PERSONAL: Married, c. 1984; children: Melanie, Jason. Education: Attended Boston University. Hobbies and other interests: Music, charity work.
ADDRESSES: Home—MA. E-mail—Suzanne [email protected]
AWARDS, HONORS: Romantic Times Career Achievement award for series romance, 1997; Holt medallions for best series romance, Rising Star Magazine, 1996, 1998, for Prince Joe and Heart Throb; Francis awards for best category romance, 1996 and 2000, for Prince Joe and Get Lucky; New Jersey Golden Leafs award for best long contemporary series romance, 1998, for Harvard's Education, and for best single-title contemporary romance, 2000, for The Unsung Hero; Romance Readers of America Best Series Romance, Best Contemporary Author, and Best All-Around Romance Author awards, 1999, for The Admiral's Bride; RITA awards for best long contemporary series romance, for Undercover Princess, and best contemporary single title, for Bodyguard; more than twelve WISH awards, Romantic Times Magazine, for "irresistible and believable heroes."
Future Perfect, Meteor Kismet (Bensalem, PA), 1993.
Kiss and Tell, Loveswept (New York, NY), 1996.
Forbidden, Loveswept (New York, NY), 1997.
Ladies' Man, Loveswept (New York, NY), 1997, reprinted, Bantam (New York, NY), 2006.
Love with the Proper Stranger, Silhouette Intimate Moments (New York, NY), 1997.
Time Enough for Love, Loveswept (New York, NY), 1997.
Body Language, Loveswept (New York, NY), 1998.
Freedom's Price, Loveswept (New York, NY), 1998.
Bodyguard, Fawcett (New York, NY), 1999.
Heart Throb, Ballantine/Fawcett (New York, NY), 1999.
Undercover Princess, Silhouette Intimate Moments (New York, NY), 1999.
Letters to Kelly, Silhouette Books (New York, NY), 2003.
Scenes of Passion, Silhouette Books (New York, NY), 2003.
"TALL, DARK & DANGEROUS" SERIES; NOVELS
Forever Blue, Silhouette Books (New York, NY), 1996.
Frisco's Kid, Silhouette Books (New York, NY), 1996.
It Came upon a Midnight Clear, Silhouette Intimate Moments (New York, NY), 1998, reprinted as Hawken's Heart.
Everyday, Average Jones, Silhouette Intimate Moments (New York, NY), 1998.
Harvard's Education, Silhouette Intimate Moments (New York, NY), 1998.
The Admiral's Bride, Silhouette Intimate Moments (New York, NY), 1999.
Get Lucky, Silhouette Intimate Moments (New York, NY), 2000.
Night Watch, Silhouette Books (New York, NY), 2003.
Series also includes Prince Joe, Identity: Unknown, and Taylor's Temptation.
"TROUBLESHOOTER" SERIES; NOVELS
The Unsung Hero, Ivy/Ballantine (New York, NY), 2000.
The Defiant Hero, Ballantine (New York, NY), 2001.
Over the Edge, Ivy Books (New York, NY), 2001.
Into the Night, Ballantine Books (New York, NY), 2002.
Gone Too Far, Ballantine Books (New York, NY), 2003.
Flashpoint, Ballantine Books (New York, NY), 2004.
Hot Target, Ballantine Books (New York, NY), 2005.
Breaking Point, Ballantine Books (New York, NY), 2005.
Into the Storm, Ballantine Books (New York, NY), 2006.
Series also includes Out of Control.
ADAPTATIONS: Some of Brockmann's novels have been adapted to audio, including Flashpoint, Brilliance Audio, The Unsung Hero, BBC Audiobooks America, Gone Too Far, BBC/Sound Library, 2003, The Defiant Hero, BBC Audiobooks America, 2004, and Breaking Point, Brilliance Audio, 2005.
SIDELIGHTS: Suzanne Brockmann is the author of over thirty romance novels, for which she has earned numerous awards and a following of loyal fans. Brockmann first began writing screenplays and television scripts, but got nowhere. In an interview with Jean Mason in Romance Reader, she explained that she sent several scripts to a Hollywood agent, who told her she was good and asked when she was moving to Los Angeles. She told him she had no plans to move, and he said: "I've got ten people who are good writers who want representation, and they all live down the street." She did not move to Los Angeles, and the agent did not end up representing her.
She thought about her goal of selling a screenplay and realized that in order to achieve it, she needed to break it down into smaller, more manageable goals. First, she decided, she had to set herself apart from the ten other writers the agent had mentioned. An avid reader, Brockmann did some research on the publishing market and discovered that the romance market was huge, with many novels being published every month. "I knew right away that there was a very good chance there was room for me," she told Mason. Brockmann read over two hundred romances in order to learn about the genre, and in 1992 she began writing her first book. "A few chapters in, I knew I was onto something really good," she told Mason. "Romance was obviously really perfect for my writing voice—I felt it in my bones."
Her first sale was actually the fourth book she wrote, Future Perfect. She is best known for her romantic/adventure "Tall, Dark, and Dangerous" and "Trouble-shooter" series, both of which feature Navy SEALs. Brockmann admires the SEALs—"Warriors who are mainly used to prevent war," she explained to Mason—and she believes the attraction of the books for readers involves their heroism, as well as the loyalty, friendship, and trust between the male characters in the books. She told Mason that her whole career is largely built on these books, since they caught readers' attention and established her name as a romance writer.
