I was so amazed that a woman who had never been in the military could write these amazing books about Navy Seals and other military men, that I asked her how she did it. Teresa Reasor agreed to write a blog for me about it. I hope you’ll be as amazed as I am!
Write What You Know and Know What You Write
I’ve never been in the military. Never fought in a war. Never survived basic training and all the training that follows. But I lived with a military man for eighteen years growing up, until I went to college.
My dad was a Marine, through and through. He served for twenty-four and a half years, survived three wars, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam, and loved the Corps. And though he retired and moved on to other things, he was always a Marine.
I even tried to follow in his footsteps as a high school graduate and was told to come back when I could gain twenty pounds of muscle. I was five foot nothing and only weighed ninety-two pounds. I’m sure the recruiter had a good laugh after he sent me on my way.
And though I never got the opportunity to serve my country directly as a member of the Corps, I served as my Dad’s daughter with pride. I loved being on base, watching the troops train, listening to the drill instructors shout out commands. My father was a drill instructor at Parris Island, South Carolina for a time and I got to see him in action. His voice was hoarse, his tone commanding. A tone that in later years scared the whiskers off the chins of the boys I dated.
But I also watched my father board planes and fly into situations that put him in harms way. I observed the stress my mother was under, acting as both parents and living with the pressure that her husband was in the line of fire. And I understood all too well that my Dad was in danger.
So though I didn’t serve directly, I had first hand knowledge of what it’s like for a military spouse and military children to live the life and support the husband and father who serves his country. And if you don’t think military families serve right along side them, you’re wrong. They make sacrifices ever day to support the man, the woman, the son, the daughter, the husband, the wife, the father, the mother, the brother, and the sister, in uniform. The families put their hearts on the line every time their military family member deploys or even just goes into dangerous training.
In my books, I try and capture a little of that emotional texture that seeped into my psyche while living the life of a military brat. I research exhaustively to try and make what I write as realistic and perfect as I can. Call people up and ask questions. Study weapons, watch videos about training, have a library of books dedicated to the men who serve and to their experiences during training and on the battlefield.
The military of today is very different from the one my father served in. Their technology is advanced, some of their weapons more destructive. Their training more specialized. But the spirit of patriotism that’s woven into the fabric of the culture, the life, is still the same. And I can write about that first hand. And construct my characters’ perspectives based on my observations, my research, and my memories.
I pour all that into The SEAL TEAM Hearbreaker Series I write. And I’ve been very fortunate that the readers have opened their hearts to my SEALs and their families. I love writing about them. Love living their lives for the time I’m writing about them.
The series will have eight books in it in all. Breaking Free, Breaking Through, and Breaking Away (Books 1, 2, and 3 are already available.) Building Ties and Breaking Ties will be the next two shorter novels. Breaking Out, Breaking Hearts, and Breaking Chains will the last three. So be on the lookout.
The latest release in the series is Breaking Away.
When lone wolf, Navy SEAL Harold “Flash” Carney agrees to act as an undercover operative for the FBI in an international smuggling sting, he revisits a past he hoped to leave behind forever. During the sting his handler is killed. Neck deep in a double cross and cut off from his team, Flash goes on the run with only his training to keep him alive.
Samantha Cross is desperate to leave her past as a battered wife behind, but her ex-husband is attempting to gain custody of their daughter, Joy, to keep them in his life. When her ex turns stalker, Sam is determined to do whatever it takes to protect her daughter and break his hold over them for good.
Despite their mutual wariness, Samantha and Flash are drawn to each other. But trust comes hard. When the walls both have erected start to crumble, trouble surfaces from all fronts, and Flash has no choice but to break away from the ingrained habits of a lifetime to save the one thing he’s always wanted and thought he’d never have—a family.
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Michele, Thank you so much for allowing me this opportunity to talk about what I write and why I write it on your blog. I really appreciate it.