Author Charlotte Goodwin joined the Reserves aged 18 and in this blog she explains how Army life runs through her fantasy books for adults.
This month marks my twentieth year in the Army Reserves. I joined aged eighteen and the Army has been an integral part of my life ever since. Even though my civilian career has fluctuated, the Army remained the one constant and so I suppose it’s not surprising that when I decided I wanted to be an author, my experiences in the military would feature heavily.
I’ve always enjoyed fantasy. I love the escapism, the magic, and immersing myself in a world where anything can happen. I suppose I love the idea that I could go to a magical world myself – I clearly can’t, so I sent my characters there instead.
The whole premise of my series of novels is that characters from Earth are transported to a magical planet. I send several to the world I created over the course of my series. Two of them are serving officers in the Army when they go, one is a retired corporal. I really enjoyed imagining how these individuals would interact with characters from a medieval style fantasy land, and how they’d react to military banter. The scenes where this happens are some of my favourites to read back.
I suppose all writers pour their heart and souls into their writing. I think if you cut me open, part of me would be green. I had a challenging start to life; the Army, in a lot of ways saved me, while writing helps to keep me sane.
Now, after almost twenty years, I can’t imagine life without the Army. I’ve built my military career to the point where its able to support me as I embark on my latest endeavour to become a writer. As a Reservist, I get the comradery, some of the excitement, and the sense of belonging I might find if I’d ever joined up as a Regular. But I also get flexibility, and the time to experience a chunk of other non-military things that are all thrown into the soup of my own life experiences. It’s this collection of experiences I draw on to write; long may they continue to offer inspiration.