I love a great military hero in a romance novel, and I love to support authors who write them. Please welcome awesome author Arianna Hart as she talks about the Wounded Warriors Project and her reasons for writing Giving It All.
Do you remember back in the 6th or 7th grade when your school pictures were a HUGE deal? My friends and I spent hours figuring out what to wear, how we were going to do our hair and makeup, and praying that the photographer didn’t catch us mid-sneeze. After all, this picture was going in the yearbook and everyone would be able to see it, forever. The last thing I wanted was a repeat of that missing front tooth, growing out the bangs picture from second grade. *Shudder*
Flash forward many years and I look at those pictures with a mixture of wistful fondness for who I was then, and a cringe of embarrassment. Did I really think purple eye-shadow up to my eyebrow was attractive? And what was up with those feather earrings?
Admit it, you all have pictures just like that. If you don’t, you should, I think it’s a character building rite of passage to have to cringe at photographic evidence of your youthful vanity. I want you to remember that feeling, or something similar when I tell you the following:
I hate going back and reading my first books.
I don’t hate the books. Those very first attempts were a huge part of my growth as a writer. One must crawl before one can walk and all that. I love the characters in those stories like they were family, but just like the cousin you saw puking her brains out in the bridesmaid dress at her sister’s wedding, I don’t necessarily want to see them all that often.
GIVING IT ALL is my 26th book. I researched it for 2 years and busted my ass writing it. It challenged me in ways I’d never before been challenged. I consider that pretty appropriate considering the hero in the story had to face challenges 1000 times harder than writing a book.
When I first came up with the idea to write a book about a Navy SEAL, I was excited about the concept. I mean, seriously, is there ANYTHING hotter than a Navy SEAL? (Okay, maybe there is, but not much.) I wanted to do it right because I come from a military family and if I screwed it up, they’d be all over me. So I researched Navy SEALs, for real, not just re-reading Suzanne Brockmann’s books (although I do love them!). While researching, I came across the Wounded Warrior Project website and, as often happens when I’m thinking of a story, the whole thing changed.
As much as I wanted to write about a kick-ass SEAL who comes in and saves the day, rescues the girl –preferably with his shirt off–and falls in love, I felt I needed to write a story about one who used all the tools of survival he learned in BUDs to survive life out of the military.
It was hard. Really, really hard. I still don’t think I did my characters justice, but I gave it everything I could.
Now I want to give a little more.
After spending so much time on the Wounded Warrior Project, I want to help them in any way I can, so I’m donating 10% of my royalties from GIVING IT ALL to www.woundedwarriorproject.org in addition to my regular donation. I invite anyone (everyone!) else to visit the site and make a contribution.
If you can’t afford to donate money, and believe me I get that, donate a Tweet or Facebook message. Please spread the word about the Wounded Warrior Project (and my book, if you’d be so kind) and maybe someone will see it and make a contribution. Every little bit helps.
I really hope 10 years from now, I will be able to look back on this book and feel a sense of accomplishment, not necessarily because of my writing, but because it did something good for someone else.
Arianna Hart is the author of more than 25 novels and novellas. She splits her non-writing time between teaching high school English, volunteering, and driving her children all over creation. She lives in New England with her three teenage daughters, extremely patient husband, a crazy Siberian Husky, and two Bengal cats. Although she loves to hear from readers, she’s terrible about checking her social media, but she can be seen occasionally lurking on Facebook (Arianna Hart) and Twitter (@ariannahart212).