Writing about a Military Heroine (guest post by Margie Church)
Thanks for welcoming me to Spunk & Hunks. Because you asked me to talk about the challenges of writing a military heroine, I brought an expert with me – Marine Major Skylar Landis from One Night in Minneapolis – to answer your question. Take it away, Skylar!
Skylar – That’ll be Major Landis to you, Ms. Church.
Margie – Honestly, Skylar, I outrank you by a country or two…I have the delete key.
Skylar – Don’t threaten me. I’m in your head.
Margie – Let’s cooperate today, shall we? Please?
Skylar – Manners count. Okay, so military characters are in several of Margie’s books.
Margie – Yes, The Poet’s Wife, is an excellent example.
Skylar – Are you going to keep interrupting?
Margie – Ah, sorry, no. Carry on. Please.
Skylar – As I was saying, military characters and locations are in several of Margie’s books, but in many ways, writing them is no different than any other character or location. It requires research. Like any place and time, there’s the potential for a reader to be a student of some aspect of the story. If Margie has done a crummy job of making the story credible, a reader will likely call her on it in a review. Not fun. In this case, I’m a military intelligence officer being deployed to the Middle East for a year. I’m happy to serve but the living conditions are going to suck. How do I know this? Margie has friends currently deployed or previously deployed. A few are intelligence officers. We are a tight-lipped bunch to be sure.
An underlying theme in One Night in Minneapolis is patriotism. Americans have the right to express their patriotism or not. In this story, I get an earful in more than scene about women in the military. Margie had the opportunity for me and Vince (my hunky weekend date) to take the high road or the low road in responding to these people. You’ll have to read the book to see how we did.
I also get a chance to humanize military officers. We’re not made of stone. We have emotions, families, friends, dreams and desires just like the rest of you. Our challenge is to keep those compartmentalized when we are protecting our country so we can return to those we love. Margie shed light on our emotional complexities.
Margie – Thank you, Skylar. Well said.
Would you get involved with an active member of the military? Why or why not?
About One Night in Minneapolis
Marine Major Skylar Landis doesn’t resemble the demure Catholic high school girl Vince Andersen once knew. They’d dated briefly until she patched things up with his nemesis, Ethan Standfeld. After school, she joined the Marines and they’d lost touch.
Their ten year class reunion in Minneapolis brings Skylar face-to-face with Vince, awakening her memories of the past. She asks him to plan a hot, no-strings-attached hook-up to sustain her sexual fantasies while her intelligence unit is deployed to the Middle East. As their adventure unfolds, and he gives her exactly what she needs, Skylar wonders whether she can forget the man who put her desires first and asked for nothing in return.