that you did include these issues in your books, and help me to think about these issues more. I am actually thinking about starting at the beginning and rereading the TS series straight through!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, Lynne!

      You know, I’m the mother of a gay son. And I pretty much suspected Jason was gay, from the time that he was three years old. I just… knew. And as I raised him, I made sure he always felt safe and loved — and that he knew that being gay was an option. I made sure that the word “gay” was in his vocabulary, so to speak.

      Because so many kids grow up in a world where there are huge assumptions that they will “find a nice girl, get married (to her) and settle down.” That pressure is incredibly intense. And the message (subtext) is that anything else is wrong or bad or broken.

      And you’re right! Unless topics are spoken of — whether it’s the idea that LGBT are part of our society, or the idea that LGBT people deserve to marry the person that they love — we all too often don’t notice.

      In fact, it was Jason who brought marriage inequality to my attention. I still remember the day — I think he was 16 — that he said, “Oh, my God, I won’t be able to get married!” And we all went “Whoa.” And then set about changing that! LOL!

      But the point is, until it was talked about, it never occurred to me or my husband that Jason wouldn’t be able to marry the person he loved. And then we sat up and noticed. My daughter could — but why can’t my son?

      So it does need to be talked about, brought up, mentioned, included, especially in pop culture — to bring it to the attention of people who never really spent any time thinking about it!

      I think of what I do with my books as “redefining normal.” It’s normal, in my TS world, for an FBI agent to be openly gay — and a well-respected team leader who often works with Navy SEALs who respect him, too. It’s normal, in my TS world, for Jules to meet, fall for, and marry the man of his dreams. It’s normal for Jules and his husband to be friends with a wide range of diverse people, and so on. And every reader who reads my books received this message that this is what normal looks like in 21st century America. Sam’s married to Alyssa and Jules is married to Robin and they are friends with Tom and Kelly, who are friends with Jenk and Lindsey…

      P.S. There’s a timeline in the TS anthology (HEADED FOR TROUBLE) that shows where all of the short stories fall in relation to the books — if you want your reread to include those stories, too!

  • Donna Logan Brown

    Love your essay and agree wholeheartedly. Read your newsletter and share your praise of the wonderful event that is RARM! Bobbi has done a fantastic job putting this together. Have enjoyed your books for years and remember searching used bookstores looking for those rare finds of your earlier books. Have appreciated your exploration into new worlds during your twenty years. Here’s to the next twenty!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, Donna!

      And yes, this really is a fabulous website/internet event! Bobbi has done a terrific job with this!

      For a long time, those older books were out of print and really hard to find. Do you remember LADIES MAN, selling on ebay for four thousand dollars?!?! Every now and then I’d get a gleeful email from a reader who had found a copy in a UBS for 25 cents, and I’d ask “are you gonna sell it?” The answer was always NO! I still have a few original first editions, in mint condition, in a box in my office closet! 🙂

    • Thank you Donna! xoxo

  • Dawn

    What a great post Suzanne! I am a long time reader–I somehow started with the one you recommend to start with “The Unsung Hero”. Loved it, and have loved every single one of your books I have read since–Troubleshooters and Born to Darkness, and I went back and read whatever of your back library I could get my hands on. I love your stories, and that the characters are living, breathing, real characters, and, Bonus! they are all kinds of people that readers get to know in the way only reading allows–removing the sense of “other”. I also really love your masterful weaving in of backstory in flashback. I especially love the secondary WWII stories told in flashback in “Unsung Hero”, “Hot Target”, “Into the Night”, and “Gone Too Far” (which also includes the marvelous non-WWII flashbacks to Sam and Noah’s childhood).

    Side note: I am a Joss Whedon fan, too, and it always tickles me to read a shout out to Buffy in your books 🙂

    Can’t wait to read your next book! Best regards!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, Dawn!

      I discovered Joss Whedon relatively late. Jason and I actually started watching Firefly because we were Jewel Staite fans. (She plays Kaylee, the engineer.) (And okay, how awesome is it that Firefly’s engineer was a young woman?!?!!)

      We went from that to Buffy season 1 on DVD, and then started watching Angel on DVD, too. We glommed it for months (years?!), watching it in the evenings with our friends Bill and Jodie.

      I’m also a huge Aaron Sorkin fan. We’re rewatching WEST WING right now. Third time around for me…

      And I’m glad you like the WWII flashbacks. I loved writing those.

      • Dawn

        I am a huge fan of Firefly, and I love that the genius engineer is Kaylee 🙂 The whole ensemble is amazing. I have also been itching to do a Buffy rewatch, but it’s hard to pace myself, and I end up staying up waaaay too late. Same with your books–very hard to put down. I have to wait until the weekend when I know I can lose some sleep. Thanks again so much for your wonderful writing, and for including all kinds of people in your work!

        • Suzanne Brockmann

          Yeah, it helps to watch in a group — you can’t do the all-night glom if the friends need to go home! LOL!

          I’m about due for a Buffy re-watch, too. As well as Veronica Mars! (I helped kickstart the movie!)

          • Dawn

            I backed VM too! Still waiting for my shirt 🙂 Can’t wait for the movie (and books now, too). As for Firefly, I have a special treat coming: at our upcoming Can’t Stop the Serenity event in Orange County, California, we were able to get permission to show a Firefly episode! Can’t wait to see “Out of Gas” on the big screen! As a friend of mine said, “Wash’s mustache is going to be *huge*.” 🙂

    • Oh, dear – WWII flashbacks. Sheesh, I’ll have to read these… You know I don’t have any time, right??!

      • Dawn

        I know, the leaning tower of To Be Read books 🙂 I agree with Suz that “The Unsung Hero” would be a great one to start with. IMO, “Into the Night”, while being a Troubleshooters book, also reads quite well on its own without reading all the books before.

  • jcp

    your blog made me laugh!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thank you!

  • Jacquie Biggar

    I’ve mentioned a time or hundred, lol, how much I love you and your books. I have learned so much from reading your stories and hope to one day become half the person you are. Your family is blessed to have you in their corner. You are always the person I recommend when asked what they should read, Letters to Kelly will always be my favorite book of all time.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Hi, Jacquie! Great to see you here! Isn’t this a wonderful website/event?

      LTK is also my mom’s favorite of my books! I know I’ve mentioned this to you before, but I can’t remember if you listened to the audiobook of LETTERS TO KELLY? It’s read by Patrick Lawlor and Melanie Ewbank, and it’s really REALLY fun. Melanie reads the excerpts from Jax’s historical romance in a slightly British accent, and Patrick’s deliveries of Jax’s letters are… really special.

      Anyway, I hope things are going well for you! Thanks for dropping by!

  • Rosemarie N.

    I discovered you by walking down the aisle at my old local library. Pick up one of the Trouble Shooters books and was hooked. I love the way you write, you keep it real. When reading your books, your characters are everyday people to me. So keep writing. My favorite book is Dark of Night.(read 3 times) Love Deck and Tracy story cause Deck my favorite character . I have other TS’s favorites too. I read most of all your books especially the navy seals ones. Can’t wait to read your new book hope it comes out soon. Thanks Suzanne!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, Rosemarie! I grew up in my public library, so I’m especially glad to know that one of my books was lurking there in yours! (DARK OF NIGHT is one of my personal favorites, too! Thank you!)

      I think (hope!) you’re gonna like DO OR DIE, too…

  • Lynette Ott

    Happy 20th Anniversary writing books and Happy 30th Anniversary with the same partner!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thank, Lynnette! 🙂

      I feel like that’s the equivalent of a secret handshake between me and my longtime enewsletter readers! I appreciate the longevity of our reader-writer relationship! You rock!

