Sometime in the early 2000s as I was happily working on one of my novels, I got a call from my friend Mary Kilchenstein, aka author Mary Kirk. She was about to begin editing an anthology of short stories. At that time, I had never written a short story and thought it would be fun, so I asked if I could participate and she happily agreed. It had to be a romantic story, though, she added before hanging up.
Well, all right. My early books certainly had a romantic bent to them and it might be fun to play in that genre again, so I was game.
She called me back a short while later. “I forgot to tell you,” she said. “It has to be about a soldier coming home from battle, wounded physically or emotionally or spiritually.”
Hmm, okay. I could do that. I put my thinking cap back on and began to play with ideas. That’s when Mary called once again. “One more thing I forgot to tell you,” she said. “It has to have a paranormal angle.”
Okaaaay, hold your horses! Now I was really out of my element. A romantic story with paranormal elements about a wounded warrior? Could I pull it off?
Well, you’ll have to read the anthology to judge for yourself. I absolutely loved the challenge of writing this story, which I called The Dreamer. It was fun to exercise different writing muscles and I was proud of the result. I also loved reading the other stories in the book, seeing the variety of ways different authors interpreted the wounded warrior-romance-paranormal theme. When The Journey Home came out in the mid 2000s, it was before the e-book revolution. I’m happy it’s once again available in both print and e-book format with its shiny new cover. I hope my readers will give it a try for a change of pace and that they’ll find it as much fun to read as I found The Dreamer to write.
Here’s the Amazon link, but you should be able to find The Journey Home everywhere.