Friday, May 2, 2014

Flying Between Series

by M. L. Buchman

So there I was, happily flying along in my Night Stalkers series:

And then, right in the middle of Take Over at Midnight something happened. Something wholly unexpected! (Shocked the be-jeebees out of me, I can tell you.) I mean I've been flying along happily writing love story after love story, when Emily Beale decided that was insufficient and turned up pregnant. Well, it made sense once it had happened, these were all loving couples and someone had to reproduce, but did it have to be the mother figure of the Night Stalkers? Okay, I guess I just answered that question. (Sigh. Emily? Really?)

Now I had to puzzle out what to do about it. She's not going to keep flying dangerous military missions in her attack helicopter. But neither can she quit because flying is such a part of her soul. While her "delicate" condition provided exciting and pivotal scenes in Take Over at Midnight, Emily was far from satisfied. And if you've read any of these books, you know that an unhappy Major Emily Beale is not a good thing.

So, I did one of the few time skips I've ever done. I try to write my series in at least some semblance of real time. If six months passes between book releases, then six months pass between one book and the next internally as well. To jump Emily into her new life, I gave her a year off to have a child and retrain as...uh, something. Okay. I really did have a problem here.

Then a local aviation company came to the rescue. An Oregon-based heli-aviation firefighting company had purchased the air assets of Air America at the end of the Vietnam War. Air America flew CIA operations in Laos and Cambodia during the war. And according to rumor, the new company continued flying CIA transport contracts in addition to firefighting.

This was right up Emily and Mark's alley. Most of their time would be spent as wildland firefighters, as safe an occupation as any when flying helicopters. It was just the sort of jump to require excellent piloting skills and a chance for Mark and Emily to build a new team. And on the side, when called for, a newly-formed and quite secret division of Mount Hood Aviation could quietly solve some problems other than fire.

Thus was born my new Firehawks series. The fliers of Mount Hood Aviation have the very best equipment to fly to fire. At MHA: challenges, hopes, dreams, dangers, and love abound. I hope you come join Emily's new team with the May 6th release of Pure Heat!

“BEST 10 ROMANCE OF SPRING 2014″-Publisher’s Weekly

These helicopter wildland firefighters battle more than fires.

The elite fire experts of Mount Hood Aviation fly into places even the CIA can’t penetrate.

She lives to fight fires
Carly Thomas could read burn patterns before she knew the alphabet. A third-generation forest fire specialist who lost both her father and her fiancĂ© to the flames, she’s learned to live life like she fights fires: with emotions shut down.

But he’s lit an inferno she can’t quench
Former smokejumper Steve “Merks” Mercer can no longer fight fires up close and personal, but he can still use his intimate knowledge of wildland burns as a spotter and drone specialist. Assigned to copilot a Firehawk with Carly, they take to the skies to battle the worst wildfire in decades and discover a terrorist threat hidden deep in the Oregon wilderness—but it’s the heat between them that really sizzles.
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  1. Clever way to deal with the fictional pregnancy! I think your readers who are moms will really relate.

  2. Characters have a way of springing surprises on you, don't they! Love the way you "fixed" it! Your readers are going to love it!

  3. Shana: I have to say, as one of those excessively proud parents, I realized that my fictional world really wasn't honoring the love they felt for each other. My family is my single greatest joy, and I wasn't giving that joy to my characters. It just took Emily whacking me over the head with it for me to realize what I was missing. :)

    Carolyn: It certainly did make it fun. Just as Dilya insisted she was in book #2 "I Own the Dawn" (each scene I tried to write her out, turned into yet another scene of her becoming more entrenched in the story).

  4. I love Dilya and am glad that you paid attention to her persistent presence. I look forward to reading this and many more in the series!