Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Guest Author, LK Hunsaker

Today's Guest is LK Hunsaker, fellow Bookspa member and Classic Romance Revival author. She's doing a whirlwind blog tour this month, so be sure to stop and see what she has to say at each spot! Welcome, LK!

Behind The Scenes: An Army Brat

Hi Liana! It’s great to be here on your blog! Since it’s Veteran’s Day here in the States and since I’ve enjoyed your talks about balance and wellness, I thought I’d incorporate those today.

Let’s start with a quick excerpt from Off The Moon. Here, Ryan is visiting his brother and is followed by a photographer looking for private moments. (slightly edited to maintain PG rating):

Ryan sighed. “I’m really sorry about this.”

“Not your fault.” Will called the dog back and stroked her to help her calm.

“How is it not my fault?”

His brother shrugged as though photographers hanging around his backyard was an everyday occurrence. “It’s your right to do the job you love. Not your fault the country is star crazy.”

“Not like I haven’t tried to feed into it, though. You know how much time and energy goes into feeding it? To grab as much limelight as possible to help sales? Part of me gets angry when they badger me like this, but then, I’ve never minded when it pay the bills.”

“Part of the job. We all have the right to support our careers. And don’t think I’ve always felt that way. I’ve had my share of being ticked off at the invasion into our lives because of it, but it’s not like we’re not used to being affected so much by a career. We grew up that way. More than most can understand.”

Ryan couldn’t argue that. Growing up a military brat and having to move every couple of years to wherever the Army said, like it or not, leaving friends behind, never with extended family around, hearing all of the political ramblers argue whether their parents were heroes or villains without knowing them and with no idea why they chose that life or what it was actually like on the inside … they were both well used to living on the outskirts of regular society instead of within it.

“You escaped it, though, decided to blend in. My choice shouldn’t affect you and your family.” He kept his eyes in the distance, in case the photographer decided to return.

“It’s not ever possible to not affect those around you with your choices. You know that. And you balance it well – your need with ours.

Although he’s known as self-centered and self-serving, Ryan grew up with military parents. He thinks of his life as growing up on the “outskirts of regular society” and it affects his overall outlook. Part of him resents the moving and he blames his lack of attachment on protecting himself. On the other hand, he has a lot of respect for his parents and the way they taught him to follow rules and to do chores and be a real part of maintaining the household.

He spends his days doing what he can to grab attention and to perpetuate the rebellious independent wild child image for his career and even tells himself that’s what he is. However, his roots nag at him. During his rebellion and the crazy stunts, the side of him that’s more down-to-earth and family oriented helps to keep him balanced so he doesn’t go too far over the edge. He also does what he can to keep it from bothering his family, and his family in turn, helps to protect his privacy and gives him shelter from the craziness of his job.

I enjoyed playing with the idea of balancing “selfish pop star” with “serving military family.” Anyone who is or has been military or knows service members and their families well knows that “selfish” is the antithesis of what being military means. Although in recent years there has been a surge of support for the military, for too many years before that, they were severely underappreciated and even dealt with a lot of spite. Some sectors of civilian population still treat them that way. The true story of the school child during the first year of the Iraq war who had to sit in class and listen to his teacher talk about how anyone fighting there was “evil” haunted me. It still does. That’s where the hero or villain bit of this excerpt came about.

Ryan is haunted, also, by taunts he heard from the civilian sector as a child. He has trouble relating to anyone outside his career or outside military life because he’s never been part of anything else. His career both avoids and embraces his “outskirts” raising. Being a pop star keeps him outside regular society and he’s comfortable there. Many sides of Ryan conflict, appear to be opposites, but looking close enough, it’s a parallel to military life: fighting for peace, separating from those you love to protect those you don’t know, vulnerability that creates strength and vice versa. It also balances him so well, he’s able to adapt to whatever situation he’s faced with, no matter how hard it is on him, physically and mentally.

My thoughts and best wishes go out this Veteran’s Day and always to all service members past and present and to their loved ones.

As an aside, if you know a deployed service member who likes to read and has an Ereader of some kind, refer him or her to Operation Ebook Drop: Indie authors donating books to those deployed!