    • I saw that on facebook, too – not that I could friend her. She’s way too popular. :o)

      • Lynette Ott

        I actually find that a lot of authors will reply to posts on Facebook, not that they have much time to spend there, but it’s a way to interact with the people who love their books!

        • I agree! I’m just not on there so much these days, except at the R-A-R M facebook page. I think my life will calm down a little in Sept. ;o)

  • Renee Sass

    Suz, I love you & all of your books! My love for all thing Suz introduced me to a group of wonderful women that have made my life even better! So thank you for being you & writing to wonderful characters that you do. And Thank you for leading me to my “Peeps”.
    (BTW, it was great meeting you & Ed in OH last year!)

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Hi, Renee! Nice seeing you here!

      That OH event was fun — it was great meeting you, too.

      Say “hi” to the rest of the peeps!

  • Hi – whew, busy morning! Finally getting on here to say THANK YOU Suzanne Brockmann for breaking barriers, being a wonderful writer who has the following to make it count, and a strong enough personality to stand up for what you believe in on a grand scale. (And, personally, thank you so much for being such an amazing advocate for R-A-R M, too.)

    Romance is wonderful, and equality should be fundamental, but isn’t. Glad to see the tide is turning though, and have been interested to see many more gay secondary and tertiary characters in some big name romances. (SEP’s Great Escape and JAK’s upcoming Deception Cove come to Mind.)

    Thanks again. You rock. xoxo

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks for inviting me to blog here, Bobbi!

  • Cynthia Reifel

    Suzanne,
    Having been a huge fan of yours for years, (I can remember e-mailing you about how much I liked your books way before facebook came about,) I have to say I really loved reading this interview. It was so YOU and it answered a lot of questions I have had over the years. Being on a fixed income now, I have to say that I would really love your newest, but any of your books or any book you love would be perfectly fine with me!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks for dropping by today, Cynthia! And thanks for your kind words. (I hope you win!)

      • Cynthia Reifel

        I do, too! Thanks so much!

    • Good luck, Cynthia – be sure to send an email. xoxo

  • Nancy Higgs

    I love the way romance has become so much more inclusive, and I love the humor in your books, too.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, Nancy!

      I think “sense of humor” is one of the most important qualities for characters in a romance — male or female! 🙂

  • Mirmie

    Hi Suz!! Wow – haven’t things changed since the beginning of your wild ride? Thanks so much for taking all of us along as extra baggage!!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Hi, Mirmie!

      Yeah, sometimes 20 years seems like forever, and sometimes it seems like just yesterday! Hugs!

  • Cheryl C.

    Always good to hear your voice (so to speak). Well said.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, Cheryl!

  • Valerie

    In the end only kindness matters…..

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Can you name the artist? 🙂

      • AJ

        Jewel!

        • Suzanne Brockmann

          Yes! Ding ding ding! 🙂

    • love that song! xoxo

  • Maureen Reiter Bishop

    It’s hard as a reader of romance to find an author with a true voice! It shouldn’t always be just about sex,fantasy or happily ever afters. Thank you so much for being that voice for so many of us who just plain want more!

    • Well, as a romance advocate, I must say here, that there are many great writers who push the HEA into a lot of different areas – and I would argue sometimes the fact that it *is* just about the sex, the fantasy and the HEA is radical in itself. (I might point you to Meljean Brook’s wonderful essay, or Maya Rodale’s, Lucy March’s, Darynda Jones’ or even Christina Dodd’s.)

      But I do value what Suz has done, and it is one of many reasons I wanted her to take part in R-A-R M. I actually think a lot of historical authors right now are pushing the fantasy into amazing directions – in particular, Jennifer Ashley and Sarah MacLean come to mind. I hope you might give them a chance, too.

      Thank you so much for the comment, and for being a romance reader. And for being here at RARM – I know this isn’t your first comment. xoxo

      • Maureen Reiter Bishop

        I do agree, and love so many writers here. I, like all readers, have my favorites. To be honest, I love historical romance as well, and find the heroines are very strong and independent women. I set Suzanne apart because her stories (in particular, her military romances) add intrigue, social awareness, mystery and let’s face it…hot sex, fantasy and of course, happily ever afters (well, for most of her characters). She intertwines great humor and a male camaraderie between her team sixteen alphas that is hard for some female writers to capture. I just truly enjoy her work, and that isn’t to discredit any of the excellent authors that join her on RARM’s site. And thanks for the suggestions for the other authors mentioned. I will certainly check them out, as I read about a book per week in this genre!

        • Thank you! I hope you didn’t feel as if I was chastising you in any way. Clearly Suz does something different, because she has such devoted fans! xoxo Do keep in touch. Have you liked the fb page? (And pardon me for not knowing the answer to that. So much to keep track of these days…)

          • Maureen Reiter Bishop

            More like explaining myself. I never meant to slight other authors that I love! And yes, well liked on FB! 🙂

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      It’s so subjective, isn’t it, Maureen? You can have friends (and authors!) give you recommendations that simply don’t work for you, because you’re looking for a specific type of connection! And it’s so fantastic when you find it!

      I’ve had the experience of recommending a book, an historical romance, to a reader — and she just didn’t see it the way that I did. (It remains one of my all-time favorites, I find it charming, and it happen to push some of her feminist!)

      Good thing romance has such a wide variety of sub genres!

  • Narda Seaberry

    Like you I read series books in order, so when I started reading your Tall, Dark and Dangerous series about the Navy seals I thought you would skip over Senior Chief Harvard Becker. As an Africian-American and romance reader that had been my exprience at that time. So I was very suprised to see his book. At the time they had not reissured his book and the prices I saw on Amazon were outragous. When they did reissue his book I snatched it up. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Hi, Narda!

      Yeah, that book was particularly hard to find, because there were so fewer copies printed of that first edition.

      (I’m still shaking my head about that!)

      And then the reissue had silhouetted teenagers on the cover — what was that about!?! LOL! I didn’t have input to the second cover — but I sure had input into the first one! And at Silhouette delivered that, at least!

      Truly, writing Harvard’s book was an eye opening experience about inequality and corporate sponsored prejudice. Pretty freaking outrageous.

      I was born only 97 years after the Emancipation Proclamation. I think it’s important for me to say that aloud every now and then and remember exactly what that means.

      P.S. Harvard’s still my favorite of the TDD books.

      • Harvard is still my favorite as well. Not because they’re African-American, though I liked having the variety, but because I just loved the characters so much. I think I first bonded with it because I was in a GI Jane mood and I loved PJ’s kickass attitude. I also loved her directness and honesty. The scene in which she talks about the baggage we carry around and how you can’t discount Harvard’s luggage just because it’s not as tattered as hers is one that has stuck with me. Of course, the fact that I’ve read the book at least five times may also have something to do with the stickiness. 🙂

        • Suzanne Brockmann

          Hi, Donna! Nice to see you here!

          HARVARD won the NJRWA chapter’s prize for Best Category Romance of the Year. I thought that was pretty awesome — it was an award that meant a lot to me!

  • Lois Sorensen Taylor

    Thank you for bringing us your wonderful characters and their stories! I enjoy your books so much!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thank you, Lois!

  • Sascha Illyvich

    I remember being in this genre in the early days of e-books and watching boundaries being pushed by the (now tiny compared to today’s author pool) swarms of authors dying for diversity, eroticism and sensuality all while having the HEA I was so attracted to as a younger male and reader.

