News and Novels–reality in romance

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.

Crossing the Line by Cat JohnsonI 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.

4 responses to “News and Novels–reality in romance

  1. Your attention to details and your commitment to researching every aspect are what contribute to the amazing stories you share with us and make you the amazing writer you are! You don’t cut corners or take shortcuts just to make a deadline or crank out another story just to earn a few bucks. You poor your heart & soul into your stories and it shows! And we much appreciate it! And thank you for the positive image you help portray of our military, the job they do & the fact that these are everyday men/women who do an unforgiving job.

  2. Thank you, Shannon. That means a lot to me coming from you.

    And I know what you mean about the ‘everyday men and women’. This morning, when co-anchor Robin Roberts on Good Morning, America asked the Vice President, “Can you tell us, sir, were these men members of Seal Team 6?” I nearly jumped through the TV at her. Not to belittle anything anyone has done to help make this rescue a reality, there had to be many, many more people involved in this operation than just the SEALs (who admittedly are trained to be amazingly capable), and there are many, many more SEALs in the Navy than just Team 6. The media needs to get their heads of out the clouds and pay attention to the boots on the ground.
    Seal Teams 1-5

  3. I totally thought of you this am when I saw that report on GMA! It was so like your Crossing the Line story that I thought, yet once again, that truth may be stranger than fiction but in this case, your fiction is as real as the truth! I am thankful for whatever mystery SEAL team that performed this heroic act and hope that they know just how much pride we take in their anonymous and often thankless efforts!