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September 11 Email: Body

News From Suz Brockmann, Romance Writer *** PO Box 5092, Wayland, MA 01778 10/13/01
It feels like at least a hundred years since I sent my last newsletter to you -- and yet it's only been a month.

These past few weeks have seemed endlessly long, filled with grief and anger, frustration and sorrow, and no small amount of fear. But they've also marked the return of a remarkable unity among Americans, as well as an outpouring of love and support and friendship -- which has given birth to something really amazing.

It's growing larger every day -- rising from that slash of raw earth in that field in Pennsylvania where the word "heroism" was redefined. It's there in the rebuilding of the Pentagon, in the scaffolding that marks new walls going up, in the American flag that hangs defiant. It's in the heart of every American from sea to shining sea -- and in the hearts of all of our peace-loving neighbors in a world that's grown a little smaller and a whole lot closer these past weeks.

It's hope for the future, lifting right from the ashes of the World Trade Center, rising from the very middle of that place of devastation and death and maddeningly zealous destruction.

The seeds of that hope were planted in all the phone calls home from the victims on those airplanes, and the victims in the Twin Towers who didn't make it out. When faced with such hatred, with an evil madness powerful enough to end so many lives, their response was one of LOVE. Those people who knew they were about to die called home. They called mothers and wives and husbands and children to tell them how much they loved them.

In that face of that madness, their words were of LOVE.

Imagine that. A hatred enough to cause exploding airplanes and tumbling buildings begat LOVE. And those phone calls were just the beginning. Firemen and police raced into buildings about to crumble, sacrificing their own lives to try to save others. Strangers carried strangers out to the street. People who might not have made eye contact just minutes earlier picked each other up off the ground and helped each other to safety.

And here's something that those terrorists probably don't understand. When countered with love, hatred doesn't stand a chance. Yes, hatred seems to have triumphed on September 11th with so many innocent people lost to us forever. But for every loss, there were dozens of victories. For every victim, a dozen miraculous escapes, a dozen survivors.

And like those survivors, covered with ash and dust, stumbling and dazed, leaning on one another for support and comfort, hope emerged from the darkness.

Hope -- that it's finally time for this world of people of vastly different cultures and religions to learn to live in peace. Hope, born out of the truth that we're more alike than we are different. We all laugh and cry and protect our children and mourn our dead. And we all reach out to help one another in times of need. We all LOVE.

Funny, isn't it, that it took Osama Bin Laden and those terrorists who follow his doctrine of bitter hatred to really drive that point home.

But there's more than hope growing across America today. There's also steely determination.

I can see that determination in the square-shouldered stance of the young soldiers who guard the army base not far from my house, weapons held at ready. I know that that determination is in the hearts of all the men and women of the U.S. Military and the FBI -- the men and women so like the ones I write about in my books.

My characters are based on real life heroes and heroines. There ARE real men and women like Tom Paoletti, Stan Wolchonok, Sam Starrett and Alyssa Locke. And they're working hard -- right now -- to make sure that America remains the land of the free.

And as for the rest of us, well, we've already learned that America is still the home of the brave.

READER Q: This month's question comes from Natalie, who asked to be credited as being "Natalie Damschroder, author of Second Chance at Forever, now available at Echelon Press." (Fair enough. <g>)

She wrote: "I just wanted to take a moment of your super-busy time to inquire if you know anything about the future of your upcoming releases. Specifically, the March book for Ivy. (Suz: That would be OUT OF CONTROL.)

"I am most eager for Out of Control and am concerned that Ballantine will scrap publication of it. I don't know the premise but expect that it deals in some way with terrorism. (Suz: Yes, it does.) I very much hope they will continue as planned, both because I love your characters and need to find out what happens to them, but also because your books define the triumph of Us (American and the rest of the world) over Them (terrorists standing in for Evil), and may give your readers more of that triumph than we will ultimately get in real life.

"Anyway, I'd love any info you can give, if indeed anything has yet been discussed. It may be too soon--I never claimed to be patient. :)"

My reply to Natalie:
OUT OF CONTROL is still set for a March 2002 pub date. Ballantine is not afraid of the contents of any of my books! LOL!

I did discuss with my editor the fact that Osama Bin Laden's name appears in the prologue to OOC (he doesn't play a part in the book at all -- he's just mentioned there as an example of a terrorist who can afford to buy expensive weaponry!), and we agreed (at her suggestion) to take his name out. Coupla reasons -- back when I wrote the book, he was barely known (although I've had a file on him for years). Now everyone knows his name and will forever associate it with the WTC attack. Secondly, we are all hoping that by the time OOC comes out in March 2002, Bin Laden will no longer be a terrorist threat.

But that's the only change we've made in the entire 620 manuscript pages long book. <g> (Yes, OOC is a very long book. I challenge you to read it in one night. LOL!) Everything else is exactly as I wrote it, prior to 9/11.

As for the series: I have every intention to continue writing it according to my master plan. I outlined Sam and Alyssa's story a loooong time ago. What a bummer that would be if I didn't get to tell it! But don't worry -- my editor is as eager for S&A's story as the rest of you seem to be!

Although, wouldn't it be nice if terrorism ceased to be a threat? Even though all my characters are counterterrorism experts, I would LOVE to see them all out of a job, wouldn't you? Don't worry -- I'd certainly find something else useful for them to do, to keep these books coming.

I've got lots of stories to tell yet -- Mike, Jenk, Jazz, Sam & Alyssa, Max and Gina to name but a few!

This series is definitely "to be continued..."

That's all for now!

Stay safe and fly your flag high! And remember the words of Dr. Martin Luther King: "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction....The chain reaction of evil--hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars--must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation."

In the words of the Indigo Girls:
"...turning off the light switch is their only power
So we stand like spotlights in a mighty tower
All for one and one for all
Then we sing a common call:
Let it be me! (This is not a fighting song)
Let it be me! (Not a wrong for a wrong)
Let it be me!
If the world is night...
Shine my life like a light!"

Shine on!

As usual, please post this newsletter wherever romance fans gather! Please forward it to friends, post on BB's and lists, and print out and post in your favorite bookstore! (Thanks again, from the bottom of my heart, for all your support!)

Suz Brockmann
Upcoming release dates:
OUT OF CONTROL, Ballantine, March 2002
PRINCE JOE, Mira, Tall, Dark & Dangerous #1, May 2002
HARVARD'S EDUCATION, Silhouette Reissue, Tall, Dark & Dangerous # 5, February 2002
Still in bookstores:
OVER THE EDGE, Ivy Books, September 2001
THE UNSUNG HERO, Ivy (Voted RWA's #1 Favorite Book of the Year!)
BODY GUARD, Fawcett (Winner of the RITA Award!)

September 11 Email: Date


September 11 Email: Subject

News from Suz: 10/13/01


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