1. What inspired you to write The Woman Left Behind: A Novel?
It was a little thing, the idea of an operative with the code name “Babe.” That was the seed that started the whole thing. Most of my books begin as small ideas, things to think about, then it becomes “how do I get an entire book to progress to this point?” That’s when I start writing, to see it works out.
2. What goes through Jina Modell’s mind when she’s reassigned to work as an on-site drone operator?
It’s an “Oh, s**t!” moment, rather than looking at it as an opportunity. She doesn’t want to do this. She does, however, really like the good pay and the job she has, and she likes the idea of working with drones. Then her new team members don’t think she can handle the training and she’s constitutionally unable to back down from a challenge; she goes from really wanting to get cut, to being determined to prove them wrong.
3. What does team leader Levi, call sign Ace, think of his new recruit, Jina?
That he’s attracted to her and wishes she’d fail at training so he could see about a relationship with her. Team chemistry would be really harmed if any of the guys, including him, saw her as sexually available, so he puts her off limits to all of them. It’s frustrating, maddening, but Levi is an above-board guy. He won’t sabotage her, he gives her the chance to succeed.
4. How does the relationship between Ace and Jina change during training?
There’s a certain hostility between them because of the circumstances, but there’s also the sexual tension they fight to ignore.
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Jina doesn’t back down from anything, so she’s in his face over just about everything . . . and he enjoys it. They’re adults; they don’t think every itch has to be scratched, they’re capable of ignoring their wants in order to concentrate on the importance of the missions they accomplish. Basically, they respect each other, and the attraction grows into something more permanent.
5. As busy moms, what lessons can we learn from Jina’s story that would apply to our own lives?
Determination, and the willingness to take the hard road rather than the way out. Sometimes when the kids are whining and wanting something you know isn’t good for them, you stick to your guns and don’t let them get away with it. No means no. My own mother was of that school; when she said no, she meant it, and no amount of crying or begging was going to change her mind. In fact, if we kept on, she’d double down and take some additional privilege away. We learned. And you know what? We adored her. She was our rock. We knew she’d fight tigers for us . . . and we knew no meant no.
6. Are you currently at work on your next novel? If so, what can you share with us?
Linda Jones and I are currently working on a joint project, a mass market release about how a small community works together in an emergency to survive. There is, of course, a romance.
This is not a sponsored post.