    It’s been a long journey but I’ve believed that for most part, readers simply want a damn good story. I for one am glad.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Yes! Sascha, you hit it on the head. A good story. But it also is very meaningful to have a good story with characters that provide an accurate reflection (in some way) of you-the-reader.

      You know, one of the reasons that I co-wrote my movie, THE PERFECT WEDDING, was because my son, Jason, was struggling to find his own reflection in the many LGBT movies that already exist. While he appreciated angsty coming-out stories, or closet-based comedies (stories where the characters have to jump back into the closet because mom and dad are visiting) they didn’t reflect his life as a young gay man who had parents who supported him (and pretty much knew he was gay before he did!). Jace wanted to watch a movie where a boy fell in love with another boy — and the fact that they are gay has nothing whatsoever to do with the conflict.

      So we wrote the script ourselves, and ended up producing it ourselves. (It comes out in November and December from Wolfe Releasing. You can see the trailer at http://www.theperfectweddingmovie.com )

      I think an important part of pop culture/genre fiction is to show us a reflection of ourselves — and of what we could be. Strong women, heroic gay characters who lead FBI counterterrorist teams… As a writer I not only want my readers to see a reflection of themselves in at least some of the characters, but I also want to give them a picture of what the world could be if everyone treated each other with respect.

  • Kristina Schrader

    I am such a huge fan of Suzanne Brockmann’s novels! She has an amazing talent of crossing the line into touchy topics but in a beautiful way that makes fans excited to turn the page. Thank you for each and every one of your books. I look forward to dedicating more room on my book shelves for them.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      That’s the ultimate honor, Kristina! Being told I’m on a reader’s “keeper shelf.” I appreciate that so much!

  • Mary McCoy

    Thank you for your post, your books and you persistence!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      You’re welcome, Mary!

  • Ann Morrissey Favreau

    You were my first romantic Suspense author. You got me hooked on military suspense and introduced me to other authors such as Cindy Dees. I have read everything you’ve ever published and look forward to the movie.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, Ann!

      We’re really excited about the movie’s release! I still don’t know what providers will be involved with the “on-demand” part of the release, but it’s entirely possible that you’ll fine our movie in your “rent this and watch this now” list on your cable DVR in November!

  • Marilyn White

    Suz, wow I can’t believe I have been reading and loving your books for twenty years now. Where does the time go? Thank you so much for all the wonderful stories and great characters. Those characters are all friends of mine and I visit them often (by rereading your books). I would name my favorites but I just don’t have enough space. 🙂

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Hi, Marilyn! Yes, we are now officially old friends! 20 years!

      Some of those characters in my earlier books are probably dropping their kids off at college right now! Yikes! 🙂

  • Fran Emmett

    I’m and avid fan. Thanks for the wonderful books. Having a gay son myself, I applaud the way you support the community and I adore Jules & Robin.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, Fran.

      I’m convinced that an army of PFLAG moms would be the most powerful fighting force in the world! 🙂

  • laura mm

    Well said!

    I’m a long-time fan and the Jules/Robin storyline is my absolute favorite! Can’t wait for your new release & the movie 😀 Looking forward to reading Glitterland, as well…

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      GLITTERLAND! You’re gonna love it! Thank you, for your kind words, Laura! (And be sure to let me know if you love GLITTERLAND and Alexis Hall as much as I do!)

  • Genny Moore

    Love the way you’ve broken down the barriers. It was humorous reading how things have changed for u over time. I went to college myself and joined marching band and that’s when a lot of my barriers dropped. Despite it’s isolation WSU has a fairly large LGBT community. Feel a little like I’m going in reverse since I might be moving from Washington to Texas! Keep up the great work, Suz! Can’t wait till the next Troubleshooters book!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Hey, Genny!

      I became a resident of FL in 2008, and after working with MassEquality and securing marriage rights in MA, it was like stepping into 1972. There’s a really great LGBT group called EqualityFlorida (EQFL), but they were working on things like the right to not be fired from your job or kicked out of your apartment for being gay! That was pretty shocking after winning equal marriage in MA.

      Still, it’s important to get involved and continuously push for change. The young man who was leading EQFL when I first joined, Joe Saunders, just got elected as a FL state congressman. First openly gay elected congressman in the state. That’s huge for FL.

      Change comes from making it personal! (Good luck in TX!)

    • I’m from TX. Not sure I could be convinced to go back… Good luck! (Of course, I’m in Wisconsin now, which seems to be sliding frighteningly to the right.) :o(

      Thanks for being here, Genny! xoxo

  • Suzanne Brockmann

    Do make sure you pop over and check out Ann Aguirre and Lori Handeland’s wonderful blogs, too!

    • Thank you. Ann has taken on the Sci Fi community in her own courageous way, so I hope you’ll all read about that, too! xoxo

      • Suzanne Brockmann

        Oh, I followed Ann’s blog at the time, and was VERY impressed by her ability to stay cool and calm in an ugly situation.

  • Marti Mashinter

    Love your books and your characters. Please write more! I don’t mean write faster — that isn’t good — but stay healthy and keep writing for the next 20 or 30 years. Beyond that I’ll probably be dead so do as you will! 🙂

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thank you, Marti! LOL!

      I’ll do my best!

    • Too funny Marti! Thanks for being here. xoxo

  • Marianne Zanetakos

    Hi Suzanne! Thank you for the TS team!! I LOVE these characters! I listen to the books over and over again..You give these big, touch SEALS a human side.Of course, who does not love Jules (and Robin 🙂 ).My father was a surgeon in the Navy, so I have always had a soft spot for this division of the Military. I eagerly await any new novels you write. THANK YOU!!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      My dad was Army, before I was born! But I always loved the photo of him in his uniform, that my Gram kept in her house. (It now sits on my writing desk here in MA!)

      And yet somehow I fell in love with the SEALs and the Navy. (A lot had to do with Star Trek. You know the creator of ST, Gene Roddenberry was a former Navy man!)

      Thanks for your kind words, Marianne!

  • Cathy Maxwell

    Suz, I always enjoy reading what you have to say about our genre and the business. I often quote an essay you wrote over a decade ago about following one’s truth as a writer. The best stories are those where, as writers, we are true to ourselves.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Hi, Cathy! Thanks for dropping by!

  • Lisa Zeigler

    Suz, I love your blog! You have such wonderful things to say in your
    books and anything military interests me. My son is a Marine,
    currently in Afghanistan and a nephew in the Air Force, somewhere over
    there also. My father-in-law was retired Air Force, ex-husband retired
    Marine, brother-in-law retired Marine and another brother-in-law retired
    Air Force. Anything patriotic brings a lump to my throat, with
    goosebumps on my arms. When my son completed his basic training several
    years ago at Parris Island, SC, we flew back together to Memphis. He
    was in his uniform and several people either said thank you, shook his
    hand, etc. as we walked through the airports and the goosebumps are
    covering me now as I type! I’m so thankful that our military are
    appreciated and not treated like those during the Vietnam War.

    As for your characters, they are all so wonderful, that I get lost in
    their stories and it doesn’t matter their race, sex, etc. I haven’t read all of your
    books in order but love all of your Seals, TSI characters, along with
    the FBI, etc. To me they are all one big family. It truly hurts when
    any one of them gets hurt physically or emotionally in your books. I have your most recent book on disc and I don’t recall the man’s name but he was in New Orleans, met a woman, thinking of a life together and them BAM! Broke my heart! I would have a difficult time deciding which character is my favorite, but
    always love crazy Izzy and who wouldn’t love Jules? I don’t care if
    someone is straight, gay or whatever as long as everyone treats others
    nicely — kind of the ‘do unto others…’.

