“[A] deeply compelling novel about a young woman who gives up the bright lights of modeling and pageants to join the Marine Corps. Using a camera and her journalistic skills, her grit and determination take the reader ‘outside the wire’ where she encounters the truths of the warrior lifestyle while simultaneously protecting a closely held secret. An engrossing read, Model Marine is a book I’m excited to recommend.”
Stephanie Austin Edwards – Author of What We Set in Motion: A Novel
“Model Marine by Sondra Sykes Meek will be a satisfying sprint down memory lane for all who’ve earned the eagle, globe, and anchor… This coming-of-age story will engage readers of all ages while reinforcing the values of critical thinking and the courage of convictions. ”
Colonel Roxanne Cheney, USMC, Retired
“Emotional. Compelling. Intense. Brilliant. All words I would use to describe Model Marine by Sondra Sykes Meek…. I highly recommend this novel for anyone who enjoys a spellbinding read…. I rate Model Marine a solid 4 out of 4 stars.”
I am a retired United States Marine Corps Master Sergeant and I currently work as a contractor for the Department of the Navy. In my day job, I work as a project manager on cybersecurity projects. It is a continuously evolving environment, and I enjoy the changes and challenges that come with that line of work immensely. However, writing Fiction is my passion. I would love to spend all of my time writing, but the ‘starving artist’ lifestyle has never appealed to me, so I write when I have time, which isn’t nearly as often as I’d like. I published Model Marine in January of this year, and hope to release my next book by next year.
I began writing Model Marine when I was working on my thesis for my Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing degree. I received my degree in 2012, but I didn’t believe my thesis was ready for publication. By that time, I had begun my second career in the Defense Industry, so for the next several years, I threw myself into my project management work, studying for and receiving industry certifications–all the while feeling my creativity being sucked dry. In the spring of 2017, I realized I needed to tap back into the literary field that I’ve loved since childhood. I dug up Model Marine and began working on the story every spare moment I could find, determined to finish it by the end of the year.
It was very important to me to get this novel right. I wanted to reveal to civilians and remind veterans of the inspirational aspects of the warrior spirit. I wanted this story to be well written and engaging. I wanted it to have literary and social significance, but still be of interest to a general audience. I wanted it to reveal through the plot and characters the environment of the Marine Corps, and give readers a sense of what America’s veterans experience in war. High ambitions, I know. Only time will tell if I have met those goals.