Healing the Hero Author Interview with: – Skye Taylor--

Author of:

Rad-Reader:  What gave you the idea for this book?

Skye:  Healing a Hero is book 4 in The Camerons of Tide’s Way series. When I submitted the first, the editor suggested I consider making it part of a series. Since Jake had four siblings, that was the basis for the series, along with the town of Tide’s Way. Philip Cameron is the oldest brother and he appears in the first three books, so when it came time to write his story, I already knew he was a career Marine who had been out of the country more than he was in it. I wondered if Philip ever had a sweetheart and lost her somehow. I was subscribing to the Marine Times to get a feel for what he might be up to in his career when I read a story about the decommissioning of the USS Peleliu. In that article two men, a sailor and a Marine who had served aboard her talked about the shore leave that got canceled in Darwin Australia because of 9/11. And that was my ah-ha moment. 

Rad-Reader:  Have you known anyone in the situation that happened to Elena and Philip?  If so how did their situation turn out?

Skye:  No one personally. As I said, after I read the article in the Marine Times the why and how they lost touch with each other all fell into place. But Philip and Elena’s story is entirely my own creation.

Rad-Reader:  Why didn’t they have Philip see counseling?

Skye:  He did see a counselor. He mentioned it in passing when he was commenting on the fact that soldiers who have been in the hell of war never quite trust men or women who have not, including doctors. The perception is that if they haven’t been there, they simply can’t understand what it’s like. BTW, Philip does not have PTSD. He has the same issues any soldier would have returning to the civilian world after the intensity of serving in a war zone, which, in part is due to the incredible bond that grows between men whose lives are on the line and have to rely on each other.
Rad-Reader: That clears up a lot I was thinking it was PTSD.  Good to know.

Rad-Reader:  Did you research PTSD and physical therapy to see how it works before writing about it and if so is different for the vets?

Skye:  I did a lot of reading/research about PTSD, both for this book and the 2nd book in the series, Loving Meg. Meg is also a returning Marine who comes home feeling like she’s not the woman her husband fell in love with and uncertain how she will fit back into her civilian life. Neither Philip nor Meg have PTSD, but all soldiers experience some level of difficulty returning to the civilian world after combat. In addition to the trauma of combat, military personnel has lived a life of discipline and service and they are returning to a world where that kind of structure is missing. So, while Philip and Meg don’t have PTSD, they do struggle to come to terms with their new reality.  (All Royalties for Loving Meg are donated to K-9s for Warriors in Ponte Vedra, FL.  The non-profit organization rescues dogs from shelters all over the southeast US and trains them as service dogs for returned veterans who are struggling with PTSD.)
As for the physical injury Philip has suffered followed by multiple surgeries and then Physical therapy – I interviewed my own physical therapist who gave me ideas for things Elena might do in the course of her treatment of Philip’s injuries.  

Rad-Reader:  Elena was younger than Philip but in many ways more mature why do you think it is?

Skye:  I don’t agree that Elena is more mature, but she has experienced a very different life. She definitely was not as mature as Philip in 2001 when they met and fell in love. She was young, impetuous and in love. Philip was more cautious and tried to be sensitive to her youth. There is a little of Elena in me, or perhaps I should say, a little of me in Elena. I was eager for life and willing to go after what I wanted, even when I was just eighteen. I was willing to throw caution to the winds and take chances. Philip, on the other hand, became a Marine, which means discipline, putting off gratification for a bigger cause, putting others before himself. Men and women entering the military approach life with a very different mind-set. 
Rad-Reader: I meant how she handled the meeting again and how to work forward with a daughter and trying to work it all out. Sometimes it was like reading how a young man would act.  In many ways when he left his emotions were that of a young man's. Even though he lived through a lot his dating and his love life was stunted so...

Rad-Reader:  Neither wanted to declare their feelings before Philip left.  Philip knew there was a possibility she might not wait.  Why did he wait so long to call or write really?  The Civil War letters even made it.

Skye:  That is what I meant by my AHAH moment. For the story to work, I needed them to get cut off from communicating somehow. Then I read the story about the sailors and Marines aboard the Peleliu who were not allowed to contact home by via email, phone or letters for several months as our country launched its reaction to the terrorist attacks of 9/11. For reasons of security, they were forbidden to do so and the military notified families of the reasons for the blackout of communications. But Elena wasn’t family. By the time Philip was able to touch base again, the email address she had given him had gone dead and he didn’t recognize her new email address. Having hundreds of emails to sort through and a very limited time on a shared computer, he deleted all the emails he thought were just solicitations from some university or another. Elena eventually stopped writing, having decided he didn’t feel the same about her as she’d felt about him and she was too proud to go begging.

Rad-Reader:  Elena married out of fear and loneliness.  I’m sure.  Her heart was never Eli’s.  Why did Eli do it?

Skye:  Eli and Elena had been good friends and lovers in their freshman year of college. Just because Elena fell in love with someone else didn’t mean Eli fell out of love. He was a decent guy who still loved her and when he found out she was in trouble, he was willing to help her out. I’m sure there are thousands of decent guys who’ve done the same thing, past and present.

Rad-Reader:  Why after everything did Eli cheat.  He had what he wanted except for her heart.  Why then he had gotten what he wanted her?

