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Beyond The Page: “Model Soldier” by Cat Johnson

Dec 18
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Model SoldierCat Johnson is on Caribbean Accent Book Reviews today to talk about “Model Soldier“, part of her Red, Hot and Blue series. Read on for the GIVEAWAY link

CABR: What inspired the plot behind “Model Soldier“?

CJ: The character of the hero in “Model Soldier” is what drove the plot. That hero, as well as the opening scene of the book, were inspired by an email I’d received from my Army consultant who was then an infantry platoon leader at a fire base in one of the border provinces in Afghanistan. I remember I’d read his email, which was very emotional because of the description and the way he’d written it, and then I had to leave to go somewhere.

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Cat JohnsonSince I live an hour from anything, I had a long drive alone in the car and by the time I’d reached my destination, I had the character of Sgt David Hawk Hawkins, the opening chapter, and the beginnings of a plot in my mind and ready to be written.

CABR: How has “Model Soldier” been updated or re-worked since it was first released in 2008 by a now out-of-print publisher?

CJ: There were no major plot changes or additions during the re-working of this story, but there was a lot of polishing and refining. Not only has my writing changed a bit over the years, but style preferences change in publishing.

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rhb picFor instance, now, it’s far less common to see dialogue tags (IE: she said, he said). Then, the book went through editing at Samhain, which includes copy edits by one editor, final line edits by another, then a final proofread, before it gets a fresh cover.

CABR: Which book in the Red, Hot & Blue series first used a soldier as a ‘model’ and does this feature in future books in the series?

CJ: Way back in about 2006, I was asked to be in an anthology of short holiday stories called “Heroes Unwrapped“, and I wrote the story of Spec Op BB Dalton from my then Task Force Zeta series with the defunct Linden Bay Romance.

I’d read an article on MSNBC about how the Navy SEALs were employing a marketing campaign that placed actual SEALs in triathlons and at other public events where they would find young, healthy men to recruit for special forces.

Model SoldierI was fascinated by this and immediately the plot for what was then titled Under the Covers (now titled BB DALTON) formed–a former underwear model turned Navy SEAL after 9/11, ordered by his commander to star in the military’s new special operative recruitment marketing campaign.

That multi-author anthology went out of print and now my short story, titled BB Dalton, is a free e-read available almost everywhere, including at my site. The links can be found at http://catjohnson.net/free-reads-2/ Please, go and download this free short story. It has a holiday theme, so it’s perfect for this time of year.

CABR: How does using members of the armed forces factor in to “Model Soldier“?

CJ: Well, putting my marketing hat on, I decided that if the recruitment campaign in BB’s story worked out for the Spec Ops, the military would of course repeat it for recruiting in the regular Army, and they’d need a soldier to star in it. That star, whether he likes it or not, ends up being Hawk.

bb picHow that happens, and how BB is involved, is pretty funny! You definitely do not have to read “BB Dalton” before “Model Soldier” to understand the plot or events, but I do think you’ll enjoy them both even better together. And hey, BB Dalton is free so why not!

(Enter the Rafflecopter here>>a Rafflecopter giveaway<< to WIN an eBook of “Model Soldier”)

CABR: Indeed. 😀 Who doesn’t love a good military romance novel? So what’s next from you, re-releases and new books?

CJ: Yes, and yes! I’m still slowly plodding my way through the re-releases of the out of print backlist. So next up from Samhain in the Red Hot & Blue series is A PRINCE AMONG MEN which features Sgt Ryan Pettit, who is Hawk’s Alpha team leader in Model Soldier. This releases in eBook in March 2013 and is already on pre-order for Kindle. http://catjohnson.net/books-2/a-prince-among-men/

cjThen, I’m really excited about the February 28th release of my first book with Kensington Brava. It’s already on pre-order and is the start of my new Oklahoma Nights series.

Book 1, One Night with a Cowboy, stars a former-champion, bull riding cowboy who is also active duty in the Army. When the editor at Kensington approached me last December saying they’d love to see a submission from me featuring either a cowboy or a military hero, I said, how about both?

Then the character of Tucker was born. I’m really excited about this one. So far there are 3 full-length novels and 2 novellas in the Oklahoma Nights series on the Kensington release schedule for 2013-14. http://catjohnson.net/books-2/one-night-with-a-cowboy-book-1/

TRIVIA

Model SoldierCABR: If you could be someone else for a day, from any time in history, who would you be and why?CJ: This is a seriously difficult question to answer! Okay, let me think. Perhaps a member of the royalty, either past or present, just to feel what it would be like to be a queen or princess for a day. Though preferably one of the younger, more attractive ones, and not one who loses their head! LOL

CABR: Thanks again for stopping by CABR :) happy Cat.

CJ: Thank you for having me! I know I dumped a lot of info here, so please know that there is a SERIES READING ORDER page on my website, as well as a Book page and Coming Soon page so you can always refer to my site at CatJohnson.net for up-to-date info.                                                            (Click on all RED links in this interview for more info)

(Enter the Rafflecopter here>>a Rafflecopter giveaway<< to WIN an eBook of “Model Soldier”)

 

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