Interview & Contest: M.L. Buchman

Jen: Our guest today is military romance novelist, M.L. Buchman.  M.L., please tell us about I Own the Dawn and where the idea came from.
MB: The series came from discovering the U.S. Army’s real life Night Stalkers, a secret helicopter regiment for Special Forces. The “what if?” question for the series came from, “All their fliers are men. Huh. What if they weren’t anymore?” I’ve had a great time placing these women in a man’s world, these amazing women.  I Own the Dawn came about from a single image. A tough woman. A force of nature. Someone who can win a bar fight or drink you under the table. And she can definitely out shoot you. What happens when she’s faced by the perfect match? Especially when she doesn’t see it that way. I loaded the dice by choosing a hero for her who comes from another world. One of manners and education. Watching them interact was so much fun, and I always like to have fun with my writing.

I also wanted to get into the Afghanistan setting a bit more. It had only been the opener and closer of book 1 and I felt there was a world there I wanted to learn more about. Also fun! (Did I mention that I like to have fun with my writing?)

Jen: What kind of research did you do for this book/series?
MB: I read everything I could find about the Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR). I studied their helicopters and read maintenance manuals and hand-to-hand combat training guides. I was going for my Taekwondo black belt with my kid at the time, so I made the characters very physical in both their snuggling agreements and their much less snuggly disagreements. I interviewed a Coast Guard rescue helicopter pilot, a female Black Hawk crew chief who flew in Iraq. I went online to a sniper rifle forum and asked dumb questions about just what a $10,000 sniper rifle can do (lots of ridicule and some really great suggestions).  But I mostly read memoirs by military Special Forces retirees to try to understand them. What motivated them, how they thought, felt, and spoke. I wanted my characters to be as authentic as I could make them.

Jen: Who has inspired you as an author?
MB: Hearing someone laugh or sigh when they read a book, any book. The second or third novel I ever read was Jack London’s The Call of the Wild. I wept. That it would take me another 20 or more years to start writing myself is an oversight I still fail to understand. I love being able to champion the human spirit and make my readers (especially my first reader, the wonderful lady I married) sigh or laugh or sniffle. That is the best part of writing. The readers.

Jen: Do you have a writing routine?  Are you a plotter or a panster?
MB: I’ve tried almost everything from detailed outlines to complex whiteboard charts and detailed character interviews. My best successes, and the most fun for me: a) get an idea, title, scene, cool opening line, b) play with the idea a while in my head, often while riding my bike, mowing the lawn, taking a walk with my wife, c) get a pretty good idea of the first sentence or two and the last scene, and then d) I sit down and start writing at page 1. I used to write the last scene next and then aim for it, now it’s just pretty clear in my head and I go for it.  I write anytime that I have 10-15 minutes, but I love the long blitzes. I can write for 20 hours on the weekend of a 60 hour work week and feel refreshed at the end of it. Writing brings me energy.

Jen: What’s next for you?
MB: More Night Stalkers. A Night Stalkers Christmas story coming this fall, books 3&4 of the series to follow. I have a contemporary romance series that is waiting for book 2 and a fantasy series where I have book 2, but it’s waiting for book 1 (weird, I know, but true). And my wife and I were doing our favorite thing the other day, walking along and holding hands and just talking. We came up with another romance series. It’s gonna be wonderful! I can’t wait to write it.


M. L. Buchman has worked in fast food, theater, computers, publishing, and light manufacturing. It’s amazing what you can do with a degree in geophysics. At one point he sold everything and spent 18-months riding a bicycle around the world. In 11,000 miles, he touched 15 countries and hundreds of amazing people. Since then, he has acquired a loving lady, the coolest kid on the planet, and lives in Portland, Oregon. For more information, please visit

Be sure to check the Contest page for a chance to win a free, signed copy of I Own the Dawn.

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16 thoughts on “Interview & Contest: M.L. Buchman

  1. Cris says:

    Can’t wait to read I OWN THE DAWN, and the Christmas story! (And books #3 & 4 next year)

    I have a question for Matt– as the only published male romance author I have come across, do you think your journey to publication in this genre has been harder than that of a female author’s (say, because of hesitancy of publishers/editors/agents to even meet with a male author)?

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. Texas Book Lover says:

    I love the cover and the sound of this book. I have to tell you though it doesn’t look like the typical guy cover. In other words you did good to attract female readers because we look at covers first. I am very interested to read this from a mans perspective.

    Thanks so much!

  3. Sarah says:

    Great interview. The cover is dynamic and really catches the eye. Sounds like a fascinating story that I would really enjoy. Can’t wait to read it. Thanks!!

  4. Hi Cris, No. I’d say that my journey to being published was just about as hard as it is for anyone and what finally told was the writing and the story and getting it to the right editor at the right time and a dozen other factors. With over 400 rejections and a half-dozen published books, it has definitely been a journey. Perseverence in the face of a dream, of any dream, I like to think will always win out. With perseverence comes practice and new skills and better marketing and new ideas and… Well, you found one of my soapboxes! 🙂

  5. donnas says:

    Congrats on the new release. It sounds great. Sounds like you have had quite the adventure being a published author.

  6. erinf1 says:

    Thanks for a fun interview and congrats on the newest release! I just got the Night is Mine and I can’t wait to start reading 🙂

  7. Jen B. says:

    I am always amazed by the research that goes into fiction. I didn’t even know that a sniper rifle could cost $10,000. And how many female black hawk pilots are there to talk to? Thanks for the giveaway! jepebATverizonDOTnet

  8. TC says:

    I read I Own the Dawn and was inspired to find out about the author. I’m actually interested in reading the first book in the series, “The Night Is Mine”. I came across IOTD in my local Barnes and Nobel and thought I’d try it out. Is is very interesting and a great read. As a man, I’ve read my fair share of action adventure novels, but this romance novel with a protagonist who’s as Kick-A** as any male agent or soldier is something else! I applaud ML Buchman and encourage him to keep writing!


  9. Crystal Newman says:

    I really did love this interview. This is about all my son talks about. He wants to know about all the services and what you have to do to be in them and which is the hardest.

    Thanks for telling us about this wonderful book. I can’t wait to read it.

  10. Joanne, favorite character? Tough call. I just finished the first draft of book 4, so I know those characters really well and am deeply attached. I also just started a Night Stalkers Christmas that will be out this fall, and the heroine / hero pair are already being an immense amount of fun. But lately I’ve been thinking a lot about this book. I love Archie’s steadfastness and surety of what he wants. I love Kee’s black-and-white view of the world so sharply contrasted by the heart that everyone can see so clearly except herself. And I have a terrible weak spot for Dilya, the voice of truth as only the young can offer. …AND YOU WANT ME TO CHOOSE!??! Lol!

    TC, thanks, your the first man I’ve actually heard of who has read one of my books (other than a few stalwart friends). Glad you liked it and no, you couldn’t stop me from writing at this point. Other than going out for walks with my wife, it is my favorite thing to do.

  11. I’m very interested to read a romance written by a man – I’m curious to see if the change in perspective is obvious or not.The books sound great! Thanks for the giveaway!

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