M. L. Buchman has worked in fast food, theater, computers, publishing, and light manufacturing. It’s amazing what you can do with a degree in geophysics. At one point he sold everything and spent 18-months riding a bicycle around the world. In 11,000 miles, he touched 15 countries and hundreds of amazing people. Since then, he has acquired a loving lady, the coolest kid on the planet, and lives in Portland, Oregon. For more information, please visit



What I Know…Now.

Hello Wendy, and hello Wendy’s moma(April)! Thanks so much for having me aboard.

One of the funniest things anyone can say to a writer is, “write what you know.” Let’s see, I wasn’t very good at teeter-totter, but I was good at swings. I’ve been a computer programmer and house designer, I’ve even ridden my bicycle solo around the world, but the battlefield of that childhood playground is about the closest I’ve ever been to a military operation. Then again, I’ve never done what’s in most of my books. My military romantic suspense is no exception.

“The Night is Mine” is based on the real-life Night Stalkers, the U.S. Army’s 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. The folks who fly helicopters to deliver Special Forces to places we’ve never heard of. Grenada, Somalia, bin Laden’s compound, those we know. Most we don’t and never will.

Three years ago I had never heard of them. I found them through serendipitous research, looking for one thing and finding another. I was looking for an exotic helicopter for a hero to be rescued by and stumbled on the 160th SOAR.

I think there have been three real challenges for me in writing military romantic suspense.

First, military knowledge. That’s been a matter of straight research and a bit of conjecture. I’ve read pretty much every book there is about the Night Stalkers, there are six of them that I’ve found and all grace my bookshelf. I’ve read helicopter maintenance manuals and how to field strip a rifle. I’ve watched movies, documentaries, and YouTube clips. I’m sure I got some of the details wrong, for which I apologize, but I hope that I’m realistic enough that those who serve will at least know I tried.

Second, warrior knowledge. I am anything but a warrior. The first time I wrote a warrior, my critique group laughed him out of the room, so my groundwork was laid out for me… I could only improve.  I read accounts by inserted journalists, retired NAVY Seals, accounts by veterans from most of the recent wars. I read horrid novels, that even I knew were wrong, and great ones that inspired me to keep reading. I also had the good fortune to interview a Coast Guard heli-pilot and a female Chief Mechanic of a Black Hawk recently returned from flying daily missions in Iraq.

I began to get a feel for what motivates a warrior, a non-civilian. Someone that we civilians would call a fighter, though they wouldn’t. I hope that I was able to capture even a part of why they serve. They are not unthinking robots, and that is true ten times over for the ones who chose it as a career. To serve with the Night Stalkers you require a minimum of five years experience before you are allowed to apply. You actually will have volunteered and been tested five separate times before you can reach SOAR. And that’s when the two years training begins before you’re declared mission ready. These people are as elite as the top players in any field.

Third, and this was the kicker, self knowledge. I had to change the way I thought about the military and about myself. I was too young for the ‘60s, but I was old enough to wear a black armband with a red peace symbol to my sixth grade class to protest our actions in Vietnam. I had to unlearn part of that. Not any questions of the rightness or wrongness of such an action, but rather the separation of policy versus practice. Policy is set by governments and the practice is done by our military, our soldiers who carry it out to the best of their abilities under conditions that stagger me more and more as I learn about them.

It has reshaped how I think about myself as well. I have had to learn to respect myself more as an American. To respect myself more as someone who wants to show as true and deep a commitment as the Night Stalkers show in their choices, and partly because of them I get the inestimable luxury to do that without being shot for doing so.

When I set out to write this book, I was off to have fun.  And I did. I didn’t set out to be changed by what I wrote. I didn’t set out expecting to feel how important it was to honor these people even while I worked to make the characters exciting, engaging, and perhaps even memorable. But look what I know…now.

The CNN film crew had made it fun. But now…

The laptop stood balanced on a couple of empty, dull green, ammo cases for the minigun. Sweaty pilots and crew stood gathered around it, waiting for the network to roll the clip.

Captain Emily Beale’s free hand rested on the M9 Beretta sidearm in her holster. Tempting. A couple of 9mm rounds through the screen might cheer her up significantly. But then they’d know how she felt. Be hard to laugh it off after that level of mayhem. She knew hundreds of ways to kill a person, but how do you kill a newscast? Shooting a laptop didn’t meet the ultimate criteria for complete suppression. She scanned the intent faces of her flightmates. Still, a bit of localized destruction held its temptations.

Thanks again, Wendy and moma(April)!

M.L. Buchman


NAME: Emily Beale

RANK: Captain

MISSION: Fly undercover to prevent the assassination of the First Lady, posing as her executive pilot.


NAME: Mark Henderson, code name Viper

RANK: Major

MISSION: Undercover role of wealthy, ex-mercenary boyfriend to Emily


Their jobs are high risk, high reward:

Protect the lives of the powerful and the elite at all cost. Neither expected that one kiss could distract them from their mission. But as the passion mounts between them, their lives and their hearts will both be risked…and the reward this time may well be worth it.

 Available at: Amazon,B&N,Smashwords


*Giveaway sponspored by the publisher*

Thanks to Danielle,at Sourcebooks, we are offering 2 lucky commenters a print copy (1 for each winner) of “The Night is Mine” by ML Buchman. Open to U.S. and Canada residents only. No P.O. Boxes,please. Giveaway to run from today,February 8 until February 15,2012. **Must comment on what you learned from this interview about the Military and/or the author**

**Please tag,facebook,tweet,and/or blog about “The Night Is Mine”**

**Visit for our “Thoughts” on “The Night Is Mine” by ML Buchman**



  1. I can't believe Matthew rode 11,000 miles on a bicycle. It must have been amazing seeing all those countries. His muscles must have also been sore after all those miles. I've always wanted to fly in a helicopter, but I'm afraid of heights. I can't believe there's still two years of training after you reach SOAR. Wow! Can't wait to read this book. Thanks for the giveaway.


