Morticia: Any time I write, there's always a certain level of research I have to do - even when I feel I'm well-versed in the subject matter. But with this one, I had a double whammy. I not only needed to to make sure I had the aspects of the particular jets I used correct - as well as the typical military parlance - but this is the first story I've written not set on U.S. soil. While I do appreciate Google Earth maps, I found it unsettling that I could look at Aviano Air Base so closely! I used it more for the surrounding area than the base - I used a friend's descriptions for the actual base itself.
Megan: Absolutely there was a lot a research involved. Unlike writing paranormal creatures where the author can manipulate the characteristics of the characters to fit the story, writing military characters requires knowing exact details and facts. Readers will know if the author isn't sure about the job or branch of the military being used. I talked to Airmen and did extensive reading to ensure I knew what I was talking about for Hunter and Ryder. I love these two guys and felt they deserved to have their story told properly.
Morticia: I'm very mood driven, so that's what inspires me more than anything! I love military stories, but I would write them in any era. As a matter of fact, I'm outlining a WWII Air Force story to work on sometime later in 2016.
Sarah: I like writing in all genres, although I do tend to veer more towards contemporary. It involves less research LOL. Also, I'm lucky in that I have sons around the age of the characters I write, so I hopefully come across as authentic. Mind you, my characters in Live for the Day are American, and I can only hope I managed to create plausible American men. I imagine Brit boys are very different!
TA: I think what appeals to me about men in uniform is the fact that they are willing to put their lives on the line without expecting any kind of recognition or reward. Plus they’re usually really fit and take care of themselves. Who doesn’t like a man who fills out his uniform in all the right ways? ;) lol
Jenna: I’ve never written about military men before so researching this story was quite an experience. The whole idea of the Air Force brought to mind “Top Gun” images of sexy and cocky pilots. Good guys, because they’re always helping others, yet just naughty enough to inspire lots of thoughts and images!
TA: I enjoy writing about the ones left behind. They are the true unsung heroes—and heroines—of the military. While their loved ones are gone, they have to be both parents to any children they might have and the only responsible adult in case anything goes wrong. Sometimes they have no idea where their loved ones are in the world, so they have to have faith that they’ll come back safe.
Sarah: I didn't have to write about him being left at home in much depth as my characters are reunited early in the story, but I must say the aspect of missing someone wasn't difficult to write about. We all miss someone at some point, don't we, so I was able to draw from my experience. I'm glad the story didn't dictate that I had to go right into an emotional tailspin in that regard, though. I didn't fancy baring my soul and ending up a blubbering mess at my desk!
Jenna: As I did research for this story I discovered that pararescuemen are among the most highly trained emergency trauma specialists in the US military. Their medical and rescue expertise make them the perfect candidates to perform life-saving missions in the some of world's most remote areas. Their motto is "That Others May Live." And jumping out of planes just sounds like fun.
Megan: Yes, I do. There's a certain elegance in writing short. The author has to tell many details in a tiny space of time. I like being able to write snapshots from my characters--a few days that changed their lives or a few hours that serve as a turning point for them. It's fun, but challenging. There's only so much space and so many words, but so much story to be told. I enjoy the challenge. I hope the readers do, too.
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