    Thank you for pushing the envelope to write stories about everyone, the
    Blacks, the Asians, the sad, the families, gay and straight, the hardships of separation, and the crazy conversations between your characters.

    Hope one day to watch a movie titled, ‘What the Fuck, Over?’ !!!!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, Lisa!

      And thank you so much for your son’s and your whole family’s service! I appreciate that so much!!!

  • Valerie Tate Williams

    I’ve loved your books for many years, and this article just makes me love them (and you!) more! Keep up the great work. As an aspiring author, you are an inspiration. I hope can be half as good as you!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Valerie,

      Just keep writing, keep striving, keep raising your personal bar!

      And don’t forget to analyze every piece of fiction that you come into contact with! Why does it work? Why DOESN’T it work? Sometimes analyzing a book or movie that doesn’t work for you can be incredibly helpful. Where did the author lose you and why? Try to figure it out and then NOT do that! 🙂

  • Marianne Zanetakos

    Hi Suz,

    Congratulations on your 2 anniversaries! As you say, quite efficient of you! What a wonderful way to spend the summer celebrating! Can’t wait for the movie. I wanted to see it at the Film Festival, but an uncle’s 9th birthday go in the way 🙂

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Hello again, Marianne! Thank you so much!

      The movie will be out on DVD very soon!

  • MaryC

    Love Suzanne’s books! I would hghly recommend the audio version of ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT for all who love Jules and Robin.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Ah, yes, MaryC!

      I would recommend it, too! (Thank you!)

      The audiobook of ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT is read by Michael Holland, a NYC singer/songwriter/musician and former actor who plays Jules Cassidy in the movie version of the TS series that plays inside of my head! 🙂

      It was always Michael’s voice that I’d heard delivering Jules’s lines, right from the start. So when I approached him to do the audiobook, and he said yes, that was incredibly cool. It’s as if Jules himself is reading the entire book.

      (For those of you who haven’t heard the audiobook of ATTN, but want to know what Jules sounds like? Check it out!)

  • Jodie Hein

    I love Suz’s books! Got my dad hooked on them as well as my sister and cousin. We all can’t wait for the newest book!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thank you, Jodie! I love hearing that your dad reads my books, too! That’s very cool!

  • Jessica Wright

    I loved being able to learn more about you. I have read all of your books multiple times, and have loved them. In all honesty, you are my favorite author. I even named my son after a character in one of your books, Nash, although I hope he doesn’t find himself in as many dangerous situations as his namesake.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, Jessica!

      I’m honored! Give Nash a hug for me! 🙂

  • Kimberly Watson

    Congratulations on 20 years of romances Suz! Wow! I love all your books and can’t wait to read this next one.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, Kimberly!

  • Gail Rechtzigel

    Hey Suz, I don’t know who gives me more joy, giggles and teriffic reading, you or JR Ward. Love you both to death While in a forum with her she used you as an example and she & I decided you should just not be allowed to retire the Troubleshooter series. (She’s not allowed to retire BDB either : ) ). Absolutely love your work and waiting impatiently for Do or Die.
    PS Have 2 gay nephews who are the light of my life. Keep up the good work.
    Gail

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, Gail!
      JR’s terrific! I’m a fan!
      Hug those nephews for me!

  • Rebecca Berus

    I loved hearing about how you helped move the romance genre forward and I am definitely going to check out Glitterland and All Through the Night. Thanks!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Yay! Thank you, Rebecca!

  • Stephanie M.

    I love ALL your books and feel like your characters are part of my family. I can’t wait to see The Perfect Wedding and read the next book (just seeing the cover, I know it is worth waiting for). Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, Stephanie! They ARE family! 🙂

  • Jaclyn James

    Suz, I love your books. First one I ever read was Into the Storm. Honestly, it was the first romance I ever read too! Since then, I’ve snapped up every book or yours (or J.R. Ward’s or Laurell K. Hamilton’s) I could find. I actually have a question for you: I was randomly searching the Internet and found a post about Captain Ed Freeman who served in Vietnam. He heard over the radio a command to stop sending in MedEvac helicopters. He, not MedEvac, flew in and saved 30 soldiers. I noticed a definite parallel to what Jake Robinson did in The Admiral’s Bride. Was Ed Freeman your inspiration/source for the scene where Jake did the same?

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      No, that’s cool, but Ed’s story’s not one I’ve heard. But there are a lot of similar tales of courage and valor in wartime! People really step up and do some amazing things!

      The SEALs who served in Vietnam were an impressive group of men, no doubt about that!

  • Pamby50

    The first book I read by you was Out of Control. After that, I looked at the library for all the books you wrote. I love everything you have written. Harvard’s story so moved me. Jules & Robin’s wedding. Sam & Alyssa. Max & Gina. I am so glad to have come on the journey of what is acceptable with you.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Pamby50,

      Thank you! I’m glad you love my books!

  • Suzanne Brockmann

    Hey, gang! I’ll be back to respond to posts at around 8 p.m.! Hope to see you then!

    • You’re a trooper today, Suz! xoxo

      • Suzanne Brockmann

        This is a lovely opportunity to meet new readers and say hi to some familiar faces! Thank you for that, Bobbi!

        • oh no, thank you! {mutual admiration moment} xoxo

  • hvalbuena

    Ms. Brockmann, I truly adore all your books. I got to read your books two years ago. I devoured them one after the other. I LOVED the Sam and Alyssa story arc. Being transported to a different dimension with your storytelling, has helped me get through some rough patches last year. Thank you so much. Please keep writing your wonderful stories.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, hvalbuena! I can relate. I wish you joy and laughter!

  • Larena Hubble

    I enjoyed reading how romances have changed over the years. I love seeing all the different types of genres and sub-genres that are available any more. I enjoy knowing that no matter what I feel like reading at any given moment I am sure to find just the book. I think it is great that you have changed lives with every barrier you have torn down.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, Larena!

      I love the wide variety in the romance genre, too! It’s pretty impressive!

  • Denise Stalcup

    The first romance book I ever read was Prince Joe. Loved it and and read all the rest in TDD and Troubleshooters. Thanks, Suz, for writing so beautifully.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      You’re welcome, Denise! Thank you for your kind words!

  • Joleen Carden

    Suz, thank you so much for bringing us such amazing characters and stories. I agree, your books are definitely on my keeper shelf – actually I am currently re-buying all your books for my kindle so that I can take along your entire collection wherever I go. 🙂 As one of your international fans, can I just say thank you for considering us too! BUT how about you let us enter the contest for an advance copy of Do or Die with the condition that IF one of us non-domestic fans were to win, we’d cover the cost of postage to receive this awesome (but very heavy) prize? Something to think about…

    • Joleen Carden

      P.S. I am thrilled to read that Do or Die is ‘epically long’ – I just wish it was available sooner!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      I hear you, Joleen! The logistics are intense, though. Currency exchange — boom, my head explodes. I wish there were an easy way…

      • Joleen Carden

        Paypal does all the currency exchange stuff for you… Where there’s a will there’s a way… 🙂

        • Suzanne Brockmann

          Paypal, huh? 🙂

          • Joleen Carden

            I love that you are willing to even consider the logistics of this – many people would put it in the too hard basket. I fully understand if it’s just not do-able, but it’s nice to dream! 🙂

  • Corinne Traplin

    Your books not only entertain us and and tell us stories, but they teach us valuable lessons about right and wrong, love and marriage, acceptance and prejudices. They also teach us about fighting everyday for what you believe in. I have read practically all of your books and am very proud to say that I have. You inspire me to be just and to accept all things. I thank you. I look forward to your new series coming out and can’t wait. Will we ever hear more about the Troubleshooters gang? I would love to hear more about Sam and Alyssa and most importantly Jules and Robin. Any plans on doing any book tours in Canada? Would love to meet you. Bring Jason along too!
    Kindest Regards,

    Corinne Traplin

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Hi, Corinne!

