Who in your personal life was the biggest supporter of your writing?
That would be my husband, hands down. Though he doesn’t read what I write he has always been there for me, doing whatever he can to help me out.
What is one thing you wish your readers could understand about the writing process?
That it’s hard! LOL! But that can also be a good thing. I believe in challenging myself as a writer and taking chances. And that’s what I’ve done here with Broken Soldier. This book is dark and gritty. It tackles drug use/addiction and how far Shawn is willing to go, submitting himself to the bad guy emotionally and physically until it breaks him and nearly kills him.
This is a big change for me, and I hope that my regular readers will give this book a chance. Because even though it’s not my usual style, I am, and always will be, the Queen of Happy Endings. I will put my boys through hell, but love and dedication will always put them back together again. So give it a try! You just might like it!
When did you start writing and what was your inspiration?
I’d been writing short stories since I was a kid but didn’t get serious about it until I started writing fanfic in the mid-90’s. I got tired of hearing how bad all fanfic was, that fanfic writers had no talent. I took it as a challenge and decided to give going pro a shot. And what do you know, my very first book was accepted to a publisher on my very first try. Take that, fanfic haters!
Seeing more and more authors going the “self-pub’ route. Thoughts?
I’m all for self-publishing. All of my books except for one are self-published. But I’m lucky in that I can design my own covers and have my own editor, so I don’t have those added expenses that others might have to pay for out of pocket if not going with a traditional publisher. And I have no problem doing my own self-promotion, etc. But again, that’s not for everyone. For me, self-publishing has worked out great. I like that I have complete control over my work.
How much thought do you as an author put into your cover, cover models etc. And has that changed since you started writing. If so, have you or will you go back and re-do covers you’re no longer pleased with?
As a graphic designer, I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve been able to design all of my covers except for one. I put a huge amount of thought into my cover art. Sometimes I’ll go through dozens of different designs and search through hundreds of pages of stock photos for models. Because in the end, a picture’s worth a thousand words if you want to get people interested enough to then read your blurb.
What is the most intense scene you have ever written? Did you find it difficult writing that scene?
I wrote a scene in Burnin’ for You where a school bus goes into the river. All of the firemen jump in and manage to pull all the children out but they’re too late and none of the children survive. That was very difficult to write. But also very realistic, what firemen and paramedics face in the aftermath of children dying.
When writing, what comes first? The characters or the plot?
Nine times out of ten it’s the plot for me. I suddenly think of some situation that I want to be the main focus of my book and the characters develop from there.
Do you ever write your own personal fantasies into your books?
Well if you count the fact that I’ve always wanted to be in law enforcement and that’s why I write about cops, then yes. J
How much if any of your story line comes from real life people or events?
A lot. The majority of the inspiration for Broken Soldier came from my time spent attending citizen police academy classes. I would listen to the detectives talk about undercover work and how far they needed to go and how dangerous it could be and how it could end up breaking them, living this other life. And this was just to take down drug dealers or gangs. So I upped the ante even further by making this a military book and the “target” an arms dealer supplying weapons to terrorists. Just imagine the lengths a covert ops team would go to, to stop this man. I really put Connor and Shawn (most especially Shawn) through the emotional and physical wringer to complete their mission.
Do you have to look at the keys when you type?
Nope! And I have my parents to thank for that. I wanted horse back riding lessons for my 8th grade graduation gift. Instead they gave me a typewriter. LOL! Little did they know that thanks to a summer spent learning how to type it would aid me much later in life!
What are your two favorite 80’s movies?
The Empire Strikes Back and Cloak and Dagger.
Jamie Lynn Miller has been writing fiction since childhood and decided to take the plunge and go pro in 2008, finding to her amazement that people truly enjoyed her love stories. She’s a romantic at heart, and her tales reflect the desire we all have to find “the one,” persevering through trials and heartache for that happy ending.
Jamie has a degree in fine arts and has spent the last twenty years working as a graphic designer, though she’d much rather be writing. She was born in Chicago and still lives there today with her husband and their two furry, four-footed children, er… cats.
If she’s not brainstorming story ideas, you can find Jamie at a sci-fi convention, in front of a furnace doing glass blowing, or on a mat twisted into a yoga pose.
Sergeant Connor Finley and Sergeant Shawn Weller are dedicated soldiers working covert ops for Shadow Unit — a joint UK/US anti-terrorism task force.
Partners in the field and out, they had been through hell together for the last four years and made it through standing side by side. But when their latest undercover op to bring down an arms dealer plunges them into a world of drugs, sex and violence, Shawn must literally get in bed with the enemy in order to complete the mission. And Connor is forced to watch, helpless, as his partner is broken into pieces.
Will love be enough to put them both back together or will this be their final mission?
WARNING: Contains scenes of drug use, graphic sex and realistic situations
It was the longest hour and a half of Connor’s life until his shift was over at the club and he was able to get back to the hotel. He found Shawn passed out cold face down on his bed, still fully dressed. Connor crouched down next to the bed and shook his partner’s shoulder.
“Shawn. Shawn. C’mon mate, wake up.”
Another shake and Shawn stirred, his eyelids fluttering open. “Connor?” he slurred.
“Yeah, it’s me. Can you sit up?”
Shawn blew out a breath and then levered himself up slowly, swinging his legs over the side of the bed and resting his head in his hands. “I’m really tired,” he mumbled.
Connor squeezed his shoulder. “I know. You can go back to sleep in a minute. I need you to tell me what happened tonight. How much coke did you do?”
Shawn raised his head and Connor looked into his blue eyes, relieved to see that his pupils were returning to their normal size.
Shawn shook his head. “We’ve moved on to the big leagues. Heroin. Jae’s drug of choice it turns out. He likes to shoot up.”
Connor sat back on his heels. “Fuck. Shawn…”
“I know, Connor. I know. But I’m almost there with him. I have to stick this out. I –“
“– can handle it, I know,” Connor finished for him. He rested his hand on the side of Shawn’s face and kissed him gently, tasting the whiskey on his lips. He sat back and tugged on Shawn’s misbuttoned shirt. “What else happened?” he asked, and Shawn glanced away from him.
“Did you have sex with him?” Connor continued, wanting to know but not wanting to at the same time.
Shawn looked back at him. “No. After we got high he had Eric suck me off while he watched and jacked off.”
Connor was disgusted. “That sick fuck. I hate this, Shawn. I hate what this is doing to you already.”
“It would be worse if I didn’t have you,” Shawn said quietly and Connor furrowed his brow in question. “It’s you…us…I think about. You’re getting me through this.”
The last of Shawn’s energy left him then and his eyes slid closed. Connor caught his shoulders as his body started to slump to the side and eased him back down onto the bed. Connor rested his hand on Shawn’s chest, felt his heart beating strong and sure beneath his palm, in contrast to the exhaustion written on his face, even in sleep.
“But not fast enough…”
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