A roadside explosion kills Dalton Blake’s lover in Afghanistan. Dalton wants to hide in himself forever. Can a base officer can break through?
Dalton Blake and his lover from college enlist to serve their country and seek adventure. A roadside explosion in Afghanistan that Dalton believes he could have prevented takes his lover’s life and Dalton returns stateside, withdrawing into his own world to escape the emotional toll. A base captain tries to break through and must find a way to connect before Dalton makes a tragic decision. In His Sights explores the impact of loss and the hope that new love offers.
Afghanistan fascinated him. He saw beauty in what many deemed a desolate landscape. A flower blooming among rocky crags was like an act of defiance interrupting the bleakness. He had gained confidence and felt like his leadership abilities were growing rapidly on the day a colonel, a senior engineer from the States, and a camera crew from a television network were among the audience members.
The last questions finished and he gathered his materials. He headed to the coffee shop on base to revel in his success but soldiers were scrambling amid confused shouts.
“Hey, what’s happening?” Dalton tried to get someone’s attention.
“An attack. There was an attack just down the road.”
The news screamed back to base. An IED had exploded in the field, ripped through a convoy, and killed several soldiers. Jerry was among them.
Dalton froze. A volley of commands were unleashed in his mind to run here or there, but he was helpless. He shook free from the initial shock and ran to his barracks, buried his face in his pillow, and fought to suppress his rage. He wanted to scream, grab a weapon, and head off on his own personal assault and find the son of a bitch responsible. A debriefing revealed a connection failure in the jamming device and the feeling of failure Dalton experienced was like water bursting through the walls of a reservoir and flooding everything in its path
please tell us a little bit about your current projects?
In His Sights is my first attempt at a male-male romance story and I feel it’s my best work in terms of digging deep into someone’s tortured emotions with the prospect of healing coming from someone else who is empathetic and grounded.
A soldier returns home from Afghanistan with the emotional wound that he feels responsible for not having detonated a roadside bomb that took the life of his best friend and lover. The U.S. base captain notices the withdrawal and tries to break through before the survivor self-destructs.
When was the moment that you knew you had to be a writer?
I must have been in kindergarten and my mom was writing for the local newspaper. We were in a deli across from the volunteer fire department and the siren triggered. Fire trucks pulled out and we went to cover a brush fire on the outskirts of town. Hey, it doesn’t get any more exciting than that!
Who gave you the one piece of writing advice that sticks with you to this day?
In university, a professor in my fiction class quoted Ernest Hemingway that “the best writing comes from re-writing.”
What has been your biggest adventure to date?
I was one of several people doing a relay across the U.S. in my mid-20s to raise money for an organization focused on humanitarian projects.
What is this romance writer’s idea of the “ideal romantic evening”?
First, the late afternoon sky has to be cool and overcast. We’re walking hand-in-hand along the beach or in the So Cal mountains, and then we go to a small, cadlelit café and have a small steak, a salad, fresh bread and a glass of wine. Soft jazz plays in the background. I am married so I guess the other one should be my wife.
When it comes to food, are you the adventurous type who will try anything once, or do you prefer to stick to tried and true foods and recipes?
I will try most anything. One of the attractions about living in Southern California is there is an affordable variety of food from El Salvadoran pupusas to Vietnamese noodles. My mother made all kinds of dishes, sauces, and salads including Cesar salad with an abundance of anchovies. She influenced me in my adventurous eating and my writing.
One think I do not like and I never have: plain white milk. Yuck!
What is your favorite season? What do you love about it?
A favorite season in Southern California is late winter-early spring. Let’s just call it February. Lol! That’s our best chance for snow in the mountains and rain. The days get lighter and there’s a newness to the atmosphere.
Dalton Blake and his lover from college enlist to serve their country and seek adventure. A roadside explosion in Afghanistan that Dalton believes he could have prevented takes his lover’s life and Dalton returns stateside withdrawing into his own world to escape the emotional toll. A base captain tries to break through and must find a way to connect before Dalton makes a tragic decision. In His Sights explores the impact of loss and the hope that new love offers.
DD Symms like to explore chance encounters and intense emotions in his stories.
He lives in southern California and hikes in the mountains with his wife, wishes his dog would stop sleeping on his side of the bed, and would like to take more walks along the beaches north of Malibu.