      Since the new series is a spin-off from the TS series, there are already crossover characters! DO OR DIE includes Martell Griffin (from FORCE OF NATURE — he was Ric’s lawyer friend, a former cop), and Deb and Yashi, who work with Jules Cassidy, play rather large roles in the book, too.

      You’ll definitely be seeing more of Jules and Robin — in some form or another. And where Jules and Robin go, Sam and Alyssa are never that far behind!

      Re: Canada. No plans to visit in the near future, I’m afraid!

  • Ann Fifield

    Suz, bless you for what you are doing. As a teacher and sister and aunt to gay or otherwise “other” people, I so appreciate how they are just normal folk in your books! A fellow writer, I love the emotional journey you take us on. And your . dialog! Oh. My. God! Holy characterization, Batman! Thanks for the laughs, the tears, and the lessons.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thank you, Ann.

  • Dianna Yvonne Clark Allen

    I have loved reading your books. I always look forward to the next one coming out.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, Dianna!

  • Laurie Rex

    I absolutely LOVE your books, Suz! You helped me help the son of my heart learn that there were good role models for him, (and of course, he fell in love with Jules!) Anyway, keep up all the good works!!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Laurie! That’s lovely to hear!

      Thank you!

  • Marcy Shuler

    I fell in love with your Tall, Dark & Dangerous series. Harvard’s Education and The Admiral’s Bride were two of my favorite books.

    Thank you for sticking to your guns and writing books romance readers love to read!

    bmndshuler(at)hotmail(dot)com

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, Marcy!

      TAB was another favorite of mine. Jake was, what? 53? Another no-no for the romance genre (at the time)! I still don’t quite know how I pulled that one off…

  • Marcia Carney

    I am beyond excited about a new Suz book. We (my reader group) and I always said we’d read your grocery list, but we’re very happy about a longer offering!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Hey, Marcia! Nice to see you here!

      I think DO OR DIE is my longest book yet. Lotta new characters to introduce — I hope you’re gonna like it!

  • Brittney Cassin

    Your Troubleshooters books were my introduction to romance. I have gone from being a closet-reader to a proud supporter of the genre! Thank you for writing such good characters and fantastic world building!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Brittney,

      Thank you for your support! Romance rocks!

  • Romance sure has come a long way. And I’m glad it has. 😀

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Me, too, Brooke!

  • MooMoo Cake

    What a great post! I’ve enjoyed your books in the past, but reading this really made me think of your writing differently. Thank you for fighting to push the boundaries of what’s “acceptable.” And thank you for the chance to win an ARC of Do or Die!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      MooMoo Cake! Love your name, baby! 🙂

      Thank you for your kind words!

  • Patty Vasquez

    Thank you for everything you’ve done to break down barriers in the romance genre. All Through the Night is one of my all-time favorite stories and Jules is my hero. I’m also happy to say that I’m from Minnesota and was part of the effort to achieve marriage equality in our state. It’s been thrilling to witness the out-pouring of love for those who’ve already married since the law went into effect on August 1. I know that your books helped to influence attitudes and votes.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Patty!

      Thanks for your help in getting that to happen in MN! It’s absolutely HUGE! I love to think that I played some small part!

  • Margaret P.

    I’ve enjoyed reading all your Troubleshooters books, and listening to them – especially those narrated by Patrick Lawlor.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Hey, Margaret!

      Yeah, that Patrick Lawlor is something else! He and I have a talk about the characters before each book gets recorded. He’s smart and funny and extremely talented!

      Have you seen/heard the interview he did over at Audio Gals? http://www.audiogals.net/2013/08/a-recorded-talk-with-patrick-lawlor-a-giveaway/#.Uhv2BRZWcb0

      • Margaret P.

        Thanks for letting me know about that interview. He seems very down-to-earth. I hope he keeps narrating your books! I am going to have to go find the other books he’s narrated also, like the one about the Dust Bowl.

        • Suzanne Brockmann

          He’s so smart and funny and nice!

  • Nancy

    It’s interesting to see how romance has changed in just a decade or two. I can only hope that it will continue to change just as much in the next couple of decades and that all people will be fairly and often represented in the romance genre.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Nancy, I hope so, too!

      Thanks for posting!

  • Liz

    I love your books. Yo are an amazing writer. Keep them coming, since I can’t wait to read the next one 🙂

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, Liz! The next one, DO OR DIE, is a lotta fun! (I hope you’ll like it!)

  • Ann

    Thank you! One of my favorites has always been Jules!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Ah, Jules! 🙂
      I love hearing that, Ann! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Raine Dawson

    Wow-I had no idea how different things were early on in your writing-and even in more recent times when it came to political correctness, censoring and racial couples. Such a heartwarming, humorous, and informative/important post-thank you so much for ‘stopping by’! I’ve been waiting for today to read your post and q & a, when my mom ‘turned me’ onto romance from my regular choice of thrillers and suspense Gone Too Far was the 1st book I read and I was hooked. Since then I have read and re-read most of your books. As I sit here and look around many of your titles are on the top of my stacks (*sigh* yes stacks) because I’m always going back to them. On behalf of my mom and I-thank you for all that you have done and continue to do from making us laugh, cry, and sit up with our hearts racing; and also for the awareness you’ve brought into the spotlight, the boundaries you push and charities you help. I know I’m gushing, but authors are my rock stars, I get excited and ramble 🙂

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, Raine! I’m honored that you re-read my books! (That’s the ultimate compliment to give an author!)

      Thank your mom for me, okay?

      • Raine Dawson

        You’re welcome and I can’t wait to tell her I interacted with you-thank you for replying, I have a huge smile-this is unbelievably exciting for me. Have a great rest of the summer (and please don’t stop writing) 😉

        • Suzanne Brockmann

          I won’t stop writing, if you promise to never stop reading! (And thanks for liking my FB page! I saw your name over there this morning!)

  • leah g

    I recently started reading Troubleshooters at the behest of a good friend. I love them, I cannot wait to read more of your books!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, Leah! And thank your friend for me! 🙂

      Isn’t that the best way to hear about a good book? Through a friend?

  • Jaclyn James

    Suz, I love your books. First one I ever read was Into the Storm. Honestly, it was the first romance I ever read too! Since then, I’ve snapped up every book or yours (or J.R. Ward’s or Laurell K. Hamilton’s) I could find. I actually have a question for you: I was randomly searching the Internet and found a post about Captain Ed Freeman who served in Vietnam. He heard over the radio a command to stop sending in MedEvac helicopters. He, not MedEvac, flew in and saved 30 soldiers. I noticed a definite parallel to what Jake Robinson did in The Admiral’s Bride. Was Ed Freeman your inspiration/source for the scene where Jake did the same?

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Hey, Jaclyn! Somehow your post got repeated — I answered this down below — just scroll down and you’ll see it!

