Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thursday Talk-Time - Brothers

Many readers adore linked books, and even more so when they feature families. Today Julie Miller talks about HER brothers, her books, and how writing her Brotherhood of the Badge series is a natural fit.

I have been blessed in my life to grow up with two wonderful brothers--one older, one younger. One brunette, one blonde. One who looks out for me, one who makes me laugh. One's a successful businessman and one's an engineer/military man. Both are tall. Both are smart (you want them on your Trivial Pursuit team ). Both are funny--though with decidedly different types of humor. Think goofball vs. dry wit. Both are talented, caring men. And--sorry, ladies--both are married.

I'm the middle child with an older brother who truly is a big brother to me. Back in high school and college, he looked out for me--I was shy and on the naive side, and he was the rebel who saw a lot more of the world than I even knew about. Now that we're both adults with families of our own, I still see the protective big brother come out from time to time. He's a successful businessman who is super smart about things about which I'm continually learning. For example, when I incorporated my writing business, we talked at length about positives and pitfalls and proper planning. I think my business life is a success due in great part to him.

My younger "baby" brother is the military man I often talk about. Like our father, he became a Marine, and after fulfilling his obligation, retired to start his family and work in civilian life. After 911, he returned to the military--this time in the army. He recently deployed for a second time (this war) and we are all so proud of him and pray for him and his troops and their families daily. Beyond the obvious heroic qualities of a man in uniform, I think my younger brother is even more heroic for a much more down to home reason. He's a fabulous father of 4 beautiful children (my big brother's no slouch in the dad department, either--I think their success is due to the fine example our father is)--and I'm amazed at how, even when he's overseas and away from home for 10-18 months at a time, he keeps in close contact with his kids and their lives. My sister-in-law runs that household as efficiently as any military commander when my brother is away, but it's so cool to see how he finds ways to listen, advise, support and be a part of his family, no matter where he is in the world.

Before I became a published author, I absolutely ate up stories and miniseries of books that featured brothers. Probably because of the wonderful inspiration I grew up with, but also because I've always loved connected books where you get to meet a character in one, see him as a hero in another, and revisit him in yet another story. Not only do I have the fun of spotting a future hero and imagining who he might fall in love with and what his story might be, but I get to really know him in his own story. Then those men who have touched my heart never really leave it because they show up in future books. Does anybody else love those connected books? What makes them so memorable for you? I'm thinking Linda Howard's MacKenzie brothers. Or Suzanne Brockmann's Tall, Dark & Dangerous books where the heroes may not share DNA, but they're certainly a band of brothers because they've served on special Navy Seal teams together. Who are some of your favorite "brother" books?

When my editor suggested I write a series about brothers, I said yes without hesitation. After all, I believe in the adage, "Write what you know." And, I also think "Write what you love" is smart advice. So… I love my brothers, I love those kinds of books--why not write them? I started my career at Intrigue writing my Taylor Clan miniseries, featuring 5 brothers, 1 cousin who was raised as a brother with them, and 1 extremely over-protected sister . And now again in 2008, I've launched another miniseries featuring brothers--The Precinct: Brotherhood of the Badge. This one features 4 brothers--Edward, Sawyer, Atticus and Holden. They're all cops. All hot hunks. And all determined to solve their father's murder. I even made their mother an English teacher (like me!) who gave them 4 literary hero names. Can you guess what works of literature inspired their names?

Here are the books and the brothers:

Protective Instincts--June 08--Thomas Sawyer Kincaid
Armed and Devastating--July 08--Atticus Finch Kincaid
Private S.W.A.T. Takeover--October 08--Holden Caulfield Kincaid
Kansas City Christmas--November 08--Edward Rochester Kincaid

I don't have to look any further than my own family to find inspiration for brothers who are heroes. The Kincaid boys may be fictional, but there's a lot of my two brothers in those stories.

Do you have any favorite brother stories--real or fiction--to share?

Happy Reading!
Julie Miller


  1. Hi Julie,

    l love your books. The action is fantastic. One of my favourite brother stories is Linda Windstead Jones, Sinclaire Brothers in Clints wild ride, in bed with boone and all the other linked books of the series.

  2. I loved the brothers in Julia Quinn's Bridgerton novels and in Linda Lael Miller's McKettrick series.

  3. I'm writing the first in 2 brothers right now.

    I love the literary names, Julie!


  4. Good morning, everyone! Or good evening, depending on your time zone ;)

    mau j--I love Linda Winstead Jones' books! Especially her Intimate Moments/Silhouette Romantic Suspense. Ugh. I'm blanking on the series name right now--but my faves were the special forces/bodyguards book.

    cheri--unfortunately, I don't read a lot of historical romance, but I have a good friend who swears by Julia Quinn's books. Nora Roberts has done some good brothers trilogies--I liked the Irish ones best.

    Donna--aren't they fun books to write? What are yours called?

    I'll check back later. Have a great day!


  5. Hey, Julie! Love the SWAT cover - that guy is drop-dead gorgeous! ;)

    I don't have any brothers but I love watching my husband with his brothers (he has two, both older). It's such a cool dynamic, so different from my relationship with my sisters, which makes it fun to observe. But the other thing I really like about your books is how you create brothers - the heroes in the Vice Squad series are as close as brothers. Those forged relationships can be as cool as blood ones.

    Congrats on another great series!

  6. Hi, Julie. I have three older brothers so I know what you're talking about!

    Since I was a kid I've been a big fan of the TV show Bonanza. I think part of the reason (besides thinking Adam, Hoss and Little Joe were cute)was how each brother had such a distinct personality, had their own opinions, but yet were loyal to each other down to the bone. I think such a strong bond is sexy!

    Right now I'm reading Deadly Night, the first book in Heather Graham's new Flynn Brothers Trilogy. BTW, I love all of your Kansas City books and I think part of reason is those bonds you create so well. Well, and then there is the fact you make all of your heros soooo sexy!!! Keep 'em coming.

  7. Thanks, Anne! I agree, heroes don't necessarily have to be blood brothers in order to get that "brotherly" bond feel. One of my favorite movies/TV shows ever is THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN. That story gives me the feeling of men who are as close as brothers, even though they're ethnically and culturally diverse. It's like Sherry said--it's all about that bond of loyalty, down to the bone. You know those men will come through for you when you need them most.

    Suzanne Brockmann's Tall, Dark & Dangerous books, and Navy Seal STs give me that same feeling. I spot a future hero as a supporting character in one book--see how he fits in with the 'family', then get psyched when his story comes out. Wes and Bobby Taylor were my absolute favorites of her heroes. Harvard, too!

    Sherry--I'm so with you on the Bonanza brothers. Depending on my mood, I had the hots for all the Cartwright boys. Suave intellectual Adam (I love smart men!). Action man Little Joe (how can you resist those eyes and dimples?). And Hoss, the gentle giant--to this day, a gentle giant is one of my favorite character types. The first brother in my Precinct: Brotherhood of the Badge books, Sawyer, in PROTECTIVE INSTINCTS, is a gentle giant. So, of course, I paired him up with a petite heroine who needed his gentleness as much as his vast strength. ;)

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Julie Miller