SOURCEBOOKS AND MY BOOK ADDICTION AND MORE PRESENTS:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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 http://www.matthewlieberbuchman.com/.
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)!
THE NIGHT IS MINE BY M.L. BUCHMAN
NAME: Emily Beale
MISSION: Fly undercover to prevent the assassination of the First Lady, posing as her executive pilot.
NAME: Mark Henderson, code name Viper
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**
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