With: Sandra Brown
I started out writing genre romances. In the early ‘80s, the American publishers wanted a piece of the Harlequin pie. Romances from American writers, with American settings were in high demand. My timing was good. Fast forward several years. I wanted to branch out – both from a creative standpoint as well as a marketing standpoint -- by incorporating more suspense and mystery into my books, while maintaining the love story. That’s how I came to write “romantic suspense.” I love this genre!
What are some common misconceptions about writers?
That we sit around waiting for inspiration. I get inspired to eat a bag of Fritos all by myself, or to watch “Pretty Woman” yet again, or to buy a pair of shoes that I don’t need. But writing is my profession. I approach it as such. Yes, ideas strike me, and I dream up characters and stories for them, but I don’t wait for a thunderbolt. I roll up my sleeves and go to work every day.
Can you offer any advice to new or aspiring authors?
My advice to aspiring writers would be to read, read, read and to write, write, write. Reading is the fun part, of course. Writing is the work. I know of no other way to write than to string words together one word at a time. It requires hours of lonely, diligent, often tedious labor. Don’t aspire to do it unless you’re willing to work. As hard as you think it is, it’s harder. But the rewards are many!
Who would you like to meet in person?
I presume you mean living or dead? I’d like to meet Audrey Hepburn. Such beauty, class, talent, but mostly such selflessness.
How do you come up with the titles for your novels?
Titles can be tough, or terribly easy. I sent in PLAY DIRTY without a title and rejected titles suggested by the publisher. Ultimately I was given a weekend to arrive at a title because the book was going into production the following Monday. “Untitled Sandra Brown” just wasn’t going to cut it! I was doing a power walk through my neighbourhood, when the title popped into my head. I knew immediately it was perfect for the story – from many angles. I wanted to ask myself, “Was that so hard? Duh!” MEAN STREAK, by contrast, was there as soon as I began conceiving the story.
Dr. Emory Charbonneau, a pediatrician and marathon runner, disappears on a mountain road in North Carolina. By the time her husband Jeff, miffed over a recent argument, reports her missing, the trail has grown cold. Literally. Fog and ice encapsulate the mountainous wilderness and paralyze the search for her.
While police suspect Jeff of “instant divorce,” Emory, suffering from an unexplained head injury, regains consciousness and finds herself the captive of a man whose violent past is so dark that he won’t even tell her his name. She’s determined to escape him, and willing to take any risks necessary to survive.
Unexpectedly, however, the two have a dangerous encounter with people who adhere to a code of justice all their own. At the center of the dispute is a desperate young woman whom Emory can’t turn her back on, even if it means breaking the law.
As her husband’s deception is revealed, and the FBI closes in on her captor, Emory begins to wonder if the man with no name is, in fact, her rescuer.
About Sandra:Sandra Brown is the author of sixty-three New York Times bestsellers, including DEADLINE (2013), LOW PRESSURE (2012), LETHAL(2011), TOUGH CUSTOMER (2010), SMASH CUT (2009), SMOKE SCREEN (2008), PLAY DIRTY (2007), RICOCHET (2006),CHILL FACTOR (2005), and WHITE HOT (2004).
Brown began her writing career in 1981 and since then has published over seventy novels, bringing the number of copies of her books in print worldwide to upwards of eighty million. Her work has been translated into thirty-four languages.
A lifelong Texan, Sandra Brown was born in Waco, grew up in Fort Worth and attended Texas Christian University, majoring in English.
She is much in demand as a speaker and guest television hostess. Her episode on truTV’s Murder by the Book premiered the series in 2008. She appeared in 2010 on Investigation Discovery’s new series, Hardcover Mysteries.
In 2009 Brown detoured from her thrillers to write Rainwater, a much acclaimed, powerfully moving story about honor and sacrifice during the Great Depression.
Brown holds an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Texas Christian University where she and her husband Michael Brown, have instituted the ELF, a scholarship annually awarded to a student pursuing a fiction writing career. In 2008, she was named Thriller Master, the top award given by the International Thriller Writer’s Association. Other awards and commendations include the 2007 Texas Medal of Arts Award for Literature and the Romance Writers of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2011 she and four colleagues went on a week-long USO tour to Afghanistan, meeting with service members on numerous bases.
Sandra is the past president of the Mystery Writers of America in 2012. She lives in Arlington, Texas, with her husband, Michael Brown.