Military Monday: Author Karida Clarke

Military Monday: Author Karida Clarke

Today’s Military Monday features Author Karida Clarke. She is an Air Force girl through and through. She was born at RAF Lakenheath, England, and spent 11 years overseas as a kid. After she graduated high school, she went to the Air Force Academy and graduated as the top English major in 2002. Her military assignments took her to Delaware, Turkey, Germany, and back to the Air Force Academy. She separated to start a family in 2008, but this past year, she decided her kids were old enough that she was comfortable returning to service. She’s been in the Air Force Reserves in Ohio since 2013 and in many ways, it feels like she never left the military.
As a romance writer, Karida has a penchant for anything otherworldly. If it has scales, fur, poisoned talons, throws fire or casts magic spells, it might find its way into her stories. Karida likes her heroines multifaceted and her males swoon-worthy, Alpha-style. She believes that relationships matter more than things and places. In her free time, Karida enjoys lacing up for long runs and cooking ethnic cuisine. Pet peeves include Saran Wrap and people who don’t put their shopping carts away. She lives with her nerd-tastic husband and two spunky kids in Ohio.
Captured Heat is her first novel.
  • What is your favorite thing about the military life and why?
Without a doubt, my favorite thing about the military is the sense of community, of belonging and being a part of something bigger than myself. No matter where I am in the world, if I meet a veteran, there’s an instant bond, a mutual understanding.
  • What is one thing about the military life you wish you could change and how would you change it?
The transition from military to civilian life is one that I personally struggled with, and I know many, many friends struggled with as well. In addition to the sense of loss, I encountered a very real lack of respect for my years of experience. Most people assumed that what I was doing wasn’t “real” public relations, despite my interaction with media, journalistic experience, and community outreach management. The only jobs that seemed to take me seriously were government ones. As far as how to change that, well…it may mean better transition assistance programs, more help writing resumes, and perhaps most of all, fostering relationships in and out of the military to combat the loneliness and lost sense of purpose.
  • What issue does the DOD or VA need to work on? Why and how?
The DOD and VA need to work on procurement practices. As former U.S. CIO Vivek Kundra said in a recent Wall Street Journal interview, the government should develop a system and process to seek out the most innovative technology companies: “We live in this new world [of cloud, mobile, social software], and yet what we’re seeing is hundreds of millions of dollars being flushed down the toilet implementing legacy technology.” The current system wastes TONS of time and money.
  • What advice do you have for other military folks about living the military life?
Get out and see things! It drives me crazy when service members move to a new base and complain about how bored they are or how there’s nothing to do. I don’t care where you are in the world–there is something happening, and if there isn’t, you can MAKE it happen by creating a Meet-up group, organizing a game night, or simply going bowling. Usually, though, there are activities in the community around the base and people are just too hesitant to get outside their comfort zone and try them.
  • What is your writers journey: how did you start, what do you write and why?

captured heat

I’ve always had it in my mind that I would be a writer; when I was 7 yrs old, I said I wanted to be an author when I grew up. The path from then to now has involved lots of writing–mostly poems and papers throughout school and news articles in my military career–but it wasn’t until 2012 that I took the leap and decided to work on a novel, during National Novel Writing Month. That novel, a YA fantasy, will probably remain unfinished, but just that simple act of sitting down and making it a priority to be creative and write opened the floodgates and I’ve enjoyed getting to know myself as a writer and develop my craft. I plan to do lots more of it!
  • What advice do you have for new writers?
Don’t think about writing a book. It’s too overwhelming. Think about writing a paragraph. Then think about writing a scene…and so on. Before you know it, you’ll type “The End” and feel AMAZING.
  • What else would you like to add?
My debut novel, Captured Heat, features hunky Phoenix Warriors. I knew I wanted to write a paranormal romance, because I love the genre, but vampires and werewolves had been done, and done well, time and again. I cast about for mythological creatures that would work in a romance, and BAM!–who better to play a sexy hero than a guy who is literally hot? 🙂 I am having a lot of fun creating the stories for these hot Warriors and their strong women.
  • Give me three:
  1. Your three favorite places to write: Home, Library, Earth Fare (a healthy supermarket with killer green smoothies)
  2. Your three favorite military terms: FIGMO, Sierra Hotel, “high speed, low drag”
  3. Your three favorite authors or books: In the paranormal romance genre, Gena Showalter, Heather Killough-Walden, Mimi Jean Pamfiloff
For more about Karida, please visit her website at Her next book is scheduled for a June release.

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