The airfield we stand on is a swath of ochre in a sea of riotous green—the sky above a cerulean dome hazed in tremulous clouds. Sunlight beats through them, baking the dirt, mixing with the moisture of the jungle and wrapping itself around us in a heavy, sweaty embrace. My arms tighten around my son.
Frank presses his snout to James’s foot, a low whine escaping as he looks up at me. Nila joins with Blue circling us as though forming a defensive line. They know we are in danger but don’t know from what.
The dogs in the jungle, trained to protect the compound’s perimeter, continue to howl even as the sirens wind down.
Blue leads us to the jungle path. Darkness closes in around us, the air stifling and humidity thick. Over the cascading insect orchestra, a resonating hum grows louder. James looks up at the canopy above us. “Vroom?” He asks.
“Vroom,” I agree, keeping my focus on the winding path. Roots criss-cross the dirt. Big wet leaves and spidery vines encroach, tugging at my clothing as if to stop me from entering. Sweat slides down my spine under my shirt.
Nila jogs ahead, taking the lead, her nose to the ground while Blue stays by my side and Frank behind us—a train of people and dogs. A pack moving through the jungle. A formidable force.
A bird squawks loudly, jerking James’s attention. He pulls his arms from around my neck to clap.
The drone’s mechanical hum grows louder.
Nila stops, turning her head to the sky, nostrils flaring, trying to find its scent. I crane my neck. Through the thick foliage the sky is just a few flashes of blue. Three shadows darken the diamonds of light cascading to the jungle floor, and flashes of white glint above us. No bombs drop. No bullets rain.
I write because I love to read, but I have specific tastes...
If I was offered a job as a professional reader with no strings attached, I would take it. Getting paid to sit around and read while drinking tea all day—I'm there. Since that’s not possible, I became an author.
I write the books I want to read—stories that give me the immersive reading experiences I crave. When a series grabs me, and it's all I can think about, I'm SO happy. When my inner dialogue starts sounding like the protagonist of my current read, I think, Oh yeah, this is IT. This is what I love.
When I finish a book, and I NEED to immediately grab the next one in the series, that’s the intensity I crave. When I binge read an entire series, I want to feel like my own reality changed—as if the stories I read affected the real world just a little. After a great series I'm a little wiser, a little more grateful for my everyday existence, and a little more aware that my personal perspective is not everyone's.
Personally, I like to spend time in fictional worlds where justice is exacted with a vengeance, even though good and bad are not always black and white. Give me raw stories with a main character who occasionally makes me laugh, is flawed like we all are, and feels like a friend by the end of the first few chapters. They don’t have to be a friend I always LIKE, per se, but a part of me has to root for them.
For me, the sentence structure is important. Too much passive voice, and I'm out. I do not mind four-letter words at all though. Sex in books can go either way—fade to black or show me the details, but either way there has to be a reason it’s in the story. I'm also into heroic pets, plots that seem totally unhinged but all come together in the end with a BANG, and long series so I always have more to look forward to.
Those are the types of stories I love reading, so that’s how I write. If you’re into some or all of the above then I think we are going to get along fantastically.