by Jamison Stone, Guest Contributor
Military service is hard on families. While my wife and I speak more about this topic on our blog, Strong as Stone, the ongoing struggle is very taxing to both the heart and the mind.
Most difficult for me are the sadness and depression of separation during my partner’s deployment and training. Because of her assignment, my wife, and the rest of her company, are on tour and away from their families for more than 100 days out of the year.
Female military spouses are very lucky to have a wide network of other military wives to lean on during these difficult times.
Sadly, we men, are not as fortunate. Personally, I find it extremely challenging as an Army husband to find a real sense of community. This is particularly emphasized when my wife is away on training or tour.
This lack of community was the reason I finished my novel Rune of the Apprentice.
As a professional writer I had been working on this novel for many years but I never really sat down seriously with it until my wife was away during basic training—and then again during Advanced Individual Training, and again, and again during her many tours…
I worked on this project not as an escape, but as inspiration. Although emotional, this book is grounded in heroism and love, because I did not write it just to inspire myself, but also my wife. As an active duty service member out performing her duties in the field, I knew that her day-to-day challenges were far greater than mine at home.
So, in addition to my letters, I would send her chapters and excerpts of the book to keep her spirits up, brighten her day, and to provide inspiration for her military duties.
Although Rune of the Apprentice is exciting and adventurous, the majority of the story is framed by a deep yearning romance between the 2 main characters. One is a conflicted young hero named Aleksi and the other is a young female heroine named Saiya. Most importantly, Saiya is not only powerful in her community, but also a very influential leader.
I think the reason Rune of the Apprentice resonates so well with military families is because it offers a very unique perspective on separation, duty, love and honor. One that we all feel very deeply—spouses and service members, alike.
The book provides this perspective, this resonance, in 2 primary ways.
First, the overarching story is told from a military spouse perspective and therefore honors the longing, sadness, fear, and ultimate joy on being reunited with one’s spouse.
But secondly, the story is told from a male perspective, and therefore offers readers a unique glimpse into the world of a strong man who not only loves action and adventure, but also has the utmost respect for his wife—and her dedicated service to her country.
Additionally, the story deals with the very real issue of gender roles and the complicated desire, as a military spouse, to live up to our service member’s achievements and try to be a hero in our unique way at home. Although told upon the backdrop of an adventure novel, these complicated themes of personal honor, duty, gender roles and committed relationship dynamics—with a partner who serves her country first, and foremost—is the foundation of the main characters’ relationship.
In short, this book resonates so well because these are actual, real-life themes every military spouse deals with on a day-to-day basis. And their action-oriented partners love it because it is filled with heroism and excitement.
Additionally, while my wife and I live very humbly, I am not here asking for the military spouse community to give us any money for this book. Instead, my wife and I have decided to give all of the author proceeds on pre-orders back to our military community. I did not write this book to become rich, instead, I worked on it for years as a labor of love and passion and now want to share that with the rest of our community.
Because of this: I have pledged to donate ALL of this book’s PRE-ORDER profits (my share as author is 50% of gross revenue on physical books and 70% on e-books) to:
- Hope for the Warriors
- National Military Family Association
- Our Military Kids
- Military Spouse Advocacy Network
Hopefully my novel Rune of the Apprentice, and its overarching campaign, can prove to be a catalyst to unite people in their desire to help support military families charities, while also opening up dialogue about the shifting gender roles in the military, our ever growing number of exemplary female service members and their corresponding male spouses (who deal with the same very real challenges as their female counterparts).
It is my hope that this book campaign can bring awareness to this and many other challenging aspects of military family life while also raising money to for a great cause. Thank you very much for your support!
To pre-order Rune of the Apprentice, click here. Although the original cost to pre-order the book is $10, every new user to Inkshares (that’s the publisher) gets a free $5 credit when you create an account, making Stone’s book, Rune of the Apprentice cost only $4.99.
My name is Jamison Stone and I am the spouse of Staff Sergeant Rebecca Bainbridge of the United States Army Field Band at Fort Meade, Maryland. You can connect with Jamison at StoneJamison.com, StrongAsStone.com, on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.