Saving History One Story at a Time

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Last week’s post was about my journey to San Antonio to meet, for the first time, my new friends from the Military Writers Society of America, and to pick up their prestigious award for my novel The Oath. This week I want to share with you some of my experiences with the MWSA.

As I said in my blog last week, the MWSA is comprised of interesting and talented people. What I forgot to tell you is what good people they are. Just one example among many: Bob Doerr, the Society’s Veep, and a half-dozen members arrived in San Antonio a day early to put on a free, all-day writing seminar at the Audie L. Murphy VA Hospital. And this was not just a random act of kindness on the Society’s part. Besides sponsoring workshops at other VA facilities nationwide, members are encouraged to donate copies of their books to VA hospitals near where they live.

The 2017 Military Writers Society of America Conference itself featured two days of discussions on various topics. I was invited to contribute to a panel whose title was: “I’ve Written My Book – Now What?” It provided experiences and thoughts by some of us who’ve written books and asked ourselves “what the heck should I do next?” I mostly kept my mouth shut and learned from a very experienced group of panelists/writers: Kathleen M. Rodgers, best-selling author of Seven Wings to Glory and The Final Salute; John D. Trudel, himself a best-selling author of Raven’s Run and The Lone Wolf Agenda; and last, but certainly not least, panel moderator Don Helin, a 2017 MWSA winner for his mystery/thriller Angel’s Revenge. I’m mentioning these books because I think you should put them on your “to read” list. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

As Don noted, the period after completing the manuscript is one of the most frustrating times for writers. And John stated, “I think it easier these days to get published, but much harder to become visible, to get noticed.”  Even Kathleen noted that “despite my 40+ years in the writing business, I still feel like a beginner every time I sit down to work.”

The last night of the conference was highlighted by the awards banquet. MWSA recognizes and awards authors in a variety of genres, both fiction and non-fiction. It was a night of good food, good wine and good conversation. Oh, and my tearful acceptance of a Silver Medal for The Oath.

If you are a veteran who writes (or is thinking about writing), or a non-veteran, but who writes about things “military,” then I urge you to find out what the MSWA offers by clicking here: mwsadispatches.com.  As we like to say, we’re “SAVING HISTORY ONE STORY AT A TIME.”

One last thought on the subject of author discoverability: If you’re looking for a company to do web design and/or host your website, I can unequivocally recommend Lenka Lee. Go to Lenkaslist.com to check her out. I have all my books registered with her. She also does interviews and blogs. I’ve been with her for over a year. She helps get you discovered, and now offers a web design and hosting service.  Use coupon code LENKAWEBDISCOUNT during checkout to get $50 off until September 30th, 2017! I’m on board. Check her out. I think you’ll come to the same conclusion I did.

Lenka's List web design and hosting for authors

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An Affair to Remember – “The Oath” Awarded MWSA Silver Medal

Military Writers Society of America
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Some of you are probably too young to recall the movie An Affair to Remember, starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. If you haven’t seen it, I recommend you check it out on Turner Classic Movies. It’s said to be the most romantic movie of all time. A real tear-jerker.

What, you ask, does a Cary Grant film have to do with my novel being awarded a Silver Medal by the prestigious Military Writers Society of America a week ago? Well for me it was, indeed, an affair to remember (and, since I choked up when the award was announced, I guess you could also say it was a real tear-jerker). Continue reading

It’s Gonna be a Bright, Bright Sunshiny Day

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I hadn’t sung, or even thought about, Johnny Nash’s hit song “I Can See Clearly Now” in about forty years. But I did this morning. That’s when I woke up, turned on my computer, and saw that the Military Writers Society of America had placed my novel, The Oath, second on the list for their Recommended Reading List. Continue reading

Recently Uncovered Data May Support Theory that Custer Survived

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Associated Press  (June 21, 2017)

This coming Sunday, June 25th, in the year 1876, Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer was killed, along with five companies of the Seventh Cavalry who rode with him, at the Battle of the Little Bighorn —

… Or was he?

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Custer to Attend Wild Deadwood Reads This Summer

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Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer has agreed to come with me to Wild Deadwood Reads in South Dakota on June 10th.

This isn’t the only time Custer has been in Black Hills country. Way back in July of 1874, President Ulysses S. Grant issued orders for Custer to scout a suitable site for a military post in the Black Hills. Custer himself told me his big mistake was bringing along those two prospectors. It had been rumored for years that the Black Hills were rich in gold, and those damn prospectors found it. “The beginning of the end,” he told me in genuine sorrow, “of the Plains Indians and their way of life.” Continue reading

5 Things You Need To Be Doing While Writing Your Book

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Many people think that writing a book is all about having a good story or hook, but the reality is you are in the book writing “business.”  Here are five things that you should do while you are writing the book that can help your “book business” once you finish. Continue reading