Monday, April 4, 2011

Gotta Love the Internet: More Research Connections!

This past week I've been dying of a flu/strep throat/sinus infection I came down with two weeks ago when we got back from our trip. Today is the first morning I woke up and thought I'm actually going to live. I can almost breathe through one side of my nose, and though my head and face feel like they might explode if I bend over, things are looking up.

Right now I'm working on the dedication and acknowledgements for Deadly Descent. As you know I got in touch with some really cool inside sources for research on this one, and had a ball talking with them. When I e-mailed my recently retired PJ contact and asked what official title to call him in the dedication, I got a response that so typically embodies these men that I could only smile and shake my head. I'm paraphrasing, but basically his answer was, "No thanks are necessary. We're just ordinary guys, and I'm glad I could help."

If that doesn't encapsulate their humility and heroism, I don't know what does. So Weaver, if you're ever reading this, just know you're a hero to me and always will be no matter how much you try to downplay your years in Pararescue. So there.

Another cool thing happened too. I don't even know how he found out about me (must have been through this blog, but I never asked him), but a retired Air Force Combat Controller (CCT) contacted me to ask how the heck a young woman from Canada became interested in CCTs. He said some people in the Air Force don't even know about them--which I hope isn't true--so he was curious about me. I joked that I'm a little odd, and that on top of being a Civil War superfreak, I love learning about Spec Ops stuff. I love it even more when I can put what I've learned into my writing and give it more realism.

Wait--what? You don't know what a CCT is either? Not to worry, there's a picture of one at the top of this post. Deadly Descent will introduce you to Ryan, a CCT embedded with a SEAL team out of Bagram. You'll learn plenty about why these guys are damn handy to have with you out in hostile territory. Or in any combat mission, for that matter. At the most basic level, they're Special Ops trained air traffic controllers that go out into harm's way and bring a lot of firepower with them. They bring the rain. Heavy ordinance from bombers, missiles from fighter jets, or close air support from gunships, just to name a few. And that's merely a part of their job description. I'll be highlighting the hellish ordeal they undergo just to earn the right to be called a CCT in a later post, so stay tuned.

Anyway, this retired CCT and I chatted back and forth a few times, and I assured him that while my books are steamy romantic suspense, I make an effort to research my heroes' line of work and add a level of detail that readers won't find in other books of the genre. His response surprised me. He said he's actually proud that I'm taking the time to learn about his CCT brothers and bring them into the spotlight. Even if it's only a small spotlight.

He also said he sincerely hopes my hero gets to spend the night with a belly dancer at some point in the upcoming book :) He wants to read the book, but I told him it's pretty steamy and he probably wouldn't like it. "Are you kidding? I love steamy!" was his reply.

He's in his early sixties now and has been out of the game for a long while, but he offered to put me in touch with a recently retired CCT while I'm writing the draft of Crash and Burn. And he's sending me a DVD on CCTs and a couple trinkets, just because he's a nice guy. How awesome is that? And to think this connection literally landed in my lap (er, inbox) last Monday. Gotta love the Internet! As soon as I'm finished this latest novella, I'm back into Ryan's book, and I'm looking forward to writing it more than ever.

So, Mr. A.L., if you're reading this, thank you so much for taking the time to contact me. Very cool getting to "meet" you.

Damn I love what I do :)


Saranna DeWylde said...

How cool is that? *faints*

Spec Ops guys are delicious, all the more so for the kind of men they are out of uniform too. (Wait, I didn't mean that in a lascivious... wait, I did. Can't it be both?)

There is something inherently sexy about a man who puts his life on the line to help other people and support a cause he believes in. It doesn't get any more Alpha than that.

Keeping those guys in my prayers and waiting impatiently for more yumminess from you, my dear.

Kaylea Cross said...

Saranna, hey! It sounded totally lascivious, but only because I "know" you ;)

You got it, Alpha military heroes rock my world. They're very special guys in a tough line of work who receive little recognition or pats on the back. They do it because they love it and because they love their country.

Naj said...

There is nothing sexier than selflessness (and a gun). :)

Kaylea Cross said...

Naj, you got it! Especially if it's a Pararescue Jumper coming in to rescue you at the risk of his own life.

Be still my beating heart...

Chudney Thomas said...

That's so awesome!

Kaylea Cross said...

Hi, Chudney, thanks! I think so too :)

Zosia said...

You wouldn’t happen to have this guy’s phone number by any chance? He he he.

I must be reading too much military romance. My father was in the Army, and recently I’ve been looking at him and thinking how great military men are.
I don’t think my mother even notices half the time!

Kaylea Cross said...

Sorry, Zosia, no number. :(

So cool your dad is a veteran. Isn't it always the people close to you that take you for granted the most? Bet your mom knows how lucky she is, she just forgets to say/show it. One of the sins of marriage!

Wynter Daniels said...

Wow - isn't it cool when those guys are really as heroic as you write them?
I hope you feel better soon.