Today, we have a special treat here at Bayard & Holmes. We are delighted to be speaking with #1 New York Times Best Selling Author Sandra Brown. A former model and TV reporter, Ms. Brown has published over seventy novels. Sixty of those have been on the New York Times Best Seller List, including Lethal (2011), Rainwater (2010), Tough Customer (2010), and Smoke Screen (2008). Currently, Ms. Brown is anticipating a tour with the upcoming USO Operation Thriller.
Thank you so much for joining us here at our blog today, Ms. Brown. May I offer you a Smartwater and some cookies?
I’d like to introduce you to my spy thriller writing partner, Holmes. He is a man with experience in intelligence and covert operations.
Holmes: Welcome, Ms. Brown. On behalf of all the troops, I sincerely thank you for taking the time to participate in the USO Operation Thriller Tour. The troops know that you could have spent this time enjoying the resort of your choice anywhere in the world. The fact that you chose to be with them instead means more than you may ever realize.
Ms. Brown, we understand you were invited to join Operation Thriller. How do you feel about visiting some of the more politically unstable parts of the globe?
My focus will be on the men and women who are serving our country in these places. They face life-threatening dangers every day. I’ve been afforded a wonderful opportunity to thank them personally for the sacrifices they make 24/7.
I had the pleasure of meeting you at the DFW Writers Conference this past February. The first thing I noticed is what a fashionable lady you are. I’m wondering how that will mesh with your USO tour. Will you be required to wear a headscarf or any other specific attire when you are visiting troops in Muslim countries?
No, although that’s a question I’ve been frequently asked. I and the other authors are traveling as a unit, so we have military-type clothing to wear. It’s like nothing I’ve worn before, so just getting dressed each morning will be an adventure!
I also recall being impressed with how you glide in your high heels all day. Will you get to wear those while you’re there, or will you need something a bit more practical?
I have combat boots. . .which aren’t the black leather ones my husband remembers having to shine when he was in the Army. These are more like sneakers that are heavily padded and lace up several inches above the ankle. I’m trying to work mine in before I go.
That’s a good idea. It’s our understanding that you will be taking along copies of your latest book, Lethal, to sign for the soldiers. Would you please tell our readers a bit about Lethal?
This book is appropriate to take because the central character, Coburn, is former military, and there are frequent references to his (sometimes questionable) service. The plot is launched when he takes as hostage a young widow, Honor Gillette, and her four-year-old daughter. But it soon becomes apparent that Coburn is less of a threat than the people – some of whom are law officers – that are tracking them. It’s set in the bayous of coastal Louisiana, and there are some hair-raising scenes in which Honor and Coburn narrowly escape with their lives while trying to stay one step ahead of the Bookkeeper, the area crime kingpin. Honor’s fate depends upon her own courage and ingenuity, as well as her trust in Coburn, who is lethal, and yet, her only chance of survival.
In reading Rainwater and Lethal, I noticed how your love of home and family comes through. You have child characters and people who protect them in your books. Is this a conscious choice on your part, or is it intrinsic to your style?
Love in all forms is a mighty motivator. Characters who are not particularly courageous under normal circumstances, will, in the face of mortal danger, go to any lengths to protect their child or someone they love above all else. This is particularly evident in the books you cited.
Ms. Brown, is there anything you can tell us about your current project? Is it a romance, a suspense novel, another thriller, or something completely new?
LOL. All of the above. It’s a work in progress, so I don’t want to tell too much just yet. But I will say it’s a ‘who done it.’
One last thing. It’s been rumored that you are quite talented with a hula hoop. We just happen to have a hula hoop with us here today. Can you give us any tips?
I can hula hoop! For minutes at a time without stopping. I learned recently that there are now hula hoop workout classes. Great for the core!
Photo taken by Sandra’s husband, Michael Brown.
Now, that is some great hula-hoop style! Thank you, again, for taking time to visit with us today, and thank you, too, for your service to our troops. It’s been an honor to speak with you.
All the best to Sandra Brown for a safe and exciting tour with USO Operation Thriller.
Piper Bayard & Jay Holmes