Military spouse pens realistic fiction

="Novelist Brenda Corey Dunne"

Novelist Brenda Corey Dunne with her latest book, “Dependent”.

For novelist and military spouse Brenda Corey Dunne, her work isn’t just a book on a shelf, it’s a piece of her.

A few weeks ago she released her second novel, “Dependent”, which follows 45-year-old military spouse Ellen Michaels.

When Michaels loses her husband in a training accident, she sets out on a journey of self-discovery and growth, reclaiming a sense of self she left behind following her marriage.

“It’s a very raw story,” says Dunne.

“It was difficult to write, because I had to get into the mind of someone experiencing these unbridled, painful emotions.I think what came out is a very honest story, and I’m very proud of it.”

Dunne’s inspiration came partly from her own life, putting her own circumstances in the same framing as that of the fiction Michaels.

She is a former Air Force Physiotherapy Officer and wife to Wing Commander of 19 Wing Comox Col Thomas Dunne.

“I can’t imagine what I would do if I’d lost my husband. He’s been on deployment before but has always come home safe. It was hard to put myself through that thought process,” she says.

“It’s important to put yourself into your writing, so what comes out is as real and as human as possible.”

So intense are the book’s contents, Dunne says after submitting the manuscript to her publisher she received a concerned email.

“I think she was considering calling social services,” she says, laughing.

“It can get pretty grim, so it can be hard to separate the author from the fiction, but I assured her that I’m very happy with my life.”

Already a published author, Dunne says the beginnings of what would become “Dependent” were first penned in 2004.

So long has the process been, she’d already released her first novel, a historical fiction set in her native New Brunswick, before even finishing the manuscript for “Dependent”.

“My first novel, ‘Treasure in the Flame’, was written to cross something off my bucket list,” she says.

“It felt really good to get it done, and after that I picked up ‘Dependent’ again. I’d been writing it here and there, on and off, but it was time to finish it.”

Following the release signing at the Victoria Chapters, “Dependent” is now on store shelves, and Dunne says the sense of accomplishment and pride is perhaps the most important part.

“I’ve worked very hard and put a lot of myself in to this story,” she says. “I tried to present a raw and honest view of life in the military, and I hope I’ve achieved that.”

Shawn O’Hara, Staff Writer




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