Sometimes you get a chance to give back and sometimes you get a chance to pay forward. I think it is an interesting difference.
Years ago I asked my writing mentor, a very successful writer with over a hundred novels in print and many appearances on many lists, what could I possibly do for him in thanks for all he had done for me?
"What you can do is pay forward. Help a writer who is anywhere on the path behind you." And I have done my best to pay forward whenever the opportunity arises.
It is also one of the reasons I tell the kind of stories that I do, whether in my military romantic suspense Night Stalkers series or in a whole different genre like my Dead Chef thrillers. The single unifying theme of all my writing is to Champion the Human Spirit. I always seek to write stories that uplift us and show some of the wonderful things I see in the world. One of the strongest themes for me has become honoring those who choose to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces. I make no judgment as to what they are sent to do, but in turn am constantly awed by what they do in that service.
However, every now and then, I get a rare opportunity to pay back as well. For my writing mentor, who has long since become my friend, it is typically help with a particularly odd piece of software (I was a computer geek for many years).
But how could I ever pay back those who serve to protect our country and keep what peace is possible? The opportunity came up when I was invited into an anthology to help benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. Eight authors and the publisher Sourcebooks have collaborated on an anthology and all proceeds are being donated to the WWP.
The Way of the Warrior is filled with a brand new Night Stalkers tale by myself, a Troubleshooters, Inc. tale by Suzanne Brockmann, and more by Julie Ann Walker, Catherine Mann, and others. Stories of survival, of teamwork, and always of finding true love. Please, buy a copy (8 novellas in 472pp also equals a great investment in reading pleasure as well) or donate directly to the WWP, I know of no worthier cause and am thrilled at this opportunity to pay back.
Available for pre-order now (May 5th release).
M. L. Buchman has over 35 novels in print. His military romantic suspense books have been named Barnes & Noble and NPR “Top 5 of the year” and Booklist “Top 10 of the Year.” He has been nominated for the Reviewer’s Choice Award for “Top 10 Romantic Suspense of 2014” by RT Book Reviews. In addition to romance, he also writes thrillers, fantasy, and science fiction.
In among his career as a corporate project manager he has: rebuilt and single-handed a fifty-foot sailboat, both flown and jumped out of airplanes, designed and built two houses, and bicycled solo around the world. He is now making his living as a full-time writer on the Oregon Coast with his beloved wife. He is constantly amazed at what you can do with a degree in Geophysics. You may keep up with his writing by subscribing to his newsletter at www.mlbuchman.com.