November 16, 2012
My latest book, Heart of Danger, published by Avon Red, has just come out. It is the first book in the Ghost Ops Trilogy, about three brave men betrayed by their country who save the world, and the women with special gifts who help them.
The heroes in Heart of Danger belong to the most elite unit in the military. Ghost Ops—their pasts have been cancelled and they don’t exist. Just don’t meet them in a dark alley.
I write a lot about military heroes. First of all, I write romance, so at any rate the men are virile and brave and strong and true. They fight for what is right and have no compunction in laying their lives on the line.
For many years I was a simultaneous interpreter and I worked for all the major international institutions and I saw politics up close. I saw what’s happening in many countries in the third world up close. I have strong political opinions. I think the world is drowning in violence and greed. I think if we don’t stand up for what is right this world might actually end. Whether we bomb ourselves to death or poison ourselves to death, we are on a march to self-destruction. My protagonists feel this very sharply, too. I honestly don’t understand how anyone can read the newspaper and not be alarmed.
I enjoy researching my military heroes a lot. I read a lot of soldiers’ memoirs. Today’s military is full of amazing men and women who are very smart and very brave and understand exactly what they are getting into and still walk into the fire.
My guys are real alpha males. They are the apex of the pecking order, any pecking order you choose except maybe money. You can be an alpha male either by virtue of your money or by virtue of your strength and courage. A lot of romance heroes have more money than God. Of course a very very very rich man has a certain attraction, because he is so powerful, but just stop to think about it. He has spent a goodly portion of his life…making money. Which is nice, but as a life goal, I’m not too sure how attractive that is. Plus, I like to think—and I want my readers to absolutely believe—that this man, the hero of my book, is a man who can commit to something larger than himself.
My heroes are mostly elite soldiers from Special Forces. They have to want very hard to be a SEAL, a Ranger, a Delta operator, or in my new trilogy, a member of Ghost Ops. They have to work hard at it, and they must engage their mind, their body and their soul. People sometimes forget that these men are also supersmart. They are essentially engineers, navigators, linguists, computer experts, diplomats. While also being world-class athletes, excellent shots, experts in hand to hand combat and weaponry.
What they do requires unceasing effort for many years, many of them spent in danger. They swore an oath and by God they keet it. Their degree of commitment is so strong that I never have my heroes be actively serving. While in the service, their first loyalty is to the military. But once they are free, they have, by the very virtue of having served in elite units, shown that they are capable of unswerving loyalty, they do not give up when the going gets tough, and they can always do the hard thing.
Because, well life sometimes throws you hard things to deal with. Not just bullets but illness and financial problems and family problems.
The virtues that go into making an elite soldier can also be considered the same type of virtue that goes into making a good partner/husband.
Because, well, as I’ve said before, if he’ll take a bullet for you, he probably won’t leave you when you get breast cancer.
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