Skye:  Marriage is never a happy-ever-after even when both are madly in love unless both partners work at it. It is always a partnership – two people who work at maintaining their love and their relationship. Marriages
fail all the time because of a failure to nurture it. I think anyone, even in a marriage that started out with love, might succumb to finding love elsewhere eventually when that flame dies, or if the relationship isn’t tended carefully.

Rad-Reader:  Julie could be a pill.  When the poop hit the fan.  Philip took advantage of that.  And he helps to inflict pain on Elena when she did what she thought would protect her baby from being without a father.  Why couldn’t he see that?

Skye:  I wouldn’t say Philip took advantage or that Julie was a pill. Julie was shocked and angry to find out she wasn’t who she thought she was. And Philip was deeply hurt which triggered anger. He reacted to those emotions first, and only when he had time to think on it, did he realize how unfair he’d been to Elena. He apologized and he even encouraged Julie to see it from her mother’s point of view.

Rad-Reader:  She never saw him in all those years?  Not once?

Skye:  During those intervening years, Elena was training and then working on the west coast. I’m sure she came home for visits to her family now and then. But Philip was a career Marine and stationed all over the world. Mostly volunteering for overseas assignments. So, while he would have come home on leave from time to time, they just didn’t happen to be in Tide’s Way at the same time. Even if they had run into each other, she would have been married and such a chance meeting would have gone nowhere.

Rad-Reader:  Why did Philip never marry?

Skye:  He’d been married once. That ended in divorce. Then he’d fallen for Elena, but when he was out of touch for over five months, it appeared she had moved on to a relationship with another man. He decided that his career was not compatible with maintaining a marriage. Military service, in general, is tough on a marriage, and he’d been burned before.

Rad-Reader:  If your book was made into a movie who would you have play…

Elena:  Karla Souza

Philip:  Chris Hemsworth

Julie:  Ryan Newman


Philip:  Aaron Eckhart

Rad-Reader:  What song out today best describes your couple relationship or your story?
"Yours" -  Ella Henderson 

Skye: No idea (I’m not into current music – I have to consult my kids when I need to include a song in a story.) There is a song featured in the story by S-club 7, with the title Never Had a Dream Come True. (Came out back in 2000 I think.)
"Never Had a Dream Come True" - S-club 7

Rad-Reader:  what is your next project and when is it coming out?

Skye:  I have a time travel/historical coming out this spring. In Iain’s Plaid, Dani Amico, a history major and into reenacting, sails out to explore an island off the coast of Maine whose history has intrigued her. She falls into an abandoned cellar hole and wakes up in 1775 in a very solid basement that belongs to a reluctant patriot named Iain MacKail who thinks she is a spy for the British.
And I am currently writing book 5 in the Tide’s Way series. We’ve met all the brothers and now it’s time to meet Kate Cameron Shaw and Jon Canfield. Jon has loved Kate since they were kids, but she fell in love with the friend he introduced her to in high school. When Ethan Shaw is hit by a drunk driver, he makes his friend Jon promise to “Take care of his girls.” But does keeping that promise include becoming a dad to Ethan’s daughters and lover to his wife? No release date yet for that book.

Rad-Reader:  What three words best describes your best day ever?

Skye:  There have been so many best days ever… I guess I’d have to say family, love, and travel.
Rad-Reader:  What are your three favorite foods?

Skye:  Chocolate. Chocolate. Chocolate. Oh, wait – you wanted a serious answer? Okay then, Chocolate, Breyers mint chip Ice Cream, and roast lamb.
Rad-Reader: I was right there with you on that Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate. Oh, wait did I just add one for good measure?  Well, you can never have too much Chocolate. :)
Rad-Reader:  What book are you reading right now?

Skye:  I’ve got three books going right now. A Crime of the Heart by Cheryl Reavis, True Faith and Allegiance by Mark Greaney, and 9/11 Ordinary People: Extraordinary Heroes by Col. Will G. Merrill Jr.
Rad-Reader: You and my hubby are two of a kind.  He does the same thing.  Since losing my thyroid I am lucky I can remember my name let alone remember that many book happenings. YIKES!

Rad-Reader:  Where can our readers buy your books?

Amazon http://amzn.to/2kNIF0p
Barnes & Noble http://bit.ly/2mdEyrH
and on my publishers website – Belle Bridge Books: http://www.bellebooks.com/shopcontent.asp?type=SkyeTaylor
There are two short stories available for free on Amazon:  Loving Ben and Mike’s Wager

Rad-Reader:  Where can our readers find you on the Web?

Skye:  www.Skye-writer.com
One of my short stories: Saving Just One is available on my website, as well as my blog and essays about my two years in the Peace Corps.
You can sign up for my newsletter by visiting this link:
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FB: skyewriter2
I’m also on Pinterest, Google plus, LinkedIn and Twitter but I don’t spend a lot of time there. I can 

I would like to thank Skye for taking the time for being with us.  Her book was a pleasure to read and that she has her book  Loving Meg that helps our returning vets is just wonderful.  Bravo you Skye and Thank You.  Come back anytime and please take advantage of our Shout Out page for authors and know you are now a 1 Rad-Reader Misfit whether you like it or not my friend. :)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for having me, Char. And thanks for posting the video of Never Had A Dream Come True. As I listened to it, I realized it was as much Philip's song as Elena's but I thought it very fitting for their lost youthful romance. I anjoyed my visit and will enjoy being a 1 Rad Reader Misfit. I've always danced to a different piper - no reason to quit now.


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