Site Overlay

CWV Book Corner, May: Air Force Veteran Kate Anslinger

This month’s Center for Women Veterans Book Corner author is Air Force Veteran Kate Anslinger, who served as a Command Post Controller from 1999-2003. She wrote “Saving Jason,” and is the author of the “McKenna Mystery Series” and “The Town Series.”

“Saving Jason” is an emotionally moving look at PTSD and the intersection of three lives, a riveting glimpse into unexpected friendships and the ripples we leave without our knowledge. The book follows Jason Barnes—a walking contradiction, a fun-loving free spirit with a severe case of PTSD. When an accident leaves him in a coma, his pregnant girlfriend must team up with his ex-wife to solve the mystery of Jason’s past. What they discover and the friendship they forge will have a profound effect on both of their futures.

Can you share a brief background of your military experience, including your branch of service, years served, and any notable positions or deployments?

I served as a Command Post Controller in the United States Air Force, stationed at Keesler AFB in Biloxi, MS, and Los Angeles AFB. My role consisted of facilitating communication between base commanders during real-world scenarios and writing reports to update HQ Air Force.

What inspired you to write a book and share your story as a woman Veteran?

I’ve always dreamed of being a writer and I got the idea of Saving Jason after I was discharged. Having seen so many Veterans suffering from PTSD, I wanted to bring their pain to the surface and show readers how tumultuous it can be and how it has a rippling effect on families and friendships.

After Saving Jason, I wrote “Underwater Secrets,” and since then I’ve written seven books in the McKenna Mystery Series and just recently launched the first book in The Town Series.

How has your military background influenced your writing style and the themes you explore in your work?

My military background has played a major role in my writing career, and I credit my time spent in the service for a lot of the themes I write about. I almost always have a Veteran in my fictional work, as I want to show the importance of Veterans in our everyday lives. Veterans shouldn’t just be acknowledged on Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day… they should be remembered in everyday life, and I hope my books help bring that idea to life.

How do you hope your book will impact other women Veterans, active duty service members, and the general public?

While Saving Jason is a fictional story, I hope it helps others realize that PTSD is very real. It’s often not discussed, but I believe it should be, and if a fictional account is one way to bring these very real conversations to the surface, then I think it could ultimately impact those who suffer from various forms of PTSD, even outside of the military. I hope that this book opens up conversations for all who have been afflicted by PTSD and those who hope to have more awareness about it.

What role do you think storytelling and literature play in fostering understanding and support for the women Veteran’s community?

I believe storytelling and literature play a major role in understanding and supporting the women Veterans’ community. Only in stories and writing can we truly share our experiences, and these are the narratives that often stay with people and get passed down from generation to generation.

Can you share a memorable experience or anecdote from your time in the military that has had a lasting impact on your life and writing?

While I have many, I will say that the days following September 11th have the most profound impact on my memory of my military career. I remember it being my first wake-up call to tragedy, and how life can flip in an instant. I also remember how my team at the Command Post worked effortlessly when called to duty, in a way I haven’t really witnessed since. Everyone was still so shocked by the terrorist attacks and were walking around in a haze of fear and confusion, yet each individual executed every skill they learned and stepped into action without a second thought.

Are there any fellow women Veteran authors or books that have inspired or resonated with you? If so, could you tell us a bit about them?

Yes, Barbara Bell, author of “Flight Lessons: Navigating Through Life’s Turbulence and Learning to Fly High.”

Barbara Bell shares her personal lessons as a female Veteran and helps the reader apply them to real life. This book is filled with colorful descriptions and touching moments that will leave you inspired and motivated to fly high.

How do you believe the Women Veterans Book Corner can help bring awareness to the civilian and military communities, particularly about women Veterans?

I think the Women Veterans Book Corner can help bring awareness to both the civilian and military communities because I feel like there is little knowledge about the female experience in the military. Many civilians I speak to are so admittedly out of touch with women’s roles in the military and the inner workings of the system. I believe that part of this is because there are so few female Veterans, but that is also a reason why we need to stand together to make a difference.

What advice do you have for other women Veterans or active duty service members who may be considering writing about their experiences?

My advice to other women Veterans or active duty members is to write if they feel the pull to do so. It will be a life-changing experience and a book has the potential to change the minds of many. Please write! We need more published works by female Veterans.

How has writing this book helped you?

I’ve written a lot of books, but Saving Jason was particularly cathartic because I got to cover a lot of military life and showcase what it is really like—the good and the bad. As a topic that many civilians know little about, I enjoyed bringing my Veteran characters Jason and Samantha to life, so readers can see what military life during and after, was like.

Can you tell us about any upcoming projects or events you’re involved in that our audience might be interested in?

I’m releasing book #1 The Things We Carry, a domestic suspense book, on August 1st, and I’ll be releasing McKenna Mystery Series book #7 on September 28th.

I’m also a ghostwriter, book coach, and editor. I’d love to work with other female Veterans and help them tell their stories.

Are you a woman Veteran author, or do you know of one?

If so, please visit our website to find out more information.  If you have further questions, contact the CWV Outreach Program Manager Michelle Terry at 00*@VA.Gov.

Welcome to your local American Legion! We will no longer be open for dinner on Mondays and Tuesdays.