About the Book

Title: Dependent: A Novel
Genre: Fiction/ Literary
Author Name: Brenda Corey Dunne
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): R for violence, sexual

Interview with Brenda Corey Dunne

Why did you write this
About nine years ago, I took a look in the mirror, and—like many
military spouses—faced one of the things that scared me the most. What would happen
if I got that soul-destroying knock on the door? I was in my mid-thirties, not working,
and in danger of losing my hard-earned physiotherapy license. What would I do if
I was left alone, like so many military spouses are, to raise three children with
no career? It was an eye-opener, for sure. I sat down that day, and wrote it out—in
fictional form—and then put it away. It was too hard, too emotionally draining to
think about. I couldn’t write it. But I knew, deep down inside, that Ellen’s story
was one that had to be written. It stayed in the back of my mind as I watched friends,
colleagues, and neighbors deal with that very knock. Finally, in 2012, I forced
myself to push through and finish it. It’s not an easy story to read, nor is it
an easy story to write. But I wanted to make it real.
What is your favorite
genre to read?
Just about anything YA, especially urban fantasy, and some pre-dystopian.
I read for entertainment. Life is real enough as it is!
What is your favorite
character from fiction (not including your own characters)?
Depends on which book I’m reading at the time. I’m fickle, and
switch regularly. If I had to choose I’d say Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice.
I love her wit.
Do you enjoy films and/or
TV shows? Which are your favorites?
I love to escape in a good movie, and like books my favorites
change regularly. I loved Super 8—Aliens, coming of age and some really good lines:
“Drugs are so bad!”. I also loved the Keira Knightly version of Pride
and Prejudice. Could watch that movie a hundred times. But for pure wit, intelligence
and brilliant screenwriting I’d have to choose the TV show Sherlock. Every episode
is like a mini-movie in itself.
What are you working on
at the moment, and what are we likely to see from you in the coming months?
Right now I’m in the middle of a cross-continental move, so my
laptop is a little lonely. I have two projects on the go: a sequel to Treasure in
the Flame (my self-pubbed historical fiction), and also a contemporary story about
the meaning of ‘home’ for a military child. Both are at the 20k mark or so, so lots
of work to come!
Please tell us about your
latest book.
As I mentioned above, Dependent is not an easy book. It’s the
story of how a widowed military spouse (a ‘dependent’) re-discovers her self-identity.
Married young, and the victim of sexual assault, she is riddled with guilt and self-doubt
when the love of her life is killed in a military training accident. She drifts
in a grey, anchorless fog, haunted by memories. Only when she meets up with an old
friend from her past can she deal with her demons and move on.
The story is raw, emotional and sometimes uncomfortable. But
it’s also heartwarming and romantic. Get out your tissues.
When 45-year-old Ellen Michaels loses her husband to a tragic
military accident, she is left in a world of gray. For 25 years her life has been
dictated by the ubiquitous They—the military establishment that has included her
like chattel with John’s worldly goods—his Dependents, Furniture, and Effects. They—who
have stolen her hopes, her dreams and her innocence, and now in mere months will
take away the roof over her head. Ellen is left with nothing to hold on to but memories
and guilt and an awful secret that has held her in its grip since she was 19. John’s
untimely death takes away her anchor, and now, without the military, there is no
one to tell her where to go, what to do—no one to dictate who she is. Dependent
deals with issues ever-present in today’s service families—early marriage, frequent
long absences, the culture of rank, and posttraumatic stress, as well as harassment
and abuse of power by higher-ranking officials. It presents a raw and realistic
view of life for the lives of the invisible support behind the uniform.

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Author Bio

Brenda Corey Dunne grew up in rural New Brunswick, Canada.
She originally trained as a physiotherapist and worked several years as a Physiotherapy
Officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force before meeting the love of her life and
taking her release. Since that time she has had frequent moves with her Air Force
husband and family, living in such places as Nova Scotia
(Canada), Watchfield (England) and Elizabeth City,
(NC). She currently resides on the Pacific
Coast, in British
Columbia, Canada.
Brenda spent several years volunteering on the Board of Directors
at a Military Family Resource Centre in Nova
Scotia, culminating in a year term as Chairperson of the
Board. She completed her first full-length manuscript in 2008 as a bucket-list item
and caught the writing bug. Since then she has self-published a work of YA historical
fiction (Treasure in the Flame), and has several other manuscripts in various stages
of completion. Dependent is her first traditionally published work. She is represented
by Jennifer Mishler and Frances Black of Literary Counsel.

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