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).
This all happened a week ago. Sarah and I flew to San Antonio, Texas, for the Military Writers Society of America’s annual conference. If you’ve never been to San Antonio (or have, but it’s been a while), be sure to put it on your bucket list. The weather was magnificent – warm, but with a pleasant breeze to keep you comfortable. The San Antonio River Walk is something you don’t want to miss. Parts of it are touristy, for sure, but if you walk its big loop, like Sarah and I did, you’ll find it beautiful, peaceful and romantic.
San Antonio is also the home of the Alamo. I thought I knew everything there was to know about the Alamo (after all, I remember John Wayne as Davy Crockett, rifle in hand, standing on the Alamo parapet with no hope for victory “… for God and freedom, a man more than willing to die …”), but I was wrong. The exhibits in the Alamo are so vivid and so instructive that I came away with an entirely new understanding of the why’s and the how’s of that battle. If you have children, you must visit this monument to heroism.
But for Sarah and me, all this sightseeing was just a prelude to meeting and spending time with the men and women of the Military Writers Society of America, some of the most interesting and talented people we’ve ever met. All are writers. Most, but not all, are veterans. When they put pen to paper, however, their writings are exclusively about things “military”; be they non-fiction, such as biography, memoirs, history, etc.; or fiction, including historical and literary fiction, science fiction or, like my novel, a mystery/thriller.
If you are reading this, and you yourself write military-themed books, I’d recommend you join like I did. It’s a prestigious group. All are welcome. (Just so you know, the Society enjoys and encourages any military-themed genre. There is, for example, a member of MSWA who wrote a military-themed picture book, My Soldier Dad, and one who wrote a civics handbook for young adults called Americana.)
The MSWA web-site can be reached through this link: www.mwsadispatches.com
Check it out.