  2. I learned the author has tried many carers then seem to leave it all behind to bicycle though out the entire world. WOW! Now he seems to have found a more peace full life style with family. Also I found this book to be and interesting read about the military.

  3. This book looks amazing! I have never heard of the Night Stalkers, never gave it a thought about the people who fly the helicopters for the troops. Never guessed that they had special training or were part of a group. I'd love to be entered to win this one. Can't wait to read it.

  4. I generally read books written by women, but this looks like a really interesting story with a lot of suspense. And I love the military aspect.

  5. I've always admired and enjoyed reading about military characters. I have a general knowledge but I know there are many elements of military life I am missing on. I can see why they are considered elite members considering the extenseive training and multiple testing they go through. Now that is hard work and dedication and all the more why I appreciate them in books and real life.

  6. Hi and thanks for all the nice comments,
    Joanne, to ride a bicycle solo around the world for 18 months all I had to do was lose everything, you know, business, career, house, car, etc. When my life compressed to the point where I could pick it up with one hand, I had a fully loaded touring bike. The places where cool, the people fantastic, the wildlife only moderately aggressive (one ticked off mama elephant chasing me down a highway in India), thought the mosquitoes in Hungary were fiercely aggressive. But the real gift, the absolute best (and worst) part of a trip like that is the gift of time. The chance to rethink every decision I'd ever made, and every decision I wasn't going to make wrong again in the future. I came back a very different person, far more centered, far more myself rather than what others wanted/imagined me to be. I also came back with my first draft of my first novel.

    Hi Barb, Many careers, hmmm, yep! That about covers it. I finally found a common thread though, I LOVE projects. Ever since I lead my first team building a high school theater set at 15, I've loved projects. So, I've done them in theater, law, many in computers, designed and built a couple of houses, construction manufacturing and now back to law. But the most fun projects? Sitting in my corner and making stuff up. I am just impassioned about writing. It's the best thing I've done other than hanging out with my wife and the best step-twerp on the planet.

    Hi Martha, Diana & Na, I've discovered there are dozens upon dozens of aspects to the military. The problem I see is that civilians, myself included, think of them as "them." Military folks. Even just in Special Forces there are degrees, levels, specialties. There are swimmers, SEALS, Delta, airplane people, helicopter people, construction people, intelligence specialists, combat search and rescue, trainers for each of these, the list goes on. And that's just in Special Forces, then there are all of the branches of the military. When I stumbled on SOAR I was captivated and just had to know more and started to write about them. And just as many divisions and types of military there are than many sub-specialties. For example, each helicopter carries its own spread of pilot, copilot/weapons officer, two mechanics/gunners, each with their own specialties. These folks are amazing. And that's what I set out to try and capture. How amazing these people are.

    Sorry for such a long answer, but I got behind the curve with my day job.
    Shout out any questions and I'll be glad to sit in my corner and make something up. 🙂
    Thanks again, ML Buchman

  7. I have to admit, I'm following your blog tour with great interest, especially since I have finished reading the book and was convinced you had actually logged hundreds of hours in helicopters. I am stunned that you managed this depth of believability without having lived the military life. Well done!

    1. Hi Laurel,
      I always dreamed of being a pilot. I got my fixed wing private ticket (small planes like Cessnas), but after about 100 hours of flight time, I discovered I was partially red/green colorblind. Not enough to not fly, but enough it would probably never be a career. To this day I regret slipping my log book away in my bookcase, I still hope to bring it out someday. I look forward to flying again, especially rotorcraft. To make up for it I did an immense amount of research, perhaps not enough to fool a real flyer, but enough to show I really tried. The rest I just made up! That's the fun of writing fiction. Could Emily Beale really make those flights, especially the end one? I have no idea. But I wanted to give enough believability that it felt real. And I did a lot of that by making each moment of flight as real for her emotionally as I could. The mechanics, well, that's nice window dressing and I'm glad you liked it. It was her and Mark's interaction with each other and the world around them that fascinated me.

  8. I have not heard of the U.S. Army’s 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment before. I'm amazed at the amount of research you have done in order to write this book and I am definitely intrigued by the story; these are the types of stories I enjoy reading. I'm also impressed with how you changed your thoughts about the military. I'm looking forward to reading The Night Is Mine. Thanks for the giveaway

    1. I never had either. I stumbled on SOAR because I needed an exotic military helicopter for another story… and there they were. They are one of the quietest operations in the U.S. Army. Delta Force is probably the only one quieter, but Chuck Norris put them in the public's eye, at least a little. Researching SOAR is very hard. Oddly enough, I got to help design some of their barracks when I was working in construction manufacturing, but I have yet to meet one of their members.

      1. I suppose I'm dating myself when I say that I remember Chuck Norris and Delta Force. I am in awe of and thankful for our military. Thanks for writing about SOAR so that we may learn about them.

  9. I've learned that the author has never been in a military operation, but has done a lot of research into everything associated with the military. The book sounds very good. I also learned that to serve with the Night Stalkers, you need a minimum of five years' experience before you are allowed to apply.

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