On March 26th of 2013 I received the news that my debut romantic thriller, Forged in Fire, had been nominated in the Best First Book and Best Romantic Suspense categories of Romance Writers of
The funny thing is that up until three years ago I had no interest in writing military romance. Don’t get me wrong, I love the sub-genre and I’ve been reading it since I discovered that mystical alpha hero called the Navy SEAL through Suzanne Brockmann’s Prince Joe.
I was instantly hooked and devoured the entire Tall, Dark and Dangerous series. I even joined Brockmann’s yahoo group and chatted with other ravenous SEAL fans.
Back then I’d just started writing consistently, although I wasn’t very good at it. And I wasn’t writing SEAL heroes. Nope, my heroes were in law enforcement—sexy alpha homicide detectives. In fact, while I loved reading about military heroes, I had no interest in writing them. No sir, my heart belonged to my hot cops.
Fast forward to February of 2010, when the strangest thing happened, I had an incredibly vivid dream involving an attempted hijacking and three Navy SEALs who risked their lives to prevent it. Instantly, the entire course of my career changed.
The dream was sparked by an intense reading sprint, but not one involving military romances. Nope, the dream was sparked by vampires—specifically, by The Black Dagger Brotherhood. Apparently, I’d been living in a vacuum for years and while I’d heard of the BDB (who hasn’t?) I’d never tried any of the books. That changed the winter of 2010. I picked up the first book in the series out of curiosity, to see what all the buzz was about. Three chapters into Dark Lover I hopped online and ordered the rest of the books in the series and paid extra for express shipping. I wanted them NOW! What followed was a reading glut of massive proportions and night after sleepless night. The world and characters consumed me.
When I finished the last book, I felt like I was in withdrawals from some serious drug—off balance and fuzzy headed. And sleepy. Very sleepy. All of which turned out to be symptoms of a nasty cold. Apparently, my body no longer tolerated weeks of little to no sleep. So I loaded up on Nyquil and hit the mattress and I dreamed—but not of massively muscled vampire warriors. I dreamed of a different kind of warrior, the warriors of SEAL Team 7.
Although, if you think about it, the Black Dagger Warriors have a lot in common with military special ops warriors. Both brotherhoods put their lives on the line without hesitation, they protect those unable to protect themselves, they would step in front of a missile for someone they loved; without blinking, without thinking, on pure instinct.
Both sets of warriors are the quintessential hero.
As an added bonus, there is this tremendous depth of respect and love (although you’ll never get them to admit it) between the warriors of the two brotherhoods.
In other words, the same qualities that drew me to the BDB, are what drew me to the warriors of my Red-Hot SEALs series. When I awoke from the dream, all I could think about were my dream warriors. In fact, they were so consuming I dropped the book I’d been revising at the time, and wrote the dream sequence. This became the opening scenes to Forged in Fire, the first book in my Red-Hot SEALs series of high-octane romantic thrillers.
I really thought my obsession with the dream and the Navy SEAL warriors who dominated it, would fade once I had the dream down. Instead the characters took on a life of their own and dragged me along behind them. I became as obsessed with them, as I’d been with the Black Dagger Brotherhood or the warriors from Brockmann’s Tall, Dark and Dangerous series all those years ago.
As luck would have it, readers took to these alpha heroes as much as I did, and Forged in Fire quickly found a following, which has enabled me to continue writing the series. I’m absolutely thrilled I can give each of these courageous, alpha heroes their own happily ever after.
Right now, there are four books planned in the series, with the second and third book set to release in Jan and Feb of 2014. But if reader interest continues, the series will be ongoing.
It’s amazing how my career completely shifted focus, and all because of a dream.