It All Started with a Photo…and Friends

Well, it all started on Twitter. A few months back, I was sent a link to a photo of a SEAL that was taken in 2007. He’s preparing for a night op…yes, this is a =real= SEAL. I posted it on Twitter and it went a little viral. The next day I tossed off a tweet about writing some SEAL short romance stories and putting out a charity anthology…yeah, just tossed off the tweet without really thinking of my current writing schedule, etc.

And an author friend, Alison Kent, direct messaged me to say, “Hey, how can I help you make this happen?” And I realized I really, really wanted to make it happen, although I felt a bit (a lot) overwhelmed. But the idea was so appealing (as was the photo) that we started getting serious about it. We approached authors who had retweeted or commented on the photo of our guy. We branched out via recommendations and asked authors noted for their military heroes. We had a nice list of committed (eager!) writers willing to write short romances featuring SEALs. And then…

I bought this guy 50,000 times. (That’s how royalty photos work, you buy a license to use the image as a cover a certain number of times…and I hope we have to up that, by the way!)

I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to have him <G>, but more, to let it be known (and you’ll hear more as it gets closer) that we are putting out an anthology all proceeds of which will benefit veterans medical research. Riders Cindy Gerard, Kylie Brant, Helen Brenna and I are all contributing. And it gets even better…originally we were planning to self-publish, but we don’t have nearly the expertise or reach as another of our own who stepped up to help us. Yep, Deb Dixon’s Belle Books will be publishing this for us! I am so, so grateful.

The digital edition will be available on 11/11/11, Veterans Day. There will also be available a print edition at a later date.

Can I just crow about one more thing? I looove the title, and I thought it up myself. 🙂

The romance community is so awesome–and that’s all of you. I’m proud to be part of it.

So…do you have any military connections? My dad is an Army vet who used the G.I. bill to attend Cal Berkeley. My father-in-law is a real American hero. He is a jet fighter pilot who retired as a captain in the Navy. He was stationed all over the world and was an aide in the White House!

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33 Responses to It All Started with a Photo…and Friends

  1. Jane says:

    Looking forward to its release. My cousin was in the army and my friend is in the National Guard.

  2. Cindy Gerard says:

    You’re a goddess, Christie for taking this ball and running with it. And Deb Dixon is right up there with you for stepping up to the plate and handling the publication! i’m so jazzed to be a part of this project!

  3. Leanne Banks says:

    Christie, this is so exciting! I love the way you got it started!:) And the photo is breath-taking, not just because he’s so ..BUILT, but because of all he represents. My father went to Officer’s Candidate School in the Army and my father-in-law was career navy since World War II! xo, Leanne

  4. beckymoore says:

    Love this idea, and look forward to buying it digitally on Veterans Day. My father is a Vietnam vet, and by the time I was in the first grade, my mom had moved 27 times with him. My uncle is retired Air Force, my two cousins are Coast Guard, and my best friend’s married to an Army Major.

  5. Tonya says:

    Really looking forward to this. Love me a SEAL hero, real & fiction!

  6. What a wonderful idea!! I can’t wait to get it!! My dad is a WWII vet….and the tears in his eyes, when we took him to the dedication of the WWII Memorial, said it all. What a great thing to do. Kudos to you all!!

  7. Kayce says:

    This is going to be GREAT; a real treat! Perfect release date and right on time for an escape from the pre-holiday insanity! The love of my life is a former SEAL from the Vietnam era. Let me assure you, even after all these years, he is still quite stealthy – I have the grey hairs to prove it! Thank you for doing this; it means so much to those who serve – and have served – knowing they are not forgotten.

  8. Kristy Biq says:

    I can’t wait for this either. I love a good romance….. or 100 🙂

  9. lois greiman says:

    Love the idea, love the photo, love SEAL stories. Best of luck with it.

  10. Fran Colley says:

    That’s a picture of a REAL SEAL? Holy cow. *blinks* Wow. Just wow. How did he feel about you buying his picture 50,000 times? *LOL*

    This sounds like a fabulous anthology. I can’t wait to read it.

    My dad (who will be 90 in December) was in WWII, in the Navy. 🙂 He was part of the Pacific stuff…lots of scary stuff on the ship, but he also talks about good times on the ship as well. After the war, he came home and became a farmer–so he was a hero on several fronts. 🙂

  11. Thanks everyone for being so enthused about the project! We’ll be telling more about it.

    Love all our military connections.

    Fran: I know, I know. I keep thinking, he’s mine! We don’t know anything more about him…SEALs are never shown from the front (unless disguised somehow).

  12. Gail Chianese says:

    Kudos to all the authors participating in this wonderful book. I can’t wait till it comes out and not just because it will be a great read (with an amazing, breath-catching cover..thank you, Cindy!), but because of the idea behind it and the fact that the proceeds are going to help veterans. As an active duty Navy wife and the granddaughter of a WWII Navy vet, I can’t say how much it means that you all would be willing to do this.

  13. Jennifer says:

    I think that this is such a great idea. Good for you, can’t wait to read it. I love the title too!! My husband is in the Coast Guard. He’s ready to retire. He makes me proud to be AMERICAN!!

  14. Helen Brenna says:

    What Cindy and everyone else said! I’m so excited to be a part of this! Can’t wait for it to all come together.