  • Elizabeth Gray

    To me, romance in a book is one of the important parts of a book, but not the most important one. I do not care in what form the couple is, m/m, f/f, or m/f, etc. I read for the story, the action, and the romance. It must all tie together to make a complete beginning to end tale of the couple’s life together. I am so glad that publications are following what is happening in the real world. Continued success in the future with whatever your write.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, Elizabeth!

  • Monica Spilman

    I absolutely love all of your books! Can’t wait for the new one.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thank you, Monica!

  • Tiffany Joy Greger

    I am still trying to get over the fact that Harvard’s Education was only the second book with an African-American hero. Shocking fact for the 1990s. On a side note, since you couldn’t use the word penis did you have the thesaurus page marked so you could keep using new words to refer to your hero’s happy place? Were there words that were forbidden use when referring to the heroine’s happy place?

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Second book in the SIM line (out of 800 plus). I WAS shocked!

      And LOL, Tiffany. I really don’t like euphemisms — throbbing member really makes me giggle hysterically — no disrespect intended to those who enjoy the use of throbbing member. It’s DEFINITELY subjective, right? Anyway, my go-to word was “him.” She touched him. Vague, but better than many alternatives, IMO.

      (If you have FUTURE PERFECT, flip through it. It’s an early work, sure, but I’m still proud of it — and you can definitely see the limitations.)

      I *do* have a book that is called “F*ck” (and I’m not being cute, that’s really what it’s called). A friend gave it to me, and it lists every use of the word (lotta funny compounds or related words) and cites when it was first used in print — sometimes waaaay back. Really fascinating.

      And I’m pretty sure (back in the day, with this particular publisher) ALL words were forbidden when referring to the heroine!!! We were lucky she was finally allowed to enjoy having sex! Right?!

  • Laura Z

    I really enjoyed reading your post about romance and the changes in the last 20 years. I am glad that authors are able to write about more diverse couples. There is something for everyone’s tastes.
    I just finished listening to Future Perfect, I didn’t realize it was your first book until I finished listening to it and was checking to see if there was a book about Sam Beckwith.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Ah, Sam Beckwith, my country music singer! (There’s a party scene at Sam’s house, and the guests who are up visiting from Nashville read like a who’s who of the country music scene in late 1992! Of course, I only used first names! LOL!)

  • KARINA GARCIA

    First I just want to say that I freaking love Jules! I own all your books, in either hardcover or paperback. I can’t get enough of them, and have re-read them often. I own an e-reader, but I will continue to purchase them at Target because I love holding any part of your hot men even if it is a book!! 🙂

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      LOL, Karina!

      And thanks for being a “Friend of Jules.” I love hearing that.

      Definitely check out GLITTERLAND. I know I’m sounding like a broken record about this book, but it was SO GOOD!

  • Brianne Sherwood Wolman

    What and interesting and moving blog entry. Love the variety of characters in your writing!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thank you, Brianne!

  • Courtney Cogswell

    I love the Troublehooters books and Jules has been one of my favorite characters since the very beginning 🙂 I love that you’re out there kicking butt and breaking down barriers. It has led me to devour all of your books and constantly recommend them to friends and family members. The action and romance in each of your books is so engrossing that I have a hard time seeing how anyone could get caught up in the gender/sexuality/race of your characters. Thanks for all you do and I was so glad to see your name as one of the authors participating this month. Please keep them coming…I love your work!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, Courtney!

      And I love the fact that readers like you were so vocal about your love for Jules, right from the start. It mattered, it really did!

      Do you know that immediately after HOT TARGET came out, I made a collection of (hundreds of) emails that I received from readers who wrote to express their love for Jules? I removed email addresses and other personal information, cut and pasted them into a word doc, printed it out and bound it with one of those plastic binders from Kinko’s, and sent it to my editor and publisher.

      I knew they were going to be receiving anti-gay hate mail, and it was going to be screechy and loud, as hate often is. And I wanted to send them a hard-copy package of love that would fall onto their desks with a very definite THUD.

      Speaking up in support of books that you like matters!

  • Meredith Richardson

    It really is amazing to see how far we’ve come with romance books. The industry has changed so much which is great because it makes reading romance books so much fun!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Absolutely! Diversity is key — lotta sub genres, lotta themes, lotta choices!

  • Lauren Martin

    Well, I just wrote out a nice, long comment and my computer deleted it on me. So I’ll just say you are one my very favorite authors. The first of your books I read – Hot Target – was simply because a gay character was important enough to the story to earn a spot in the summary and I’d never seen that before. The diversity of the characters in your stories is amazing. I absolutely cannot wait for Do or Die, and I’m definitely going to check out that book you recommended, Glitterland.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Lauren,

      I’m glad you picked up HOT TARGET — and I’m glad I pushed my publisher to include that mention of Jules in the blurb. I was adamant that he be in there — for a variety of reasons!

      You are going to LOVE GLITTERLAND!

      (I hate when the computer does that!)

  • M Kuxhaus

    One of my personal pet peeves is when people call penises ‘wieners’ or ‘wee-wees.’ Ugh.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      LOL! I feel you!

  • Ketta Peters

    thanks for fighting the good fight!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks for fighting along side of me!

  • Marcia Berbeza

    I love the diversity in your books. My favorite stories of yours always involve SEALS ;-). But as I was reading your essay, I couldn’t help but think about the school I work in. I work in the inner city, the majority of my population is African American and Hispanic. When I first arrived over 11 years ago, I worked hard to provide stories that featured children of color. It is such an insult that our literature doesn’t match our population. Thanks for evening out the playing field! BTW, have you seen the Cheerios commercial that’s been causing a ruckus? Apparently having a white mommy and a black daddy makes some people feel insecure. sigh…. They should come to my school!!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Hey, Marcia!

      I agree with you completely!

      Cool thing — I know the young actress who plays the mom in that awesome commercial! She is an enormously talented young woman named Whitney who used to do regional theatre here in MA with my son Jason. She’s still friends with Jace — they both live out in LA, now. I’ve seen her on stage many, many times. She can sing like crazy, too.

      • Marcia Berbeza

        How cool is that? I really love the job the actors did with that one, although my favorite bit is the absolute shock in the “dad’s” voice when he wakes up and calls for his wife! This must be the day to talk about the famous people our kid’s were friends with. My daughter sent a link about a young man that had gone through school with my son today. I forwarded it to a new teacher at our school who had been in my son’s class with him as well. She was so tickled because she actually watches the show he’s in and didn’t have a clue that it was the kid she used to sit next to!!

  • QuenKne M

    Wow!! Here I’ve been reading romance novels for over 30 years and never knew all that ridiculousness was going on – thanks for fighting to get controversial material into books. Keep up the great writing and maybe, just maybe for every book out there, it will make one more person less ignorant.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      QuenKne M,

      I think the key lies in doing this subversively! LOL! I never stood on a table and announced, “Now I am going to introduce a gay character into my world, and in doing so I will challenge some readers’ beliefs about LGBT people and their right to equality.” I just quietly walk Jules into the room with Alyssa and let him take it from there.

  • Autumn Giddings

    Hi Suz!! As always, if you write it, it makes me smile to read it 🙂 Great blog!! I feel like I’ve been with you from the beginning… I still don’t know how I got access to your books in WI in the early 90’s, but I do remember reading Prince Joe and Forever Blue and knowing that for the rest of my life, if you wrote it, I’d find it… and that in the early days that took actual effort (vs now when I can just stalk you on FB and Twitter for release dates). You were my first (and I think my only) fan letter. I find myself referencing your characters at least weekly, and thinking of them more often… you bring great joy, happiness, and comfort to your readers and for that I (and many others) thank you. The whole world also owes you a great debt for all you do to expand all of our minds and hearts, you are truly a gift to us all!! Thanks 🙂

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Autumn! Nice to see you here!

