Military Spouses Inspire My Romance Novels!
The question I’m most often asked isn’t where my ideas come from, or when I started writing. It’s “how did you go from being a Naval Intelligence officer to writing romance?” As if the two are mutually exclusive.
The fact is that I served as a Navy spouse for much longer than I was on active duty and found myself in the midst of the world’s biggest support team. When my husband deployed, and I was left to manage my active duty career and three-month-old son, who stepped up to make sure I got involved in something other than work and my baby? Other military spouses. When I left active duty and began to pursue my writing career, who offered to take my kids to the Pacific Science Museum for the day so that I could finish a proposal for a manuscript? My navy spouse friends. And who helped me not only through the long, tough months of wartime deployment but made sure I had time to get my Christmas tree up before my husband came back from a seven-month deployment? Yes, military spouses. They also soothed my nerves as his airplane kept having mechanical difficulties halfway around the world, prolonging the end of deployment by almost two weeks.
A treasured gift from the spouses of my husband’s squadron is a patchwork quilt. Each spouse made a square to represent them, their family, or something we all shared together. That quilt is now almost two decades old, but it symbolizes the absolute steadfastness and continual source of strength and yes, warmth, other military spouses have extended to me over the many years my husband was on active duty. I’m still in touch with many of the men and women I’m proud to say I served alongside as a spouse. I’m proud of having served as a U.S. Naval Officer, but just as proud and indeed grateful to have had the privilege of serving as a military spouse.
As a navy spouse I learned to measure my life in tours—and it carried into my writing career, too. I started writing my first novel while my husband was deployed out of Alameda, California. I joined Romance Writers of America, the professional organization I credit with helping me find my way to publication, when we were stationed in Memphis, Tennessee. I got “the call”—when an editor calls from a publisher to tell you they want to buy your book—for the first time in Belgium, when my husband was stationed at SHAPE. My first book was published while we were living in Annapolis, Maryland, studying Russian for our next tour in Moscow, at the US Embassy.
No one knows the depths of my heart as my military spouse friends do. My husband is retired from the Navy now, but our friendships with military families still bless us. In fact, my latest book, Fully Dressed, book one of my Bayou Bachelors series for Kensington Lyrical Caress, was inspired by a trip I made to New Orleans to watch a dear Navy spouse friend receive her PhD—a long held dream she shared with me when I confided in her that I wanted to be a romance author! A Military Spouse friendship is the gift that keeps on giving.
To answer the original question of how I went from active duty naval service to writing romance novels, it’s simple. Surrounded by military spouses, aka heroes and heroines from all walks of life, why wouldn’t I write romance?
Want to get your hands on Geri Krotow’s Fully Dressed? Click on the cover below!
And don’t miss out on Book 2 in the Bayou Bachelors series, Bare Devotion, available for pre-order now!
Geri Krotow is the award-winning author of more than thirteen contemporary and romantic suspense novels (with a couple of WWII subplots thrown in!). While still unpublished Geri received the Daphne du Maurier Award for Romantic Suspense in Category Romance Fiction. Her 2007 Harlequin Everlasting debut A Rendezvous to Remember earned several awards, including the Yellow Rose of Texas Award for Excellence.
Prior to writing, Geri served for nine years as a Naval Intelligence Officer. Geri served as the Aviation/Anti-Submarine Warfare Intelligence officer for a P-3C squadron during which time she deployed to South America, Europe, and Greenland. She was the first female Intel officer on the East Coast to earn Naval Aviation Observer Wings. Geri also did a tour in the war on drugs, working with several different government and law enforcement agencies. Geri is grateful to be settled in south central Pennsylvania with her husband.