Captain Danny Maine, Hero of Now and Forever 2, the Book of Danny” by Jean C. Joachim

Who are you?

I’m Captain Danny Maine…well, I’m not a Captain anymore. I retired from the Army. I’m now Professor Danny Maine. I teach freshman English at Kensington State University. I’m in love with the dean, but don’t tell anyone. No, no, not Mac Caldwell, Eliza Baines!

Where do you live?

I live in Willow Falls, the sweetest little town of 5,000 people in upstate New York.

Are you the hero of your own story?

Hell yes! My name’s in the title. Now and Forever 2, the Book of Danny by Jean C. Joachim. Mac Caldwell is jealous because he was the hero of the other book but didn’t get his name in the title. I asked him if he was sleeping with the author, Jean, but he wouldn’t say. *snickers*, I’m not saying either. You can put the pieces together.

What is your problem in the story?

I have a few obstacles in my way. Okay, I admit it maybe more than a few. I suffer from PTSD. I have nightmares, I get jumpy, but I can lick it. I know I can. I didn’t know my old man would get sprung from jail and ask me for a hand-out. Didn’t know he’d picked up some scumwad friend in prison, either. Wish they would leave me the hell alone so I could focus on Eliza and teaching. Geez, facing a classroom full of freshmen scares the crap out of me more than facing a sniper in Iraq!

Do you run from conflict?

I’ve never run from anything in my life and I’m not going to start now. No one pushes me around. Hell, my life can’t get any worse than it’s been.

How do your friends see you?

My friends know they can count on me. I protect those I love. Callie and Mac know that I will do everything I can to keep them safe from that piece of crap, Fred, and my lowlife father.

How do your enemies see you?

My enemies had better be afraid, very afraid. Because I can outthink anyone and out-maneuver them, too. And I will. I will arm myself, I will do whatever is necessary to prevail.

How does the author see you?

Don’t say anything, but I think she’s secretly in love with me. Heh heh. Not that I mind *wicked grin* Hey! Don’t tell Eliza I said that! Yeah, she listened to my story and we kind of…well…you know how close you can get when you’re working on a story. I swear that was before I started dating Eliza! *holds up hand*. Jean is a good listener and she took down everything I said. When she got off course, I shoved the story right back on. Even had her in tears a couple of times *shy smile*. Love the way my story came out and that she found a publisher, too, is awesome.

Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?

Hell, yes! I was right there in the room with her. Had to sweet talk her sometimes, make a few changes from time to time but it is truly my story.

Do you have a hero?

My brother Kyle was my hero. He was killed in Iraq.

Do you keep your achievements to yourself?

Yes. I feel lucky to have what I have. Where I came from, my life could have ended up so differently. I’m grateful for what has come my way. None of this would have happened if my brother didn’t watch over me, make sure I took the right path. I have him to thank for who I am today. It’s too bad he isn’t here to see what a great job he did.

What do you need?

Eliza and Dr. Weiss say I need therapy. So I’m going. Actually, I like Dr. Weiss. She’s kind and nice to me and doesn’t make me feel weird, you know? She’s the one who told me I was damaged on the inside. Since I’ve going to see her and writing in my journal I have fewer nightmares, so she must know what she’s doing.

What do you want to be?

Married to Eliza, a father and at peace.

What, if anything, haunts you?

Life with my abusive father haunts me. My buddies’ instant deaths in Iraq haunt me. But I’m working to overcome those fears, those memories…by facing them and building a new life. I’m part of the community in Willow Falls. I love my Kiwanis guys and coaching soccer. All I want is a quiet, normal life and the hottest lady in town in my bed.

Are you lucky?

You’re damn right I’m lucky! Hell, I came back with a back full of shrapnel scars but that’s all. Well, maybe a mind full of nightmares, too. Okay, okay I’m a bit injured on the inside. But I came back with all my limbs and a chance to find something better.

Do you have any distinguishing marks?

A shit-load of scars on my back. Hey, can I say that in here? And a few that only Eliza knows about *turns red*, oops, TMI.

What was your childhood like?

It was a worse nightmare than my days in Iraq. I don’t want to talk about it. I spend enough energy trying to forget.

What in your past had the most profound effect on you?

The love and devotion of my brother.

Who is your true love?

Eliza Baines is my true love. She’s the hottest, classiest, smartest lady I’ve ever known and I hope to win her, make her mine forever *blushes*, hey, don’t quote me on that. It’s private, ya know? I fell for her the first time I met her. Never known a woman like her.