Month: April 2014

My inspiration for the “Warfighter” series

Some readers have asked where I got the idea to do a series of oral history stories on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The idea to focus on the men and women who fought the conflict, and hear the story in their own words, came from a book titled The Good War by Studs TerkelIn the book, the way Terkel asks the veterans questions and helps them tell the story is remarkable. It’s much better than reading a history book written by someone who wasn’t there – this is how it really was, as told by those who were really there. The stories of these “real people” spoken in plain language was remarkable to read. So…I began to look at books about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some are great – those written by the veterans. Most are political - which is sad. But I haven’t seen a collection like “The Good War” was, and I think we owe it to our men and women who served there, and the generations that will follow, to record, collect and publish these stories.I’ll begin to conduct interviews during the next several months and hope to publish something later this year. If you know of anyone I should interview, please let me know!

My inspiration for volumn two of “The Life of Julia”

I'm busy writing the first draft of volume two in the "Life of Julia" series, which will be titled "Into the Closet."The story will catch up with Julia when she is 17-years old -- the second year of her life highlighted in the campaign ad. The ad showed Julia doing very well in public school, which will also be the case in the book. However, I will tackle the issue of religious liberty and the growing trend of the government trampling upon traditional views in the name of mandating universal diversity -- which is kind of an oxy-moron. Where am I drawing my inspiration? I don't want to give away too much of the plot while it is still being written, but it is safe to say that the theme was inspired by the case of Owen and Eunice Johns of the United Kingdom. The couple, both Pentecostal Christians, had fostered children for years in Derby, England...until a social worker came by for a routine interview and asked about their views of homosexuality. They said, as Bible-believing Christians (in their words), that it is a sin. The social worker asked what they would tell any of their foster children about homosexuality if they were asked. Owen and Eunice said they would say their faith teaches them that homosexuality is wrong, but that if the child was homosexual, they would love and care for the child and treat them no differently than anyone else - also as their faith teaches. They thought wrong.…

Fact behind the Fiction

A few readers of "A Forgotten Man" have asked where I received my inspiration for one of the novel's early plot catalysts -- the government's forced closing of Bienville Bay Oyster Company. A couple of readers even said it didn't seem realistic. I wish that were true.Drakes Bay Oyster Company is a small, family-owned oyster farm on the coast of California. The federal government has been trying to close it for the past couple of years. After watching this short documentary in early 2013, the idea of Bienville Bay Oyster Company was born.