Countdown to Born to Darkness

February 22, 2012

28 days…

until Born to Darkness
hits bookstores and eReaders.

Day Seven…

A recommended read!The book is Danger Zone, available now in all e-formats from Carina Press.

The author is Dee J. Adams, and she’s graciously agreed to answer some of my questions today!

Here’s my nutshell review of this spicy romantic suspense:

“Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m a sucker for romances set in the world of movie-making. But in DANGER ZONE, Dee J. Adams not only uses her years of experience in Hollywood to create a delightfully gritty and authentic world filled with insider insights; she also creates a cast of very real and likable characters. I especially loved stunt-woman Ellie Morgan’s kickass, take-no-prisoners attitude, and her long-time friendship with her best-friend and roommate Ashley. As for the book’s hero, Quinn Reynolds? I’m in love. This one’s on my keeper shelf.” — Suzanne Brockmann

Here’s my interview with Dee J. Adams!

DangerZoneSuz: Danger Zone is set in the world of Hollywood movie-making. In fact, it’s a book about making a movie about a female race car driver, and it’s wildly entertaining, in part because of the authenticity you bring to the story, with your years of experience making TV shows and movies. I felt as if I were on set with your characters. I know you’ve worked on both sides of the camera. Tell my readers some of the highlights of your non-writing career.

Dee J. Adams: First, I have to say THANK YOU for all those kind words! I’m grinning so much my jaw hurts. And another thank you for including me in your countdown to Born to Darkness. I have to honestly say it might be my all time favorite Suz book. But, you’re waiting for my answers so here I go. Highlights, you ask. I have a few.

My very first show, I worked with a sixteen-year-old Matthew Perry. He was sweet and funny and I told him he was going to be huge. It was his very first sitcom (on Fox) called Boys Will Be Boys.

From there I went to work on Roseanne. I started off working as Roseanne’s stand-in, but quickly ended up being her dialogue coach. THAT was an experience. Roseanne taught me a lot about standing up for myself. After four years together she won her first and only Emmy.

The best part of that show was meeting a very young and adorable George Clooney. I’d been a fan of his since his reoccurring role on Facts of Life. He was always sweet and very devious, the master of the practical joke. He zinged me a couple of times on set, but he’d smile that gorgeous smile and it didn’t matter what he did.

I worked on a ton of pilots, but one of my favorites was called Maybe This Time, which starred Marie Osmond and Betty White. They were lovely women and worked so hard.

The only time I was speechless was when I met Elizabeth Taylor. I barely managed to squeak out hi. She was absolutely stunning. Definitely a highlight.

Suz: (Pardon me while I have a little George envy moment. Betty envy, too! LOL!)

Okay, I’ve recovered. <g> Danger Zone is the second book in a trilogy (right? Correct me if I’m wrong!), but it completely stands on its own. Even though I didn’t read the first book (yet!), and even though the hero and heroine of book one were major secondary characters in Danger Zone, I was never lost. I got a terrific sense of their past, because the movie that’s being made is their story. When writing an ongoing series with recurring characters, it’s always a challenge to tell that backstory in a creative, compelling way, and I thought what you did was brilliant. 

Dee J. Adams: Wow. Thank you!

Suz: Writers have a wide variety of methods, with the understanding that there’s no wrong or right way to write — there’s only YOUR way. So what’s your way? Are you a plotter or a pantser? Do you outline extensively or discover the story along the way or something in between? Did you know from the start that you were going to bring your movie-making background into this series of books like this?

Dee J. Adams: Usually I’m a plotter. I say usually because I wrote a book a while back with only the hero and heroine and their goals and the massive conflict between them. I had no idea where that book was going, but the characters drove that story from beginning to end. It was amazing and something I’d never done before.

Most of the time I don’t start a story until I know the ending. I honestly hadn’t thought about writing a series. After seeing the Indianapolis 500, I got the idea for Dangerous Race (Suz: this is book one in the series) and never looked back, but when I finished the book I thought I was done. Quinn slowly kept knocking around in my head and I had to figure out what his story was and how to tell it. It seemed perfect to make a movie of Dangerous Race for a couple of reasons. The first being that show business is close to my heart, not to mention interesting and entertaining. The second because I thought Quinn needed a gal who wouldn’t be taken in by his cheesy one liners. He needed someone to see the real guy and not the guy he thought the world expected to see. Ellie was perfect for him because she’s not fooled by appearances. Hollywood has taught her what matters in a person and it’s not their looks or their money.

Suz: Ellie was terrific. I loved her. Okay. Gotta ask it: What are your all-time favorite top three (can’t have just one!) movies? (And why!)