      And thank you for your kind words! And thank you for that long-ago email!

      The joy definitely goes full circle! Thank you for sending it back in my direction!

  • WinnieP

    I’ve been eagerly for your post, and you did not disappoint! I’m another one who’s been changed for the better by your books. Your dedication in Hot Target brought tears to my eyes.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, WinnieP!

      I love my kid kinda fiercely! 🙂 And by the way, Jason didn’t only co-write THE PERFECT WEDDING with me, he also stars in it as the love interest of the hero! He’s all grown up now, but his light still shines!

  • Kim

    Great post! I love the diversity there is in romance today and I hope to see that trend continue.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, Kim!

  • Sara Jane Stone

    Years ago when I was the Target rep for RH, I sold INTO THE STORM into Target, securing endcap placement. Not once in my presentation did the hero or heroine’s race/height/color come up. And the sales were amazing. I remember when another big box store took All Through the Night and someone wondered out loud if there would be push back due to the m/m relationship. Someone else in the room said something along the lines of: “but it is Suzanne Brockmann. It will sell.” Thank you so much for taking risks and opening door for other authors. And on a personal note, thank you for introducing me to the world of military heroes. Years later, I’m eagerly awaiting my debut novel hitting shelves featuring an Army Ranger hero because you made me fall in love with military romances. Thank you.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thank you, Sara Jane! And congrats on the impending release of your first book! That’s huge! Tell us more! When does it come out? What’s the title?

      And thank you, too, for your help in getting INTO THE STORM out into the world.

      • Sara Jane Stone

        Thanks! My debut, COMMAND PERFORMANCE, will be available in print and ebook on October 1st, published by Harlequin Blaze. (I actually followed a tidbit of advice you gave me after an RWA conference session about starting in category:) COMMAND PERFORMANCE is inspiring by the true story of the horse soldiers who literally rode into Afghanistan on horses provided by an Afghan warlord post-9/11. And it is Blaze so it is super steamy!

        It was my pleasure to sell INTO THE STORM. I loved that the buyers responded to my excitement when I presented the book. It wasn’t until I read this post that if even occurred to me to mention race/height. For me, it was a must-read romance with a stellar suspense plot. And that is how I sold it:)

        • Sara Jane Stone

          The sales rep in me is horrified that I didn’t mention COMMAND PERFORMANCE is currently available for pre-order in print and ebook! You can find it on Amazon, BN.com and BAM just to name a few outlets:)

        • Suzanne Brockmann

          Sounds really good! (And October 1st is coming very soon!)

  • mimirose41209

    I absolutely love your books. Izzy is so my fictional boyfriend with Patrick being my audio boyfriend. I could listen to your books being read to me all day long. (and don’t think that I haven’t) I hope that you are able to have Patrick and Melanie/Renee read your new books as they come out. They are the voices of the characters that you have created and that we, your fans, have come to know and love!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Patrick is on deck to read DO OR DIE with hopefully either Melanie or Renee! I love them all!!!!

      I’m glad you love ’em too!

  • donnas

    Great post. It really is amazing how things have changed and in some cases pretty fast

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thank you!

  • Vonda M. Reid

    Thank you so much for pushing the envelope. I love your books. After I read “Over The Edge” I went online and bought your entire back list. This was several years ago and I had to pay like $15.00 for one of your Tall, Dark and Dangerous Books. (Thank you so much for re-issuing them.)

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Hi, Vonda! Nice to see you here!

      I wish the publisher had reissued the TDD books sooner — that was completely on their timeline! (I could only beg! I used to tell readers that their requests carried more weight with Harlequin/Silhouette than the author’s did! LOL!) (It’s true!)

  • Cheryl C.

    Sigh. My email to enter the ARC contest has failed. So did the one I tried to send for the grand prize contest. No idea what I’ve done wrong, but nobody else seems to be having any trouble.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Cheryl, did you get it to work? Let me know!

      • Cheryl C.

        Maybe? I had a delay warning, but nothing since so maybe it went through. When I tried to send the one to Bobbi, I got the delay and then the failure to send.

        • Cheryl C.

          Okay, it has officially failed. And I see what I did wrong. I left out “month” in the address.

  • crankyotter

    No penises? No kidding?! No wonder earlier romances could be so awkward. It’s easy to forget that what is ok today wasn’t ok only 10 or 20 years ago. My first romance reads had lots of 19 year olds marrying 35 year old professional men. It was hard to make me think the HEA would last when he no longer saw the wife at work everyday. Romances got lots better and you are definitely one reason why. Thanks!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Yeah, crazy, huh? And you know me, cranky otter. (And I know you know me! Nice to see you here!) Tell me not to say “Penis,” and I figure out a way to make you agree that saying “Penis” is the only possible option.

      And I’m with you on the chance of most of those early romances ending in divorce! Like an episode of MAD MEN…

  • Erlinda Mejia

    The first of your books I ever read was Unsung Hero. I fell in love with Tom Paoletti and his Uncle Joe. I’m a history buff and your inclusion of Joe’s WWII experiences thrilled me. I’ve been a fan and avid reader ever since. I was so pleased when Harvard’s Education came out, wished Jules was MY bff and LOVE that Alyssa and Lindsey can kick asses and take names. I felt sorrow for Sophia losses and Sam’s childhood, was happy he found the family of his heart. What DON’T I like? Only that you don’t write fast enough!! But I can be patient. Dying for Do Or Die to be released! Thank you so much for being daring, determined, for sharing your talent and wonderful stories with us. They have become friends.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thank you, Erlinda!

      That was beautiful. Made my day!

  • Spygirl7

    Everything you talk about in this post is exactly why I read your books. I started with Beginnings and Ends on 12.31.12 (checked out from the library as an ebook*) and have read 34 of your titles since then–most of them just in January alone. I’ve even been rereading them. I had no idea I was going to become such a fan when I randomly downloaded that one short story, but I started reading everything about Jules and I couldn’t stop. (Jules not only had a major recurring storyline in the series, but he got his own romance and his own book? Unbelievable.)
    After reading your books, other characters in other writers’ books suddenly begin to show their stuffing. Your characters LIVE. They are real people. They reflect our actual diverse society with complex emotions and interactions. They are not all cookie cutter-same. They don’t always have happy endings. They don’t always like each other (for real, not, “Stop pulling my hair, Gilbert Blythe” don’t-like-each-other).

    Thank you for challenging your reader (I admit, I was not a fan of Mary Lou) and trusting that we will follow you. Thank you for the diversity of characters and life situations that you write about. While I’m at it, thank you for the secondary romances and WWII subplots. I love the WWII subplots (history major!).


    *Side Note: If you can, please tell your publisher that library ebooks = author discovery = book sales, and ask them to make it easier for libraries to make ebooks available for their patrons to read. Readers do buy books by authors they discover at the library (I did–a lot of them).

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, Spygirl7. (Nice seeing you outside of Twitter!)

      I didn’t realize that you’d started with B&E. That’s… instructional. I will let my publisher know.

      And it’s always lovely to hear that the characters have come to life for a reader. That means a lot. Thank you!

  • Karin Anderson

    This is a very inspiring post! My best friend is gay. Since we live in a small town in Central VA (across the road from Liberty University), our area is very closed minded about it. I’ve been involved with the Human Rights Campaign which works tirelessly to improve the conditions for the LGBT community. I’m so happy to see that you work to open people’s minds to those differences around us. Thank you.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Oh, don’t get me started, Karin!!!