Buy Link for Off the Moon preorders:

Find my website for more info, plus a free download of the beginnings of each of my novels:

Also, be sure to check my blog this month for Off The Moon related interviews.

Off The Moon
LK Hunsaker

"Riveting" Ryan Reynauld is immersed in a world of music, parties, and temporary companionship. Having risen to the top of the pop charts, his biggest concern is objecting to the way his music is produced. That is, until he finds a young woman standing on a window ledge. Against the advice of family and friends, and through media attacks and fan protests, Ryan determines to care for her himself, making a promise that threatens to destroy his career.

Convincing the skittish girl she can learn to trust again comes with a steep price. Sometimes the path to recovery begins by allowing your world to implode.

Elucidate Publishing
November 2009
Print ISBN 978-0-9825299-0-4
Ebook ISBN 978-0-9825299-1-1

Thanks for having me today, Liana!

Next up: Celebrities: Truth vs. Hype, hosted by Nancy O’Berry, Nov. 13

The full tour itinerary is available here.

Don't forget to leave your comments! One person from each blog will be drawn to receive a signed, mailed copy of the short story LK has written as a bit of a prequel to Off The Moon, called Toward The Sky, plus there will be a signed print book drawing for anyone who comments on at least 8 blogs!


LK Hunsaker said...

Thanks for having me today, Liana! I'll be popping in and out through today and for several days after. ;-)

Sharon Donovan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hywela Lyn said...

I really enjoyed this excerpt, LK, and I've said it before, but that's a beautiful cover!

Wishing you loads of luck with this when it's released, hope it sells like hotcakes, it certainly sounds as if it should!

Lindsay Townsend said...

Another super post, LK!

I love your blog, Liana - it's so artistic and shows off your covers so well.

Unknown said...

Loraine--You're doing great on your blog tour! Your post is good, very interesting, and really showcases your wriitng style--Good luck with "Off the Moon." Celia

LK Hunsaker said...

Lyn, thank you. Let's hope you're right. ;-)

Lindsay, so glad to see you at each stop!

Celia, that's good to know, as this is my first tour. Thanks for letting me know it's coming off well!

Mona Risk said...

Hi Loraine, what an interesting post with so much depth into the feelings of a miltary child. You posted it on the right day, Veterans Day.

Unknown said...

This looks like a really good book that is different from a lot of others I have read. Ryans character looks like he has many layers.I loved the excerpt. I wish you much luck on this book, it looks amazing@

Val Pearson

lainey bancroft said...

Another great blog and excerpt, LK! I adore Ryan a bit more every day! Nicely done.

LK Hunsaker said...

Hi Mona, having military-raised kids helped with Ryan's insight. Veteran's Day gave me the inspiration for this post.

Val, thank you! It's hard to write something different than what is already out there, so that's quite a compliment.

Lainey, I'm so glad to know Ryan is attracting you. :-)

Stephanie Burkhart said...

I love your background for Ryan. It really adds depth to his character. I've got a lot of respect for the military since I served between 1986-1997. Thanks for making this part of Ryan's history.

LK Hunsaker said...

Hi Steph, I thought of you while writing this entry. He's the first military-related character I've created, and I enjoy that part of him.

Thanks for following my tour even while trying to handle Nanowrimo! Lyn, too. Hope you're both doing well with it.

Maggie Toussaint said...

Hey Loraine,
I enjoyed reading the blog. I like how you have counterposed the military lifestyle with the musical one. Intriguing.

Rebecca J Vickery said...

Hi Loraine and Liana,
Great post and I love the cover. Absolutely gorgeous. Best wishes for this book and all your future writing.

LK Hunsaker said...

Maggie and Rebecca, thank you for the nice comments and for coming by Liana's to read!

LK Hunsaker said...

WINNER: Lindsay Townsend

I used WDC's virtual dice and counted 7 comments other than myself and my blog host, plus previous winners and came up with number 2.

Congrats, Lindsay! The story will be mailed out after the book's release date.

Link to the contest rolls: