This week I have a two-part guest post from a Colorado author I’ve met a couple of times at Rocky Mountain Fiction Writer events. Jaxine (or Jax as most folks call her) is a writer who has used her own work experience to make her fiction authentic and believable. This is Part One, so be sure to come back tomorrow for the rest of the story.
One Night, Just Before Dropping Off to Sleep… Part One by Jaxine Daniels, Guest Blogger
First of all, let me thank Pat for allowing me to introduce myself. I’m Jaxine Daniels and I write romance. My latest is a five book series of military romance involving the Air Force pararescue jumpers, PJ’s for short.
I started writing about ten years ago and my first book was a hockey romance. They say to write what you know and, in addition to being an EMT on a small mountain ambulance service at the time, I am a huge hockey fan. I had been carrying Jaime’s story in my heart for a very long time. It was fun to finally put it on paper. I remember my husband nearly fainting when I told him I’d finished it. I’d never finished anything in my life (exaggeration alert!!). While I was shopping that novel, I was told to keep writing. So I started on the second in the hockey romance series.
Before Thin Ice was finished, Black Ice was sold. I was very fortunate. It was sold to a small press and, in fact, it was sold the very day I queried them. Of course, I had a file folder full of rejections from agents and editors. I broke the exciting news to my husband while we were playing roller hockey on the high school basketball court with the kids.
And then, I began looking for something bigger. I wanted to start a new series. At the time, I was reading Suzanne Brockmann’s Navy SEALs series and frankly, Navy SEALs were overdone at the time. But I was looking for something that reflected that same kind of camaraderie among a team of men that I found in her books. Though I had a bit of that with a hockey team, I really wanted to venture into something more life and death.
I found just what I was looking for when I found my PJ’s.
At the time, I was not only working as a mountain EMT, I was volunteering on our Search and Rescue team. I considered writing about SAR, but the idea just wouldn’t gel for me. So I kept thinking on it. Then, one night, just before dropping off to sleep… Isn’t that when we get the best ideas, and then we have to turn on the light and write them down quick before we lose them? I have one of those light-up pens beside my bed for just that purpose. Anyway, the idea hit me that I worked now and again with the Air Force PJ’s when they were called upon to fly in on the helicopter and pluck some injured climber off the mountain.
A word about the PJ’s. They are the Air Force’s elite special op’s guys. Each one is a paramedic (see the connection for me?) and they are trained in water rescue, mountain rescue and everything in between. They are sometimes called Seals with Stethoscopes! They are better trained than the SEALS (don’t tell a SEAL I said that, but it’s true.) They were real hot shots! And there was my next series.
Don’t forget to stop by tomorrow for Part Two. For more information about Jax, visit her website, where you’ll find a few fun video clips and a couple of helpful articles for writers, and especially the page where you can Meet the 506th Rescue Squad. To learn more about this exciting military group, visit the USAF Pararescue website.