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FAQ: Hover

Q: Is Hover your first book?
A: It is my first published book. Prior to Hover, I had written four novels, but had never tried to get them published. My agent calls these my "under the bed" books. You learn by writing, so I cut my teeth with these first four novels.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for Hover?
A: The idea came when I finally made the decision that I wanted to be published. I started researching agents and editors and one of their most common questions was this: Why is your story unique and why are you the one to tell it? Unfortunately, I didn't have an answer for that for the books I'd already written, nor for the one I had just started.

In the summer of 2011, I learned that the Navy was going to begin assigning women to submarines. I read the news announcement to my husband, about how women were once again breaking the gender barrier, and his response was, "That sounds like what you did. . . ." And then he smiled. "That's your story," he said.

I had wanted to write a love story—all of my novels had them—so I did so once again, but this time, in a military setting in a US Navy Carrier Strike Group.
Q: How long did it take you to write Hover?
A: It took about seven months for the first draft. I then gave it to friends and family to read, after which the edits started—lots of edits! I worked on the manuscript for six more months before I sent my first query letter to a literary agent.
Q: Are the incidents and events in Hover true stories?
A: As a whole, Hover is fictional. However, many incidents in the book are based on my actual experiences as a Navy helicopter pilot on deployment. I kept journals during my time at sea, so I pulled many of my ideas from these stories.
Q: Are the characters in Hover based on real people, and if so, would they recognize themselves in the book?
A: Many of the characters are inspired by people I knew or are composites of people I knew, but no, they would never recognize themselves in the book. However, having just said that, the one exception might be the characters of the two aircrewmen, Lego and Messy. While every character in the novel is ultimately a product of my imagination, for these two, I actually had two specific aircrewmen in mind.
Q: The main protagonist in Hover, Sara Denning, is a Navy helicopter pilot, and so were you. Is this book autobiographical?
A: No. While there is a lot of "me" in Sara, this book is Sara's story.