Have you read my review for The Military Wife yet? If you have, you know that I thought it was superb! And look who dropped by to chat with us about it! I had a chance to interview author Laura Trentham about her experience writing The Military Wife. Check it out below!
AH: Do you have any personal ties to the military? Did any of your personal relationships inspire characters in the book?
LT: My best friend from college is a military wife. She has a degree in chemical engineering (like me), but was never able to find a job in that area because of where they lived and how often they moved. I also visited her on different bases around the country, so I got a feel for how they lived. Of course, this was all years and years before this book was even a kernel in my imagination! But I can go to her with questions about how things work on bases with the wives (and husbands.)
AH: How was your experience writing your first women’s fiction novel? How did it differ from writing a romance novel?
LT: I loved writing The Military Wife and the follow up, An Everyday Hero. I tend to explore family/friend ties in my romances as well, so it was really a matter of strengthening those story lines and making sure they converged. Honestly, the biggest difference is that my romances are fairly hot in the bedroom, and I closed the door on any intimate scenes in the WF books.
AH: How long did it take you to write The Military Wife?
LT: It took around three and a half months. That’s pretty standard for a full-length book for me working “full-time” which is really just when my kids are at school.
AH: What was the easiest part of the book to write? What was the most challenging?
LT: The hardest part to write was Darren and Allison’s story revolving around PTSD. That is something I don’t have direct experience with and I wanted to make sure I took care to present it with a raw honesty that rang true. The easiest part (although the most emotional for me to write) was the chapter where Harper gives birth to Ben. I could draw on personal experience, being a mother myself and dealing with post-partum emotions.
AH: How do you celebrate finishing a novel?
LT: I order take-out for the family and get ready to dive straight into the next book! I don’t like to take time off between projects, because I have more books outlined to write than I have time!
AH: Who is your favorite author to read and why?
LT: I have the classic gothic romances on my keeper shelves, Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, Jane Aiken Hodge. It might be surprising to learn that I don’t like to read in the genre I write in because I’m either too critical and can’t get immersed in the story or I’m afraid I’m going to subconsciously pick up another author’s plot or turn of phrase. So, I’ve been reading lots of historical mysteries from CS Harris and Deanna Raybourn and fantasy romances from Sarah Maas and Katherine Arden.
AH: What should readers expect from the next A Heart of a Hero novel?
LT: The next book, An Everyday Hero (the title was picked yesterday so you’re the first to hear it!) is not connected to The Military Wife. It’s a standalone novel set in Tennessee about a failed country musician who has returned home broke and heartbroken and is thrown together with an old classmate who has lost a leg in combat and hasn’t decided whether he wants to rejoin the world or not. It’s a little sassier and funnier, but still has a lot of heart.
A big thank you to Laura Trentham for chatting with me and to publisher St. Martin’s Press as always for being so fantastic to work with! Pick up The Military Wife here now and experience this incredible story for yourself!