It’s Veterans’ Day and the first thing I want to do is thank the veterans for their service and sacrifice.
I, and a lot of other romantic suspense authors, have main characters who are veterans. Everyone who makes up the core group of my Automatik team is a former special ops soldier who was deployed in conflicts abroad. My hope is that I respectfully represent some of that experience. I don’t want to make it all heroic or all terrible, but a balance between, as individual as the characters I’m portraying.
Veterans have always been the subject of fiction. Having war in a personal history is a powerful backstory to draw from, and infuses the character with an array experiences. Odysseus is a veteran of the Trojan War. Miss Fisher from Kerry Greenwood’s mystery series served with an ambulance unit during World War I. Many of the male protagonists in Film Noir had served in World War II and those experiences inform their stories as they try to fit back into the “normal” world.
But while this is a common storytelling trope, the reality shouldn’t be forgotten. Wars, unfortunately, are still being fought. Hopefully, resolutions can be found and people can return home safely. And I hope that the veterans who are home now are receiving the care and thanks they deserve.