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Anastasia V Pergakis – The Story Behind Cleanse Fire

The Story Behind Cleanse Fire

by Anastasia V Pergakis

My intention with this book is to honor soldiers and the sacrifice they make serving their country. I’m sure you’re wondering what a fantasy author – or a fantasy book – has to do with honoring soldiers. Simply put, I’m a proud Army Brat. My Dad served 20 years, 1982 – 2002, in the U.S. Army, retiring with the rank of Sergeant First Class. He was as a Drill Sergeant for a few years, training fellow infantrymen where he earned the nickname “The Hurricane.” His service took him around the world to places like Korea, Panama, Egypt, Israel, Germany, and more. I asked him once what he felt like serving and he told me “privileged.”

“Who shall we send for us?” … “Here I am. Send me.” — Airborne quote

Now, the thing about my Dad, he looks very serious – and almost scary really especially when he’s in his uniform. But the thing is, he would get down on the floor with me and my sister when we were little girls, and play Barbies with us! I’m definitely a Daddy’s girl and I wanted to honor him with my writing.

Even though I’m a fantasy writer, I had the idea a few years ago to write a story about his career and his life. He was great and answered all the questions I had, even though I’m sure some of them were hard to answer. I began writing the story and got about a page into it when I realized there was no way I could do it. I didn’t think I could capture the feelings, the emotions, he felt during that time in an accurate way. I would hate to write a story to honor him – and all soldiers – but only end up ruining it completely.

So, I put the story down for a few years. When NaNoWriMo came around in 2009, the story resurfaced in my brain again and the urge to write a story to honor soldiers was still strong. But this time, the story came to me in a different way – as a fantasy novel.

The story as it exists now, is completely fictional. The characters in the book are soldiers, granted they’re elves, but soldiers just the same. And they are dedicated to their country, just as soldiers in our world are dedicated to theirs.

I want to honor my Dad – and all soldiers. Because of that, I’m donating a portion of the royalties from Cleanse Fire, and the books to follow in the series, to the Wounded Warrior Project and Help For Heroes. These organizations help wounded soldiers and their families heal after they return home in the United States and the United Kingdom. You can learn more about them and read stories from soldiers they helped at their website, www.WoundedWarriorProject.org and www.Help4Heroes.org.uk.

This is just my way of saying thank you to the sacrifice and dedication our armed forces give for our freedoms. I was lucky that my Dad was not killed during his service (and he still lives to this day). But there are so many that come home severely wounded, or not at all. I want my book, even though it its fantasy, to tell soldiers that their sacrifice means something, that we know how important it is, and that we are eternally grateful.

“The true soldier fights not because he hates what’s in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.” — G. K. Chesterton

*****

GIVEAWAY: Deadline is July 23rd at 11:59 pm Eastern Time!

Win an e-copy of Cleanse Fire!

To enter, answer ONE of the following questions in a comment on this post.

1. “Do you think you’d be better as a strategist (planning missions/a thinker) or are you more action (aka following orders/a fighter)? Why?”

2. “Who is your real life ‘super hero’ and why? (Can be anyone!)”

**If you answer both, you’ll be eligible for a SPECIAL BONUS PRIZE!**

Names will be put into a hat and drawn randomly! I can’t wait to read your answers and good luck!

Win a signed paperback OR an audio book copy of Cleanse Fire!

Two Winners! Winners choose which prize they’d like! You can read or hear a sample of on the Kinir Elite website.

Head over to the Kinir Elite Website to enter! http://kinirelite.com/cleanse-fire-event-july-2013

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Genre – Fantasy / Military

Rating – PG13

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