Sometimes my life, and my job, is really cool. Like this morning when I was anxiously waiting for the coffee to drip, one slow painful drop at a time, while the small television in my kitchen was tuned into the ABC morning news.
Even in my caffeine deprived state, certain words from the newscaster captured my attention. Pirates/Navy Seals/Rescue. I knew without hearing more that in this day and age if there were pirates involved we were talking about Somalia. And if there was a rescue involving helicopters in that region of the world, that helo would be going to Djibouti. How was I so certain of this before I’d even heard, or read, the entire story? Because through my book research, through the contacts I’ve made in the active military world, I’ve had what is nearly, but not quite, an insider’s view of the Joint Task Force’s Camp Lemonier on the Horn of Africa in Djibouti, just miles from the Somalian border.
I know there are special forces and there is always a squadron of US Marines maintaining heavy helicopters (CH-53s) there.
I know what the hangers look like, the Cantina where the troops relax with a beer after a hard day, and the racks where they crash for a few hours of sleep at night. I’ve seen what the NCO’s offices look like, as well as the chow hall. I could picture it all as I listened to the news report and that, to me at least, is really cool.
I took all that information years ago to write CROSSING THE LINE, which is my military romance novel set on Camp Lemonier in Djibouti. Sometimes life and fiction cross paths…more often than you’d think.