Saturday, 22 February 2014

I didn't get it f**king wrong!

I'm feeling defensive and frankly, picked on. And pathetic and annoyed with myself and many other negative things. I know, boo hoo, poor author. After all I'm only one human being. (Ergo, one who is prone to mistakes and is just that...human).

See, I didn't realise that writing about the military would bring about such a backlash.

I'm an ex BRITISH military wife. I wrote a book called Not Another Soldier. In its various guises it went from being about the British military, to being set in the US, to coming back to the UK. Once my ARCs went out, the decision to pull it back into the UK came from the significant differences between the British and US military and the feedback I was receiving. The differences were just too much for people to grasp.

So, I kept the US spellings, I kept the Americanised phrases--so my wider audience wouldn't feel alienated--and I pulled it back into the UK. But the word Marine is still causing problems. In the UK, the Royal Marines are part of the Navy and the Royal Armed Forces. In my ignorance, I didn't realise the differences would anger people so much.

So...I've done something I never thought I'd do. I've changed my story. In spite of a little comment in my book that this has been updated and is intended to reflect British military life, people are still not understanding that. For those who read the first copies, I can only apologise for trying to reach a wider audience and confusing you. I thought I was making a wise decision seeing as plenty of British authors struggle with getting people to understand their British tone and spellings but I see now that was a huge mistake and I won't ignore my gut instincts again.

But my hero is no longer a Marine. This one word is causing so much of a headache. This story was meant to be personal to me. To explain my own journey as a military wife. To put across the stress and the upset that being a military wife can cause and to show how a strong woman can overcome such things, especially when they've got a soldier they love.

So the word Marine is gone. If you have a kindle version, you should receive an update notice from Amazon soon and you won't have to feel angry over the word any longer. I hope people will take a step back, maybe take a look at the wider world around them and learn something about the British Armed Forces and fall in love with my characters as I did, without that offensive word :D


  1. Samantha you know I grew up in the military and I served my country as well. Please don't let the fact that small minded people used one word to destroy the story for you. That these narrow minded people who sit behind their computers hollering and screaming about being a military wife themselves or their husband is a Marine yet never reading any of your other books or your bio to understand you are not American so there would be differences bring you down. Your book was amazing, you know it, I know it and anyone else out there that can grasp the story not the WORD knows it. <3 Tonya

  2. Some people are so small minded that they never look outside their own little world and try and understand another's perspective. They must think that they own the word to get so uptight about its use and I am really sorry that they have caused you to feel this way Samantha. For me the book is a fantastic read and do not let it deter you from writing many more contemporaries to complement your historicals. Tina :)

  3. I personally can't believe anyone who just isn't willing to enjoy a book for what it is. Or maybe they're not able to? As far as American spelling eg traveling (American) vs travelling - well the rest of the world does not spell like them. You just have to ignore these unhappy people. They're not worth the stress. Cheers. :)