The world is filled with people destined to help and to serve. Doctors, nurses, police, and firefighters—each and every day, these special people work to help others in times of need. Often, this means putting their own lives at risk in order to do their jobs. They give of themselves to benefit society, and they do it without any expectation of thanks.
And then there is the military…
These are the men and women who don’t head home to their families and safe homes to relax at the end of a shift. They are on the front lines, far from home and often fighting someone else’s battles because it is the right thing to do. Military families struggle to cope with the constant worry and the long periods of separation, staying strong to support those who serve in everything they do, and often are left to pick up the pieces when the highest price is paid.
Servicemen and women are heroes in the purest sense of the word. Even when the world’s gone mad and their hearts are breaking, one thing remains unchanged.
They have honour.
All his life, his mother had been there for him, gently pushing him to do his very best and allowing him the opportunity to make his own decisions, even when they led him on a path she wouldn’t have chosen for him. When he’d told his parents at age sixteen that he wanted to enlist in the Army, they supported him. The one thing they asked of him was that he finished his education up to A-Levels before he enlisted. They did try to talk him into going to college for a couple of years also, but he insisted that he would get better qualifications and experience once he was a soldier. As agreed, on the day that he received his exam results, his dad drove him to the Army Careers Office to begin his journey.
“I’m so proud of you, son,” his mother whispered into his ear while clutching him in a tight embrace. “Never, ever forget that.”
“Thanks, Mum. I know you are. I love you.”
(Taken from the story Letters to No One)
Why did you an anthology rather than a full length novel?
Firstly, please let me thank you for hosting me as part of the tour. Honour is quite a personal book and I am nervous and excited for people to read it.
This collection started life as a singular story. It was 5,000 (ish) words, and I was going to self publish it as it was too short to approach a publishing house with.
Then, after a conversation with a friend, I looked through the many stories I had saved on my hard drive and realised I had a few with similar themes. The anthology was born.
I decided against a full length novel for this project as the subject matter was highly emotional to me, and also, I didn’t have the confidence to try and extend any of the stories enough to make it a novel and do it justice.
The military is such a complex institution and, if I’m honest, I don’t know all that much about how it all operates and I’m too lazy to do too much research in any kind of detail other than using Google and Wikipedia. So, I stuck with the feelings of families with links to people serving in the military which is something I have experienced.
Also, I like writing shorts. It’s a discipline I have honed over a few years and I really enjoy it. It’s kind of magical writing an entire story in few words. I particularly like writing these shorts with little to no dialogue, which is harder than it sounds as you are unable to rely on that kind of character interaction.
By doing this, the descriptions of surroundings and body language become far more effective and powerful to the reader, in my opinion at least. Naturally, a novel couldn’t be written in the way as dialogue add pace and flow to a story which is essential to keep readers engaged. Because of this, I don’t think any of the stories within the anthology would have worked in novel form.
M. B. Feeney is an army brat who finally settled down in Birmingham, UK with her other half, two kids and a dog. Currently at university studying for her BA (Hons) in primary teaching, she procrastinates on her assignments by listening to music of all genres and trying to get ‘just one more paragraph’ written on whichever WIP is open. She is also a serious doodler and chocoholic. Writing has been her one true love ever since she could spell, and publishing is the final culmination of her hard work and ambition.
Her publishing career began with two novellas, and she currently has a novel under way whilst Honour, a compilation of her own military based shorts, is due for release 1st November 2013. Always having something on the go can often lead to block which eventually gets dissolved by good music and an even better book.
Thank you to M.B. Feeney for asking me to be a part of this tour and giving me the chance to read this wonderful collection of stories. As a huge supporter of military related stories, I jumped at the chance. I was not disappointed, even though I cried my eyes out.
This is a difficult review to write because each story was so powerful, but so well thought out. I feel that the author didn't glorify any of the stories and did a wonderful job being respectful.
I wish this review could be longer, but I really don't know how to express how much I love this anthology.