When authors write young adult novels, there are many aspects that we're all trying to achieve: a well-written story with a good plot, sympathetic characters who struggle with relatable problems, and interesting settings.
I have other elements that will
always be there. Some appeared without me really thinking about. Others--I decided to include in every book or series. And one of those is military service. There will always be a military character in my books.
I served 8 years in the military. My father, brother, and sister are all military retirees. I'm proud to have served--and that spills over into my stories.
Whisper Falls series, it was Mark's aunt, an Army major who lost her life in Afghanistan. In the I Wish series, Lacey's dad was a Marine who died in a training accident. In The Possibility of Somewhere, Mundy's father was a Navy helicopter pilot.
In future books, military characters will be more prominent. In my next Julia Day release, the heroine's stepfather is a recently retired Army sergeant. And I've already outlined another book where the hero will be an active-duty military member.
There are a lot of books that feature SEALs, fighter pilots, or military lawyers / investigators. I won't be writing more of those books. Instead, I'll focus on servicemembers with jobs that are less well-known: mechanics, military police, engineers, Signal Corps (telecommunications). I'm not as familiar with those career fields, but I'm having a lot of fun with the research.
I'm also open for suggestions. So if you are in the military or have a military family member with an interesting job or story that needs to be heard, please let me know.