Monday, November 12, 2012

The One that Started it All

Yesterday was the actual Veteran’s Day holiday. Today is the observance. Those people who work for businesses closed on Sunday are lucky enough to get the extra day off thanks to those who’ve served and sacrificed for the United States.

If you know me personally, or you know anything about me, you know how near and dear the military is to my heart. As the daughter of Air Force veterans, it’s difficult not to recognize the importance of that service, but I like to think I’m the kind of person who’d be grateful without the personal connection.

Thinking about Veteran’s Day got me to thinking about the first novel I released. Letters from Linc was published in 2006 but set in the year 2003. The story centers on a young Marine facing his first deployment to Iraq just weeks after marrying the love of his life. The story was written at a time when our nation’s involvement in Iraq was in its infancy and we weren’t really sure what it would grow to be. 

It wasn’t long after the story was published that I began to read stories of substandard conditions in our military hospitals. They couldn’t help it. The number of wounded resulting from this war exceeded their ability to keep up. Determined to find a way to help, I made the decision to donate one hundred percent of the royalties from the sales of my novel, Letters from Linc, to our nation’s hospitals. Even though it means I’ll never make a dime off the story, it’s a decision I’ve never turned my back on because I’ve never regretted it.

Since Letters from Linc was published, I’ve met many fine men and women who’ve served our country as well as their loved ones. One woman told me the story helped her understand her husband better. The man was a medic in Operation Desert Storm who’d not only suffered a head injury but came home with a severe case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Another woman told me the story touched her heart and reminded her of the things she and her husband felt during his service in Vietnam. Another young man, whom I’ve yet to have the pleasure of meeting and who was also one of our country’s defenders, has become one of my biggest champions. He’s always quick to talk up my work any chance he can because he understands what I’m trying to accomplish.

I wish I could say that sales are skyrocketing and I’m one of the biggest donors Walter Reed Hospital has ever seen, but the truth is I can’t. Sales are slow, especially in this tough economy. I’ve never been one of those authors who are about the bottom line. All I want, all I’ve ever wanted, is for people to be touched by my stories. The only reason to be disappointed here is because I feel like I’m falling short. I didn’t serve, but I want to give back to those who did.

You know, if you haven’t purchased a copy of Letters from Linc, it’s never too late. You can buy the e-book on Amazon for just $3.99 or if you’d prefer, the paperback version, it can be purchased for $14.95. If not, believe me when I say I understand. And believe me when I say I’m in this for the long haul. I’ll never forget those who served or the book that launched my career.

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