• Teamwork – what are a few of the most fun/challenging aspects of writing the dynamics of a team like Gabriel’s?
Gabriel’s fire team was both fun and challenging to create in a lot of ways. When I first looked back on it, I understood how they worked but I couldn’t even begin to explain how I did it. On mulling it over, I think my process could be broken down to these aspects:
Defining the team
Leadership in any team is key and I already knew Gabriel was the lead for his fire team. What took a few tries was making that clear in his interactions with his team, not just in the way he gave orders but also the way he looked out for his team members and took them into consideration with his actions.
In order to define the team members, how many there would be, and what some of their specialties were, I researched fire teams online. The different military branches structure fire teams in varying ways. Then I spoke to a few military veterans to get a working perspective on how their fire teams function. Then I created Lizzy, Victoria, and Marc.
One of the fun advantages I have as the author was making half my fire team female and having it be completely normal in the Centurion Corporation. It’s one thing to create strong, kick-ass female characters and something more to make them matter-of-fact. It’s not something that needs to be called out as unusual. In the Centurion Corporation, it just is. There’s a certain power to being able to support that equality.
Building the team effectiveness
I had to go back in revisions to build this in layers. There were scenes where trust had to be shown, and commitment. In the first drafts, the cohesiveness of Gabe’s fire team needed to be enhanced and I even added a scene or two to demonstrate this at my editor’s suggestion.
I had in my head what their dynamics were, but getting it to show through as the story progressed took revisions. ;)
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I really did enjoy this book. I think it is great that the two main characters are Chinese and Hispanic. I loved the Chinese sprinkled throughout the book. I just wish that someone would switch up the formula a little bit. I think I'm getting burnt out on this type of book.
It would be nice if something different happened for a change even if it was just a small change. This is another story where there's a girl in danger who meets boy. He rescues her and they inevitably end up boinking and becoming a couple. I think I would have enjoyed it more if the roles were reversed. Even a simple switch where the guy is the one in peril would have probably meant I'd enjoy it more.
Even though I'm kinda bored by the same formula I did like the story and the characters. Maylin is desperate to find her sister who has gone missing. It is an enjoyable read if you're in the mood for a romance that follows the same formula that other books do. I just yearn for something different at this point although I wouldn't object to reading another book by this author since I did enjoy the writing style.
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Piper J. Drake (or “PJ”) began her writing career as “PJ Schnyder” writing sci-fi & paranormal romance and steampunk. She has recently received the FF&P PRISM award for her work as well as the NJRW Golden Leaf award and Parsec award.
Now, PJ is exploring the complexity of romantic suspense, incorporating her interests in mixed martial arts and the military into her writing.
About Hidden Impact:
He's not the hero she's looking for
As part of the elite Centurion Corporation team, military-veteran-turned-mercenary Gabriel Diaz is a natural defender. He'll do anything to ensure a mission is successful. Anything but get emotionally invested—he learned the hard way that can be deadly. Easy bodyguard jobs in between the more challenging missions are all he's interested in now.
Maylin Cheng is desperate and running out of time. Her younger sister has gone missing but no one seems to take her concern seriously. Her last hope lies in asking an aloof bodyguard for help. He dismisses her outright, but all that changes when she is almost killed in a not-so-accidental hit-and-run right before his eyes.
As Maylin leans on Gabriel, she begins to rely on him for more than just her safety. But as their attraction grows, so does the danger surrounding them. When the elaborate web they're trapped in unravels, Gabriel will do anything to protect them. Even if that means putting his heart in the crosshairs.
Book one of the Safeguard series