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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Guest Blog: Sharon Hamilton: Writing Damaged Heroes

My next SEAL Brotherhood book, SEAL Under Covers (Book 3), will be released the end of July. The hero, Armando Guzman, is a SEAL sharpshooter, raised in Puerto Rico. His mother brings him to the LA area when he is an early teen after the death of his father.

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.!/sharonlhamilton


Paris said...

Hi Sharon,

Welcome and thanks for sharing. I love stories about the SEAL's and didn't know about the museum in Florida. Your series sounds exciting and SEAL Under Covers sounds like a fascinating read!

Cara Marsi said...

Hi, Sharon, thanks for the interesting information about SEALS. I read your "Seal Encounter" and loved it, and met your heroes whom I also love. I have "Accidental SEAL" in my Kindle and look forward to reading that and your next SEAL Brotherhood book. Best of luck to you.

jean hart stewart said...

Very interesting stuff. The Seals deserve all the accolades we can give them....Great series....

Melissa Keir said...

Thank you for sharing your books with us. I love the ideas of men who have to face such hard choices and SEALs are among the elite.

I wish you all the best!

seelk said...

Loved your post Sharon! And love your books. I have a healthy respect for Navy SEALs. They are the best of the best.
Can't wait for Armando's story!

Sharon Hamilton said...

Why thank you, ladies! Paris, so happy to have shared about the SEAL UDT Museum. Tons of information there, for sure. Something everyone should visit.

Cara, Thanks for your nice comments on SEAL Encounter. I hope you like AS. He was my first, after all, and you never forget your first, right?

Jean, Thanks and I hope the series is worthy of the men they are based on. That's my job and I hope I do it well enough...

Melissa, I agree, writing men who are slightly damaged, slightly in need of "healing" as only the right woman can do, is indeed a story I like as well. Thanks.

Sharon Hamilton said...

Thank you again, Ma'am. It's my pleasure to be bringing these great characters to readers. Thanks for being there for me, too.

Millie said...

oh my. I can't wait to read the next book in the SEAL series. I loved books 1 and 2.

Millie said...

oh my. I can't wait to read the next book in the SEAL series. I loved books 1 and 2.

julie beasley said...

Love Armani's cover Sharon cant wait to read him now Must be so hard to come home to the real world and all the normal aspects, after living on the edge.

Gem said...

Sharon, you know how much I love your SEAL books. This cover is the best yet! Thanks so much for blogging here today. I just love hearing about your interaction with the SEAL community and how you apply that to your writing. Can't wait until Book 3 comes out.

Sharon Hamilton said...

Millie, thank you. Hearing words like are better than chocolate!

Sharon Hamilton said...

Julie, It is hard to come home to reality. I live and breathe and, well, you know what else, for months while I'm writing. But alas, I have to share him with the rest of the world.,

Sharon Hamilton said...

GEM, Thanks so much. You were one of my first followers. I will never forget your wonderful words. I don't forget!!

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