Book: Thank Sophia for Sam by R.D. Power
|5 stars, 2 reviews on Amazon|
R.D. Powerabout this book: I can seldom remember where or when I get ideas for books. It's as if an idea has been lurking dormant somewhere in my mind, then suddenly it hits me: Hey, that's a great idea for a novel!
I'd been reading some news stories about the war in Afghanistan. It didn't seem to be going well. The powerful allies were at a stalemate with Dark Ages religious lunatics who blew up school children. What was going on? Curious and disturbing, but well beyond me to answer.
But one story needed to be told: the story of medevac crews. The newspaper and magazine accounts were fascinating. "These people are amazing!" I thought. They put their lives in incredible peril everyday to save soldiers, civilians and even enemy fighters. They're constantly shot at as they fly to the casualty, and shot at again as they stabilize the patient and transport him back to the field hospital. They succeed 95% of the time on average. They are the modern-day MASH soldiers.
I set out to write a book like MASH. Humor was particularly important since the story could quickly get bogged down in all the heartbreak that these soldiers face. I don't want readers depressed reading anything I've written, or if they are, I want them uplifted a moment later.
As with all my stories, there is a love story at the heart of "Thank Sophia for Sam." Daniel Beaton, the flight medic, pursues Samantha Hawkins, the co-pilot, throughout his posting in country. For him, she represents a crucial escape, counterbalancing the pervasive pain, death and horror with love, life and hope for the future. She, however, falls in love with a flight surgeon. Daniel fights for her heart, mostly with a searing wit. Does he win her?
"Sophia" in the title refers to an actress who Daniel and another soldier adopt as their goddess. The war, of course, has religion at its heart. Daniel detests religion and this is his way of making fun of it. Readers who are religious may find this insulting. Also, because it is set in a war, there is a lot of colorful language. Were it a movie, it would be rated R.
Because this book was well outside my areas of expertise, I had the facts checked by a former soldier, medical student, and pilot. Moreover, I have had a top-rated editor edit the manuscript. His bottom line on the novel was: "I seldom get caught up in a manuscript that I'm editing. After all, I didn't read it to be entertained; I edited it to identify problems in need of correction. It's an entirely different mindset. Even still, I couldn't help but get attached to Dan and Sam, and I honestly didn't want the story to end; it was that good. You have something truly special here."
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