      I’ll just say this: You have to teach a child to hate. You really have to work at it. (shaking my head)

      HRC is awesome, though. I wear one of my HRC shirts in the author photo that I used in the back of ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT!

      Your best friend is lucky to have you as an ally!

      • Suzanne Brockmann

        Whoa, I didn’t realize it would appear that large! 🙂

        • Karin Anderson

          Haha. I like it. 😉

  • Laurie P

    So much of what you’ve said in this blog I never realized. Because I read books about people and not their race or gender. I am glad that we have come so far in the romance category, just wish it was the same in real life.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Good! That was the way it was supposed to be! 🙂

      Readers were (and are) way more open to diversity than publishers imagined! And that’s really great!

  • Jennifer Beaudry

    Thanks so much for all your writing! Your donating too! Isn’t it amazing how far we’ve come! Many Blessings to you!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thank you, Jennifer!

  • Kathy Colligan

    Hey Suz! I have to say that your Troubleshooters series is an all time favorite of mine. I’ve read them over and over and then I passed them to my 2 best friends and we all agree that there is nothing sexier than a Navy SEAL. I was so hooked on that series that I fell in love with all the Hero’s and couldn’t wait for the next book. It made me very happy to see that Jules got his HEA. That was the first book I ever read with a Hero and a Hero and I really enjoyed it! I hope there will be more!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Hey, Kathy!

      Thank you!

      You definitely have to check out GLITTERLAND by Alexis Hall. No Navy SEALs — just really wonderful characters and beautiful writing!

      Thanks for dropping by!

  • Denise Peters Brennan

    Ms. Brockmann, I feel like your characters are friends and family. Keep on writing!!

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, Denise!
      Love, Suz

  • Kairee Taylor

    You have the best sense of humor! I can’t tell you how many times I have laughed out loud at something Tracy Shapiro did, Izzy Zanella thought, and Jules Cassidy said. I have read some of your first books and you have changed so much since then. I love your Troubleshooters series. I can’t believe it hasn’t been made into a television show yet. Your characters are amazing and real.
    I look forward to reading more of you so I entered the contest for your new novel!
    Have a great summer 🙂
    Kairee

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thank you, Kairee!

  • Flora Segura-Buchler

    Lovely post, today, Suzanne, I really enjoyed your POV.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, Flora!

  • Mo Mo

    I love your books, I love this post! Jules and Robin are sweet, I enjoyed their stories, but what really got me is the racial diversity. You talk about interracial romances featuring white women with Native American men. Imagine how us non-white romance-readers always felt – we are the “bad” women in these books, the one no true hero could love (too dark, ugly, coarse, loose, money-grubbing, or otherwise evil). Thank you, thank you, thank you for changing that!
    Side note – you probably heard that PJ’s hair was all wrong, right? Alyssa’s makes much more sense. Thanks again.

    • Suzanne Brockmann

      Thanks, Mo Mo! I hear you!

  • Dana Shoulders

    I even remember back when I first started reading your books that you were clearly pushing some boundaries, and I loved it!

  • Jenny Rogers

    I Still Love To Read Anything By Suz, Can Hardly Wait For The Next Book.

  • Sally G

    I am so moved by your fearless advocacy for Human Rights. But that’s just a lucky bonus for me and not the first reason why I read and love your books. You tell a story in a compelling way. The characters are richly complicated and diverse and I have laughed and cried while reading every one of your books. As a 20-year veteran of the US Army, I also appreciate the realistic depiction of military life. Of course, I was never a SEAL, but I spent 6 months at Little Creek two buildings down from those crazy dudes and I can imagine any of your fictional Seals in their place (yes, they really did rappel down the side of their 3 story barracks for fun)
    Thanks so much for following your heart and writing such great books! I have read them all at least once and many of them several times (a great story never gets old) And thanks for your voice in the cause for equality – my youngest child (now 24 years old) came out as a teenager. Since I had first heard about PFLAG in one of your books I was able to get information to help my family to accept her as I did: unconditionally. Now she is a he and I am proud to call him my son!

  • Laurel Sorensen

    Have loved your work for years. Thank you!

  • Peg Schulties

    Hi Suz! Its your met you in Rehoboth Beach fan Peg! We are always hoping you visit us in Rehoboth again soon! I know you talk to thousands of people, because that is just who you are, so I dont expect that you remember our first conversation, but it was really life changing to me in a way that I could not have expected. I had come to love all of your characters, and of course, Jules has a special place in my heart, as he does with so many of your fans. My husband came with me to meet you and he talked about how much we all could learn from loving unconditionally….and when our son came out to us last year one of the first things our son said to us was “no matter what, I know you will always love me” and guess what….he is 100% correct! Thank you for opening up discussion, for helping people to see that all we all really want is to love and be loved…for who we are~

  • Donna Kemp

    I love all your books and love them. I met you in person at a book signing in the Bay Area in California I believe it was last year. You were so nice in person taking time to speak with everyone. Can’t wait until your next book comes out. I usually pre-order it and if you have a virtually signing I get it then.
    Thank you for your wonderful books. I started reading with Prince Joe and have now gotten all your books on my bookshelf.

  • Charlene Good

    Thank you very much for the opportunity to enter into your contest. I
    have never won a book and honestly have not entered many contests. I am
    making an exception for your book because I treasure every single one I
    own. I collect few authors as I am an avid reader and my home is very
    small so I would quickly be run out 🙂 You are on my top favorite list
    of romance authors and I have to admit you are the only one that is not a
    paranormal author. You breathe such magic, life, love and excitement
    into your characters. I love them. I love the story lines, I love that
    you jump right out there and stand for what you believe in and it comes
    across in your writing. I love that you approach real life scenarios
    with real pain, real emotion, real insight and draw lines in the sand
    yet broaden your readers horizons and make them really think. You
    explore prejudices and tear them down by using your characters as
    examples. Did I mention I love your books? 🙂

    Thanks again,

    Charlene

  • Erica Valenzuela

    love all your books

  • Kim Turner

    I have been a huge fan of yours ever since I found Prince Joe in a used bookstore and then I became a huge fan all over again when Jules was introduced and I think I honestly do a little shout out and squeal like a little girl whenever Jules and Robin are mentioned in a book and its a series that I will read over and over again.

  • Anne McCarthy

    Everything you write is awesome!!!!!! Love All the characters, especially Sam, Jules and Izzy.

  • Kimberly Matis

    Love your books! Thank you for celebrating love in all forms!

  • Sandy Courser

    Okay, here is my late comment… I saw you many years ago when you were both in Southern California, and in Reno a few days later. This was when “Breaking Point” came out. I’ve been enjoying your books for many years, and ever since I read this, I’d been back in TS Land, revisiting my favorite scenes in various books. 🙂

  • Denise Van Plew

    I really enjoy your books and have read them all but the one to mentioned here because it is not out yet. I love how you weave your plots and characters together to form a bang up great read.

  • Sue

    I confess, the first book I ever read of yours is Heartthrob and it is still my favorite! i read through the “Tall Dark” series this summer and accidentally picked up a copy of Unsung Hero… so now. Hey! I have to work for a living… spend time on things other then reading madly through series after series… this is serious!!

  • Leslie Thomas

    I have been a fan of Suz Brockman for years and I have loved all her characters. If a writer can make me feel – then I know it is a good book. I felt Jules feelings – as a straight female, I have felt the same feelings for guys. Romance is romance, love is love and kindness always works. It doesn’t matter.