With my novel Trading Lives published as an eBook at major online books sellers, I wanted to take a moment and reflect on just what the story is about and what inspired it. Trading Lives revolves around the teen protagonist, Jamie Kelly. Jamie is a loner, but she’d be the first one to tell you she isn’t lonely. She is confident, but she is also vulnerable underneath her rough exterior. Her lack of social grace is far outmatched by her martial arts skill, which she owes to her mentor, Mario Parris. Her favorite weapons are knives, she’d rather walk than drive, and superhero references irritate her, even if they are made in jest. Her dream is to follow in her father’s footsteps and become an Army Ranger.
Trading Lives evolved because of Jamie Kelly, who is also a featured character in another book I was already well into writing called The Trespass. Jamie was such an interesting character to me, I wanted to explore her background, learn who she was, what made her tick. What I found out was that her father was a capable soldier who, on this third tour, was gravely injured by an IED, leaving him in a persistent vegetative state. When we meet Jamie, her mother is still grieving and suffering from depression, and a friend she hasn’t associated with for some time appears to be having trouble with a local gang.
Jamie tries to help but gets push-back from her friend, realizes she has made some wrong assumptions, and ultimately discovers a devastating secret she could never have imagined.
Trading Lives has been a while in the writing. I started it long before the Defense Department made the landmark decision to allow women into combat roles. I was concerned readers would find the fact she wanted to become an Army Ranger too unrealistic. But as with all things fiction, reality orbits comfortably nearby.
I hope you enjoy learning about Jamie Kelly as much as I did. It is available in eBook format at almost all major retailers.