Tonight I am pulling back my hair and sipping wine to give you a real look at what went into writing my debut novel, Apparent Power. Thank you, Angie, for being such a lovely host and sticking with me throughout this journey. Angie friended me when this dream was nothing more than a working mother’s attempt to write the book she could not find on the shelf, but so desperately needed: a fast paced adventure with mom heroine.
Sure, I know how hard I work. Other moms know how many hours they put in every day. But when I opened my book at night before bed, I was reading the teenage girl, the still single 20 something and the stone cold detective woman who had been burned far too many times. I loved the high-action I found with YA novels but felt silly in the kid section of the bookstore looking for something to give me adventure. I remember even Googling “adult version of Divergent” only to find more YA.
You see, I was 19 going through military training: mastering hand to hand combat, learning to shoot, stabbing things with giant knives. I related on a visceral level with Divergent’s main character, but I knew most moms could not relate in that way. We love the high stakes and the budding romance Veronica Roth brings us, but as a mom, I want to read the same nail biting suspense of a dystopia with the protagonist in a healthy married relationship, who still manages to kick a-s-s (because her kids repeat everything).
Mama Bear is a super cute term for how I would rip anyone apart who would try to hurt my child. I would literally destroy someone with my bare hands if they came between me and my kid. No amount of “Daddy Finger” or “Mommy Shark” would affect this primal reaction. This passion is what drives the train of Valerie Russell’s journey in Apparent Power.
A dormant gene awakens in the quarter of the world’s population, disrupting electricity and causing an apocalyptic scenario on Valerie’s morning commute to work, nearly 100 miles away from home and her two year old son she left with the nanny. Without the use of a car, she resolves to walk the distance no matter the obstacles.
Many do not realize the great amount of determination a mother can possess until something happens to one of her children. Moms are the single most resourceful demographic out there. I was not saving anyone at 19. But as a mother? I can fashion a solid baby carrier out of nothing more than a hairband and an old sweatshirt.
So, what went into writing Apparent Power? Stretch marks and runny noses. A kindergartener who was a late talker and toddler with a chronic condition. Marriage counseling and a long bout of postpartum depression. Knowing that I will fight with every ounce of life I have to keep it all together. The good and the difficult. Because that is just what moms do.
Dacia M Arnold is an award-winning American novelist, freelance writer, mother, medical professional and a ten-year Army Veteran. She is the author of Apparent Power, Reactance and Shifting Power, plus short fiction in the international anthology COLP: The Passage of Time. As a freelance writer, Dacia contributes monthly to the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writer’s blog where she shares her relatively short experience in the literary world.
Dacia spent fifteen months working in Baghdad Emergency room with the 86th Combat Support Hospital. During her second deployment, then Sergeant Arnold managed the busiest outpatient clinic in southern Iraq.
Now, as a mother of two, Dacia incorporates her experiences in all aspects of her life into her writing.
Just in time for Christmas, the perfect gift for the book loving person in your life (maybe that’s yourself). Apparent Power has been critically linked to Hollywood blockbusters like Divergent and Annihilation by Kirkus Reviews and is available for sale December 11th through all major book retailers including Amazon.