Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Five Secrets from Author Richard Brawer

Richard Brawer writes mystery, suspense and historical fiction novels. When not writing, he spends his time sailing and exploring local history.  He has two married daughters and lives in New Jersey with his wife.

Hi Richard, please tell us Five Secrets we may not know about Love’s Sweet Sorrow or you, but will after today!

1) This is embarrassing, but I did very poorly in college English courses especially creative writing. Writing a novel was the last thing I ever thought I would do. However I was an avid reader of newspapers and mysteries novels.

One day I read a horrendous newspaper story about a baby born with a brain impairment and the father refused to take him home from the hospital. The article quoted the nurses’ outrage.

My imagination took over and I asked: What happened to the baby? Was it murdered? Was it switched for a healthy baby? Thus in 1994 my first mystery book, Secrets Can Be Deadly was born and I was hooked on writing.

2)  All my books have a strong woman as a counter to the protagonist and end up challenging him and making him grow as a character.  Since my protagonist in Love’s Sweet Sorrow is the head of the legal department of America’s largest weapons manufacturer I decided to make his love interest someone completely opposite to him, a Quaker. The book started out as strictly a suspense novel titled The Bishop Committee, but as I wrote it quickly became a romantic suspense. The publisher changed the title to Love’s Sweet Sorrow because it closely resembles the story.

3) Don’t confuse the Quakers with the Amish. The Amish are withdrawn from modern society. Quakers fully participate in the modern world. 

Quakers are Christian. I am Jewish and except for the obvious, I found the Quaker religion very interesting. The general perception of a Quaker is that they are all pacifists. They are not. Some do fight in wars.

Please don’t misunderstand me here. Love’s Sweet Sorrow is not a religious book. There is no preaching. The Quaker religion is used to explain the conflicts between the characters and is presented minimally in dialogue and actions.

4) I had entered this book in the Chesapeake Romance Writers, “Finish That Damn Book” contest. The rules were you could not have a contract to publish. When I entered the contest I did not have a publisher. However I had to withdraw the book because I did get a contract before the winners were announced.

They sent me my scores anyway. I received 137 out of 150 points. That’s 91% like. Everyone who has read Love’s Sweet Sorrow found it fresh and unique. The book had not been professionally proofed when I sent it to the contest and I lost some points because of punctuation and editing. It seems I can spin a good yarn, but those pesky Ds in English still haunt me.

5) Now I would like talk about something not related to this book, but very dear to me. My daughter and son-in-law live in Annapolis within walking distance of the Naval Academy. They volunteer as sponsors for plebes (freshmen). Once approved as a sponsor the academy assigns a plebe to them.

As a sponsor they invite the young man/woman into their home when he/she has time off so they can unwind. They feed him/her with food everyone craves, but is not readily available at the academy―pizza, hotdogs, hamburgers, chips and assorted sweets. The first year at the military academies is very intense. Not only is the caliber of education on par with M.I.T., Sanford, U.C. Berkley and the Ivy League, but in addition there is military training. 

Mu daughter  told me two interesting stories about her “charges,” one funny and one serious. The funny one first. Twin girls who live in Maryland within the allowable distance for weekend travel do not go home when they get a pass. They go to her house because that’s where the gathering is.

The serious one is about a young man who was struggling. They encouraged him to keep plugging away and helped him with his studies when they could.  Instead of flunking out, the young man will graduate in 2015.


It is said opposites attract. There can’t be two people more opposite than Ariel and Jason. Ariel is a traditional Quaker with an absolute aversion to war. Jason is the lead council for America's largest weapons manufacturer.

Their budding romance is thrown into turmoil when Jason uncovers evidence linking his employer to international arms deals that could devastate America. His determination to stop the treason puts Ariel in the middle of dangerous territory.

As the chases to retrieve the evidence intensify Ariel is forced to kill to save Jason’s life. She withdraws into a battle raging inside her, unable to reconcile whom she has been to whom she has become. Delving deeply into hers and Jason’s long-held opposing convictions she questions whether they are truly meant to be together.

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