I'm a new author regarding books, but I've been writing technical manuals for over fifteen years. I had to transition from documenting just the facts to descriptive narration, as task that was difficult to learn.
Writing a novel had never crossed my mind and it wouldn't have, except for a sequence of events that emotionally impacted me. I was given my grandfather's World War One journal and although I realized its historical value, I didn't know how compelling his entries were.
In a box of my grandfather's documents I found a letter that he wrote around 1945. In the letter he told of a promise he and three comrades but he failed to keep. By transcribing the journal I knew that it contained the information that would help me to keep my grandfather's promise. My mind kept repeating this story as if an outside force was begging to write it. Like the movie "The Field Of Dreams" but the voice told me to write it and they will read it.
Analyzing my work I realized that it is four stories that are interwoven. The first being the journal and its contents. The promise that was made is a separate tail but linked to the journal entries. A third story is the immense amount of research I did trying to locate living relatives of soldiers involved in the promise, and the fourth would be the lesson I learned of the importance of recording the stories of my life.
Although the book is about war, it also contains passages describing the tender human side of conflict and therefore is not gender specific.
"The Great Promise" might be a one book wonder, but I'm OK with that because I wrote it not for myself but to tell my grandfather's story.