On Release Days

On Release Day

For an author, it’s pretty danged cool to hold new books in your hand, to know that folks will be falling in love with these people that you know so well.  Nic and Julie, Rick and Lily, Gabe and Claire – and, of course, Cruz.
  It’s exciting and fills you with the pride of actually making it happen. But, some of my proudest and most humbling accomplishments in life revolve around being there for someone when they’re having the worst day of their life. At age forty – I became an EMT.  For me, life really amped up after forty.  That learning curve scared the peewaddlin’ out of me.  Could I think fast enough?  Could I stick someone with a needle?  Could I remember what to do? I had great teachers.  One my very first run, we pulled up on scene and the EMT with me turned to me and said “You’re in charge.”  I’m sure my face lost all color and I stammered. . . Then she said, “Don’t worry, I won’t let you fall.” The perfect words.  I’ve used them myself when I trained new EMT’s. That sentiment actually sums up my love for heroes. shaldag They have each other’s backs. They’re good at what they do. They know what they’re capable of and they put aside fear and rush in when it counts. “None of you have to go,” said Ty Woods, “but we’re the only help they have.” Of course they went.  That’s what heroes do. Kandahar, Afghanistan: Supervising Producer and Editor John Collin and Airman First Class (A1C) Steven laugh after a military exercise in the Kandahar desert. (Photo credit: National Geographic Television)And when they have down time, they shoot each other with squirt guns and give each other a hard time over anything and everything.  They share their care packages from home.  They take “one for all and all for one” to a higher level. They never stop being heroes.  Like “once a Marine, always a Marine,” these guys never become ex-heroes. These guys are the face of valor, courage, honor, virtue and gallantry. And I truly love them for that.  I hope I’ve captured that in these books. Hoo-yah.