Monday, April 29, 2013

Meet Lililan Hart & The Military Man Closest to Her Heart

This is my introductory post for our new military blog, and it’s probably the hardest one I’ll ever have to write. I’m sitting in the hospital, watching my father struggle to breathe as he goes through the last stages of lung cancer. He’s developed pneumonia and they’re hoping to get that cleared up so he can at least go home for a little while.  Hospice has already been called.

I’m going to save future blogs to talk about the military men in my life, but I want to devote this one to one very special military man—my dad. He was fifteen years old during World War II, and he still talks about how frustrated he was that he wasn’t old enough to enlist—he tried anyway only to be told to wait until he had a few hairs on his chest.

When he turned eighteen he immediately enlisted in the Air Force, and it wasn’t long after he was sent to Korea. For three years he served overseas as an air traffic controller, and it’s not a time he ever talks about very much other than to say it was a stressful job. That’s probably an understatement.

I can talk about what a great dad he is—about how his dry sense of humor would sneak up on you or that I get my love of sarcasm naturally. He’s a good man. The best I know next to my husband, and he’s a hero. He’s also one of my biggest fans and supporters. I remember when I finished writing my very first romance novel, I gave it to him to read and waited anxiously to see what he’d say. It was a spy thriller where my hero and heroine both had a military background, and I can honestly say it was like most first novels—it was terrible.

He finished reading and looked at me in that quiet way he has and said, “It’s been a long time since I’ve been with one, but I’m almost certain that’s not how a virgin would act during sex.” Other than having to sit through that completely mortifying conversation where my dad critiqued my sex scenes, he offered a lot of insight into that book. And twelve years later it’s much easier for me to laugh at that conversation than it had been at the time.

It’s fitting that we’ve come full circle. I have another military spy thriller, KILL SHOT, coming out on May 14th, and he was able to read it several months ago before he was diagnosed with cancer. He finished reading it and the next time he saw me he said, “You got this one just right.” I couldn’t ask for better praise than that.  

I also can’t think of a better way to honor him than by dedicating that book to him. So I’ve decided to donate $1.00 of every pre-order of KILL SHOT to the Prevent Cancer Foundation. My hope and prayer is that he’ll still be with us May 14th when the book comes out and he’ll be able to see how much was donated in his name to help find a cure for this terrible disease.

I know everyone who is reading this has been affected by cancer in some way—either through your own illness or watching it happen to a loved one or a friend. We’ve raised more than $3,000 so far, and I hope you’ll pass the word along and join the cause.

I just want to end this by saying, “Thanks, Dad, for being my hero.”

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  1. Lovely post, Liliana. I completely understand what you are going through. Lost my dad, a Navy man drafted from his Sr. year at Berkeley to build hospitals and landing strips getting ready for D Day. He was in the Seabees. He passed away the week my second book came out, last December. And I got to spend his last day at his bedside. He was my hero as well.

    But what better way for us, as daughters of real heroes, to celebrate the lives of these quiet, unassuming, wonderful men and role models, than to live our lives and bring characters into our books who will live forever after we are gone.

  2. Super awesome stories about your Dad! He sounds like an amazing man :) I ran to pre-order my copy of Kill Shot so that I could do my small part. I also posted on my FB page and Twitter about the $1 going to the Prevent Cancer Foundation.
    I can't wait to read your book!