The Hardest Chapter

The hardest chapter I’ve ever written, yet had to get the most right, was the first chapter of The Submissive’s Touch. It starts as Ally awakens to a boom. At first, she thinks it’s thunder, but when she gets out of bed and pulls the curtains – she sees the unthinkable – one of the Towers on fire. She calls for her cousin and his wife and the three stare in horror as they watch the second plane strike.
The scene changes to JW, an Army sniper, on a field exercise in Texas. He has psychic abilities and senses something is wrong. His mind is filled with flames and people crying out in fear. The military radio informs them the exercise is over and all are to report back immediately.

I spent days writing those scenes – trying to find the words to convey those emotions – the shock, fear, horror, rage, and the desperation so many felt – as JW tries to keep control of his emotions, knowing family members and friends could be in the Towers, as Ally’s cousin sends his wife and cousin off Manhattan and starts evacuating his employees, and how people dealt with the attack on that day and those following. Some tried to continue on as if things were normal. Some struggled to continue at all. Others braced themselves for what they knew was coming. Others put themselves in harm’s way to deal with those behind the attack.
As a series, Love in the Shadows has many ‘themes’ or plot-lines. The first major one is the attacks on 9/11 – how people dealt with it and the aftermath. It begins in Submissive’s Touch and is brought up again in Fall of Adonis. The War on Terror is another as it changes JW’s life and the ripple effect of his decision to save a man.
The attacks on 9/11 are extremely personal to me. I knew people who were killed that day in the Towers, who were in the Pentagon. I know dozens who have been and are in the military, many of whom have been killed or seriously injured. Scenes such as the first chapter were agony, as was the one between JW and his mother later on.
I’ve tried to convey the emotions, then and after, to honor those we lost that day and since. To give them and our military the respect they deserve.
I hope I’ve done that in The Submissive’s Touch and as future stories of JW, Ben Hancock and others in the military are told.
God Bless America.