From my first book, The Eighth Day, to my current release, Forgive Us Our Trespasses, many readers emailed me or commented that “they could see it as a movie.” Or that “it should be a movie,” or “it would make a great movie.” My favorite is, “Why didn’t you make it as a movie?“
At some level, these well-intentioned comments bristle my literary soul. After all, a published book is the same achievement, relative to process, as a produced movie. They are both the end-product of creative inspiration. And each is the pinnacle of its art. (My card-playing Uncle Guido would say, “It’s da Pinochle a de art.” Uncle G always put his cards on the table.)
Last week I attended a very fancy dinner in a chic Manhattan restaurant. The check was more than my monthly rent when I was 35. Luckily, this time I was the guest. I’m no kid, but I was the youngest guy at the table. The purpose of the dinner meeting was to discuss a “big investment deal.” More money than the entire block I lived on back then costs. This was serious stuff. Four hours of exquisite apps, salmon, Delmonico steaks, wines, martinis, and “to the moon” desserts. All for three people!
But the amazing thing was we all had movie stories. It seems the movies were a common drug we were all addicted to. By mid-dinner, we were suddenly all teenagers, speaking of our hits and near misses in the movie biz, fueled by celluloid enthusiasm and cinematic verve, it was the most energetic part of the evening.
Orson Welles, in describing what it was like to be making his, (soon to be classic film), Citizen Kane, is quoted as saying, “It’s the biggest electric train set a boy ever had.” Well, the ‘little boys’ sitting around the table agreed.
The big, eight-figure deal may or may not happen, but that night, we all got to dabble in “the dream.”
P.S. Every time, and there are many, that some reader says my books should be a movie, I always ask, “You know anybody?“
For those of you that haven’t read my novels, Brooke Burrell has appeared in many of them. She had a great role in my first #1 bestseller, The Eighth Day, came to age as an operative in The Hammer of God, and took the lead in book number 3, The God Particle. Brooke then became the star of her own series when I wrote Give Us This Day.
In my latest book, Forgive Us Our Trespasses, the press, terrorists, and other groups go after Brooke for her unconventional methods used in eliminating a dire threat to millions of lives. Some take it too far, only to find out they have messed with the wrong, pregnant “housewife.”
Okay, sounds cool. But who is she?
She’s a tomboy turned Naval JAG Officer, turned FBI agent, and was the pointy end of the stick for the President of the United States. Brooke’s courage valor and situational awareness have earned her the right, and the reward, of being a top member of this ‘best-of-the-best’ team. Want a deeper look into Brooke’s world? Check out this interview.
Judy Helms: I recently had the chance to sit down, one-on-one with Brooke Burrell-Morton, many of you may not immediately recognize that name, but she’s been all over every TV, Newspaper, and checkout magazine for weeks. Here’s the first-ever interview with the woman who, in media shorthand, is referred to as, the BBK.
JH: Brooke, let’s get right to it, how do you feel now that it’s all over?
Brooke Burrell-Morton: Judy, all I know is, I was out of that life. I was happy here on the island, coaching girls’ soccer. Looking forward, with my husband, to bringing a new life into this world. That was all the excitement I was looking for, believe me, this whole nightmare was the last thing I needed. But looking at how it all came out, I guess it was inevitable.
JH: So how did you wind up in the middle of all this?
BB-M: I kept asking myself that same question, but when I think about it, it was that sixth sense from being in years of being in law enforcement that started nagging me, one of my girls was showing signs of abuse. So, I mean, I guess I got a lot to learn about no longer having a badge or creds. Anyway, I confront the dad in the parking lot of his job, he takes a swing at me, I duck, he falls. The next day the dad, he winds up dead, and I am murder suspect number 1.
JH: Did you?
BB-M: Did I what?
JH: You know, kill him?
BB-M: No way! All I did was try to put the fear of God into him, so he’d never raise a hand to his daughter again. He got all dead on his own time. Can we talk about something else?
JH: Sure. Tell me about Mush?
BB-M: Ah, he’s proof that if you wait till you see exactly what you want it’s the best thing ever. You know, I spent a long time married to the job. If I did meet a guy, he was either intimidated or afraid I’d lock him up. So, I kind of avoided the whole issue.
JH: So, what did you see in Admiral Brent “Mush’ Morton that told you he was the one?
BB-M: Well, there are less than 100 men in America who have been entrusted with the power to destroy 50 cities with one push of a button. So, my nuclear submarine Captain husband was already extremely vetted at the highest level. But he has what I call, command voltage, you feel it when you are with him. Also, his hands. Something about them, but most of all he’s incredibly passionate and truly an officer and gentleman.
JH: I ask because you know there was that rumor…
BB-M: Oh, him and Susan Brock, the Hollywood actress with the ‘leaked’ sex videos. Let me tell you something, any other guy would have jumped at the chance to be a notch on her garter belt, but my Mush, he taught her a thing or two about commitment and true love. We’re good me and her. In fact, she wants to play me in a movie someday. Haha!
