24 May 2010

Action, Action, Action!

I discovered quite early in my writing career that I like action, and lots of it. In order to write about all this fun action, I felt it was my duty to learn what I was talking about so that my characters could act it out for you in an entertaining, yet believable, fashion. The first thing I did was join a kenpo karate class. I got a few belts in (brown), and viola! Levi was fighting like a pro. Of course he's a little better at it than I am, but that's because I expect nothing less from him. Kiser uses more of a taekwondo technique (though I didn't actually study that). He likes to kick. This is a bad thing if you happen to be the object of his attention when he does this. Anyway, if that doesn't work for him there's always the 9mm beretta. I needed a different fighting style for Jose who joins the story later in the series. His style is more krav maga---very high energy style. Anyone fighting on the ground in my story is using brazilian ju jitsu which is an awesome workout by the way. Others use basic boxing. I didn't do much boxing.

Carson, as you know, is my knife thrower. I did learn to do this, though I probably should admit I never mastered this art. I am decidedly more dangerous than Carson when throwing. This is because you never know where my knives will land. Did you know throwing knifes bounce off a wooden target? I didn't. I nearly impaled myself. This little detail landed in ENTANGLED in the locker room scene. I'll leave the knife throwing to carson for now. 

The airplane ride, for those of you who like aircraft, was actually a C-130. I had the opportunity on several occasions to fly on these. While everyone else was sleeping, talking, vomiting, etc., I was busy taking notes (if you happened to be on one of those Alaskan flights with me, I was the one with the silly smile, tiny notepad, and the general's ink pen). Later in the series, we visit the team's pilot Matt on the flight deck. How am I able to describe a C-130 in flight? I actually got to fly a C-130! And how did i manage that? C-130 training simulator! Yeah, baby! The military is awesome, isn't it? Oh, the toys they have! Not to mention some really awesome people. I successfully took off---actually, I almost crashed the plane on take off---flew around the city, and then landed safely after only missing the runway once. I did not take notes in the simulator, for those of you who might wonder. I did that on the car ride home. Oh, and I never vomited either.

The commandos. No matter how hard I tried, I wasn't able to get my notepad within range of a real Navy SEAL, but I did spend quite some time studying their training techniques, behavior, mannerisms, and fun banter. I learned about Army Rangers, found absolutely nothing on Delta Force, and bumped into an actual Marine Recon commando in a store on base, which was really neat. Of course, I wanted all the juicy details of these organizations, yet I was pretty certain none of these groups would cooperate with me regarding such a request. So, I created my own civilian commando unit and shaped them into an awesome team. Then, like a bonehead, I made them all fluent in Spanish. I didn't know Spanish! You know what that means. I'm not fluent yet. I'm still learning. I really must be more careful when I write.

You know what else I did without thinking? I had Kiser and Mandy jump out of a C-130! Yes, I did. This was a bad idea. You see, by now I've developed a reputation. If I write it, that means I've researched it, tried it myself, or at least made a darn good effort to understand it---up to this point anyway. No way was I going to jump out of an airplane. Ever! Story or no story, it wasn't going to happen. The military has jump simulators. I'm still working on this. One of these days---late, of course---I will get into the jump simulator, but I'm not jumping from a real one. You can forget it. That's right folks, D.C. Sargent chickened out. I really, really must be more careful when I write. xo, dc

13 May 2010

Character Auditions

Fair warning disclaimer---if you frequent the planet Earth and happen to cross paths with me, you have just auditioned to become one of my characters. Below is a list of how it works.

**If you catch me staring, you have just become a potential selectee---please do not be offended. You may not be placed right away, but I've stored you in my data files for later use.

**If I follow you please do not be alarmed. I am not stalking you, you are simply an instant winner. Stay tuned for new book releases, let me know when you recognize yourself.

**If you are without class, rude, a bad driver, or otherwise unpleasant you have just become an expendable character. I make examples of these folks, and they are usually the first to die.

**Intelligent potentials are held in very high esteem, especially when one also has a good sense of humor. This wit is tweeked, meticulously paired with the appropriate existing character, altered to fit a scenario, and then becomes dialog. Voila! How cool is that?

**If you're funny, you're probably going in. Personality is everything!

**My villan Dappo, believe it or not, originally came from yours truly. I don't blow stuff up, of course, but I wish I could have his temperment AND get away with it. I mean, we've all met that one person whose neck you'd just like to . . . hmm. How do I explain? Well, he gets to do all those things I've always kinda wished . . . maybe I shouldn't be writing this.

I appologize. my halo slipped. okay, where was i?

**In ENTANGLED, most of my characters were taken from my fellow militarians. if you were on a military base when I got/lived there, guess what! Read the book, let me know if you recognize yourself (including Mandy).

**In honor of our fallen soldiers, two of my static characters in ENTANGLED were actually chosen from the casualty list I frequent so often. Their names have been changed, of course, but at least a small part of these two heros lives on. A third KIA is alive and well in the second (unreleased) book in the series THE DEVIL'S GARDEN, and a fourth KIA hero has been selected and will soon awaken in the third book which I am currently writing. Auditions for this W.I.P. are ongoing.

So there you have it. That's how it's done. I do not personally know the majority of the volunteers in my books (actually, I only know two), but from the bottom of my heart . . . thank you. ox, dc