Beyond and Behind the Story

One of the question authors are most frequently asked is where do ideas come from.

Today, I’ll be sharing the background behind Love in the Morning Calm and The Pendant’s Promise These two books tell the love story of Alex (Ace) Cabot and Lily Reed Johnson.

Though not a series in the true sense of a book series, Love in the Morning Calm is the Prequel and tells how Lily and Ace met and fell in love. The Pendant’s Promise picks up the story twenty years later.

The idea for Lily and Ace’s story came from my personal experience at Eighth Army Headquarters in South Korea. What was I doing in South Korea at Eighth Army?

That’s a story in itself.

My husband is a retired Army Reserve officer. He completed R.O.T.C. during college and at the height of Vietnam War received his commission when he graduated.

With a military background – my father was an Army Air Corp officer, I was proud that my husband joined the Army Reserves…until his first unaccompanied assignment.

The thought of being stateside while he served at the Korea Procurement Agency, Eighth Army, South Korea, was not appealing.

It was so unpleasant that I sold our car, purchased airline tickets for our toddler daughter and myself, and followed him.

Jerry-SaraE7-2

During our time there, I worked as a Department of Army Civilian (DAC) at Eighth Army Headquarters in G3. 8th army HQ

That’s why, in the story, Lily is a DAC at G3. I knew what it was like. You might recognize the picture from the cover of Love in the Morning Calm.

lbj-in-korea-12Both novels are fiction loosely based around Lyndon Johnson’s Southeast Asia in 1966.lbj-in-korea-4

The characters in Love in the Morning Calm and The Pendant’s Promise are  figments of my imagination, but I confess they have some traits of people I met during my time at Eighth Army G3. (That tee shirt saying, watch what you say or you might end up in my novel, is actually true.)

The setting is accurate though I’m sure that Yongsan Compound has changed dramatically since we were there.

If you’re read either Love in the Morning Calm and The Pendant’s Promise, you might recognize some of these places.

The parade field in front of Headquarters, pictured here from 1966.2276276862_8th Army hdqtrs

Korean busThe PX 2240085375_ PX Yongsan

                         The military buses

Next week, I’ll be sharing more photos of places around Seoul that I incorporated into both stories.

YOUR TURN: Do you like seeing “real” pictures to compare to what you imagined when you read books?

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