When I sat down to write Nickels, I looked to my own life and past for inspiration. Everyone always advises authors to write what you know. So, I thought the perfect career for my main character, Niki Turner, was the career I have been working in for the past nine years—software engineer (computer programmer).
Since my career inspired a great deal of what happens in the novel, I decided it wouldn’t hurt to throw in a few other things from my life. I had to tie in some aspect of the two years I spent overseas in Germany on a military base. In my case, I was married to an Airman. Though Niki moves to Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany as a teenager, I still drew on my experience and first-hand knowledge of the military.
I don’t exactly know when my love affair with the US Military began. Perhaps it was as a young girl when my sister and I spent hours studying the Air Force ranks in volume “A” of the encyclopedia set my parents purchased. Maybe the detailed stories we invented planted a seed.
Regardless, at the age of 21, I found myself married to a military man and suddenly thrust into an entirely different culture and country. After two years and much heart ache, I left a bad situation, but my love for our military survived. Even my second husband served our country for eight years, though I met him long after he became a civilian again.
Somehow, the back story for Niki began weaving together in my mind. She faced tragedy and was left to her brother’s care. He was stationed at Ramstein and at the tender age of 14, she experienced the same culture shock I did. It was here that she first met Kyle Jacobs—a true military brat and typical teenage guy—while attending high school on the military base.
From my experience, I learned that many families have a legacy of military service. It seemed only natural that Kyle Jacobs would grow up to be a pilot in the Air Force, just like his dad. Only his story takes a twist. He doesn’t follow completely in his father’s footsteps and his career is cut short. Suddenly he’s thrust back into the civilian life, dreams shattered and recovering from deep grief over his time in Iraq.
In Nickels, I cover many aspects of the military life: growing up on a military base, marriage in the military, long military careers, and careers cut short by tragedy. Each main character is shaped by their experience with the military life and each must overcome some aspect of that life to move forward with their own.
These experiences are such a part of who I am that I felt compelled to include many aspects of the modern military life in this contemporary romance. I hope this story will leave readers with a greater respect for the sacrifices service men and women and their families make for us each and every day. May God continue to bless the USA through them.
Karen Baney, in addition to writing Christian historical fiction and contemporary novels, works as a Software Engineer. Spending over twenty years as an avid fan of both genres, Karen loves writing stories set in Arizona.
Her faith plays an important role both in her life and in her writing. She is active in various Bible studies throughout the year. Karen and her husband make their home in Gilbert, Arizona, with their two dogs. She also holds a Masters of Business Administration from Arizona State University.
Join Karen and 9 other Christian authors as they celebrate the launch of her new novel, Nickels. [INSERT AD HERE]. [Link Ad to: http://womensliterarycafe.com/content/december-2011-book-launches]
I am SO excited to be doing this post!
Lynda was one of my first ACFW
critique partners, so I got to see the first chapters of this book before any of you! Well, most of you. I have been following Lynda the past few years through her blog, Facebook etc... but it was a thrill to finally be able to meet in person at this year's ACFW conference! This is a picture of me, Jenness Walker
, our other critique buddy, and Lynda. Don't we look cute?
I'm super-excited to be able to feature Lynda today, because her first book, Mind Over Madi,
has released!! And I should mention that she is also a fellow OakTara
So, without further ado, here's a bit about Lynda...
LYNDA LEE SCHAB got her writing start in greeting cards (Blue Mountain Arts, Dayspring) and from there went on to write articles and short stories (Mature Living, Christian Home & School) and in many places online (including www.Examiner.com and www.wow-womenonwriting.com), but her passion has always been fiction.
Mind Over Madi
, her debut novel, is near and dear to her heart. Lynda admits she has a lot in common with the character of Madi. Not only are they both addicted to ice cream, chocolate, and computer games, they struggle with the same types of insecurities and continually require a hefty dose of God’s grace.
Lynda works behind the scenes at FaithWriters.com
and is a member of ACFW. She is a regular book reviewer for FaithfulReader.com
and is the Grand Rapids
Christian Fiction Examiner and the National Writing Examiner for Examiner.com
. Mind Over Madi
received Runner-up in the 2007 FaithWriters Page Turner contest, was a finalist in the 2007 RWA Get your Stiletto in the Door contest, and won second place in the 2008 ACFW Genesis contest, Chick Lit category. Lynda lives with her husband, Rob, and two teenagers in Michigan.
Madi McCall admits her husband lacks a little in the romance department, but all in all, he’s been a good husband, a good father. Now, though, she suspects Rich is having an af air with Fawn Witchburn, the mother of one of his fourth-grade students. To say Fawn shows of her “assets” more than should be legally allowed in public is an understatement, and Madi’s insecurities kick into high gear. When, in a heated moment, she asks Rich to leave and he complies, Madi is forced to deal with her issues. Issues of love and trust she’s tried so hard to avoid. Issues that trail all the way back to her childhood and make her act like a total moron.
Okay, doesn't that sound great?? Trust me, you want to rush out and buy this one. Go. Now!
And Lynda, we look forward to more from you!
A while ago I started a new blog. It was an experiment. I've been struggling with blogging for a while now, and truthfully I'm still trying to decide which way I want to go with this. My other blog is geared toward writing and books. There won't be much personal stuff on it. Obviously I don't want to have two blogs. I'm also wanting to ramp up my website again. So I have a lot of decisions to make. Do I keep this blog as is or scrap it and combine the two, maybe do three posts a week on the new blog and make one of them a more personal post...but is that what I want? Is that what you want? And we're coming into the holidays...I'm a little stressed.
Here's what I'd love for you to do.
FOR NOW, I'll be posting over on my other blog - This Is A Blog About Books
. Please go check it out. And then let me know your thoughts.
Do you think I can do a combination of this blog and the other one - or should I keep the book blog strictly books or what?? I can't even think straight at this point!
I would really love to hear your thoughts!
Thanks so much and see you soon.
Thanks to everyone who stopped by the blog last week and left comments!
Here are the winners of the book drawings.
Please email me at catherine at catherine j west dot com with your mailing address!
YESTERDAY'S TOMORROW - Rebecca DeMarino
WOLFSBANE - Merry
THUNDER IN THE MORNING CALM - Pia Finn
KAREN'S GIVEAWAY - Jackie Layton (you can either choose to wait for Karen's latest which will release or she will send you another selection.
FIGHTING FEAR - Paula
I will try to get in touch with you via your blogs if you did not leave me an email addy.
Thanks for participating in my week of honoring our Veterans!!
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