When Veronica Scott and Pauline Baird Jones created Pets in Space, they were keen to use a portion of the profits from the anthology to support Hero-Dogs.org, who raises and trains service dogs and places them free of charge with US Veterans to improve quality of life and restore independence.
During this last week of our donation period, we would like to take a moment to share the personal stories of our authors and their links to the veteran community which will provide you with insight into why this project is so personal.
I had a blast writing about Trysh, Rornn, Puppy, and the crew of Bezos Station, a city in space above the planet of Barésh. (You may recognize these places—and even some of the secondary characters (including Puppy)—from Star Champion (previously titled The Champion of Barésh) or Star Hero (expanded from my short story Stray from Pets in Space 1).) Even though my books are “make believe” in a fantasy/science fiction setting, my background as an Air Force jet pilot helps me add touches of realism to the military characters.
In The Prince, the Pilot, and the Puppy (Star Puppy), I needed to come up with more than just first and last names for the starfighter pilots. Think: “Maverick” and “Goose” from Top Gun, or “Starbuck” from Battlestar Galactica. A call sign is an integral part of my characters, so I really wanted the ones I chose to fit. In the Air Force, call signs are handed out at naming ceremonies. They can be a play on your name (a pilot with a last name of Gordon is likely to be named “Flash”), or you can get a call sign based on an incident that made you infamous. On my flight last week, I flew with a former Navy Tomcat fighter pilot. I noticed he had “Disco” embroidered on his flight bag. He explained it came from the night he got drunk and danced on the bar—on TOP of the bar. Likewise, if you really screw something up, expect a call sign to come out of it. It can also be based off your personality, or on the whim of the drunken mob of fighter pilots at your “naming”.
On Bezos Station, namings are likely to take place in the all-ranks club Nimbus.
Here are a few of the starfighter pilots from the Mighty Titans squadron and their call signs:
Trysh Milton is “Firefly”—Her naming was mostly due to her being a big fan of the TV show, but it’s also fitting because she can appear bright and cheery one minute and dark and serious the next, blinking on and off like a lightning bug, or firefly.
Rornn B’lenne is “Charming” —He’s a Vash royal prince who oozes charisma. Need I say more?
Declan Fisher is “Danger”—He started off as “Fish” but during flight school he was the cause of a series of fender benders, making him the butt of jokes that he was a Danger—to himself
Carlynn Riga is “Mooch”—she loves to cook gourmet meals on small appliances in her quarters, but being on a space station limits her ability to get ingredients. She’s famous for her power to beg, borrow, and barter with the mess hall staff for the items she needs.
Then there’s me—Susan Grant. In the Air Force my call sign was Sue Bob. My name was Sue and I was considered one of the squadron “good ol boys”, and since “good ol boys” always had names like Jim Bob and Billy Bob, I was named Sue Bob. Silly but as with all fighter pilot call signs, it could have been worse.
My dad joined the Marines during my toddler years so my memories of him at that time are of a shiny uniform and what I once referred to as his “hat”. I was soon corrected. A few years ago, my cousin followed in my dad’s footsteps and is currently serving as a Marine and I’m so proud of him. Writing a story that gives back to our service members is a huge honor and I’m so grateful for the opportunity. Hero-dogs.org pairs two things that I admire and respect: dogs and our military.
I’m also excited I got to combine those two things in my story for this anthology. My hero served in the military and was discharged due to wounds he suffered during that time. He ends up reluctantly tasked with helping my version of a K9 known as Bogan. From there danger, love and a new partnership soon follows.
Donation to Hero-Dogs
We are donating 10% of our first month’s profits to hero-dogs.org who provide support dogs to US veterans.
Our donation period ends November 11th, 2017 so these are your final days to buy Embrace the Romance and help support Hero-Dogs.org through our donation.
Buy Embrace the Romance today! 12 original Sci-Fi Action Romance stories featuring pets helping our heroes and heroines.