Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Guest Blog: Sharon Hamilton: Writing Damaged Heroes
I wanted to explore the PTSD side of military service, how some of the men who come home find it hard to adjust to “ordinary life.” I imagine on the Teams in real life, survivor’s guilt can be huge, and that’s part of what I explore. In combat situations, freak accidents and circumstances happen. The SEALs are trained to improvise, and always be on the lookout for signs others would miss, as a means to stay alive. But when they come home, family issues and financial pressures can sometimes cause a “war zone” around them. Suddenly even the best-prepared warrior is stuck feeling they have few options.
I recently visited the Navy SEAL/UDT museum in Ft. Pierce, Florida. In this fine museum, founded and run by Navy SEALs as well as other volunteers, there is the actual lifeboat Captain Phillips was held captive in by Somali pirates. A team of Navy SEALs later rescued him. Three snipers simultaneously took out the pirates in a precision move on wavy seas. They had only one chance to do this. Failure was not an option. This amazing story is told here:
When you consider the time and training it takes to pull off one of these missions, it truly boggles the mind. But likewise, when someone who is so well trained comes back home to the vanilla land of milk and honey, one can only imagine the difficulty that causes, where the enemy is not well defined and the objective less in focus.
And when you add to the mix falling in love, it can spawn a variety of problems and unintended consequences. That’s where the story lies, in that messy stuff around the relationship between the hero and heroine.
And here’s something I feel the need to point out. I’m a storyteller, not a historian. These are not facts I’m writing, but fiction. I make changes as I see fit as a writer. I don’t claim to have a 100% factual accounting of everything that may have happened in real life. I take the parts that I’ve heard, or read about, or seen, and make them part of my own stories, much like a painter does when he looks at a beautiful garden and paints a landscape. It won’t be an exact replica of the original. It is one facet, as seen by the painter, of the original.
I think that’s what I like best about writing SEAL Romance. These are real life flesh and blood Team Guys who do miraculous things, and then go home to their families and try to be normal. But they are far from normal.
And that’s why we want to read about them. I hope that I have brought justice to one tiny aspect of their existence, and pay the proper honor that is their due.
Sharon’s award-winning spicy Navy SEAL stories in the SEAL Brotherhood series have consistently made best sellers lists and review sites. Her characters follow a sometimes rocky road to redemption through passion and true love.
Her Golden Vampires of Tuscany are not like any vamps you’ve read before, since they don’t go to ground and can walk around in the full light of the sun.
Her Guardian Angels struggle with the human charges they are sent to save, often escaping their vanilla world of Heaven for the brief human one. You won’t find any of these beings in any Sunday school class.
She lives in Sonoma County, California with her husband, and two Dobermans. A lifelong organic gardener, when she’s not writing, she’s getting vera vera dirty in the mud, or wandering Farmer’s Markets looking for new Heirloom varieties of vegetables and flowers.
Life is one fool thing after another.
Love is two fool things after each other.
Posted by Marianne Stephens at 12:01 AM