In addition to the non-stop action in her SEAL stories, critics of both series admired Brockmann's characterization because she portrays her fighting men as real human beings, not just highly trained soldiers. "Brockmann firmly squashes the cliche … and imbues her SEALs with honest emotional courage," noted one Publishers Weekly contributor in a review of The Defiant Hero. Her stories frequently feature men and women facing danger from terrorists or other violent groups. The circumstances make romantic liaisons problematic, yet love still manages to infiltrate the ranks. For example, in Flashpoint agent Jimmy Nash and support specialist Tess Bailey pretend to be husband and wife as a method of subterfuge to find an al-Qaeda leader; while working closely together, the two find themselves emotionally and physically attracted in what John Charles described in Booklist as "testosterone-fueled action with sexy romance." A similar kind of formula is at work in Into the Night, which has a public relations assistant for the White House becoming romantically involved with a SEAL in a tale that involves a terrorist plot to obtain machine guns. In Over the Edge Alyssa Locke, a sharpshooter working for the FBI, and Sam Starrett, a SEAL, join forces to resolve a hostage crisis. Brockmann, who has been noted for weaving complex plots in her novels, also includes a World War II story and another romance between a helicopter pilot and the SEAL team's chief in Over the Edge.
As well as praise for her characterization skills, critics of Brockmann's stories have enjoyed her touches of humor and wit, as well as her fast-moving story lines. For instance, a Publishers Weekly writer evaluating Over the Edge observed how "splashes of humor help maintain the novel's swift pacing." The author's writing skills can overcome the sometimes predictable story lines of her genre fiction, other reviewers remarked. An assessment of Breaking Point for Library Journal by Bette-Lee Fox is typical: "Though the outcome is never in doubt, readers will be on the edge of their seats."
Brockmann broke new ground in romance fiction with Hot Target, a novel that prominently features a gay relationship. The author, in an interview published on her Web site, remarked that she has a number of homosexual friends, as well as a son who is openly gay, and decided to make her FBI agent character Jules Cassidy gay as well. Cassidy has been a main character in many of the "Troubleshooter" titles, but in Hot Target, his homosexuality comes to the fore. While other authors have featured gay characters in murder mysteries and thrillers in some cases, an overtly gay relationship in a romance novel was a new development when the 2005 novel was released, according to a number of reviewers. "It was really interesting to me to note—while I was out on the road—just how many people asked me … about Jules. I gotta tell you, not only do I love Jules, but I love the fact that a openly, flamboyantly gay man is one of my most popular characters," Brockmann said in her interview. Hot Target was warmly received by many critics, though one in Publishers Weekly felt that at times the author "goes too far in pushing her agenda." On the other hand, Kristin Rams-dell wrote in Library Journal that the "sensitive treatment of gay romantic relationships is groundbreaking" in Hot Target.
Brockmann plans to continue writing romances—both novels and screenplays—and to relax her writing schedule in a few years so that she will have more time to submit screenplays to the market. "And then, look out!" she told Mason. She would like to write for television, and dreams of doing the "Tall, Dark, and Dangerous" series as a weekly show.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, February 15, 1999, review of Heart Throb, p. 1046; September 15, 2001, review of Unsung Hero, p. 210; November 1, 2002, John Charles, review of Into the Night, p. 478; May 15, 2003, John Charles, review of Gone Too Far, p. 1618; April 15, 2004, John Charles, review of Flashpoint, p. 1429; December 15, 2004, John Charles, review of Hot Target, p. 713; July, 2005, John Charles, review of Breaking Point, p. 1907.
Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2003, review of Gone Too Far, p. 695; November 1, 2004, review of Hot Target, p. 1021.
Kliatt, January, 2005, Carol Kellerman, review of The Defiant Hero, p. 40.
Library Journal, February 15, 2001, Kristin Ramsdell, review of The Defiant Hero, p. 154; January 1, 2005, Kristin Ramsdell, review of Hot Target, p. 91; July 1, 2005, Bette-Lee Fox, review of Breaking Point, p. 64.
Publishers Weekly, May 22, 2000, review of The Unsung Hero,, p. 79; December 18, 2000, review of The Defiant Hero, p. 61; August 13, 2001, review of Over the Edge, p. 292; February 11, 2002, review of Out of Control, p. 167; October 28, 2002, review of Into the Night, p. 57; June 23, 2003, review of Gone Too Far, p. 47; April 5, 2004, review of Flashpoint, p. 41; April 12, 2004, Daisy Maryles, "Hot Flash," review of Flashpoint, p. 16; December 20, 2004, review of Hot Target, p. 37; January 10, 2005, Daisy Maryles, "Brockmann Branches Out," p. 16.
Romance Reader, April 23, 1996, Cathy Sova, review of Kiss and Tell; March 17, 1997, Linda Mowery, review of Forbidden; September 22, 1997, Thea Davis, review of Time Enough for Love; November 28, 1997, Linda Mowery, review of Love with the Proper Stranger; January 9, 1998, Thea Davis, review of Freedom's Price; May 12, 1998, Thea Davis, review of Body Language; July 12, 1998, Jean Mason, review of Everyday, Average Jones; August 24, 1998, Thea Davis, review of Harvard's Education; December 5, 1998, Sue Klock, review of It Came upon a Midnight Clear; March 8, 1999, Jean Mason, review of Hearthrob; November 12, 1999, Thea Davis, review of Undercover Princess; November 17, 1999, Sue Klock, review of The Admiral's Bride; December 13, 1999, Susan Scribner, review of Bodyguard; March 10, 2000, Wilda G. Turner, review of Get Lucky; June 21, 2000, Susan Scribner, review of The Unsung Hero.
Romance Reader, http://www.theromancereader.com/ (July 16, 2001), Jean Mason, "Meet Author Suzanne Brockmann."
Suzanne Brockmann Web site, http://www.suzannebrockmann.com (March 13, 2001).
Writers Write, http://www.writerswrite.com/ (February 1, 2005), Claire E. White, "A Conversation with Suzanne Brockmann."