Dee J. Adams: Oh, man. That’s a tough one… I’m not a huge movie goer but I like conflict, chemistry, adventure, and comedy not necessarily in that order.

Okay, I’m embarrassed to admit this, but it’s true. I’ll tell you the reasons why I love this first one then I’ll tell you the movie. I loved the suspense and the never-ending roller coaster ride. I loved the banter between the hero and heroine. I loved the heroine’s bravery and willing to do what she had to do to keep herself and everyone counting on her alive. I loved the humor in the face of adversity. The movie:Speed.

Suz: No shame! LOL! Speed rocks. Written by Joss Whedon, btw. Speed directly inspired me to write Everyday, Average Jones, the third book in my Tall, Dark & Dangerous series about Navy SEAL Team Ten. That movie was so much fun, and I loved the chemistry between the h&h, but at the end, I found myself sitting there going “Now what? There needs to be a whole nother movie about how these two people have a relationship when things aren’t in danger of blowing up!” I went home and outlined EAJ.

Dee J. Adams: Next: Romancing the Stone. It’s the perfect romance novel in a movie. (As it was meant to be.)

Suz: I agree with you there, too. It’s definitely in my top ten!

Dee J. Adams: Last: Kate and Leopold. Again, great chemistry and conflict between the characters with a good amount of humor thrown in. (Can you see a pattern with me? <G>)

Suz: Absolutely. I have movies on my Top (muffled number somewhere between twenty and forty) list for the very same reason: Notting Hill. Ever After (Drew Barrymore’s version of Cinderella). American Dreamer (which is a not-very-well-known story about writers who find themselves in the thick of intrigue. It’s awesome.).

Next question. What’s on your TBR pile?

Dee J. Adams: (I have about 40 books stacked next to my bookshelf.) On my nightstand waiting for me immediately is Laura Wright’s Eternal Captive, the third book in her Mark of the Vampire series. I have the whole Black Dagger Brotherhood series by JR Ward waiting for me along with the last few Cherry Adair releases. (I should mention that I’m not a huge vampire fan, just a fan of awesome story telling.)

Suz: I’m a huge JR Ward fan – you’re in for a real treat! (Ooh, you know what I have on my TBR pile? Dangerous Race. I can’t wait to read it!) Thank you so much for joining me here on my BtoD countdown page! 

Here’s the blurb from DANGER ZONE:

In her ten-year career as a stuntwoman, Ellie Morgan has experienced her share of thrills. None compares to the rush of being behind the wheel of a race car for her latest movie shoot. Certain she was born to race, Ellie’s ready to shift gears-but a secret from her past holds her back.

Quinn Reynolds is tired of being in the driver’s seat of his family’s company, Formula Racing Design. He’s ready to sell-if he can get his co-owner and brother, Mac, to agree. Quinn’s not sure what he wants to do with his future, but almost as soon as he meets Ellie, he knows he wants her to be part of it.

Though Ellie tries to resist her attraction to the charming businessman, she’s quickly in danger of losing her heart. But after narrowly escaping “accidents” both on and off the set, it becomes clear that getting involved with Quinn could be downright deadly…

Suz: And here’s Dee J. Adam’s bio:

I was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. After graduating high school, I moved to Los Angeles and tried to make it in show biz. I got enough acting work to pay the rent and keep the S.A.G. card. (Screen Actors Guild in case anyone is wondering.) I also worked as a Dialogue Coach in sitcoms. (That’s code for acting coach and also means I helped the actors learn their lines.)

Writing came as a fluke. After a very intense dream (I apparently couldn’t stop talking about), my husband said, “Just write it down.” Prophetic words I took it to heart. Three weeks and fourteen hours a day later, I had a 450 page handwritten novel.

And so it began.

I am lucky to be married to the love of my life and we have one beautiful daughter. She was and continues to be perfect so I saw no reason for others!

I like kick-ass heroines and big stories. I like to read them and I like to write them. I like romance, adventure, a little mystery and happy endings. Romance is the perfect genre for me.

Visit Dee J. Adam’s website. Find her on Facebook. Follow her on Twitter

That’s today’s countdown.

Facebook users, pop over to my Suzanne Brockmann Facebook page to talk about today’s page!

Come back tomorrow for an interview on my friend Ing’s blog! Drop by and say hi — I’ll be popping in over there throughout the day.

Oh, yeah — a reminder! Check out my e-short, SHANE’S LAST STAND, available in all e-formats, wherever e-books are sold! Meet the hero of BtoD in his final mission with his SEAL team. (Meet his SEAL team!)

Born to Darkness