JH: So now that I finally have the chance to interview the Blonde Bridge Killer, the toughest get in media I might add, it must have been a rude awakening, I mean, being a top-secret operative working for the president one minute, then suddenly on every TV news show, newspaper, and gossip magazine in the world, the next.
BB-M: Yeah, made me want to dye my hair.
JH: …and… that’s it? That’s all you are going to say about the most sensational news story of the decade, the insidious plot, the hundreds of thousands of lives, the entire civilized world brought to its knees?
BB-M: Look, Judy, that’s all classified, I can’t talk about, acknowledge, confirm, or deny anything. I thought that was made clear to your editor before I agreed to this sit-down.
JH: Can’t blame a girl for trying…
BB-M: That’s what Susan Brock said. Hahaha
JH: Can we talk about your brother, Harland for a minute?
BB-M: You know, I’m pregnant, more emotional than usual you sure you want to go there?
JH: I’m sorry it’s just, he was a big part of your life.
BB-M: Wow. Where do you get your intel? Yeah, Harland was my big brother, I grew up with 5 brothers, and I was a tomboy. Everybody was trying to get me to be a proper little girl, but not Harland, he said, “If you can whip ‘em, don’t back off.” So, for a while, I was the one to beat. I was pretty good at everything, but then the boys started to catch up as they got older, so Harland said, Brookie, he called me that, “You can’t outrun, or outplay them anymore, so you’ll just have to outsmart them.” And I did. When Harland was killed in Gulf War I, that was when I joined the Navy. I… I… I’m sorry.
JH: That’s okay take your time…
BB-M: When I was all alone, out in the middle of the ocean, and the sharks were circling, and I couldn’t fight them off and didn’t have the energy to swim to a life raft, Harland, he came to me, told me not to quit. And you know, that’s when Mush showed up in his 5-billion-dollar submarine and plucked me out of the ocean. I guess Harland knew I couldn’t die out there because I had, I had to, to meet Mush. Sorry, it must be the hormones…
JH: Do you need a minute?
BB-M: No, No I’m good…
JH: All right, you brought up hormones just now, obviously, this is your first child, you’re carrying beautifully, by the way, was it hard defending yourself against a murder charge, being hounded by the media as the Blonde Bridge Killer, and stumbling on to a terrorist plot worse than one thousand 911s while pregnant?
BB-M: It really sucked. The biggest problem was, yeah dealing with all that, what you mentioned, but here I am big as a house, in a moo-moo, while my husband is being propositioned by a sex goddess without an ounce of fat… and her own jet. That was hard. And yeah, constant bathroom breaks can really get in the way of a gunfight.
JH: For me, it was hard-boiled eggs and Welches’ grape juice. What was your craving?
BB-M: Brussel sprouts and a Cholados Colombianos. It’s a dessert made of chocolate, fruit, and ice. I had Mush going out in the middle of the night to a Colombian place on the other side of Honolulu for it. He finally got an ice crusher and all the ingredients.
JH: How did you ever…?
BB-M: Early in my career, I was stationed in Colombia, then when I was pregnant it came back to me.
JH: Well, thanks for your time, good luck with the baby, do you know what you are going to have?
BB-M: Sorry, but that’s classified as well… for now.
She’s pretty badass. Grab your copy of Forgive Us Our Trespasses today through Amazon or Barnes & Noble!
My 7th novel, Forgive Us Our Trespasses, is now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble! Click on your favorite book seller below to grab your copy, and don’t forget to enter the official giveaway for your chance to win a physical copy of it’s prequel, Give Us This Day!
But here’s the thing. Sex is as old as humankind. (that’s how we got humankind.) There’s nothing new about sex to write about. So, for an author, it’s all about circumstances and the emotions of the participants. That’s where the story lies. Or where most writers lie! You can’t improve on it or show some detail nobody ever thought of in over the two million years that we’ve been doing it. Or be presumptuous enough or try to match the euphoria of it or, unfortunately in some cases, the disappointment of it.
So it was with all that cold, detached dreading of the onerous task of writing a sex scene that I embarked on Pregnant Sex. Intellectually I knew there might be something there. It was kind of circular in its existence, being pregnant from sex while trying to have sex. It could be different, is it different? But again, it’s all about circumstance, and emotion. The hardest scene of the few “encounters” of my married, pregnant protagonist and her husband was the Doghouse sex scene.
Innocent is not a defense is a thru line to my new novel, the sequel to my #1 bestseller, Forgive Us Our Trespasses. It is true for Brooke Burrell-Morton, my hero, as well as for her husband. He is innocent in the matter of the sexist woman in Hollywood; Oscars, online sex tapes and all, making a play for him. “Thanks, Miss Brock, but I already have my leading lady.”
But his wife, Brooke, isn’t letting him off the hook, or out of the doghouse, that easy. So, the sex scene is full of subtext, innuendo, and guile, and of course, because they truly love, trust and adore each other, a few satisfying conclusions. But truth be told, I’d rather write a thousand gunfights. No woman would ever take me to task over those, but this pregnant sex, I expect, will deliver many emails. Hopefully, healthy ones.