I did in fact do a LOT of research and had some experience of writing to soldiers on the other side of the world, but Songbird was the first time I’d tried using pictures instead of just my imagination to help me. I had a picture in my mind about the look of the main characters involved, but it was a revelation to me how hard it was to find a real person who fitted the bill.
Finding a woman to be Sam Litton wasn’t too hard. My husband and I had always talked of who would play my stories if they ever got made into film. He has a thing for Keira Knightly, so that was settled right away. I also had in mind, for the charming Corporal Dean Fletcher, the edgy looking Jonathan Rhys Myers, and I have a picture taped into my notebook of him from The Tudors. Not very appropriate, but the clothing was not so important.
Then there was Sgt. Andy Garrington, who was NOT named after my husband. Actually he was, but he wasn't based on him. My hubby had once before asked me to put him in one of my books and I cast an Andy as a bit part, who was a total cad. This time he was specific; he wanted to be a good guy and preferably the lead. As for a picture? I scrolled through countless hours of hot men on the internet (a hardship we romance authors have to bear) and finally came across the picture I wanted. As simple as that, or so it would seem, but a year and a half later, after having been finished, self-published, republished under HarperImpulse, and out there in the big wide world, I met a writer who found my guy for me and what do you know??? He used to be a soldier! His name is Raoul Bova and he is an Italian actor, who served his country in the army years before. Fitting, right?
If you would like to take this journey with them, Songbird is available through all e-retailors and you can find all its buy links right here: http://www.harperimpulseromance.com/books/the-songbird-and-the-soldier
And for more on my journey and researching this book, go to: http://www.harperimpulseromance.com/flying-home/