by Leslie Jones
Who Am I? (Because I Know You’re Waiting with Bated Breath)
I write military romantic suspense – I love sexy alpha heroes and strong, capable heroines. I’m truly grateful to the men and women of our Armed Forces for their dedication and sacrifice. It is because of them that I sleep well at night. I also honor all military spouses.
I’ve been an IT geek, a graphics designer, an Army intelligence officer and an Army wife. Yes, I draw on my military experiences when I write. How could I not? In one form or fashion, I was associated with the military for 18 years: 3 years of search-and-rescue, 4 years of officer training, 5 years on active duty as an intelligence analyst, and another 6 as an Army spouse. I still straighten to attention when approached by a boss, resist the urge to salute during the National Anthem (because I’m not in uniform), and address strangers as ma’am or sir. Does anyone else find it impertinent that the 19-year old intake worker at Sonoran Quest Labs calls you up to the desk for your co-pay using your given name? The older I get, it seems, the more I find such things pushy, and appreciate being addressed with a modicum of formality. It’s a nit, to be sure. I’m generally allergic to formality after one too many ceremonial shindigs in the Army. So why do I object to being called by my first name by someone my son’s age, who doesn’t know me and will likely never see me again? Beats me.
I’ve lived in Alaska, Korea, Belgium, Germany, and various other exotic locations (including New Jersey). Moving every few years made me an expert in relocation. Thankfully, we’ve been stable in one city for nearly 10 years now. It’s home, and I have no intention of permanently living elsewhere. There aren’t many who understand my love for the raw, primal beauty of the southwestern desert. It teems with life. It boils life down to its essence. Survive, or don’t.
I’m a member of the Romance Writers of America and the Desert Rose RWA, where I’ve served on the Board of Directors for the past two years. When I decided to dip my toe into the writing community in Phoenix, I feared I’d find snobby literary types who wore tweed jackets and quoted Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Imagine my thrilled-ness (it’s a word now because I used it) when I stumbled on other people like me! Shy, introverted, enthusiastic, weird, vibrant authors, whose characters jump up and down for attention, who act out their characters’ emotions with arms waving and faces contorting. Who accidentally leave the house wearing slippers, because they were up late the night before writing just the right love scene. People like me!
I’m also a wife and mother, and split my time between Scottsdale, Arizona and Cincinnati, Ohio. Ohio is a story for another day.
I’m looking forward to getting to know you, too! Who’s the weirdest person you’ve ever come across who you thought would make a great character in a book?