Once upon a time there lived a little girl (we’ll call her Gail) who loved to read. As she grew up, Gail continued to read, but started thinking about the books she read. They were fabulous stories as they were, but what if… What if the heroine solved the crime? What if the princess saved the prince? Pretty soon Gail was rewriting the stories in her head and coming up with her own. She even entertained the idea of becoming a writer one day. But life got busy, as it does, and that dream got pushed to the side.
Fast forward to 2010, life is good for our heroine: married to an awesome guy in the Navy, three great kids, living in Connecticut (after having been in Washington, California, Tennessee and Italy) and overall, pretty darn happy. Then one day a doctor mentions the “C” word (no worries…false alarm) and our heroine started thinking what if… So, Gail gathered her courage up, made a plan, and sat down to write her story. Four years later, she sold her first book to Kensington/Lyrical Publishing, and book number six comes this month!
Early on in my writing adventure, a successful, NYT bestselling author asked, “Why aren’t you writing military stories? This is your life!”
Well, that’s exactly why. Writing about men and women in the Navy hit very close to home. At that time, my husband had just returned from the Middle East and while that had been a far cry from our first deployment, it had been a stressful one. I guess, I just wasn’t ready to face those emotions yet. A few years later, with a series completed, I started thinking, “What’s next?” And that amazing (and very smart) lady’s words came back to me. But I didn’t want to just write about “military” characters, I wanted to bring to life some of the issues that are specific to our men and women who serve and those who loved them.
Picking a submariner as my first military hero was a no-brainer. I am a submariner’s wife; something I’m very proud of. But as I said, I wanted to write about “real issues” so, part of my stories are inspired by real-life events and in real life things aren’t always pretty.
LOVE RUNS DEEP (book one in the series) focuses on the journey of one of the first female officer’s in the fast-attack submarine service. I’m in total awe of the women who volunteer to serve on submarines. My husband was a submariner for twelve of his twenty-seven years of active duty. I’ve taken part in family day cruises…key word, “DAY cruise.” There’s no way I could do three or six months in those “tin-cans.” (Kudos to those who do.) However, I wasn’t sure how I was going to make this story work until I read an article in the Navy Times and then started asking, “What if…”
Because I wanted to do these amazing men and women justice, when I finished writing LOVE RUNS DEEP, I handed the story to my husband and several military spouses. When I made a badass EOD officer cry, I knew I got it (and you can read his story in book three, DISARMED BY LOVE, out February 20th!).
I’m hoping that not only will readers fall in love with these characters, but also empathize with some of the issues the military community faces. I hope readers will walk away with a sense of pride in our military and what they do for our country, what they put on the line for our freedom and way of life. I want them to see beyond the romance to the strength of our service members and those who love them, and the strong-knit community we live in. Because family is more than the people you’re related to, its those who have your six, who stand by your side when the going gets tough, and remind you what life is all about.
This series is for you — the military spouse, the amazing men and women who serve, the families they’ve left behind. Thank you for your support and sacrifice.
Connect with Gail Chianese:
Living in Mystic, CT and a member of Connecticut Romance Writers of America, Gail loves to hear from readers. Visit her online at GailChianese.com, follow her on Twitter @Gail_Chianese, or send her an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.