The Novel Approach welcomes author Anna Lee today on the His Soldier blog tour. Anna was kind enough to answer a couple of questions for her visit, and she’s also offering the chance to win an e-copy of the book, so be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.
Q: Anna, what inspired you to put your own personal stamp on the military romance genre?
Anna: I think there’s something sexy about men in uniform. A few years ago I wrote a historical military romance, As Time Goes By, it was my first book published. This time I wanted it to be contemporary, as I’ve been interested in writing another military romance for a while.There are so many amazing books in the genre, so I started thinking about ways to put my own personal stamp on it as you said. I first got some inspiration from a song to write His Solider. I had the idea that Dean would lose his brother, Dax who was a soldier, and that loss would be felt throughout the story. At the same time, I wanted it to be a story of hope and finding love. So I thought of how Dean and Ryder would meet, an army sergeant and a school teacher. Which led to the idea of army pen pals, another source of inspiration. I found out that you could write to a soldier and say thanks, provide encouragement and give support to those who might not have anyone back home. So Dean and Ryder connect through letters. I also knew that the story would just be beginning when they finally met, because Ryder would come home a changed man, physically and emotionally.It’s all about love, finding someone who accepts and loves you for who you are, flaws and all, and never giving up hope in a happy ending.
Q: Did you find parts of the novel particularly emotional or difficult to write because of what Dean and Ryder had gone through? What was the most challenging scene in the book for you to write?
Anna: Yeah, I did. There were times while writing that I had to take a break and step away for a bit because of the emotion, Dean and Ryder are close to my heart and I was really passionate about telling their story. The most challenging scene to write had to be when they first met. I wanted to get the emotions right. They’d written letters for a year, talked over the phone, and made plans to meet but then Ryder gets injured. It’s definitely not the homecoming they expected. Ryder thinking he’ll be nothing but a burden tries to push Dean awaywhen Dean comes to see him in the hospital. That was difficult to write, Ryder was so hurt, depressed, and need in comfort yet he was scared of rejection and feared he’d lost Dean before they had a chance. It was just as emotional a moment for Dean as well. The man he’d come to love is hurt and the only thing he can do is be there for him. There’s no way to fix it. Yet this tragedy is also like a miracle to Dean, he’s already lost Dax, but Ryder is still there and he’s so relieved he didn’t lose him too. So it was a really pivotal scene and it was important to not only give Ryder hope but show there was still a chance for them to be together if he just trusted Dean.
After a tragedy, in a way to honor his brother and try to cope, Dean becomes a army pen pal to Sergeant Ryder Brooks. The two connect through letters and phone calls for a year, falling in love and making plans to meet when Ryder finishes his tour. However, in an effort to save one of his men who steps on a mine, Ryder loses his leg. Broken and depressed, he doesn’t think Dean will want him. But once Dean learns what happens, he immediately goes to Ryder, determined to help him heal and show him that he loves him no matter what. Ryder has a long road of recovery ahead of him, but with Dean’s support, he realizes his life isn’t over, it’s just beginning if he’ll only give them a chance.
Pre-Order Link: Totally Bound
Author Bio: Anna Lee graduated from the University of California Riverside with a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing. Living with a disability, she has overcome many challenges and puts her passion for life and love into her writing. She lives with her family and dogs and enjoys writing late into the night. When she isn’t writing, Anna enjoys spending time with her nieces and nephew or chatting with her friends about her favorite books and TV shows.