BP: Today we have Jessica Scott joining us on the blog. We read, enjoyed, and reviewed her debut book Because of You. Her second book Until There Was You releases in early October. In honor of that upcoming release we have a guest post for our early post and check back later today for an excerpt of Until There Was You. Closer to release time we will post our review. Thanks for joining us Ms Scott.
Thanks so much for the BookPushers for having me here today. When I was thinking about what to write as a guest post, E suggested I write about the emotional connection between what I write and what I’ve lived through with deployments and the war. She pointed out that she’s read that writing emotional scenes can be cathartic but also that while cathartic it can take its emotional toll. Her question specifically asked whether I find this to be the case and if so did I have any concerns about writing any of the emotional deployment related scenes?
I guess I started writing as an outlet, as a way of coping with both being away from my kids for the first time and as a way of dealing with my subconscious fear that my husband would not make it home from his second deployment. The book I wrote way back in 2007 dealt with a widowed army officer dealing with the return of an old boyfriend and with trying to work and raise her child without her husband. You think that might have been a coping mechanism? Maybe.
There are a lot of emotions that I’ve pulled from both my experiences downrange and my husband’s experiences. He doesn’t talk about them much but when he does, I listen. And while I don’t set out to take what he or anyone tells me and put it into words, I think to deny that those feelings that are invoked are somehow transferred to the page would be a lie.
The other way I’ve noticed things impact my writing is that in a highly emotional event, a way I try to deal with it is to think about how to describe it. How to capture that moment, that sensation, that emotional truth. I had a battalion commander tell me that feelings are real but they’re not always true and she’s 100% on the money. I think that figuring out how to describe feelings or events or sensation is just one way that I use my writing as a way to cope with the chaos of being deployed or the strong emotions of dealing with my husband’s deployments or sometimes, just the everyday strain of being a working mom.
I guess I worry about laying things on too thick or about trying to hit too close to home with some of the emotional story lines. I think readers want to read about the war but in a way that is a little less raw than I feel about it. So I worry that I need to maintain the emotional truth while not clubbing people over the head with it, if that makes sense? I don’t worry that dredging up some of the more powerful memories will somehow make me crazy – at least not any crazier than I already am. If anything, I think it’s a particularly therapeutic way of dealing with the stress in my life.
Until There Was You deals with some emotions that hit very close to home for me. As a young lieutenant, I worried tremendously that my team wasn’t as trained as it could have been and so a lot of the issues that Evan & Claire face are culled from some of my now distant past angst.
Here’s the blurb:
He plays by the rules, she’s not afraid to break them. Now these two strong-willed army captains will prove that opposites attract . . .
A by-the-book captain with a West Point background, Captain Evan Loehr refuses to mix business with pleasure—except for an unguarded instance years ago when he succumbed to the deep sensuality of redheaded beauty Claire Montoya. From that moment on, though, Evan has been at odds with her, through two deployments to Iraq and back again. But when he is asked to train a team prepping for combat alongside Claire, battle-worn Evan is in for the fight of his life.
Strong, gutsy, and loyal, Captain Claire Montoya has worked hard to earn the rank on her chest. In Evan, Claire sees a rigid officer who puts the rules before everything else—including his people. When the mission forces them together, Claire soon discovers that there is more to Evan than meets the eye.
He’s more than the rank on his chest; he’s a man with dark secrets and deep longings. For all their differences, Evan and Claire share two crucial passions: their country and each other.
I’ve included a scene where the hero and heroine of Until There Was You Evan & Claire are in the aftermath of a training accident where one of their good friends was injured. BP NOTE: Come back and read the excerpt on our next post today.
Jessica Scott is a career army officer, mother of two daughters, three cats, three dogs and two escape-artists hamsters, wife to a career NCO and wrangler of all things stuffed and fluffy. She has commanded two companies, served in Germany, Korea, Fort Hood and Iraq, and been lucky not to get fired. She is a terrible cook and an even worse housekeeper, but she’s a pretty good shot with her assigned weapon. Somehow, her children are pretty well adjusted and her husband still loves her, despite burned water and a messy house.
You can find her online at Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads