My When the Mission Ends trilogy features at its heart three siblings: Colton, Chris, and Cassie Robertson. Chris & Cassie are twins that are 4 years younger than Colton. Their parents died in a plane crash when Colton was 10 and the twins were 6. They then went to live with their estranged grandfather, whom they'd never met, in Lubbock TX. Their father had been a Major in the Army and all three of the kids grew up fascinated and loving the military. Both Colton and Chris went into the Air Force while Cassie became a military history professor at Texas Tech. That's the basic premise behind the main characters.
But there is a LOT of my family and its influences on these books. Let's talk about those for a moment.
1. The opening scene (the prologue) in Operation: Endgame was based upon true events with my (now 17 yo) son, Jacob. (BTW, you can read the prologue of the book on Amazon.) When we lived in Pope AFB, NC, he and a group of his friends were constantly playing war games out in the woods. Full on camo uniforms, face paint, and the wooden Thompson guns. That scene was where the entire series came from...it started with just a germ of an idea and grew from there.
2. I am 4 years older than my younger twin brothers, Daniel and David, although I am not near as bossy as Colton is. I have to admit, he is my favorite character from the series...do you think that's a coincidence?? BTW, my favorite scenes from the series come between these siblings. They don't always get along, but they definitely love each other and stand by each other.
3. All three of my heroes have been in the Air Force. When I started writing this series, my husband had just retired from 20 years in the Air Force. Yes, I most definitely have a love for this branch of the military.
4. I graduated from Texas Tech University and Lubbock is without a doubt one of my favorite places on earth, much to my husband's chagrin...he's not a fan of the town. hehe. It was a no-brainer for me that this is where this series would be set. I will admit though that I probably didn't think that through. As romantic suspense books, there is a fair amount of death and destruction which I wouldn't wish on any town. I probably should meet with someone from the Lubbock PD and apologize for what I have done to them in the fictional world.
5. I talked about Jacob's influence, I probably should mention my daughter Kat's. Kat is 5 and is always at my side (at least until Monday when she starts kindergarten). I am home during the days with her and that is when I write. As a result, I tend to "talk" with her when I am working through scenes in my head (don't worry, no corruption...I talk about the books in EXTREMELY vague terms...she doesn't know about all the sex, death, and destruction.) In Operation: Endeavor, Kat provided ideas for two very pivotal scenes....1.) the butterfly was all Kat's idea and, 2.) Kat herself actually appears in the book. Both hubby and mom are slightly appalled at that fact (*ahem* she may or may not be a bad guy in the book). I continue to state in my defense though that it was TOTALLY her idea! ;o)
6. I haven't mentioned my mom have I?? Hmm, I write somewhat steamy romance which she absolutely critiques and reads for me....constantly (she is so good to drop everything when I need some feedback), but for some reason she refuses to talk about the sex scenes. hehe. My love of romances comes from her. I remember spending summers devouring her Harlequins. I love you, Mom!!!
7. Motorcycles...I think I will save that part of the post for another day, but yes, we love motorcycles around here too!!
Don't forget, the e-book version of Operation: Endgame is out within the next couple of weeks. I will keep you all updated on the specifics, but for right now that release date is September 14th. I'll have some giveaways and fun stuff coming up with that!!!