    My dad and father-in-law are both WWII vets and my grandfather was on the front lines in France during WWI. Have a cousin in the Coast Guard, another in the Air Force, nephews in other branches of the military. I’m so glad I give back just a little bit by being a part of this project!

    Thanks for the opportunity, Christie! Love how the cover turned out, btw!

  15. Kathleen O says:

    My Dad was in the RAF and i have always loved and admired anyone who is in any branch of the armed forces who joins up to defend his or her country… God Bless them all..
    Chrisite I love the title and good for you and all the other authors for contributing to this worthy cause.. I will look forward to purchasing my copy of this book…

  16. catslady says:

    Great idea! My husband was in the Sea Bees in Vietnam (stationed with some Seals that scared the beejeebees out of him), my dad was in WWII – he always talked about how half of his barracks got blown away one night, and both my father-in-law and mother-in-law served in the Army during WWII and later the Air Force for my FIL. My MIL was only 5′ and they use to rig the trucks with a block of wood so she could drive them.

  17. DeborahR says:

    I can’t wait for this to come out! I will def be buying it! First of all I love military romances and second of all I love anything to do with supporting our military both active and vets.
    Thanks so much for getting this project going!

  18. michelehauf says:

    Coolest idea ever! I hope you have to go back and buy more of his photos because it sells out so quickly!

  19. I can’t wait to get my hands on this book! When you first posted this photo, I thought, Mmm-hmm. This is the epitome of sexy. The angle, the subject, the clothing–perfect. And you bought him! Genius, Christie. Pure genius.
    I go way back with the military. Granddaddy was actually in the cavalry. Spanish American War. He was well into his 50’s when Daddy was born. Daddy was a WWII vet and a career AF pilot, making me a military brat. My brother was in Vietnam. Husband served during that era but was sent to Korea (thank God). I have numerous military vet in-laws. ONE BRAVE COWBOY, my September book is about an Iraq-Afganistan vet.

  20. More thanks to all! Can’t wait to read all the entries myself.

    Kathy, can’t wait to read ONE BRAVE COWBOY. I have been writing more military heroes. My last book had a war vet as a secondary character. Story I’m writing now is about a journalist who was embedded with troops in Afghanistan.

  21. PatriciaW says:

    This is pretty awesome. Congrats!

  22. Keri Ford says:

    I saw this cover on twitter a month or so ago and I LOVE this! congrats!!

  23. Kylie Brant says:

    I’m so excited to be part of this project! My dad was a pilot in WWII and by remaining active in reserves he retired out of the military, while working a day job as well. So he gets two pensions 🙂 and richly deserves them!

  24. debradixon says:

    We are extremely excited to be publishing this for the authors. It’s awesome. They’re doing the hard work. We’re just helping with some distribution and promotion. A little tech-geek stuff.

    The cover rocks. The authors rock. 🙂 And we hope SEALs is going to rock X50,000 and we’ll have to buy another license,.

  25. Cindy Gerard says:

    forgot to mention my Dad was Army and all 4 brother in laws were in the service.
    And someone thanked me for the photo – wish I could take credit but it was our Christie all the way!

  26. Cindy Gerard says:

    Oh – and I have 2 nephews currently in training. One at West Point and on at Annapolis. We are so proud of those amazing young men.

  27. Pat F says:

    What a wonderful, worthy cause. Not to mention he’s a hunk! My husband is a Viet Nam vet, (unfortunately the war vets who are mostly forgotten.) My father and father- in- law are WWII Navy vets. Can’t wait to read it. Thanks!!

  28. I remember that picture from Twitter. It is so HOT that it makes the 110 degree weather we’ve having seem like fall! 🙂

    I look forward to this anthology. So Deb…when is it available for pre-ordering?

  29. So looking forward to this book and thank you to all the authors to pulled together to make this happen for such a worthy cause! I am former Navy myself and married to a retired US Marine/USAF. I come from an Air Force family and love military heroes. Finally getting to write one myself as the hero of my April 2012 release!

  30. Stephenia says:

    I’m inspired by the cover photo too!! I love stories about military guys, they are genuinely strong, brave, honorable. I was in the Navy for 20 years, those experiences and memories are irreplaceable. Looking forward to this book all the more since you’re donating the proceeds to veterans – way to go!

  31. debradixon says:

    Cindy– The Kindle version should be available for pre-order sometime in early October. The print version can be pre-ordered from our website about that time, but the online ordering (Amazon, BN, etc.) isn’t going to be until just before the Kindle release date or just after the release date. Print is not an exact science these days.

  32. Christie, thank you very much for starting the chatter on this. I remember seeing the pic on twitter the first go round. Very excited for the book to come out. Many of my author friends are contributing. This is a great thing you guys are doing. I love Romance authors!

    Me….I was in the Army for 10 years, and it was an honor to serve. I miss it a lot. I have a cousin who served in the Navy a long time ago. Not sure of any other connections.

    Peace and love,
    Paula R.

  33. Susan Connell says:

    Can’t wait to get this book! My grandson is a senior midshipman at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, my son-in-law is a retired Marine, (an ex-son-in-law! is a USNA graduate also) my husband is a retired US Navy pilot, my brother is an Army vet and my dad was a Purple Heart recipient of WW2 (Army). What great writers and what a great cause. I’m proud. Susan

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