"Lyn Alexander grew up in Ottawa, Canada during the war years and joined the Royal Canadian Air Force directly out of high school. She later resigned her commission to study veterinary medicine at the University of Guelph, Ontario. She has travelled much of Western Europe, the USA, and most of Canada, and speaks three foreign languages badly. She recently retired from veterinary practice in New Brunswick." (About the author in "The English General" by Lyn Alexander)
When I was seventeen I walked out of high school under a cloud, and on my eighteenth birthday ran away to enlist in the Royal Canadian Air Force, In boot camp on Day One, at the bottom of the ladder, lowest f the low, I was abruptly introduced to a challengiing life of discipline, physical effort, teamwork, drill and regulations. Almost as quickly I picked up pride in the uniform and in myself, pride in duty, honour, fidelity, and high princille. Eight years later I was commisioned from the ranks, so I experienced military life from two quite distinct perspectives. Eventually I resigned my commission to study veterinary medicine, and have been in active practice since graduation in 1977. I retired in October 2009.
Fifteen years in uniform left a profound, subtle stamp on me. Everything I have done in my life, and the way I do it, reflects that early training, which is subliminal and etched in steel.
Never married, I came very close twice. The first was Johnny, who died in an air crash. The second was a fellow officer in Officers' Training School who, it turned out, already had a wife. Both men were ideal to me, and from them I held too high a standard for other men to follow.
I have been writing fiction since I was twelve years old. Sold a novel to Doubleday New York in 1964 while still in uniform. One letter, manuscript attached, was all it took. Today, of course, Doubleday don't know who I am. How the publishing world has changed!