Books,  jack,  my view,  writers,  writing life

Bestselling Advice from Suzanne Brockmann

What’s Jack up to? You all know it’s never a dull moment with Jack the terrible terrier. As I type this he’s looking at me with sad puppy dog eyes sitting on his bed on a Jack time out after having gotten into the trash. So you know I’m not thrilled with him after having to clean up a big old mess. Oh well, so starts the week.

 This week and the next I will be in crazy editing mode and hopefully have my nose to the grindstone as I have lots of work to do and not a lot of time to do it. Wish me luck and say a prayer that the family cooperates.

On Saturday I went into the NYC for my RWA chapter’s Spring brunch. This year we had a guest speaker attend which is something we have not done in the past and boy did we get some speaker for out intimate little brunch.  New York Times Bestselling Romantic Suspense Author Suzanne Brockmann. I know right?

Let me tell you we had quite a turn out at this year’s luncheon with Suzanne there. As it happens Suzanne is in New York directing an off Broadway play until May 22ndcalled Looking for Billy Haines. You can find out info at So on top of being bestselling author she can now add director to her resume. Cool huh?

My notes were a little whacky as Suzanne talked while lunch was being served. Literally. She was so sweet. The waiters were coming in with the food trying to figure who had what and she didn’t mind she was like, “Who had the quiche? Salad? Pot Pie?” All with a smile.

 She told us her journey from being a stay at home mother is 1992 and how she started out writing screenplays and moved from there to contemporary romance.

 She also talked about Role Modeling after bestsellers careers during that time and the fact that category romance is a great place to start out for a 1st time romance author. It’s where she got her start. And guess what? Bantam has reissued all her category romances.

Suzanne also said how in the category years she used to write 6-7 books a year. Yeah, that’s right I said it 6-7 and she set out to make them the best book ever. Keepers that people did not want to give up. There is something to aspire to.


There was also talk about the importance of one on one connections with people when the question of social media came up. And how important is to say thank you when someone reaches out to you to gives feedback on your work. Good or bad. She’s a good egg. 

Then we got into the process question and my mind was blown. Now you Brockmann fans know she writes intricate plots and ongoing series with twists and turns. Well she does big honking 80 page outlines. You should have heard the gasp of air suckage around the room. Me the pantser almost fell off my chair.

But to soften the blow she also believes in the crappy first draft and that big outline is taking into consideration up to 3 books out. Whew.

Also for you writers out there, when she’s in story mode she is writing 7 days a week. No breaks. She said that if she takes a day off it will take her 3 days to get back into the story.  I can so relate to that. No more breaks for me. One day turns to too many and nothing gets done.

There were so nuggets of gold in Suzanne’s talk and Q & A that I can’t get it all in. The last thing I’ll leave you with is she told us to respect yourself as a writer whether you’re published or not. I believe that is true for whatever dream you are pursuing. Respect yourself and believe in yourself.

Thanks so much Suzanne for a wonderful afternoon.

You can visit Suzanne at her site

Now back to the grind for me.




  • pve

    Thrilled that you were able to attend and to meet Suzanne – her words are wise! I am off to paint today-
    after meditation – I know that your passion for writing and my passion for painting are one part escape and the other part pure love. Find the love and it will never feel like work. I have been noticing that this attitude makes it so much easier than just dealing with it like a pile of laundry. Guess it could be called our “love grind” – oh, that did not sound right at all -but I know you will find the words.

  • deidra

    Sounds like a wonderful event with great advice! I’m so glad you got to experience that. I especially love that last little bit about respecting yourself. I have no publishing aspirations, but I do enjoy writing. Lately, my husband has been telling people that I’m a writer and I’m quick to correct him and say I’m not a writer, I’m just someone who likes to write. But isn’t that exactly what a writer is? Someone who likes to write. Being published is not the definition of a writer. Thanks for sharing that with us today.

    When you set Jack free from his time out, give him an extra hug from me.

  • Elizabeth Knowles

    I loved hearing her speak. I went right home, sat down, and revised another ten pages. I like the idea of taking a look at how successful authors did it–I went back to authors’ sites and read their bios. I entered a contest yesterday just for grins, and have settled in to finish my revision without taking a day off. Seven days per week–here I come!

  • Suzanne Brockmann

    Hi, Kwana!

    It was great getting to meet you again!

    Remember, plotter or not, there’s no wrong way to write. If it’s YOUR way, it’s the RIGHT way!

    Sending good vibes your way for your revisions…

    — Suz

  • Karen

    Great recap of a wonderful Saturday afternoon. Suzanne Brockmann rocked the house. Her words of inspiration has gotten my butt back into the chair. (Of course sitting straight up.)

    Thanks for sharing such a wondful post Kwana.

  • Carolyn

    Hi Kwana,

    This was a great post about our Saturday Brunch. Suzanne Brockmann was an inspirational and gracious. She gave us very good advice – and I loved the exercise she had us do to summon up the “writing in the flow” feeling.

    Thanks for the posting this great recap Kwana.